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The United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research

The Desk at The Treasury


In a tall tower in the National Treasury of South Africa sits an ordinary desk. But on this desk is a computer with data on every firm in the country. This film tells the story of how the United Nations University convinced the South African government to share this data (anonymously) with researchers. In doing so, researchers have been better able to understand and evaluate policy on issues like youth unemployment.


This film speaks to all the key stakeholders in research and government. The aim of the film is to educate and raise awareness about the importance of data for policy making. It uses a dramatic premise to bring a story about data to life.      


This film formed part of UNU-WIDER’s brand awareness, fundraising, and advocacy campaign and has been used to encourage other African governments to be more open with their data. 

“Econ Films have worked with UNU-WIDER on a number of excellent projects to help build the international profile of the Institute and the work of our global network. Econ Films are specialists in this area: they understand the organisations they work with, their key messages and their target audience. Their projects were very well received and I warmly recommend their services.”

Finn Tarp, Director, Development Economics Research Group, University of Copenhagen, former Director, United Nations University – World Institute for Development Economics Research

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