MIL-OSI Asia-Pac: More Inclusive Means More Complete: Report Shares Findings on SDG Data Partnerships


Source: Small Island Developing States

Partners for Review, the Danish Institute for Human Rights, and the International Civil Society Centre have published a report of lessons learned and recommendations from their initiative on inclusive SDG data partnerships. The report was launched at a side event during the 2021 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

The authors note that national monitoring and reporting on SDG implementation still largely rely on official sources of data, leaving many elements of the SDGs “obscure.” Data ecosystems that include all relevant stakeholders – and improve the use of data from civil society and human rights institutions, in particular – could help fill information gaps and build a “data-oriented monitoring and reporting culture.” This is particularly relevant as countries strive to build forward better from the Covid-19 pandemic.   

The Inclusive SDG Data Partnerships initiative aims to strengthen multi-actor data ecosystems at the national level, and advance data partnerships for the SDGs. The first part of the initiative took place between October 2020 and March 2021, and the report shares the key findings from that work. The report finds that bringing together official and non-official data sources helps to better understand the local context and identify locally rooted drivers of marginalization. It also helps to reflect and track these insights in the national SDG strategy.

The authors also found that partnerships are more effective when they: leverage and amplify existing resources and initiatives; involve key actors from the beginning; establish a common goal and a clear outcome; agree on roles that match actors’ interest and capacities; exchange knowledge; and use the native language in multilingual environments

To facilitate inclusive SDG partnerships, the report suggests:

  • Reduce complexity to ensure everyone can understand;
  • Create a roadmap for the process, but remain flexible to adapt to groups’ needs;
  • Provide space for group members to discuss openly and listen to each other;
  • Offer support for troubleshooting; and
  • Combine virtual and physical meetings.

At the launch event on 8 July 2021, the three conveners of the partnership shared experiences with the project and participants discussed efforts in six countries to establish cross-sector data collaborations: Costa Rica, Canada, Ghana, Nepal, Philippines, and the Palestinian Territories. During the side event, the members of each break-out group selected one SDG to work on together within a data partnership. [Publication: Lessons learned report: Advancing Inclusive SDG Data Partnerships]

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