The Power of Data initiative accelerates progress on the SDGs by harnessing the incredible potential of data and technology. We work with countries to build political support, strengthen partnerships, and mobilize investment in national data systems to support development strategies. The initiative was launched in September 2023 alongside the SDG Summit. It is co-led by UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDESA, CCS-UN, the World Bank, and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data.

At the halfway point to the SDGs, we are on track to meet just 15% of targets by 2030.  Data is the fuel that powers progress across all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Analysis by Dalberg has shown an average return of US$32 for every dollar invested in data systems, spread across sectors

Strengthening data systems will revolutionize decision-making, accelerate countries' digital transformation agendas, and open up economic opportunities for a more equal and sustainable world. However, unlocking the potential of data is often limited by a lack of political prioritization, insufficient funding, and fragmented efforts. 

Many of these challenges are political: getting political support for change, and convening partners behind a common strategy. As an integral part of the SDG acceleration agenda, the Power of Data initiative responds to this challenge.

Guests at the Kenya Power of Data launch in Nairobi - 15 April 2024

Guests at the Kenyan Power of Data and National Data Partnership launch in Nairobi - 15 April 2024

Cutting-Edge National Data Partnerships

At the heart of the Power of Data are cutting-edge national data partnerships in each committed country. National leadership is at the center of these partnerships, bringing political and technical leaders together to articulate a single set of priorities and engage with development partners in a coordinated way. 

These partnerships will act as the mechanism for unlocking the data dividend at the country level and overcoming historical barriers. Through this mechanism, national leaders will take stock of data and statistics priorities, and clarify which priorities matter most, right now. They will build on existing plans and convene all relevant stakeholders for more strategic and coordinated action in support of their priorities. 

Because the partnerships are country-led and context-specific, each country has its own path, which means the partnerships will be unique as they respond to country priorities, challenges, and plans. 

The first wave of countries driving national data partnerships are: Bangladesh, Botswana, Cabo Verde, Colombia, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Paraguay, Rwanda, Somalia, Togo, and Uruguay with initial support from the UK.

The Power of Data provides an opportunity for strategic alliances among middle or lower-income countries - it’s the chance to take advantage of our collective experiences and avoid making the same mistakes twice. When we work together, we will unblock challenges and unlock solutions that will help those of us with fewer resources.

José Pablo Céspedes, Advisor at MIDEPLAN Costa Rica



Countries launching and supporting National Data Partnerships

The launch of Kenya's National Power of Data Initiative and National Data Partnership is about harnessing that power to build a brighter future for all Kenyans.

Mercy Wanjau, Secretary to Cabinet, Government of Kenya

A Powerful Coalition

The Power of Data is an opportunity for a wide range of actors to come together and for each country to demonstrate their leadership on data and digital transformation in their region and on the global stage. 

Building robust and modern national data systems that can leverage new technology requires inputs from across sectors and stakeholders. Financial support and technical assistance from donors, the UN system, multilateral development banks, and other development partners is critically needed. Working with civil society and academia is essential to leverage expertise, and knowledge, and to foster inclusion of children, women, and the most vulnerable communities. The private sector offers investment and is a critical holder and user of data. Historically, these diverse actors have operated in silos. The Power of Data creates a single umbrella to bring these actors together and align their support.

The initiative is underpinned by a powerful alliance of co-leads, including UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNSD, UN-CCS, the World Bank, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, with support from the Resident Coordinator system. Each co-lead has specialist skills to offer the national data partnerships with the Resident Coordinator facilitating engagement from all UN system entities.

Improving Efficiency and Catalyzing New Investments

In a time of heavily constrained budgets, the national partnership mechanism will help government leaders maximize existing resources and catalyze new investments domestically and internationally. 

Efficiency gains will be realized by enabling partners to work together on similar interventions or shifting plans to align efforts. The national partnerships will identify opportunities for scale by extending existing programs to more beneficiaries, creating opportunities for collaboration and wider reach.  

The initiative will help development partners identify meaningful investments that align with country demand and priorities. By connecting the political and the technical, the initiative will also help mobilize domestic investments and shape multilateral lending in support of national data systems.


Since the launch of the Power of Data initiative in September 2023, a series of launch events have sparked dynamic cross-sector conversations at a national level, quickly moving from words to action. In the first half of 2024, twelve countries have hosted or planned national Power of Data convenings, which have strengthened political support for data and established a pathway for the national data partnership to begin aligning efforts, maximizing existing programs and mobilizing new investment.

Representatives from the Global Partnership and the Cape Verde Government at the launch of the Cape Verde National Power of Data launch on the 18th of March, 2024

Representatives from the Global Partnership and the Cape Verde Government at the launch of the Cape Verde National Power of Data launch on the 18th of March, 2024

Get involved

The Power of Data initiative is a collaborative effort, and ample opportunity to participate:  

  • Government Officials: If your government is interested in joining the Power of Data, contact Jenna Slotin ( to find out more. 
  • Civil Society Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations: The National Data Partnerships are looking to engage communities and collaborate with local stakeholders involved in data activities. If your organization would like to find out more, contact Lydia Rollinson (
  • Private Sector and Funders: If your organization is interested in partnering with the Power of Data at the global or national level, contact Jenna Slotin(

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