In 2021, the World Bank called for strengthened data systems to improve the lives of those living in poverty across the globe.
There is a multitude of ways that national data can be obtained. Large-scale census surveys for population data to satellite or drone imaging to gather information about the environment, countries have a variety of ways to get a sense of who needs support.
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Data has the potential to impact policies and inform economic activity meaning it also has the potential to fight against extreme poverty.
In some nations, many communities are often left out of surveys. This leads to complete exclusion and isolation for the individuals who reside in that area due to governments being virtually unaware of their existence.
Around three years ago the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data stated that 7% of the world’s population was excluded from being part of key data, causing them to suffer needlessly.
The knock-on effect of this is particularly harmful, especially across the developing world. Governments use data to work towards creating change and policies to improve the country as a whole. Chances to create infrastructural changes such as the building of roads, hospitals and schools are missed due to the lack of data.
Unfortunately, it is often that the people who suffer from the lack of data are those already living in poverty. Most communities like this are marginalised from the rest of society due to their current living standard.
It was discovered in Ghana that certain regions were not included at all. This worsened the situation due to the vast range of needs that Ghana needed to improve. From this, Ghana among other nations, have learnt that the adoption of big data is vital to making important decisions.
It has also been learnt that using data can lead towards better policy-making and can also help to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
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The Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data also discussed how giving access to satellite data can assist with understanding environmental changes as well as improving agriculture. They have also suggested that collecting data from clinics and schools will help with understanding issues country-wide.
National development is key to unlocking the path out of extreme poverty. To do this, governments must ensure that entire populations are included in decision-making and policy creation.
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