IGF 2022 Town Hall #74 Dare to Share: A New Mindset for Safe Data Sharing for Growt

Panel - Auditorium - 60 Min


With the rapid advent of mobile devices, social media and the digital economy, data has the power to deepen our understanding and uncover information and patterns in many aspects of people’s daily lives, ranging from the economy and human behaviour to climate change and health. Gathering, analysing and sharing data can inform decision-making and drive economic growth and innovation. How countries tackle the challenge of managing and sharing data is essential to the 21st governance with implications for human rights, health care, national security and sustainable economic growth. Data governance requires a nuanced approach and close coordination from the source to the user and across stakeholders, jurisdictions and even national boundaries. Most of all, it requires governments to champion the use of data to drive growth, innovation and increased prosperity and to feel secure in their decision to use and share data , ensuring that it will be adequately protected.. However, many states continue to be reluctant to unlock the value of data due to a combination of fears including data misuse, loss of value or competitive advantage, loss of sovereignty, and lack of human capacity and skills to realise the value of the data. In this session we bring policymakers and leaders together to explore the main barriers for data sharing and propose alternative actions that can provide governments with a new confident mindset to dare to share.

Both online and onsite participants will have access to the written reports in advance of the session to be able to prepare questions. The session will also include a brief overview of the report and the recommendations to ensure everyone is up to speed. This will be followed by the expert speakers sharing their experience of implementing/obstacles to working in this field. The moderator will invite key questions via sli.do for open discussion and knowledge exchange.


Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBI) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
Sinit Zeru, TBI, Technical Society, Africa Natalia Ospina, TBI, Technical Society, WEOG Melanie Garson, TBI, Technical Society, WEOG Judith Mwaya, TBI, Technical Society, Africa TBC, UNECA, International Organisation, Africa


Melanie Garson, TBI, Technical Society, WEOG TBC, UNECA, International Organisation, Africa TBC, Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), Government, WEOG

Onsite Moderator

Sinit Zeru, TBI, Technical Society, Africa

Online Moderator

Judith Mwaya, TBI, Technical Society, Africa


Natalia Ospina, TBI, Technical Society, WEOG



Targets: Gathering, analysing and sharing data can inform policymakers and allow them to make decisions based on quantitative and qualitative evidence and facts. Unlocking this value of data can help advance the following SDG targets: • SDG 1- No poverty: Data on the characteristics of poor households (level of education, literacy, etc), the main obstacles to access formal employment, and levels of financial exclusion, among others, are necessary to create effective poverty eradication actions. Data from similar actions taken elsewhere can also shed light on learned experiences and best practices. Finally, data-driven policy frameworks and development strategies will pave the way to accelerated investment in these poverty eradication actions (target 1.b). • SDG 3 –Good health and well-being: Data sharing brings unmeasurable benefits to the health sector. For instance, combining datasets increases sample sizes, yields greater statistical power and increases research’s ability to detect rare events. Also, the pooling of data makes datasets richer, allowing comparative research to explore the reasons for variation between countries and sub-groups of the population. Daring to share health data will contribute to the research and development of vaccines and medicines (target 3.b) and strengthen the capacity to develop early warnings, risk reduction and management of health risks (target 3.d). • SDG 9 –Industry, innovation and infrastructure: A fundamental part of unlocking the value of data requires having the appropriate infrastructure to enable the production, gathering, analysis and sharing of data. Data centres, radio and telecoms, and mobile and fibre optics that provide internet access are all part of this essential infrastructure, which must also be made available for all (target 9.1) Other scientific fields will benefit from analysing and sharing data in the same way as previously explained for the health sector. Using and sharing data improves scientific research and derives in the creation of innovative products and services (target 9.5)