Skip to Main Navigation
BRIEF August 12, 2021

Global Data Facility

Slideshow of images

Introducing the Global Data Facility

The Global Data Facility is the new, World Bank-hosted fund to support data and statistics priorities at the global, regional, national, and community levels.

The Global Data Facility is designed to enable exponential improvements of and strengthened human capacity for data collection, data management, data governance, data analysis, data sharing, and data use and reuse for transformational social and economic development. 

It will support investments in both the fundamentals and at the frontier of data and statistics. This includes key support to modernize data systems and tap into a range of new data sources for better decision-making, improved efficiency, and strengthened information integrity at scale.

The Global Data Facility is designed to catalyze significant additional financing to enable long-term support and durable data and statistics transformations (including via World Bank IDA/IBRD financing). It will additionally serve as a global coordination mechanism for a spectrum of partners, practitioners, and country clients to join forces in support of the global data revolution. 

Last Updated: Oct 18, 2021


  • For decades, the World Bank has been a global leader, an avid partner, and a trusted fiduciary to strengthen data and statistical systems across low and middle-income countries.

    The Global Data Facility is now the Bank’s primary mechanism to mobilize and coordinate donor support for data and statistics priorities at the global, regional, national, and community levels. It is designed to catalyze additional financing, including World Bank IDA/IBRD loans, and enable long-term support for priorities by catalyzing domestic investments in data and statistics. The facility will additionally seek to complement and help scale data and statistics work by technical centers of excellence around the world.

    In launching the Global Data Facility, the World Bank is responding to a request to do so by the UN Statistical Commission's High-Level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity Building for Statistics for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to establish an innovative and responsive funding mechanism for data and statistical systems around the world. 

    The Global Data Facility will thus ensure flexible and adaptive, country-led approaches which allow for a variety of entry points in countries and different levels of dialogue and engagement with country partners and practitioners supporting data and statistics priorities.

    The Global Data Facility will be substantially devoted to implementing recommendations and insights from World Bank’s 2021 World Development Report: Data for Better Lives, to put data to work to improve peoples’ lives and livelihoods across regions.  The Global Data Facility’s financing framework is likewise designed to help enable the implementation of the Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data, as well as support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, including efforts to close SDG data gaps. 

    Last Updated: Oct 18, 2021

  • The Global Data Facility will support data and statistics priorities at the subnational, national, regional, and global levels, prioritizing those set out in the 2021 World Development Report. This includes support under the following categories:

    Capacity Building, Training, and Twinning. Activities will focus on providing technical assistance to (and among) government and non-government actors to strengthen individual capacity and institutional effectiveness across the full data “lifecycle”: data production, acquisition, curation, management, governance/protection, dissemination, access, analysis, use/reuse, documentation, and preservation. Example activities include: (i) conducting assessments, consultations, and workshops on data/statistics policies and institutions; (ii) conducting studies on sector capacity gaps and good practices to address these gaps; (iii) providing in-depth training and institution-strengthening, and exchanging good practices; (iv) support to strengthen/enable countries’ primary data collection, including micro-level data for the production of indicators; (v) provision of technical assistance to countries and partners in implementation of international statistical standards, methods and best practices; and (vi) conducting activities in methodological innovations.

    Leverage frontier data sources and tools for development.  Specific activities could include, for example: (i) support the use of alternative and new data collection modes and data sources, including phone and web surveys and the use of citizen-generated data in official statistics, and foster adoption of technologies amongst National Statistical Offices (NSOs) and other national data producers; (ii) support the use and uptake of administrative data for decision making; and (iii) support the development, adoption, and scale of new analytical tools.

    Global Public Goods. Activities will support: (i) setting international standards, methods and best practices (ii) implementation of global programs and partnerships, including on data collection, compilation and quality assurance, as well as the production and dissemination of indicators; (iii) conducting outreach activities; and (iv) carrying out governance and partnership management activities.

