This cookbook is the outcome of a year-long project undertaken by the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (Global Partnership) and sponsored by, aimed at identifying drivers of effective data sharing in the development sector. 

It builds on insights collected through a landscape analysis of data sharing initiatives and feedback from a diverse working group of more than 20 experts who met four times between January and September 2022. It also draws on the Global Partnership’s experience in helping countries and organizations to fill their data needs and gaps by working with partners. The Global Partnership has facilitated over 120 data sharing collaborations since 2015.

If sharing data can be compared to our diets, then effective data sharing is like healthy eating. To maintain a healthy diet requires knowing what foods are good for you. Cooking healthy recipes requires knowing which ingredients are important and how to combine them for each dish. Just like a healthy and balanced diet, effective data sharing in the development sector is essential to ensuring that data activities benefit people on the ground. 

The similarities between a healthy diet and effective data sharing don’t end there. Of course, none of us eats exactly as our ancestors did a few centuries ago, as food and tastes are not immutable. Not only do ingredients, recipes, and methods vary significantly across the world, with each country and region developing its specific “cuisine,” but they are also constantly evolving. Likewise, this cookbook is merely a snapshot of current knowledge and experiences of data sharing from “chefs” all over the world. As with any cookbook, new and updated recipes should be added regularly to keep this tool relevant and to increase the diversity of sectors, regions, and initiatives represented here. 

Finally, it must be acknowledged that, despite the best efforts to seek and consult a diverse range of data sharing experts and initiatives as well as to leverage the Global Partnership’s experience working with organizations from the Global South, this document draws substantially from theoretical knowledge and recipes that have been developed in the Global North. Further efforts will be needed to rebalance our culinary knowledge to add more ingredients and tips from other contexts.