How visualizations can empower citizens of developing countries and help to meet the SDGs
As one of three runners-up in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) visualization contest, I was invited to attend the Cartagena Data Festival in Colombia. During this three-day festival, government representatives, academics, technical innovators and NGO representatives came together to try to answer the question “how to do good with data?”
Most developed countries have a rich history of collecting statistical information, whether about the size of the population, economic growth, healthcare or government spending. All are valuable metrics to use when determining new policies, as well as to hold governments to account for their actions. But collecting this kind of data is difficult for many developing countries, something that needs to improve in order to help them successfully meet the challenging Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We are in need of good data, both for shaping policy and to validate its effectiveness, so getting a grip on data is vital for countries’ development.
Fortunately, recent developments in the data field have provided interesting new opportunities for collecting data. We now generate a lot of data in ways not previously known to us, such as the data left by our mobile phones or information from social media platforms. Bogdan State, for instance, showed us at...