The head of our Geospatial Data and Analysis team, Dr Natalia Tejedor-Garavito was a guest speaker and panellist at the “Statistical Mind: 70 making us all count” meeting in Bogotá, Colombia in December. The event was organised by the National Administrative Department of Statistics of Colombia (DANE) as part of their 70th anniversary celebrations and gave participants the opportunity to explore new perspectives on official statistics and efforts to improve understanding of Colombian society, the economy, and the environment.
The meeting provided a comprehensive overview of innovations, key topics, and challenges facing statistics today. Panellists from academia, public administration, private sector associations, and users with direct experience of engaging with information sources took part in debates on how to improve data for better decision-making.
Dr Tejedor-Garavito presented novel population estimation methodologies and tools developed within WorldPop to support the construction of sampling frameworks. She highlighting how these methods and tools allow for a better understanding of statistics and represent specific population characteristics more precisely. Dr Tejedor-Garavito also highlighted recent WorldPop collaborations with DANE to estimate population omission in the 2018 census in hard-to-reach areas and populations as well as WorldPop/DANE capacity strengthening activities and a recent publication led by staff at DANE.
As a panellist, Dr Tejedor-Garavito discussed the main challenges in terms of human capital and technological resources for the full implementation of statistical frameworks, where she emphasised the need for capacity strengthening in novel methodologies and collaborations with multiple stakeholders within and outside the country
During the in-person sessions, Yesenia Olaya, Minister of Science and Technology, and Piedad Urdinola, DANE Director, stressed the importance of scientific research for public administration. They emphasised the government’s pivotal role in actively promoting science as a means to understand the country’s current situation, foster productive transformation, and enhance citizen engagement. Further discussions focused on the opportunities of artificial intelligence in generating statistical information, some of which DANE currently adopt.
There were also presentations on the ethical nature of statistics and the differential approach. Advances were presented on the measurement of gender-based violence in ethnic communities and the DANE’s collaborative efforts with midwives, underlining the situations of ethnic communities and the capacity to exercise their autonomy.
Main image: Principal Enterprise Fellow Dr Natalia Tejedor-Garavito addressing DANE’s “Statistical Mind: 70 making us all count” meeting in Bogotá, Colombia. Photo credit DANE, 2023.
- Publication: Social cartography and satellite-derived building coverage for post-census population estimates in difficult-to-access regions of Colombia
- Video: Statistical mind 2023, 70 years making us all count, December 5, 2023 (Spanish)
- DANE news item: Statistical Mind: the event that brought together new perspectives and challenges to make better decisions (Spanish)