Statement by Ambassador Antje Leendertse at the Official Launch Event of CRAF’d: the Complex Risk Analytics Fund, October 8

08.10.2021 - Speech

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Opening Statement

Dear Ms. Mohammed, Dear Ms. Zeya, Dear Mr. van der Plaas,

Dear Colleagues and Guests,

It is an honor to welcome you today to the official Launch Event of CRAF’d – the Complex Risk Analytic Fund.

In the past months, we truly have come a long way. We started with a seminal idea to address a very real and practical challenge: the lack of coordination among countries to fund critical risk data for our Early Warning Systems, which resulted in under-funding and significant cuts in data availability.

Now, after many months of ongoing dialogs with you, we really have built an initiative of global reach and diverse partners across the UN-agencies, the UN Member States, as well as academia and civil society. It is now time for us to set CRAF’d in motion!  

What unites us behind CRAF’d is one common vision of better policy-outcomes for those in need by harnessing the full potential of data and new technologies. In other words, investing in better data-driven early warning signals to drive positive change for anticipatory action.

At the recent High Level Event on Anticipatory Humanitarian Action on 9 September, organized by Germany, the UK and UN OCHA, there was a common understanding: We need to act before the crises hits and invest more in anticipatory action! However, to operationalize this vision we need excellent data and cutting-edge analytics instruments in order to inform policy-making and programming decisions, coordinate operations and evaluate their impact and effectiveness in the field.

In Berlin, we have seen the success of data driven analytics with our national PREVIEW project as well as UN data initiatives, like the one on pandemic preparedness  implemented by the World Health Organization and the one on Migration Data Analysis by IOM, already existing in Berlin.

Like-minded countries, international organizations and academia are crucial to create the needed synergy.

This is another core motivation behind CRAF’d: breaking up silos and building an ecosystem: not only between diverse actors and communities, but also connecting the different thematic pillars in the peace-humanitarian-development nexus. With CRAF’d, we aim for a cross-thematic integration of data sets and analyses – because we know that complex crises do not have one-dimensional drivers. They require multidimensional analyses and policy responses.

Many effective instruments in this respect already have been built in the UN System – from CERF to Global Pulse to the Peacebuilding Fund.

CRAF’d aims to anchor the existing initiatives and bridge the gap between Early Warning and Early Action by informing capacity building and programming mechanisms, such as the Peacebuilding Fund.

What makes CRAF’d unique is that it establishes aligned quality standards and and is rooted in joint principles. In particular, CRAF’d supports citizen-owned data and its responsible, effective and sustainable use in fragile settings.

The Fund will support inclusive data collection projects and will strengthen partnerships with regional and local organizations and government authorities and implementing partners.

When peacebuilding is a joint effort, why should data analytics as its very foundation remain fragmented and a purely unilateral activity? And would it not be better to share data as a common good? 

I am convinced that CRAF’d merits our wholehearted support. We will all be working more efficiently and economically on crisis prevention, early action and stabilization if we join our resources and expertise.

I admit that the ambitions are high – corresponding to the challenge and the need for action.

We are taking up this challenge and I am happy to announce that we have put aside 1,5 million EUR for the trust fund in 2021 and 3,0 million EUR in 2022.

I invite you to joint us, set CRAF’d in motion and partner in a new level of proactive and evidence-based policy making

Thank you.

Closing Statement

Thank you for having joined us today,

Our panelists made very strong cases for the responsible use of data.  

It has become clear that there is huge merit in growing data ecosystems and data analytics in a multilateral setting by pooling financial and intellectual resources.

The United Nations is the natural place for this project.

I would like to use this opportunity to thank the dedicated colleagues in the Executive Office and at UNDP for their tremendous work so far.

And, I would like to extend an invitation to all UN institutions to join us, this will remain a team effort!

We believe that creating trust and acceptance in the data we use and establishing a shared analytical – data driven understanding of the risks we face will eventually benefit people in need. In other words, we must speak the same “language” to coordinate our actions.

In the end, it is our responsibility to design and implement those instruments that will help to save lives, reduce conflict and mitigate the effects of crises; a truly global task.

Please support us with a strong political and financial commitment for CRAF’d.

Thank you.


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