Road to Bern: Data for development from Latin America and the Caribbean


Context and objective

Thanks to the data revolution in 2015, data for sustainable development has become an essential source for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda, proposed that same year by the United Nations and approved by the 193 Member States.

The UN World Data Forum, held annually, brings together data experts and users, statisticians, governments, civil society, the private sector, philanthropy and the media, among others, to promote innovation in the use of data and achieve better methodologies in order to generate better data for sustainable development. This year, the World Data Forum will take place on October 15-16 in Bern, Switzerland, under the slogan Road To Bern.


Throughout the years, Latin America and the Caribbean has been well represented in the forum, however it is necessary to continue promoting the use of data for sustainable development in the countries of the region and its various actors to leave no one behind.

The Centro de Pensamiento Estratégico Internacional (Cepei) and the National Administrative Department of Statistics of Colombia (DANE) developed a strategy to promote the use of data for development in Latin America and the Caribbean. It consists of a series of five webinars, in collaboration with the Swiss confederation and the Road to Bern initiative, to promote the commitment of public and private sectors with timely and quality data for sustainable development.

Philipp Schönrock, Director of Cepei, explained that “the events cover the four thematic lines that are discussed in Road to Bern: Data for social good, more and better financing of data to make better decisions, gender statistics and leaving no one behind”.

The first webinar of the series was held in April this year, with the participation of the panelists: Francesca Perucci, Deputy Director of the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSD); Georges Simon Ulrich, Director of the Swiss Federal Office of Statistics and Juan Daniel Oviedo, Director of DANE in Colombia. The commentators to the panel were: Rolando Ocampo, Director of the Statistics Division of ECLAC, Ana Patricia Muñoz, Executive Director of the FARO Group of Ecuador, and Miosotis Rivas, General Director of the National Statistics Office of the Dominican Republic (ONERD).




According to Schönrock “the preparation process for the World Data Forum should be strengthened so that civil society, governments and the private sector have a voice around the use of data, the monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda”. Panelists and commentators highlighted:


“The UN World Data Forum is a process to create a community in which new initiatives are developed. This is mainly about actions and what we can do to improve them,” Francesca Perucci, Deputy Director, UNSD.


“The DANE and Cepei partnership supports multi-stakeholder discussions on data and statistics to establish joint positions towards the UN World Data Forum”, Juan Daniel Oviedo, Director, DANE Colombia.


“Latin America has a lot to contribute to the UN World Data Forum. It has numerous networks such as think tanks and civil society organizations that can act from diversity as a single guide”, Ana Patricia Muñoz, Executive Director, Grupo FARO.


“When we talk about leaving no one behind, we talk about bringing everyone on board”, Miosotis Rivas, General Director, ONERD.

Road to Bern from Latin America and the Caribbean focuses on the four thematic lines of the United Nations World Data Forum: Data for social good, more and better financing of data to make better decisions, gender statistics and leaving no one behind

Philipp Schönrock, Director of Cepei