Good data and statistics make essential contributions to building resilient and strong democratic societies. Decisions based on empirical data rather than anecdote or opinion are the foundation for good policy and planning. A focus on science and evidence-based data has been the cornerstone of SPC’s work for over 70 years. And as our understanding of the complexities and interconnected nature of our world increases, the need for good data has become ever more critical.
Throughout my career, I have always championed the value of open data, especially geospatial and earth observation data for the social, environmental and economic growth that it brings. Access to timely and accurate data is critical to maximizing the efficiency of development programmes and is a critical economic as well as scientific imperative for our region.
COVID19 has brought the world to a halt. The devastating impact of the global pandemic on people’s lives and the world’s economy is a jarring and historic turning point for all of us but it is also an opportunity to re-think many of our practices.