Data is an instrument – are we using it right?


Welcome to our expert series on the post-COVID reset. That is, a reset along a more inclusive and smart path. The series introduces listeners to leading thinkers as they debate concrete policy options for such a recovery and take stock of the data that could (and should) inform these policy shifts. 

This is a 3-part podcast concerned with data and knowledge-based decision making.


The guest is World Bank’s Arianna Legovini. Her expertise – critical to this discussion – is in improving the impact of research on development practice and policy.


The hosts are UNESCO’s John Crowley and Iulia Sevciuc.


Part 1:  Data and governance


Data is an instrument in and of governance. As any tool, data is as good as those handling (in this case, reading) it. So how good are we? Part 1 goes into new data landscape, the new skills it demands of us, and the public sector’s capacity to steer it all.


PART 1: Data and governance 








Part 2: Data and COVID-19


This second part is about data in crisis. It looks into how the pandemic changed the world of data and how it transformed the ways in which we use data for decision making – in emergency contexts and beyond.


PART 2: Data and COVID-19








Part 3: Pointers 


Part 3 looks into data as an area of knowledge and an area of policy action. It addresses research communities to point out what knowledge gaps need closing and it talks to policy makers about emerging ideas/practices on data that deserve a closer look.


PART 3: Pointers








Have you seen?

  Data equity – there is no hiding

  Apply research skills to new data, transform developmental effectiveness

  Treat data like you treat infants – signals and empathy are key

  Invest in knowledge, use it to rebuild

  Partner on data to make it work for public good


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John Crowley is UNESCO's chief of research, policy and foresight. He is the author of 5 books and a further 100 academic articles and book chapters, mainly on political theory and comparative politics.


Arianna Legovini is the head of the World Bank’s Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) department.


Iulia Sevciuc is UNESCO’s lead on inclusive policies and the data-driven policy change. Prior to this appointment, Iulia worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Indonesia and Moldova. 


The facts, ideas and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the authors; they are not necessarily those of UNESCO or any of its partners and stakeholders and do not commit nor imply any responsibility thereof. The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout this piece do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.