Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Cannabis Use among Adolescents in Europe, 2002-2010: Overall Decrease, but Increasing Inequalities

This blog, written ­by Dr. Margaretha de Looze (researcher and lecturer at Utrecht University, the Netherlands), discusses HBSC's study on cannabis use among adolescents in Europe. The post is part of the Wikichild series on Adolescent health, examining cross-national changes in frequent adolescent cannabis use (40+ times consumed over life-time at age 15) over time and relating these trends to societal wealth, family affluence and gender.

Cannabis use among adolescents in wealthy European countries is decreasing, while in poorer European countries it is on the rise. In particular, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, and FYR Macedonia experienced increased cannabis consumption amongst adolescents between 2002 and 2010. These findings come from a recent publication by members of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study and research network.

Decrease in wealthy countries


This analysis, from 14 members of the international WHO collaborative study, looked at trends over time in frequent adolescent cannabis use (40+ times consumed over lifetime at age 15) in 2002, 2006 and 2010. We found that frequent cannabis use has decreased among adolescents in the more affluent western and southern European and North American countries. In some of these countries, the decreases were dramatic. For example, in 2010, frequent cannabis use among German boys decreased from 6.6% in 2002 to 1.2%, and  among Dutch girls it decreased from 4.1% in 2002 to 1.5%.  

This decline in frequent cannabis use in the wealthier countries of Europe is consistent with a general decrease in a range of other risk behaviours among these young people. In many of these countries, adolescent tobacco use, alcohol consumption, sexual risk behaviors and fighting have also declined.

How can this decline in adolescent risk behaviours be explained? One possible answer lies in substance use policies. Legislations to limit underage access and to restrict illicit substance use in general are enforced in all Western countries, with stricter substance use prevention policies coming into action in recent years. Additionally, a stronger focus on educating young people on the harmful effects of substance use has changed social norms leading to lower tolerance and acceptance of substance use among teenagers. 

Increase in Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, and FYR Macedonia


In contrast to Western European countries, frequent cannabis use stabilized or increased between 2002 and 2010 in the poorer Eastern European countries. For example, frequent cannabis use among boys in Latvia increased from 1.1% to 3.3%, with Russian girls showing an increase from 0.2% to 0.8%. 

Although the rates in these countries are still lower than those in Western Europe, the increasing trends over time are steady - and thus alarming. Adolescents from less affluent countries seem to be adopting consumption patterns consistent with their peers in richer countries. 

The growing wealth of Eastern European countries appears to have fostered adolescent substance use due to the increased availability of substances and the emergence of a flourishing youth culture. However, this apparent effect of national wealth seems to have leveled off in Western European countries, potentially due to the implementation of stricter cannabis use policies.

Importantly, adolescent cannabis use appears not only to have ‘trickled down’ from richer to developing countries, but also from more affluent to less affluent youth within countries. While cannabis consumption emerged as a central component of the ‘Bohemian’ ideals of the 1960’s and 1970’s and was first popularized by middle class youth, it now appears to have spread to the youth population of a lower socioeconomic status.

Girls do not catch up with boys

While one might have expected that gender differences would narrow between 2002 and 2010, as a result of girls’ and women’s continuing liberation, cannabis use has actually become (even) more characteristic of males during this period. This rather surprising finding might be explained by the de-normalization of cannabis use over the past decade. While cannabis use was widespread and quite ‘normalized’ among well-adjusted, non-risk-taking young people at the end of the 20th century, the recent declining rates may have changed young people’s perception of cannabis use as de-normalized and highly risky behaviour. As risk-taking increases social status among boys but less so for girls, it may be easier for boys to remain part of a cannabis-using scene.

Although it is reassuring that, overall, cannabis use has decreased for both genders, male adolescents have always been, and remain, at higher risk for excessive use, dependence and associated health problems.

What next?

Future studies should closely monitor tendencies for ‘trickle down’ and ‘de-normalization’ effects in frequent cannabis use as fundamental indicators of substance use and health in adolescent populations. Currently, data for the new HBSC cycle are being collected in more than 40 countries in Europe and North America. Within a year, we will be able to conclude whether the observed trends have continued into 2014

The HBSC Study

The HBSC research network is an alliance of researchers who collaborate to collect data on the health, well-being, health behaviours, social environments and economic contexts of adolescents. The HBSC study is currently conducted in 44 countries across Europe and North America, and the network includes over 450 experts from a wide range of disciplines. Members of the HBSC network collaborate to develop a standardized questionnaire, which is used to survey nationally representative samples of school-aged children in each participating country.
HBSC's research themes currently include: chronic conditions, eating and dieting, electronic media, family culture, gender, medicine-use, peer culture, physical activity, positive health, puberty, risk behaviours, school, sexual health, social inequality, and violence and injuries. 

