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Leveraging data for gender equality: Lessons from IDRC data initiatives

A new report co-produced by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Equal Measures 2030 reveals important lessons on how to meet gaps in data for gender equality.
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The Centre of Excellence initiative is one of five case studies featured in the report.

Leveraging data for gender equality: Lessons from IDRC data initiatives examines five IDRC-supported research streams that demonstrate how research and data can positively impact women's lives. The report emphasizes the importance of gender data in relation to key gender and development policy issues, provides strategies to move research into action and shows how IDRC and partners are improving the production and use of gender data. 

The following five case studies are included in the report:  

  • The Centre of Excellence initiative, a partnership with Global Affairs Canada, was a global resource hub that actively supported national efforts to develop, strengthen and scale up sustainable civil registration and vital statistics systems that work for everyone — especially women and girls. Basic identity data on such life events as birth, marriage and death ensure women and girls are documented, providing essential information for health, social policy and access to services. 
  • Data Must Speak is a research project under Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX), an IDRC partnership with the Global Partnership for Education. The Data Must Speak project takes an innovative approach to understand how some schools achieve better results than others in similar contexts. These schools provide evidence about teaching and management behaviours associated with positive performance. 
  • The IDRC project Understanding digital access and use in the Global South collected nationally representative data from surveys in 14 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America, and generated evidence on Internet access and use among marginalized communities, including women. As the gender digital gap underlies inequalities in other areas, it is essential to understand the extent to which women have the digital skills to benefit from online services and opportunities that address their needs.   
  • Open Data for Development (OD4D) is a global network committed to advancing the understanding, use and impact of open data. Open data makes issues, such as gender-based violence, more visible and thereby promotes accountability. Funded by Global Affairs Canada, the Hewlett Foundation and IDRC, the initiative’s aims include driving gender equality with better data on issues such as femicides and data pay gaps. 
  • Launched in 2021, the Feminist Artificial Intelligence Network (f<A+i>r) takes an explicitly proactive approach by designing for feminist AI. The f<A+i>r case explores ways in which AI can be used as a feminist tool for development by promoting gender equality and preventing the replication of gender biases in existing datasets.  

The Leveraging data for gender equality: Lessons from IDRC data initiatives report can be accessed here. It was co-produced with Equal Measures 2030, an independent partnership led by civil society and the private sector that promotes progress on gender equality by linking data and evidence to advocacy and action.