To help ensure the data revolution serves the post-2015 development agenda, PARIS21 carried out the Informing a Data Revolution (IDR) project. Financed by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the IDR project focuses on national statistical systems in developing countries. These systems are crucial to generating the data and statistics needed to promote development and reduce poverty. They are also vital to providing the data needed to monitor international development goals.


The project has several interrelated components:


  • Road Map: The road map sets out the goals, activities and resources needed for developing countries to use data to achieve the sustainable development goals.

  • Country Studies: Understanding the challenges facing national statistical systems is essential if they are to join and benefit from the data revolution. PARIS21 studied statistical systems in 27 countries and has launched in-depth studies in 7 countries.

  • Innovations Inventory: Technological, institutional and other developments provide major opportunities to improve the collection, compilation, dissemination and use of data. PARIS21 created an inventory of case studies to identify and explore solutions that can fill data gaps, reduce costs and improve efficiency so that more and better data effectively contribute to improving people’s lives.

  • IDR Metabase: PARIS21 compiled data on the organisation, management and performance of national statistical systems to provide new insights for a data revolution. It will provide both a baseline and a means for monitoring progress over time.

  • Declaration for a Data Revolution: A declaration supported by national statistical offices will be at the heart of the IDR project’s advocacy programme.



The world is generating more data than ever before – according to some estimates, 90% of the world’s data was generated in just the past two years. Despite this deluge, there are glaring data gaps. For example, in low-income countries more than 70% of births – almost 20 million children annually – are not registered. Without proper records, people cannot easily access services such as health and education and governments cannot plan effectively for a rapidly growing population. These are the sorts of problems the data revolution must tackle if the post-2015 development agenda is to leave no one behind.



PARIS21, the Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century, implemented the project with financial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. PARIS21 is dedicated to encouraging a better use of statistics in developing countries, by providing support and strengthening national statistical systems. Poverty reduction cannot be achieved without improving governance in developing countries. And good government policies need good statistics to reach their goals. Statistics help monitor progress, achieve development targets and lay the foundation for evidence-based decision making – and holding governments accountable for what they do.