Global Agenda Council on Data-Driven Development 2012-2014


The challenge

Humanity has been transformed by networks that combine people and computers in new ways. This transformation has affected the world’s economies, the way business is conducted and societies are governed, and even individual interactions. Data is being collected from billions of interactions across billions of devices, altering our socio-economic landscape forever.

Despite these changes, the nature of these human-to-machine networks is not fully understood, and their maximum potential remains untapped. Essentially, the value of these interactions lies in the ubiquitous data that is becoming available. Patterns of human experience can be analysed, including call records, GPS data, financial transactions, clicks on social networks and many more.

An important challenge is how to use the many big data sets that are available to provide real benefit to the public. To date, attempts have been limited, although this is still an emerging field. Many governments are now making anonymous data available online, and individual developers are using it to suggest improvements in public services, utilities and infrastructure. That said, opportunities for concerted, international action remain. In particular, how can the developed world use the technology it has created to assist the developing world?

What the Council is doing about it

The Council is attempting to develop a coherent framework around the use of data in disaster-response scenarios to increase the effectiveness of crisis management and to limit the disruption caused by these events. Over the next year, the Council intends to advance the issue of data-driven development, building trust and understanding how data analytics can be better leveraged as part of multistakeholder efforts to address global challenges. 

Data is being collected from billions of interactions across billions of devices, altering our socio-economic landscape forever.

The Council will produce a set of guidelines and principles to define best practices in data usage for increased transparency, predictability and accountability for the trusted flow of data. Finally, its members will develop insights and use cases designed to foster the exchange of knowledge, establish an evidence base for better decision-making, and aid in the discovery of new insights and innovations. 

To get involved please contact

Research Analyst: Stefan Hall, Global Agenda Councils, 
Council Manager: William Hoffman, Associate Director, Telecommunications Industry, 
Forum Lead: Alan Marcus, Senior Director, Head of Information Technology and Telecommunications Industries,