UNDP advances adoption of quality and accessible data in disaster and humanitarian response

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says quality and accessible data is critical for informed, swift and transparent decision-making and efficient humanitarian response.

UNFPA Country Representative Young Hong, who was speaking on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator, further stated that accurate, reliable, timely and disaggregated data is key in tracking unprecedented range of economic, social and environmental goals integrated under sustainable development.

Hong made the remarks on Thursday at the opening of the 2022 Malawi Data Summit. The two-day summit is taking place at the Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe under the theme “Harnessing Data and Technology to Enhance Humanitarian Response and Community Resilience.”

Kalemba–There’s an increase in digital platforms and tools in support of development, disaster contingency and disaster response–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times

Hong said data has proven to be the most important asset and decision-making tool for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and even a more important tool in the response to humanitarian emergencies.

“Quality and accessible data leads to more informed, swift and transparent decision-making, more efficient humanitarian response and increased trust among humanitarian actors and with the people they seek to serve. Most importantly, it helps us leave no one behind in our development and humanitarian actions in line with the aspirations of the 2030 Agenda,” she said.

Hong–Malawi Government has demonstrated commitment to the implementation of SDGs, including reduction of the risk of disasters–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times

The UNFPA Country Representative commended that Malawi Government for demonstrating its commitment to the implementation of SDGs, including reduction of the risk of disasters that affect lives and livelihoods of many vulnerable people in the country by undertaking several development interventions aimed at ending poverty and improving the welfare of people in the country.

Hong said to guarantee continuous improvement in their efforts to achieve sustainable development and disaster risk reduction, there is need for innovative data solutions to be at the core of all concerned stakeholders.

She, however, acknowledged that achieving this requires everyone in the statistics and data community – from governments, the private sector, the scientific and academic communities and civil society – to find ways to work across different domains and create partnerships and synergies.

“This 2022 Malawi Data Summit has therefore come at the right and crucial time when we need to strengthen data and statistical capacities in all sectors. The summit is a great opportunity for different innovators in the field to share their experiences to an audience that is eager, more than ever, for data driven decision-making,” said Hong.

In his remarks, Commissioner for the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA), Charles Kalemba, said it is high time Malawi made progress in the utilization of new technologies in support of development, and disaster risk management.

Kalemba expressed delight that Malawi and the rest of the region have witnessed an increase in digital platforms and tools in support of development, disaster contingency and disaster response.

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