New York, September 16, 2023

This Sunday, September 17th, on the eve of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit in New York, President Ruto of Kenya and renowned actress and activist Ashley Judd are expected as UN Leaders, tech leaders, government ministers, NGOs, and impassioned youth activists unite to launch the High Impact Initiative on the Power of Data to Unlock the Data Dividend for the SDGs. This groundbreaking initiative aims to harness the potential of data to propel progress towards achieving the SDGs.

Key Event Highlights

  • Announcement of Cutting-Edge National Data Partnerships: 14 African, Latin American, and Asian countries will unveil pioneering national data partnerships, setting the stage for collaborative data-driven initiatives.
  • UK Minister Andrew Mitchell Funding Package Announcement: Significant announcement regarding a new funding package dedicated to unleashing the power of data for the advancement of SDGs.
  • Global AI Leader NVIDIA Technology Donation Announcement: In a landmark move, global AI leader NVIDIA will declare a substantial technology donation, signaling their commitment to driving SDG progress through cutting-edge technology.
  • Microsoft Technology Donation Announcement: Microsoft will also make a significant announcement about its contribution to the Power of Data initiative, reinforcing the tech giant's commitment to leveraging its resources for global sustainability.
  • Global NGOs Rally Support: Leading global NGOs have united in support of the Power of Data initiative, underscoring its importance on the global stage and calling upon all nations to endorse and participate in this transformative effort. 27 organizations have signed so far, including Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Christian Aid, Open Data Watch, Paris21, Save the Children, CIVICUS, Cepei, World Wide Web Foundation, Open Data Institute and many others.

The High Impact Initiative on the Power of Data will be a pivotal moment in the global pursuit of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. With the support of world leaders, technology pioneers, and NGOs, this initiative will unlock the data dividend and drive progress towards a more sustainable and equitable future. Stay tuned for further updates and insights as this transformative journey unfolds.

Ashley Judd, Actress and Gender Rights Campaigner said:

“Yes, data is numbers on a screen. Equally, it's about lives. Each digit represents a beating heart and a hope. A woman in a clinic that has been fully stocked, whose life has been counted, whose right to an identity has been validated.”

Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of Ghana said:

I am delighted that Ghana is playing a leading role in Unlocking the Data Dividend at the SDG Summit in September. Africa missed the first, second and third industrial revolutions, but I am determined that our continent will not miss the fourth and fifth.
Data is the lifeblood for making decisions and is what will unlock an independent, wealthy future for Africa, making sure that new economic opportunities are shared.

MP Andrew Mitchell, Minister of State for Development and Africa, United Kingdom said:

“The UK is playing a leading role in 'Unlocking the Data Dividend' at the UN Sustainable Development Goal Summit, and I am pleased that we are doing this alongside the governments of Kenya and Ghana, the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, and many others.

Our new brand, UK International Development, recognises the breadth of our work in building partnerships that go beyond aid, that advance sustainable development and build widely shared prosperity. Unlocking the data dividend will fuel progress for people around the world, improving outcomes for the poorest, tackling poverty and combating climate change.”

Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of UNFPA said:

"Our strength lies in bringing numbers to life to inform and affirm the rights and choices of every woman and girl. Through data, UNFPA reveals the unseen, and prioritizes those left behind.”

Claire Melamed, CEO of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data said:

“At the heart of this initiative are the cutting edge national data partnerships that 14 countries from Africa, Latin America, and Asia are launching today with backing from donor countries, tech companies; NGOs and others. Data sounds a bit abstract, but this is about transforming real people’s lives.”


At the heart of the High Impact Initiative is the launch of new cutting edge national data partnerships bringing together governments, tech companies, NGOs and others to use data ethically to solve concrete challenges on the ground and accelerate progress on the SDGs. Donor countries, foundations, and tech companies are coming on board to provide financial and technical support to these partnerships.

Recent research shows investments in strong national data systems pay an average ‘dividend’ of $32 for every $1 invested.

Data can:

  • Revolutionize decision making
  • Accelerate countries’ digital transformation agendas
  • Open up new economic opportunities, for a more equal and sustainable world

Watch this 90 second film to find out more about what good data can do.

Since the SDGs were agreed upon, the amount of data in the world  has increased more than five-fold. However, official development assistance for data and statistics has remained almost static since 2015 and investments are too piecemeal and siloed.

At  the halfway point to the SDGs, critical information is missing. Globally, fewer than half of all countries have comparable data on gender equality and climate action.



Media contact: 

Lizzy Hvide, Senior Communications Manager, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data


The High Impact Initiative on the Power of Data is led by the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development; UNFPA, The World Bank, UNDESA, UNDP, and the Governments of Ghana, Kenya, and the UK. It is one of twelve High Impact Initiatives created by the UN development system in partnership with governments and an array of key stakeholders on crucial dimensions of SDG acceleration.

The event will take place in Conference Hall 3, UN Building, New York, on September 17, 2023.

Run time: 11:45am - 1:15pm ET