- Dr. Margaretha de Looze
Researcher and lecturer at Utrecht University, the Netherlands 

For more information visit 

See also:
- Injury Among Young Canadians: A national study of contextual determinants
- Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children

- Adolescence

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Open Data Day - get involved!

This post is part of the Wikiprogress series on Data and Statistics in the lead up to Open Data Day on 22 February."

Open data is data that can be freely used, re-used and distributed by anyone, only subject to (at the most) the requirement that users attribute the data and that they make their work available to be shared as well.

Hosted and supported by the Open Knowledge Foundation, Open Data Day Hackathon is an annual day where people around the world celebrate open data by hacking, holding forums, analysing data and hosting workshops. Going on since 2010, the event aims at raising awareness for the open data debate by showing support for and encouraging the adoption of open data policies by the world's local, regional and national governments.

How does it work?

Be it online or in person, if you’re interested in taking part in the activities of the Open Data Day you just have to go to the wiki page, register your event and tag it onto the world map. The organisers are centralising the local initiatives for each city, so people can boost the sharing ideas experience. 

Rules of the game 

Events for the day can be of many kinds, they have only to follow these principles set by the organizers:
  •  Events should happen on the same day  (This year it´ll be happening on the 22nd February)
  • Events should be open, inclusive and welcome diversity (epistemic, geographic, socio-demographic, of language and gender)
  •  Anyone can organise a local event  (the person just has to add its name to the relevant city on the wiki list)
  •  People can hack on anything that involves open data (it could be a local or global app, a visualisation, proposing a standard for common data sets, scraping data from a government website to make it available for others or even creating your own data catalogue of government data)
  • People are invited to share ideas and experiences  (each event should come up with at least one demo, brainstorm, proposal, to share online with the Open Data Day crowd)
  • Virtual party!

For more info visit

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

11 ways to rethink open data and make it relevant to the public

This blog is by ICFJ Knight International Journalism Fellow Miguel Paz a Chilean journalist and founder and CEO of Poderopedia, a data journalism website that highlights links among Chile’s business and political elites. This post is part of the Wikiprogress series on Data and Statistics in the lead up to Open Data Day on 22 February. 

It’s time to transform open data from a trendy concept among policy wonks and news nerds into something tangible to everyday life for citizens, businesses and grassroots organisations. Here are some ideas to help us get there:

1. Improve access to data
Craig Hammer from the World Bank has tackled this issue, stating that “Open Data could be the game changer when it comes to eradicating global poverty”, but only if governments make available online data that become actionable intelligence: a launch pad for investigation, analysis, triangulation, and improved decision making at all levels.

2. Create open data for the end user
As Hammer wrote in a blog post for the Harvard Business Review, while the "opening" has generated excitement from development experts, donors, several government champions, and the increasingly mighty geek community, the hard reality is that much of the public has been left behind, or tacked on as an afterthought. Let`s get out of the building and start working for the end user.

3. Show, don't tell
Regular folks don't know what “open data” means. Actually, they probably don't care what we call it and don't know if they need it. Apple’s Steve Jobs said that a lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them. We need to stop telling them they need it and start showing them why they need it, through actionable user experience.

4. Make it relevant to people’s daily lives, not just to NGOs and policymakers’ priorities
A study of the use of open data and transparency in Chile showed the top 10 uses were for things that affect their lives directly for better or for worse: data on government subsidies and support, legal certificates, information services, paperwork. If the data doesn't speak to priorities at the household or individual level, we've lost the value of both the “opening” of data, and the data itself.

5. Invite the public into the sandbox
We need to give people “better tools to not only consume, but to create and manipulate data,” says my colleague Alvaro Graves, Poderopedia’s semantic web developer and researcher. This is what Code for America does, and it’s also what happened with the advent of Web 2.0, when the availability of better tools, such as blogging platforms, helped people create and share content.

