Mission: Turning Data into Knowledge

The Global Data Lab (GDL) is an independent data and research center at the Nijmegen School of Management of Radboud University. Building upon over 500 household survey datasets from the major data providers for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), GDL has built one of the largest existing databases for LMICs, containing information on over 35 million individuals in 130+ countries. Based on this infrastructure, GDL performs research and develops specialist databases as well as indices and instruments for monitoring and analyzing the status and progress of societies.

Our world is full of information, but not all this information is fact based. We are witnessing a time of fake news and misleading information that is deliberately or out of ignorance shared across social networks. Reliable figures and facts, drawing on solid data and information sources, are often missing. This is particularly problematic when it comes to well-being, poverty (alleviation), development and the interactions of humans with each other and with their natural as well as man-made environment.

We believe that large-scale comparable data along with high quality indicators and analyses are essential for realizing human development in an equitable and sustainable way. We therefore continuously update our databases, create new indicators, perform cutting-edge research and supply the global community with key indicators for research, policy development, humanitarian action and as learning tool for academic and non-academic audiences.

Our resulting mission can be grouped in four aspects:

  1. Bringing together all available household surveys for low- and middle-income countries and integrating them into one encompassing data infrastructure;
  2. Creating and disseminating detailed socio-economic, demographic, gender and health related indicators to monitor the status and progress of societies;
  3. Performing (interdisciplinary) research based on the large-scale comparable data over time and across countries;
  4. Supporting interdisciplinary research by extending and connecting the GDL data and indicators with data and indicators from other sources and disciplines.

Our efforts in GDL serve the purpose to initiate and maintain the debate on poverty and inequality in our world and on realizing human development in an equitable and sustainable way.