Remarks by Ms Beate Trankmann on Using Data to Strengthen Governance Systems at UN World Data Forum
April 25, 2023
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to welcome you to this session on the theme of “Building the evidence to rebuild trust in governance systems."
UNDP is pleased to co-organize this session with Statistics Norway; Statistics Canada; the Department of Justice Canada; the Presidency of the Government of Tunisia, and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).
Today’s topic has particular resonance in our current global context where we see an erosion of trust in governance systems, at precisely the time when we need such systems to help address the multiple crises the world is facing.
Indeed, at UNDP, through our work with national counterparts across 170 countries to advance sustainable development, we understand that addressing governance challenges and improving governance systems is critical to bring about transformative changes that have tangible results on people’s lives.
In order to rebuild trust in these systems, we need credible and reliable data on what is working, what is effective, and what is not. All stakeholders including policy makers, development practitioners, and researchers, require statistics to inform our decisions and optimize the use of our already stretched existing resources.
While better data does not automatically lead to better governance systems, improved statistics can be one of the tools used to strengthen transparency and accountability to the public, which in turn can lead to greater public confidence and better policy implementation.
Since the 2000s, we have seen significant momentum in the field of governance statistics at the national and global levels.
In particular, the adoption of the SDGs in 2015 led to a remarkable increase in data availability. With SDG 16 on peace, justice and inclusive institutions, we have gone from having barely any comparative governance data available at all, to currently 39.8% of countries producing stats for at least one indicator. In addition, the SDG 16 Survey is a well-tested tool that countries can use to measure progress on SDG 16 indicators.
Globally, we also see the development of new international standards and guidelines defining governance statistics and its various dimensions including citizen participation, transparency and accountability, rule of law and human rights.
In the upcoming presentations, we will hear country experiences from Canada, Norway, and Tunisia in leveraging statistics to better understand local governance realities and progress on SDG16 – which in turn have also contributed to defining international standards and tools.
We will also hear from IIASA, on their work in developing tools and methodologies for measuring governance responsiveness and satisfaction with public services through citizen-generated data.
Globally at UNDP, we stand ready to continue supporting efforts to develop comprehensive governance statistics and to link them with effective policy making, to advance sustainable development outcomes.
In closing, let me take this opportunity to thank all colleagues presenting today and encourage you to exchange your experiences.
Together, we can leverage data and statistics to strengthen trust in governance systems, and ultimately realise the vision of the SDGs to create a sustainable future for everyone, everywhere.
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