6. Realise that open data are like QR codes
Everyone talks about open data the way they used to talk about QR codes--as something ground breaking. But as with QR Codes, open data only succeeds with the proper context to satisfy the needs of citizens. Context is the most important thing to funnel use and success of open data as a tool for global change.

7. Make open data sexy and pop, like Geeks became popular because they made useful and cool things that could be embraced by end users. Open data geeks need to stick with that program.

8. Help journalists embrace open data
Jorge Lanata, a famous Argentinian journalist who is now being targeted by the Cristina Fernández administration due to his unfolding of government corruption scandals, once said that 50 percent of the success of a story or newspaper is assured if journalists like it.

That’s true of open data as well. If journalists understand its value for the public interest and learn how to use it, so will the public. And if they do, the winds of change will blow. Governments and the private sector will be forced to provide better, more up-to-date and standardised data. Open data will be understood not as a concept but as a public information source as relevant as any other. We need to teach Latin American journalists to be part of this.

9. News nerds can help you put your open data to good use
In order to boost the use of open data by journalists we need news nerds, who can teach colleagues how open data through brings us high-impact storytelling that can change public policies and hold authorities accountable.

News nerds can also help us with “institutionalizing data literacy across societies” as Hammer puts it. ICFJ Knight International Journalism Fellow and digital strategist Justin Arenstein calls these folks "mass mobilizers" of information. Alex Howard “points to these groups because they can help demystify data, to make it understandable by populations and not just statisticians.”

I call them News Ninja Nerds, accelerator task forces that can foster innovations in news, data and transparency in a speedy way, saving governments and organizations time and a lot of money. Projects like ProPublica’s Dollars For Docs are great examples of what can be achieved if you mix FOIA, open data and the will to provide news in the public interest.

10. Rename open data
Part of the reasons people don't embrace concepts such as open data is because it is part of a lingo that has nothing to do with them. No empathy involved. Let's start talking about people's right to know and use the data generated by governments. As Tim O'Reilly puts it: "Government as a Platform for Greatness," with examples we can relate to, instead of dead .PDF's and dirty databases.

11. Don't expect open data to substitute for thinking or reporting
Investigative Reporting can benefit from it. But “but there is no substitute for the kind of street-level digging, personal interviews, and detective work” great journalism projects entailed, says David Kaplan in a great post entitled, Why Open Data is Not Enough. 

“The increasing access to data creates, more than ever, a need to make sense of disparate pieces of information,” said Paul Radu, executive director of the Sarajevo-based Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. “It is the mix of local and global information, the combination of local shoe-leather reporting and leaps across borders through databases, that will make the difference on the long run.”

As Matt Waite, Politifact creator and Drone Journalism Lab director, notes, robots cannot replace humans complexity. They can’t think like we do.

Welcome to the debate.

The post originally appeared on the The International Journalists’ Network’s site, IJNet helps professional, citizen and aspiring journalists find training, improve their skills and make connections. IJNet is produced by the International Center for Journalists in seven languages — Arabic, Chinese, English, Persian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish — with a global team of professional editors. Subscribe to IJNet’s free, weekly newsletter. You can also follow IJNet on Twitter or like IJNet on Facebook.

Global media innovation content related to the projects and partners of the ICFJ Knight International Journalism Fellows on IJNet is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and edited by Jennifer Dorroh.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Women's civic and political participation: where are the data gaps?

This blog, written by Wikigender Coordinator Estelle Loiseau, gives some highlights of the Wikigender online discussion on "Data Gaps on Gender Equality", which in its last week focused on the civic and political participation of women.

In this final week participants discussed on where the gaps are and where improvements can be made in terms of data on women's civic and political participation

Questions asked included what type of data can we use/should we use to measure women's civic and political participation; whether attitudinal data can be used more systematically to better document women's civic and political engagement; how new technologies can be used to better map women's collective action; examples of women's collective action that resulted in an improvement of their lives; and more!

The discussion culminated with 88 comments, below are some highlights. To see all the comments made, please visit the discussion page.

Where are some of the data gaps and issues ?

