Data ecosystems for sustainable development

27 Sep 2017
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An assessment of six pilot countries

A data revolution for sustainable development is underway, reshaping how knowledge is produced and used, policy is formulated, and governance is redefined and enacted around the world. At its core, it is about people—as users, producers, beneficiaries, and owners of data—who must be at the centre of accountability and participatory mechanisms for the 2030 Agenda and in turn be closely involved in the delivery of the new development agenda. To this end, UNDP has sought to facilitate interactions, synergies and partnerships among different stakeholders, governments, civil society, international development organizations and the private sector that are grounded in perspectives of, and meaningful participation from, people. UNDP particularly seeks to ensure that development experience from the grassroots informs global discussions, and that the data revolution is actionable at the national level.

While significant strides have been made with respect to upgrading data and statistical systems since the adoption of the MDGs, the 2030 Agenda encompasses a far broader ambition requiring better, more timely and reliable data on a wider variety of indicators. Thus its adoption by countries around the world necessitates an even more significant increase in the data that is available to, and used by, governments, civil society, the private sector, academia and international organizations to begin tracking progress towards the achievement of the SDGs.

This synthesis report presents the findings of six pilot case studies assessing the readiness of national data ecosystems to harness the data revolution for the implementation and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda. This assessment focuses on the legal and policy frameworks and capacities for official statistics; entry points for action and obstacles for multi-stakeholder engagement on data for SDG implementation and monitoring; innovation and new technologies for plugging data gaps; and the infrastructure requirements for improved collection, dissemination and use of data for sustainable development.

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