Data for Development

DAP - Vol 11, Issue 1: Data for Development

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Data for Development

April 16, 2024

Data for Risk-Informed Policymaking in Pakistan

The definition of ‘data’ will differ from country to country, context to context and even individual to individual. Even more so, what data is and what it can do changes so rapidly that it can be hard to grasp and to use it to its full potential. Whether we conceive of data as artificial intelligence, pursue a more traditional approach of data-as-surveys, or use technology-heavy methods derived from the use of drones or geospatial mapping – the benefits of using data for evidence-based analysis, policy- and decision-making are undeniable.

It is also important to consider the timeframe which data is assessing, whether it is data for a retrospective review and lessons learned, data for today’s decision-making imperatives, or data for the future (forecasting, early warning, etc.).  From a development lens, all three timeframes are critical and useful.

With only six years left for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, there is no doubt that we need to collectively improve our practice, our effectiveness, and significantly scale-up our ambition. The 2024 UNDP Human Development Report highlights dramatically rising inequalities between the wealthiest nations and the poorer ones, a dynamic that risks becoming permanent and that will be accelerated by the effects of climate change. This is particularly true for Pakistan where the development trajectory has remained modest at best. The Pakistan 2023 SDG Insights Report showed the country to be on track to achieve only 35 out of 169 SDG targets. UNDP’s latest Human Development Index ranking shows Pakistan at 164 out of 192 countries, in the ‘low development’ category.

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