  • In the case of Chile, there is some gender data in terms of female representation in the electoral system, but no statistics on attitudes to female political participation and agency
  • There is a lack of indicators on women's collective action
  • There are issues of sisues of coverage and frequency for attitudinal surveys. We need a global push for harmonisation on key questions such as attitudes towards female political participation - and this includes more political will too!
  • Apart from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) which collects data on women in parliament, there is no equivalent for the sub-national level
  • For PARIS21, we are a the beginning of the ideal sequence (illustrated as per the diagram below); there might be some administrative open data, but it is a question of priority setting to address the multiple demands and limited resources.
The ideal sequence for statisticans to produce data on women's civic and political participation would be as follows. Once the feedback part done, the cycle would start back again with the integration of this data in programmes:

"As the OECD is increasingly using subjective sources of information like Gallup (or Latinobarómetro in the case of Latin America), we should be able to build better indicators for identifying political preferences by gender and understand better these contrasts."

                                                                                       - Rolando                       

What type of data do we need?

  • We need a focus on how women use digital platforms for political activities - we need surveys to understand who the users of such platforms are
  • We need data on vulnerable women: in the case of Latin America, women of Indigenous and African descent face the greatest barriers to political participation
  • There are some examples of projects that focus on attitudinal information: Through the SWMENA project (Status of Women in the Middle East and North Africa), country-specific but comparable surveys are produced on how women in Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen see themselves as members of society.

Some unanswered questions

  • Can big data and ICT technologies bridge those data gaps?
  • What is the role of national and international institutes in that process?
  • How can the EU and Latin America cooperate on women's political participation, amongst other issues? 

"It would be interesting to also see whether we can better capture what women's civic participation can do for the development of communities in general, and for women in particular. The collective action for women may have more impact in that respect. Are there any initiatives to capture that impact anywhere?"                                                                                                                                         - Keiko Nowacka

Your question/comment was not addressed? You would like to add more to this discussion by sharing your data/resources? Click here and create you article on Wikigender! 

We are now in the process of reading all the contributions to this discussion and we will soon share the synthesis report from the whole discussion. Stay tuned on

*The discussion is brought to you by Wikigender, the UN FoundationHealth Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC), the EU-LAC FoundationEuropean Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), ECLAC and PARIS21 - and in collaboration with Wikiprogress and Wikichild.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Education that Promotes Well-being


to join an online discussion on

Experiences in Latin America: kindergarten, primary, secondary/technical and university

 from 09:00, 11 February until 22:00, 25 February 2014

La OCDE Centro de México, SAVISO, IEP, OECD Education, Wikiprogress and Wikiprogress América Latina would like to invite you to join the discussion about “Education that promotes well-being”. This online discussion provides a unique opportunity to reflect and exchange best practices, research and experiences on the topic.

The discussion will focus on the following questions:
  •  In Latin America, what does it mean to have an education that promotes well-being and improves quality of life? Do we need to go beyond the concept of human capital?
  • What are the characteristics of an education model that promotes well-being?
  • What community programmes, social experiments and public policies are currently being conducted in Latin America that help foster education models which promote well-being
  • What extra efforts are needed in order to construct education models that promote well-being? Who should be responsible for designing and implementing them?

We invite you to leave your comments in Spanish, Portuguese, English or French under the section entitled “Contribuye” on the discussion webpage. To participate, click here

This is the link to the page: and the hashtags in Twitter are #teachlearn and  #EducaciónDeCalidad

You can also follow:

Our email is:, should you have any queries or wish to get involved with the America Latina Network!

We look forward to your participation. 

Wikiprogress America Latina Network

Suggested readings:
Contrato Social por la Educación. Educación y Buen Vivir

Violence against women: where are the data gaps?

This blog, written by Wikigender Coordinator Estelle Loiseau, gives some highlights of the Wikigender online discussion on "Data Gaps on Gender Equality", which in its second week focused on violence against women (VAW).

The discussion continued last week on where has progress been made, where the gaps are and where improvements can be made in terms of data on violence against women (69 comments!) 

Here below are some highlights from the discussion. Please go to the discussion page for more details.

Where are some of the data gaps and issues ?

  • There are many data gaps at sub-regional level
  • There is a definition issue when collecting data: what is violence? it depends on the cultural context, especially when talking about "non-physical violence"
  • The absence of reliable data is also political (it is a question of priority)
"Besides technical obstacles to scientific data collection, absence of (reliable) data is often political too: it can be an indicator that the issue is not considered a political priority. Despite the importance of (comparable) data to better understand the phenomenon and to provide evidence for legislative and politic responses, significant gaps remain - both at national and regional/international levels."
                                                              - Sarah Werner - The World Future Counci

What type of data do we need?

