From 18-19 July 2017, Comic Relief USA Inc, the Global Alliance for Children, and Lumos convened a two-day meeting, #ChildrenCount17, to discuss how technology could hold the key to closing the data gap on children outside of families, in parallel to the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development taking place in New York City. More than 80 representatives of private and public sectors including data and technology experts, government officials, and leaders of businesses, universities and non-governmental organizations worked to identify and propose new solutions to count children living outside families. Alongside this, social media supporters and celebrity ambassadors were invited to add their voice to the conversation in the room, by explaining what being left behind really means through videos, graphics and posters - which were then displayed to event attendees via a live social wall. At the end of the two days, participants committed to an innovative framework for private-public cooperation among the 60 organisations present in the room.
This presentation, delivered by Better Care Network Director Florence Martin at the conference, demonstrates the need for comprehensive national data systems, as well as what kind of data should be collected, barriers to thorough data collection, and examples of strong national-level efforts to collect comprehensive data on children living outside of family care.