Giving Compass’ Take:
• Deirdre Appel, writing for NextBillion, discusses why high-quality data can be used as a crucial weapon against the spread of COVID-19.
• One of the issues is that there is a cycle of underfunding for weak statistical systems all over the world. How can donors address this?
• Read about the importance of data-sharing in COVID-19 research.
The world’s inability to detect and contain the spread of COVID-19 has been financially devastating. The International Monetary Fund says that the global economy will shrink by 3% this year. Many analysts have described the decline as the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s, with 42.6 million people applying for unemployment benefits in America alone. And looking ahead, a study from the Centre for Risk Studies at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School determined that the potential global economic toll could range from what it called an “optimistic loss” of $3.3 trillion in case of rapid recovery, to $82 trillion in the event of a depression.
With these losses, budgets are tightening around the world. Prioritization of essential spending is more critical than ever, and many governments and organizations are understandably placing their hopes in the development of an effective vaccine. But as much as a vaccine is needed to address the pandemic, accurate and real-time data is needed to enable the detection and containment of its spread. And governments and development organizations can do more to better strengthen statistical systems by providing adequate financing.
Strong national statistical systems can provide information to monitor and track progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but high-quality data have also proven to be a critical weapon against the spread of COVID-19. Leveraging these data effectively can help safeguard the functioning of economic industries and ward off an impeding global depression. But despite the strong case for more and better financing for statistical systems, major gaps exist in the availability of data in many countries, driven by a severe and ongoing deficit in financing.
This cycle of underfunding is largely responsible for weak statistical systems all over the world, which are failing to produce the required data to inform efforts to detect and contain the spread of COVID-19. In theory, the data required to measure progress towards the SDGs should provide a solid foundation to also monitor the spread and impact of COVID-19.
Read the full article about statistic data systems by Deirdre Appel at NextBillion.
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