High-level representatives of governments, private sector, civil society, and international organizations gathered to launch the the Global Partnership on Sustainable Development Data, and discussed ways to harness the data revolution to achieve and measure the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Partnership was proposed by the UN Secretary-General's Independent Expert Advisory Group (IEAG) on a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development in late 2014.
28 September 2015: High-level representatives of governments, private sector, civil society, and international organizations gathered to launch the the Global Partnership on Sustainable Development Data, and discussed ways to harness the data revolution to achieve and measure the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Partnership was proposed by the UN Secretary-General’s Independent Expert Advisory Group (IEAG) on a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development in late 2014.
The launch event took place on 28 September 2015, in New York, US. Participants showcased data collaborations and innovations, announced new commitments, and discussed improving data use, filling data gaps, expanding data literacy and capacity, increasing openness and leveraging existing data, and mobilizing resources.
Helen Clark, UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator, said data need to be accessible, high-quality, and available to people, as well as available for the scrutiny of partners. She called for democratizing through the data revolution, and noted the need for sound data to measure SDG 16 on peaceful and inclusive societies.
Amina Mohammed, UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, underscored the need to simplify data collection, involve young people, and develop data for ensuring accountability.
Angel Gurría, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Secretary-General, expressed the OCED’s commitment to: make all OECD data free and accessible by the end of 2015; continue to strengthen the cohesion of data; work on new and innovative data dissemination tools; and continue to support developing countries’ systems.
John Pullinger, Chair of the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC), stressed the need for statisticians to be educators and build literacy, to make sure no one is left behind.
Many of the poorest people and the furthest behind are also the most invisible, said Justine Greening, UK International Development Secretary. She outlined ways for various stakeholders to contribute through data to achieving the SDGs: the private sector can share their expertise and open up data for development purposes; civil society can generate citizen data and help people use data in the public domain to hold public services and governments to account; researchers can develop new and improved data collection and analytical methods; and governments, donors and international organizations can commit to transparency and Open Data to empower citizens, invest in information systems, and modernize national statistical systems. Greening highlighted the UK’s commitment of £8 million for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) to improve the quality and availability of economic data by providing technical assistance to over 50 developing countries. She also announced that the UK will contribute an additional £16 million to the World Bank Trust Fund for Statistical Capacity Building, allowing it to fund household surveys in up to 15 countries.
Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Kenya, announced the creation of a national multi-stakeholder partnership for sustainable development aimed at informing decision making on the SDGs, said Kenya is the first country in the world to anchor the data revolution at the national level, and presented Kenya’s offer to host the first World Data Forum.
Heather Higginbottom, US Department of State, said open data are very important for governance, noting that the US Government is opening and making freely available Landsat geospatial data, which are being used to monitor water quality, deforestation rates, and disaster preparedness.
The Global Partnership on Sustainable Development Data is an alliance of corporations, foundations, civil society organizations, non-profits, and governments, working together to draw on the information and data that are increasingly available to help achieve and monitor the SDGs. After its recommendation by the IEAG, over 20 organizations became “champions” for the Partnership’s formation, including the Governments of Belgium, Kenya, Mexico, Senegal and the US, the World Bank Group, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), CIVICUS and Mastercard. [IISD RS Sources] [Global Partnership Website] [Launch Event] [US State Department Fact Sheet] [UK International Development Secretary Remarks] [UN Global Pulse] [ONE Campaign Press Release] [Development Gateway Statement] [A World that Counts: Mobilising the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development (IAEG Report)]