Global Data Barometer (GDB) in the Caribbean

The Global Data Barometer (GDB) is an ambitious multi-stakeholder initiative that seeks to establish a new global benchmark for data governance, data capabilities, data availability, and data use for the public good. Targeting over 100 countries, the GDB works with regional Hubs, thematic partners, governments, private sector and civil society organizations, academia, and the media, to fill data gaps, generate insights, and support debate about our data futures.

The Caribbean Open Institute (COI) joined the Global Data Barometer project and the Global Community of Regional Hubs in fall 2020. As the regional hub for the Caribbean, COI will supporting the Global Data Barometer project through engaging in the study design process, data collection, data analysis and dissemination of the results as part of the 2021 global study. The expert survey will generate data on more than 100 countries, leading to a new research-ready open dataset, in-depth analysis, and country and sectoral profiles. The eight Caribbean countries that will be part of this initial study are: Bahamas, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti and Dominica Republic.

Learning from and building on the Open Data Barometer

The GDB builds on the predecessor study, the Open Data Barometer (ODB) which has been used to drive policymaking, advocacy, and academic research across the world. The most recent edition of the ODB for Latin America and the Caribbean was published in 2020. The report shows that Caribbean countries have lost ground relative to their Latin America counterparts, and require urgent attention to, and systematic investment in broad-based education and capacity-building initiatives at multiple levels: awareness in the public and private sectors; widespread digital and data literacy; and specialized Data and AI skills.

While the ODB focused primarily on improving the availability and impact of open datasets, the Global Data Barometer recognizes a more complex landscape —one where policy must combine good governance of data with ongoing efforts to promote data re-usability, and to secure the benefits that open public data infrastructures can bring. The aim of GDB is to provide policymakers and advocates with tools to navigate this emerging data landscape, which has become a critical pillar for sustainable development.

Envisioning a Caribbean Data Revolution

The Caribbean is often described as "data poor" due to:

  1. limited access to high quality, locally relevant, openly accessible data.
  2. cultural and institutional habits as well as capacity limitations in both the public and private sectors, that often forego the use of data and other forms of evidence, for policy and decision making.

Harnessing data for the public good in key regional sectors such as Agriculture, Tourism and Education will help to accelerate the countries of the region towards knowledge-based economies. The Caribbean Open Institute, through various initiatives such as the Caribbean School of Data, is seeking to contribute to a cultural transformation where data is valued as an asset and exploited to create value for businesses, improve service delivery in the public sector, and enhance the way our citizens engage with and participate in the Digital economy.  The GDB will serve as an enabler, helping various stakeholders across the region to situate their needs in the field of data based on the evidence for what works and what does not; and thus, inform their strategies and interventions based on the biennial Global Data Barometer Index.

Call for National Researchers in the Caribbean

The COI, through one of its founding partners, the Mona School of Business & Management (MSBM) is seeking to recruit national researchers to support this significant initiative. If you are interested in being a country researcher for the Global Data Barometer, please sign up here and read the full Call for Researchers.

For more information, please contact any of the following coordinators of the Caribbean regional hub:

  • Dr. Suzana Russell, Mona School of Business and Management, UWI (
  • Dr. Lila Rao-Graham, Mona School of Business and Management, UWI (

Note: The pilot edition of the Global Data Barometer receives core funding from Canada’s International Development Research Center ( under grant 109517-001 as part of the Data for Development ( program of work. For more information about Global Data Barometer partners, please see