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Every data point has a human story

Raka Banerjee's picture


Good data leads to good policy, which means better lives for people around the world. But where does data come from? And what’s really going on behind the scenes to arrive at these all-important numbers? A new PBS documentary called The Crowd and the Cloud brings data to life by showing us the real lives behind the data points and the hard work that it takes to turn a human story into a statistic.

Hosted by former NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati and written and produced by Geoff Haines-Stiles (Senior Producer of COSMOS with Carl Sagan), The Crowd and the Cloud is a four-part documentary that examines the rapidly growing field of citizen data science, showing how regular citizens are increasingly able to gather and share valuable data on the environment, public health, climate change, and economic development.

Episode 4: Citizens4Earth follows Talip Kilic from the World Bank’s Living Standards Measurement Study program as he travels to far-flung rural communities in central and southwestern Uganda, along with the survey teams for the Uganda National Panel Survey (UNPS). In the episode, James Muwonge (Director of Socioeconomic Surveys at the Uganda Bureau of Statistics) explains why household surveys like the UNPS are so important for investment decisions and policy-making, particularly in developing countries like Uganda.

A new commitment to household surveys at the World Bank

Household surveys are crucial for monitoring progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and the Bank’s twin goals of ending global extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity. However, we still face significant challenges around the world in terms of data availability - among the 155 countries for which the World Bank monitors poverty data, half lacked sufficient data for measuring poverty between 2002 and 2011. In response, the World Bank has committed itself to reversing this dismal state of affairs: in October 2015, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim announced that the Bank would support the 78 poorest countries in conducting an LSMS-type household survey every 3 years.

Chart: Global CO2 Emissions Rose 60% between 1990 and 2013

Tariq Khokhar's picture

 

Global emissions of carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas and driver of climate change, increased from 22.4 billion metric tons in 1990 to 35.8 billion in 2013, a rise of 60 percent. The increase in CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases has contributed to a rise of about 0.8 degrees Celsius in mean global temperature above pre-industrial times.

Read more in "The 2017 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals: a new visual guide to data and development"
 

Chart: Access to Improved Water Sources is Lowest in Africa

Tariq Khokhar's picture

 

In 2015, 663 million people were drinking from unimproved sources such as unprotected dug wells. The bulk of those without were in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where rural dwellers, especially the poorest, lagged behind others in access to both water and sanitation.

Read more in "The 2017 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals: a new visual guide to data and development"

Chart: Undernourishment: Declining in Almost Every Region

Tariq Khokhar's picture

 

An undernourished person doesn’t have enough foot to meet their daily energy needs. Globally, over 793 million people are currently considered undernourished. While there’s been steady progress over the past 25 years, ending hunger by 2030 will require accelerated efforts to achieve faster declines in undernourishment levels.

Read more in "The 2017 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals: a new visual guide to data and development"

Chart: Women Are More Likely to Tolerate Abuse When Fewer Laws Against Domestic Violence Exist

Tariq Khokhar's picture

 

Violence against women exists across the globe but laws against gender-based violence do not. In many countries societal norms permit physical and verbal abuse, and in countries studied, when there are fewer legal provisions, women are more likely to tolerate this abuse.

Read more in "The 2017 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals: a new visual guide to data and development"

The 2017 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals: a new visual guide to data and development

World Bank Data Team's picture

The World Bank is pleased to release the 2017 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals. With over 150 maps and data visualizations, the new publication charts the progress societies are making towards the 17 SDGs.

The Atlas is part of the World Development Indicators (WDI) family of products that offer high-quality, cross-country comparable statistics about development and people’s lives around the globe. You can:

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and their associated 169 targets are ambitious. They will be challenging to implement, and challenging to measure. The Atlas offers the perspective of experts in the World Bank on each of the SDGs.

Trends, comparisons + country-level analysis for 17 SDGs

For example, the interactive treemap below illustrates how the number and distribution of people living in extreme poverty has changed between 1990 and 2013. The reduction in the number of poor in East Asia and Pacific is dramatic, and despite the decline in the Sub-Saharan Africa’s extreme poverty rate to 41 percent in 2013, the region’s population growth means that 389 million people lived on less than $1.90/day in 2013 - 113 million more than in 1990

Note: the light shaded areas in the treemap above represent the largest number of people living in extreme poverty in that country, in a single year, over the period 1990-2013.

Newly published data, methods and approaches for measuring development

Chart: How Is the World's Youth Population Changing?

Tariq Khokhar's picture

 

The world's population is young: 42 percent of people are under the age of 25. In South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, the number of people aged 12-24 has steadily risen to 525 million in 2015 - almost half the global youth population. The newly released Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals 2017 analyses this and other data related to the 17 SDGs.

Read more in "The 2017 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals: a new visual guide to data and development"

 

Chart: Over 1 Billion People Had No Access to Electricity in 2014

Tariq Khokhar's picture

Nearly 1.1 billion people or 15 percent of the world’s population had no access to electricity in 2014. Nearly half were in rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, and nearly a third were rural dwellers in South Asia. In all, 86 percent of people without electricity lived in rural areas, where providing infrastructure is more challenging. Read more in the Global Tracking Framework and their 2017 report on progress towards sustainable energy. 

Chart: Globally, 70% of Freshwater is Used for Agriculture

Tariq Khokhar's picture

In most regions of the world, over 70 percent of freshwater is used for agriculture. By 2050, feeding a planet of 9 billion people will require an estimated 50 percent increase in agricultural production and a 15 percent increase in water withdrawals.

Chart: Where Have Forests Been Lost and Gained?

Tariq Khokhar's picture

Over the last 25 years Brazil lost around half a million square kilometers of forest - around the same area that China gained. Since 1990, the growing demand for forest products and for agricultural land has contributed to an average annual loss of 50,000 square kilometers of forest globally - an area the size of Costa Rica. Read more in "Five forest figures for the International Day of Forests."


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