The potential of data for sustainable development


Ricardo Garzón, Manager of Government Affairs and Sustainability at Telefónica Colombia, has participated in a session devoted to "New sources of data for the orientation of welfare policies”, in the context of the Regional Fund for Transitional Development of the European Union (EU) and, specifically, as part of the project on "Metrics for Welfare and Sustainable Development Policies in Latin America and the Caribbean." implemented in collaboration with the European Commission, OECD and ECLAC.

During the conference, which took place on 23 and 24 October at Rosario University (Bogotá), a series of research projects and relevant academic case studies on the metrics needed to ensure greater economic and social development were presented.

Garzón, who shared a panel with Gerardo Leyva, Research Deputy General Manager of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) of Mexico, Sandra Moreno, Director of Geostatistical Information of the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE) of Colombia and José Antonio Mejía of the Inter-American Development Bank, was able to present the usefulness of telecommunications data for the social benefit.


Ricardo Garzon, Telefonica

Ricardo Garzón during his speech on the "New sources of data for the orientation of welfare policies” panel in Bogotá.


Participants were able to discuss the achievements and challenges related to linking metrics and public policies for a better life, now and in the future, before an audience composed of technical experts, government officials, civil society, as well as political figures and experts in measurement issues at the highest level (including ministers, heads of national statistical offices and international organisations) from all over the LAC region and the world.

Thanks to tools such as Big Data, relevant metrics can be improved for better analysis of complex situations, to optimise decision-making and design appropriate public policies. LUCA, Telefónica's data unit, has already demonstrated the usefulness of this technology in several use cases of data applied for social benefit, such as those from the floods in Mocoa (Colombia) in 2017 or those from the migrations in Guajira (Colombia), carried out jointly with the FAO in 2018.



In situations of responses to natural disasters, epidemic prevention, air quality monitoring or more efficient crops, technology plays a key role in helping us understand behaviours and cooperate on smarter development.

Telefónica, which is committed to the Sustainable Development Objectives, has woven a network of alliances with other institutions and bodies, such as the FAO, UNICEF, the IDB and the GSMA, among others, finding and highlighting the value of the data available for socially beneficial projects.