Data Solutions to confronting Ageism Globally - Gray Panthers in Action

Gray Panthers, represented by Jack Kupferman, was honored to participate in the second official meeting of the Titchfield City Group on Ageing Statistics (TCGA) on June 11-12, 2019 in Daejeon, Korea (https://www.ageing.ox.ac.uk/blog/Titchfield-City-Group-on-Ageing). Over sixty experts attended the two-day workshop, including representatives of thirty-one National Statistical Offices.  We were one of several NGO (non-governmental organization) observers including AARP and HelpAge International.  This initiative to develop better data on older people is of crucial importance to Gray Panthers’ mission to address ageism in all its forms.  


Invisibility is the essence of ageism.  Without reliable information on the conditions and needs of older persons, effective policies and programs cannot be established.  Currently, most data on older persons is lumped together for all those 65+ or is not collected. Although lack of comprehensive data on older persons is ageist, the TCGA has become an important effort to address these gaps.  The Sustainable Development Goals established by the UN General Assembly also recognizes the importance of disaggregating data by age and other dimensions (https://www.helpage.org/newsroom/latest-news/breakthrough-on-ageing-data-agreed-at-united-nations-in-new-york/). 


The TCGA was established in 2018 by the UN Statistical Commission to develop tools that will help countries, especially less developed countries, collect information on their older population in a way that can inform policy.  This includes a review of existing data, methodology and instruments and the development of new ones over a five-year period. The first meeting was last year.  Gray Panthers was one of a small number of NGOs that attended and provided valuable input.  


During the past year, Gray Panthers actively contributed to the initiative and provided input at the meeting, written by Barbara Kail with the assistance of Gray Panthers intern Tess Bedingfield. The report, offering a potential template for websites hosting aging health statistics, was well received.


At the close of the meetings, the mood of the attendees was upbeat and eager to move forward.  Gray Panthers will remain an active contributor and respected voice asking the important questions.  We look forward to contributing to this important initiative.

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