  • We need to use attitudinal data, for example on adolescent girls' perceptions of sexual violence and harassment 
  • We need more data on what kind of programmes are able to have an impact on life outcomes for girls
  • We must continue to establish indicators based on administrative data (UNECE lead)
  • We need to use statistical analysis that goes beyond simple descriptive analysis (e.g. logit models)
  • Both administrative and survey data tell us important but different information on prevalence of violence estimates. They complement each other in that survey data gives the prevalence and incidence, while administrative data is important for the reporting of violence.
"I think we need to understand more about how adolescent women perceive sexual violence and harassment. I have a feeling that we do not enough, especially in light of new media and technology which allow new channels." 
                                                                                             - Sophie Walsh

Resources shared

"The FRA survey interviewed 42,000 women in the 28 EU Member States based on a representative, random sample of respondents. The survey will provide data on physical, sexual and psychological violence against women, sexual harassment and stalking."
                                                                                            - Sami Nevala - FRA

This third week (10-14 February), we turn the focus on data gaps in the area of women's civic and political participationSee the questions asked for the final week and join in the conversation!

*The discussion is brought to you by Wikigender, the UN FoundationHealth Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC), the EU-LAC FoundationEuropean Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), ECLAC and PARIS21 - and in collaboration with Wikiprogress and Wikichild.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Norms that hurt: communities abandoning FGM

This post is written by Charlotte Highmore, a junior policy analyst for the OECD and the Secretariat of the DAC Network on Gender Equality (GENDERNET). It discusses female genital mutilation (FGM) and the progress made thus far, in honor of the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation. This blog is a part of the Wikichild series on FGM/C.
Worldwide there are 140 million women and girls currently living with the irreversible physical and emotional trauma affects caused by female genital mutilation (FGM). Each year, a further three million girls endure the practice.

According to the World Health Organization, FGM involves the full or partial removal of the female genitalia, performed most frequently by untrained traditional practitioners. In approximately 15 per cent of all global cases this involves fully sewing the female genitalia closed. There are no health benefits for women and girls. When “cutters” without medical training perform FGM the procedure is often carried out without anaesthetic or sterilisation. Unsurprisingly, many girls die through shock from the pain, trauma or excessive bleeding.

A Deep Rooted Social Norm

This begs the question - why do it? FGM is a deeply rooted social norm enforced by community expectations around women and girls. As with the type of mutilation practised, the reasons why FGM is done depends on the context. For some it is linked with the idea of cleanliness. For others, it is about enhancing beauty or upholding religion. It is worth noting though that FGM is not prescribed by any of the major religions or supported by any religious texts. Most frequently, FGM is about controlling women’s sexuality – for example, preserving a girl’s virginity or stopping “promiscuous” behaviour.

What is apparent through all the different rationalisations is that FGM is considered a necessary part of raising a woman and girl properly. To opt out is to risk girls being rejected from the community or never being able to find a husband, which for many outweighs any health risks – including the possibility of death.

Progress is Being Made

The reality that FGM violates women’s and girls’ rights and perpetuates gender inequality is gaining momentum and progress is being achieved. In 2003, the 6th February was announced as the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation. This was followed in 2012 with a UN General Assembly resolution that condemned harmful practices to women and girls, in particular FGM. Currently 24 African nations where FGM is practiced have prohibited the practice by law or constitutional decree.

However – while important – legislative change, UN resolutions, or one individual acting alone cannot shift entrenched social norms. What is needed is for the entire community to work together to decide to abandon the practice.

NGOs such as Tostan and the UNFPA-UNICEF joint programme “Accelerating Change” have proven just how effective this approach can be. These organisations focus on working directly with local communities, including traditional and religious leaders, to enable them to reflect critically on the practice and make a collective choice to publically abandon FGM. Merely condemning the practice can risk creating hostility and driving it underground.

The results speak for themselves. Tostan and UNFPA-UNICEF’s work combined has reached over 18,000 communities in 15 countries; representing over 8 million people that have renounced FGM.

What Next?

By engaging with communities and enabling them to lead their own movements for change, entrenched social norms can and are starting to shift. We need to build on this momentum and ensure that resources reach organisations that are connected to communities and are able and willing to engage over the long-term to bring about the deeper, more systemic change needed. We can also learn from these best practices and apply them to other demanding gender equality issues such as early marriage, violence against women, and women’s inheritance and land rights. Positive social transformation is possible but it needs to come “from the ground up”.

