The OECD is committed to contributing to a future in which timely, accurate and relevant data are available and used for sustainable development and effective development co-operation.

In 2017, the OECD’s Development Co-operation Report: Data for Development called for stronger political leadership, greater investment and more collective action to bridge the data divide for development. In response, members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) established the Data for Development (D4D) work stream in the DAC Programme of Work and Budget for 2019-2020. The work stream is managed and implemented by the OECD’s Development Co-operation Directorate (DCD) for the DAC.

The overall objectives of the work stream are to convene and moderate an international community that strengthens dialogue and interlinkages between development co-operation actors and their policies, strategies and investments in data for development and the priorities, needs, demands and expertise of statistical and data-for-development communities. Through peer exchange, knowledge sharing and enhanced co-ordination and innovation, the work stream supports the effective delivery and use of more and better data to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and leave no one behind.

A large number of development co-operation providers, including most DAC members, actively engage in strengthening data and statistical systems in developing countries. To ensure that programmes, projects and technical assistance on data and statistics are adequate and effective in meeting countries’ needs and data challenges, international partners have scope to share knowledge and experience, learn from each other, and identify good practices. Participants at the inaugural meeting of the work stream in December 2019 identified specific priorities for the D4D work stream: 1) the need to improve co-ordination among providers and ensure partner ownership, 2) peer learning on what works and why in donor support to development data with a view to developing good practices and 3) awareness raising and communication.

The Data for Development Profiles of 14 DAC members included in this publication address these priorities by providing a comprehensive overview of the “why”, the “what” and the “how” of DAC members’ use of ODA to support the production, dissemination and use of data and statistics in developing countries. The report also includes an introductory chapter highlighting key insights from a comparative analysis of the individual profiles and outlining priorities for collective action.

Outlining the current landscape of development co-operation for data and statistics is a foundational and essential step towards strengthening the effectiveness of this support. The comprehensive, first-ever Data for Development Profiles of DAC members enhance the knowledge base of how international development actors are working with countries to overcome data and statistical challenges in development. They will help raise partners (government, national statistical offices, civil society and private actors) awareness of the different strategic priorities, budget allocations and ways of working of the main official funders of data for development. These profiles serve as a baseline for strategic international dialogue for more co-ordinated and effective support that contributes to strengthened capacity and statistical systems fit for the digital era.

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