Drawing of light blue hands on a dark blue background over a river.
Image: The Global Partnership/Emanuele Kabu

Listening to our network is critical to the Global Partnership’s work. It’s important to us to hear directly from our partner organizations about how and why they engage with the network. This is why, each year since 2018, we’ve taken the pulse of our network through an annual survey to learn about what our partners value about the network, what’s working, and how we can improve. Here are the key takeaways from our 2021 survey.

Takeaway #1. More than three-quarters of partners are satisfied with the work we are doing together, and half think that being part of the network has enabled them to achieve something their organizations wouldn't have been able to alone.

"Blue, green and yellow pie chart with percentages in white on each: Yes (48%, Maybe 27%, 25%)"

Convening partners to improve data for sustainable development is at the heart of our work. Understanding the data needs of partners and the solutions they have to offer and connecting them with each other is a key part of this. In 2021, the Global Partnership brokered 39 partnerships focusing on timely and inclusive data, involving government partners across 32 countries. 

Together with partners in 2021, we helped to increase citizen engagement on antimicrobial resistance in Kenya, build a movement for inclusive data with champions from around the world, create climate-smart agricultural solutions in Ghana, and much more. Partnerships have facilitated access to mobile and earth observation data, citizen-generated data, data disaggregation methods, and machine learning techniques. 

The survey also showed that the vast majority of partners—77 percent—feel a strong sense of belonging to this network. Most respondents said they feel pride in being part of, heard by, empowered through, or informed by this network. Collaboration, by nature, makes attribution a little tricky, but the important thing is that we are creating positive impacts together that our partners recognize as valuable to their work and organizational purposes.

“We have been collaborating with other organizations who are also part of the Global Partnership and I think they have found more confid[ence] working with us because we are part of this network.“ - NGO/CSO Partner

Takeaway #2. The vast majority of partners agreed that the data for development community needs a stronger common vision on data rights, ethics, and governance for equity. 

The vast majority of survey respondents want a stronger common vision on these issues among the data for development community, with nearly 90 percent recognizing the need for collective action.

Participating in advocacy for better data is among the top three reasons that partners engage with this network. Together, these data points confirm what we’ve heard from across the network during the year-long Data Values Project open consultation. To date, 240 people across 55 countries have contributed to this work. The Data Values Project is now seeking even more input to shape an agenda for change in data for development through a public consultation through May 20, 2022.

“The Data Values Project has provided my organization with a platform from which to share insights and learn from others on data governance, with a reach that I otherwise would not have had.” - Private Sector Partner

Takeaway #3. The top three reasons partners join the network are: to understand trends in data for development, to access new tools and methods for better data, and to participate in collective advocacy.

The Global Partnership is able to curate, generate, and amplify industry insights thanks to the diverse network of partners who are willing and committed to engaging with one another. More than 60 percent of respondents said they engage with this network to gain insights on trends in the sector. More than half of respondents also said they engage with the network to access new methodologies or tools or to improve data accuracy and coverage. 

This reflects what we’ve heard before: Partners consistently report that knowledge sharing and learning represent the highest value they derive from the network. In 2021, we leveraged the expertise of partners to host 49 events (online and in person) and publish 178 knowledge products addressing timely data, inclusive data, data governance, citizen-generated data, data privacy and protection, geospatial data, and intersectional approaches to data, among other topics.

Over the last couple of years, our partners have asked for more technical and management skill-building. As a result, we are scaling this area of work and exploring both hands-on learning, such as the data science fellowship, and self-serve learning, such as how-to-guides like the Inclusive Design Principles. In 2021, we facilitated nine data skills trainings and five expert clinics that served 226 learners in 29 countries. Topics covered include water information and management, data leadership, scanner data, and civil registration and vital statistics. 

“The different Global Partnership webinars and trainings help in gaining new knowledge and experience of other countries with the same issues/concern[s].” - Government partner

Understanding the Global Partnership’s network

Responses from this year’s survey reflect the diversity of our network, which is made up of 650 partners from governments, multilaterals, non-profit and civil society organizations, academic institutions, private companies, media, and more from around the world.

We are excited by the high levels of pride that this year’s survey reflects among our network and will continue to seek to improve our service offerings and engagement mechanisms. Our partners make our vibrant network possible, and we value your feedback. We hear your suggestions for more tailored communications and clearer indications on when and how you can get involved. Keep an eye out for our refreshed newsletter in June. Send us feedback at any time by emailing info@data4sdgs.org or reaching out to any of our secretariat members!

Note: Data is based on the 2021 annual partner survey’s 132 responses. The majority of respondents (41 percent) in this year’s survey were from government partners. Non-governmental and multilateral organizations made up the second and third largest groups of respondents at 24 percent and 14 percent, respectively. Explore the full, anonymized dataset.

Link to previous years’ surveys:  2020, 2019, 2018

 

This Story is About These SDGs