    Demand-driven research, knowledge curation, and dissemination. Activities will focus on conducting core research, indicator development/support, knowledge generation, and knowledge-sharing driven by country demand and needs.  Example activities include: (i) data production to be made available to wider research and operational communities, such as impact assessments, lessons learned, global flagship reports, for example on harmonizing and enabling access to administrative data; survey data collection in the course of impact evaluations; high frequency approaches to data collection to inform analytic products and tools; (ii) production to be made available to wider research community and policy makers of indicators and analysis based on primary micro-level data collected; (iii) conducting study tours; (iv) conducting knowledge exchanges (including south-south knowledge-exchanges); and (v) supporting platform development to facilitate responsible open access to and use of GDF-support/generated knowledge.

    Data systems modernization. Activities will focus on operational approaches, including increasing coordination and alignment among different actors and across relevant sectors. Specific activities include, for example:  (i) developing and implementing data modernization strategies and approaches; (ii) developing or strengthening systems for enhanced data systems integration and/or coordination; and (iii) building networks, and developing guidance and toolkits on good practices to scale up data systems modernization.

    Prioritizing inclusive data and closing data gaps.  Specific activities include, for example: (i) support for inclusive data and data systems, toward strengthening/expanding data on all groups within populations and counting the hitherto uncounted, such as women and girls, indigenous populations, religious/ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, SOGI stakeholders, and other marginalized groups; and (ii) promote the systematic mainstreaming of gender equality in the data lifecycle.    

    Leveraging Development Partners’ knowledge and expertise.  Activities will focus on building/expanding strategic partnerships to support the above focus areas. Specific activities include, for example: (i) connecting development partners’ expertise on data/statistics priorities to country clients, based on needs/demand; (ii) promoting and facilitating partnerships among relevant stakeholders; and (iii) organizing stakeholder conferences and events focused on knowledge exchanges.

    Further sectoral, thematic, and regional priorities.  The Global Data Facility is designed to enable targeted support to a range of priorities simultaneously. The above priorities are indicative, and the Facility is designed to accommodate and support new priorities as they are collaboratively identified over the 10+ year lifespan of the Facility.

    Last Updated: Oct 19, 2021

  • Grant allocation and delivery can occur through both:

    Recipient-executed work (i.e. direct allocations to national or subnational World Bank client governments).

    Bank-executed work (i.e. allocations to World Bank Practice Groups and Regions, IFC, as well as non-World Bank partners, such as multilaterals, bi-laterals, foundations, NGOs, civil society, think tanks, academia).

  • The Global Data Facility’s governance and advisory arrangements will consist of a Partnership Council guiding the Facility’s overall strategic direction and priorities, and a Technical Advisory Group to serve as a sounding board and source of global expertise on data and statistics priorities. Specifically:

    A Partnership Council provides strategic guidance and direction on the implementation of the anchor trust fund of the GDF and will review progress reports provided by the Bank based on a results framework. The Partnership Council will be comprised of representatives from the World Bank, including as Chair, and a representative of each Donor contributing to the anchor trust fund. The World Bank, in consultation with the Partnership Council, can invite other relevant stakeholders (e.g. expert groups, representatives of the UN system, academia, client country representatives, representatives of civil society or nongovernmental organizations, private sector representatives) to attend meetings of the Partnership Council.  It is expected to meet annually, as convened by the Bank.

    The World Bank (through the Program Management Unit) will prepare annual work plans and budgets for the anchor trust fund and present them during Partnership Council meetings. Donors contributing to the anchor TF and the Bank will endorse annual work plans and budgets for this trust fund only. The Partnership Council will serve as a platform for members to discuss and exchange views on the broader data landscape, lessons learned and best practices for data operations, and any other issues relevant to the GDF’s activities.

    A Technical Advisory Group will provide feedback and guidance on technical and implementation issues to promote further collaboration and partnerships. This technical guidance would be considered by the Partnership Council in its own decision-making. Such a group would not have any decision-making authority over budgets or allocation of funds but would rather on how to maximize the effectiveness of the program’s activities. Members of this group would be invited by the Bank, with inputs from DPs, and chosen based on their technical expertise and/or a strong track record of engagement in a particular area. Members may include experts from the Bank, development partners, academia, private sector, and others (to be determined).

    Last Updated: Aug 12, 2021


"The World Bank’s senior leadership has identified the Global Data Facility as a top World Bank Priority Umbrella 2.0 Trust Fund, representing global, national, and subnational priorities."