See also
FGM: the Dynamics of Change
International Day Against Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting 2013
Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting
Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A statistical overview and exploration of the dynamics of change

Monday, 3 February 2014

Women's socio-economic empowerment: where are the data gaps?

This blog, written by Wikigender Coordinator Estelle Loiseau, give the highlights of the Wikigender online discussion on "Data Gaps on Gender Equality", which in its first week focused on the socio-economic empowerment of women.

Wow, this is impressive - 48 comments in the first week of the discussion! This not only shows high interest, but also gives an idea of the importance of the topic. Last week we heard from you on where has progress been made in the area of data on gender equality since the establishment of the MDGs in 2000, as well as where the gaps are and where improvements can be made. So, where do we stand?

We can say that participants agreed that there has been progress, notably in the area of sex-disaggregated and gender-sensitive data (but with important limitations) and also in terms of the quality, analysis and dissemination of gender statistics. However, more efforts are needed in several areas, for example regarding the data collection at country level and in certain specific sectors like agriculture or aquaculture and fisheries. Also, a number of new areas of research and priority areas were brought to the fore. Let's take a look in detail...

Data issues mentioned

  • Comparability of data at EU level, within OECD countries and beyond, within and across regions
  • Common standards, harmonised data and definitions
  • Coverage in terms of countries, type of policy and time trends (e.g. for indicators on policies that promote women's socio-economic empowerment)
  • Lack of continuity between surveys 
  • Data gaps in access to finance and land, and data gaps in agriculture, among others
  • Capacity building of National Statistics Offices
  • Many surveys are not gender-sensitive, e.g. in agriculture
  • Data demand/use needs to be enhanced
"When it comes to data on entrepreneurship, it seems that data collection is greatly impaired by problems of definitions. There are no agreed definitions of what 'entrepreneurship' means, although it is regarded as a driver for social inclusion, empowerment and growth."                                                                                                  - Anne Laure Humbert

New areas of research and suggestions

  • Time-use: to better understand women's participation in the labour market and the balance of family and work responsibilities
  • Unpaid work: to make sure that women's contribution in the area of care is accounted for in the economic measures
  • Social norms: to better understand the power imbalances at household level, which have an impact on women's empowerment at society level
  • Fiscal policy: to better recognise women's contribution to the economy, one could disaggregate taxpayers' data by sex
  • Technology: to develop a measurement framework to evaluate empowerment within technology initiatives where women are central players (e.g. in sectors such as clean cooking)
"ECLAC (...) has been key in moving forward with time use surveys and in that sense achieving comparability inasmuch as possible. This is creating the possibility to use these surveys to construct satellite accounts that can serve for policy design, but also micro simulation and other uses."                                                                                 - Elizabeth Villagomez

Priority areas

  • Earning gaps, including from self employment
  • Unpaid work
  • Informal work, especially with a focus on poor women
  • Systematic inclusion of age and sex in data collection, including old age
"We need more countries to collect data on informal employment (...), including on specific categories of informal workers such as domestic workers, home-based workers, street vendors and waste pickers and we need data on the earnings of the self employed."                                                                                                                     - Joann Vanek, WIEGO
To improve data quality, availability and coverage, participants emphasised: South-South cooperation and support from donors and international agencies; more political will for gender equality (e.g. Africa); strong advocacy for new research areas and priority areas; continued capacity building at country level; systematic inclusion of data at country level in global reports; national action plans; and more.

Many examples of initiatives and programmes were mentioned, including: PARIS21's data revolution; HBSC's data collection work on the health and well-being of adolescents; a measurement framework for monitoring equality and human rights in Great Britain by the UK's Equality and Human Rights Commission; the OECD Gender Data Portal; Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index; and many more! 

The discussion during week 1 was particularly rich and interactive. This summary does not provide a full picture of the various mini-discussions which took place at several levels on some of the above-mentioned areas. Click here to read the full thread of comments and engage further!

This second week (3-9 February), we turn the focus on data gaps in the area of violence against women. See the questions asked for week 2 and join in the conversation!

*The discussion is brought to you by Wikigender, the UN FoundationHealth Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC), the EU-LAC FoundationEuropean Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), ECLAC and PARIS21 - and in collaboration with Wikiprogress and Wikichild.