17 August 2017
Deadline for Proposals on Innovative Data Project Approaches, HLPF Event Address Data for SDGs
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Proposals for ‘Collaborative Data Innovations for Sustainable Development’ must be submitted by 1 September 2017.

At a related HLPF side event, speakers discussed the need to build capacity for the data requirements of the 2030 Agenda.

August 2017: The Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD) in partnership with the World Bank announced that it would approve funding for up to US$2.5 million on ‘Collaborative Data Innovations for Sustainable Development.’ The Partnership announced the funding during the 2017 session of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

The initiative seeks proposals focused on the availability and use of data under two themes: ‘Leave No One Behind’ and the environment. The funding is supported by the World Bank’s Trust Fund for Statistical Capacity Building with financing from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Government of the Republic of Korea and Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Proposals must be submitted by 1 September 2017. [Innovation Fund webpage]

At a related HLPF side event on 14 July 2017, on the theme, ‘Making Statistics Work for Sustainable Development,’ Johannes Jutting, Manager of PARIS21, stressed the need to build capacity for the data requirements of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Claire Melamed, Executive Director, GPSDD, highlighted that large amounts of data are needed to both monitor and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and said her organization is trying to bring parts of the data ecosystem together with the involvement of several hundred partners. She emphasized that the success of capacity building and resources depends on the political context and governments that want to use data for decision making.

Rosemarie Edillon, Undersecretary, National Development Office, the Philippines, stressed five factors for an enabling environment: an academic focus; data heavy national planning; budgeting that relies on performance-based budgeting; readiness of the statistical authority to operate efficiently; and a private sector that generates a great deal of data.

Christoph Lang, Senior Advisor, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, emphasized the importance of the political framework and said that in addition to pursuing training and employment programs, there needs to be a focus on developing skills for which there is a demand.

Katinka Weinberger, Chief, Environment and Development Policy, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific (ESCAP), noted that, while it is important to understand cross sectoral interlinkages, a paradigm shift is needed on the data side as well, with increased knowledge about where to source data and to analyze and use data.

Serge Kapto, UNDP, called for moving from a data revolution to a capacity revolution.

Serge Kapto, Policy Specialist, Data for Development, UN Development Programme (UNDP), emphasized the need to move from a data revolution to a capacity revolution. He noted the need for a systems approach and for not addressing statistical capacity in isolation, which he said means addressing basic education within a country when also addressing data capacity.

Davis Adieno, Senior Advisor, Data, Accountability and Sustainable Development, Civicus, stressed the need for capacity development for civil society organizations and for thinking beyond the traditional ways of delivering capacity building. He suggested developing training programs jointly with the trainees, to ensure that the program corresponds to their needs.

During the discussion, participants noted the need for UN agencies to coordinate training with other UN agencies, given that many organizations are focused on a limited number of SDGs. One speaker emphasized the need to focus on creating effective institutions at the national level. Another speaker highlighted the value of building capacity to gather and make use of case studies and other qualitative data.

Stefan Schweinfest, Director, UN Statistics Division, closed the side event, emphasizing that the discussion on data has evolved in the last three years. He said the data field is developing a culture of communication and there is a greater understanding of the need to prioritize. [Event webpage] [IISD Sources]

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