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IUSSP at the Cartagena Data Festival

Cartagena, Columbia, 20-22 April 2015


The Cartagena Data Festival drew together over 400 participants from across the world, including government representatives, civil society organizations, technical innovators, academics and data activists with the common goal of improving the quality and accessibility of data through a data revolution. The event focused on solving critical gaps in coverage, access and analysis of data.

The meeting sought to: 

  • Drive the changes that are needed to advance a data revolution by bringing together the people and organisations whose innovations, resources, expertise and influence can make them happen. 
  • Develop concrete solutions and practical tools to produce long term and sustainable progress through a data revolution.
  • Build the ideas, innovations and partnerships needed to monitor the sustainable development goals.



Demographers and population issues were strongly represented at the meeting. Of special mention was a large contingent from the UNFPA as well as IPUMS and HelpAge, an international group focusing on ageing and the problems faced by the older population. The IUSSP co-organized a side meeting with United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN SDSN) on Harnessing the Data Revolution for Development: Issues in the design and monitoring of SDG Indicators that included 10 expert panelists, three from the IUSSP – Tom LeGrand, Stéphane Helleringer and Sam Clark. 


Sam Clark was an invited panelist for a plenary on Data sources post-2015: Complements & Substitutes. Panelists discussed how traditional data sources (censuses and surveys) and administrative records (including civil registration) could be complemented with non-traditional data sources to obtain accurate and timely information for decision-making processes.  


Key organizers of the festival were ODI, Africa Gathering, CEPEI, Data-Pop Alliance, PARIS21, UNDP and UNFPA.


Read: Full agenda and short description of the event and its goals