➡️ Back to the main Data Thursdays group.

The UNDP Data Strategy seeks to drive a data culture in our organization, building a data-savvy global workforce empowered to use improved data sources, tools, and support. As part of wider data literacy efforts, the Global Policy Network, the Chief Digital Office, and the Office of Information and Technology Management at UNDP have developed a series of applied learning sessions entitled "Data Thursdays" to foster a data culture at UNDP across programmatic and operational areas. 

The second theme focused on ‘Data Models’ and invited participants to discover and tools for further data analysis through the application of models. Between 23 September and 14 October 2021, we discussed how to optimize the selection and use of different data models by understanding the range of options and their impacts in different scenarios and projects. Find the headlines for each session below.

⭐️ Click on each session title for the recordings, PPT presentations, and all relevant session materials. ⭐️

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Session 6 | Modelling Data: Taxonomy, Context, and Ubiquity (23 September 2021) 

The opening session discussed data models and tools that UNDP has developed and implemented to address development challenges. Why are there so many models and tools and how do we use them?

Discussion headlines: 

  • When dealing with unpredictable policy environments modelling requires us to have additional variables or building complementary models that can feed into each other. This is however, a big discussion that we need to continue to explore.  

  • Qualitative information is always extremely useful to provide context and nuance to quantitative models which can tend to simplify results. 

  • Systematically quantifying and capturing risk is essential to assessing the capacity and applicability of data models.

Session 7 | Micro and Macro Data Models: Differences, Similarities, and Applications (30 September 2021)  

Macro and micro data models serve two very different purposes and, if used appropriately, can be very revealing. This session used the example of Indonesia to discuss how to understand and manipulate micro and macro data models.

Discussion headlines: 

  • Systemic, macro-level analysis can help narrate impacts and policies clearly to governments. 

  • We often collect secondary data to build macro-level models because it’s important to code the laws of a nation or region into your model. 

  • It is not sustainable to have economic policies that benefit a small elite; thus, it becomes important for organizations like UNDP to clearly quantify these economic trade-offs for governments.

Session 8 | Data Models for Green Recovery and Climate Policies (7 October 2021) 

This session showcased how a model can be built and applied to support decision-making in the context of a Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) revision. We discussed key challenges and lessons learned from its application in Zimbabwe and Nigeria. 

Discussion headlines: 

  • Most recent survey data is used to create the baseline for models and projects, but many other factors such as the labour supply often require assumptions.  

  • Models can be helpful to account and track timelines and changes in timelines based on productivity levels.  

  • Increasing the ownership of the model by countries requires involvement of national stakeholders from the beginning, design stages of the model. This helps emphasize the importance of green and just transitions, and thus increases the political impact of the model.  

Session 9 | Systems Modelling: Macro-level Simulations and Situation Analysis Models (14 October 2021) 

This session presented the impact of macro-level simulations and models to support decision-making from the perspective of medium and long-term development. We discussed the key challenges and lessons learned from the application a Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) model in Egypt and the Climate, Land-use, Energy and Water systems (CLEWs) model in Mongolia. 

Discussion headlines: 

  • Multisectoral shocks such as COVID-19 create the need for institutional support to be able evaluate and assess the effectiveness of policy making. 

  • Situation analysis models analyze the magnitude of different events through creating scenarios in both medium and long-term. 

  • Macro-level simulations can increase the impact and contribute positively to drive sustainable socio-economic growth.

Ask Me Anything (AMA) Session for Asia-Pacific colleagues (Theme 2) (21 October 2021)

In an effort to accommodate time zones in the Asia-Pacific region, an Ask Me Anything (AMA) Session for Asia-Pacific colleagues (Theme 2) was organized, click for the session recordings and materials.


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Join the Data Thursdays group to stay updated on all agendas, engagements, and discussions. 

Join the Data Thursdays channel on Teams—our data hub where you can directly connect with moderators, speakers, and the wider UNDP community, find reminders about upcoming events, share learnings, and  ask for support!

Read the Concept Note and explore the Sessions Schedule of upcoming events.


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