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Data to Unlock Transformative Changes

There has been a significant improvement in the accessibility of data across borders, as exemplified by the global SDG database now comprising 225 indicators, displaying a remarkable increase from 115 in 2016. However, geographic coverage, timeliness, and disaggregation continue to be concerning issues. Less than half of the 193 nations or areas have globally comparable statistics since 2015, particularly for numerous cross-cutting goals such as climate action, gender equality, peace, justice, and strong institutions. This fact serves as a reminder that we must prioritize the acquisition of crucial information on these important topics that have a tremendous impact on our path toward sustainable development.


Data is essential for shaping policies and bringing about transformative change. Although the SDG data standards have empowered many national statistics offices (NSOs) to enhance coordination within their national statistical systems, it is vital to recognize that approximately 74% of NSOs in low- and lower-middle-income countries still need improvement. Determining the top three obstacles to attain better coordination, there appears a lack of incentives for more effective data sharing, inadequate institutional procedures to facilitate the integration of all systems, and insufficient channels for comprehensive information sharing.


The three main drivers to leverage data monitoring include partnerships, accessibility, and investment in data improvement. To further expand data monitoring efforts for the SDGs, it is critical to foster partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders, both domestically and abroad, entailing the public and private sectors, academia, commercial industries, and civil society organizations. For instance, to strengthen data action plans for each of the 17 SDGs, Brazil established a National Commission for the SDGs, which successfully incorporated numerous stakeholders and the nation's NSO. Secondly, to maximize GREATer influence of data, it is imperative to increase openness, accessibility, and effective utilization. The sharing of microdata, which enables in-depth analysis by researchers, promotes transparency, accountability, and collaboration, thereby becoming a notable step in elevating the value of existing data gathering. Lastly, supporting a strategy for both people and the environment requires investments in improved data. Nations with low and middle incomes must urgently and consistently escalate the volume and scope of investments in data and statistics from the public, private, and philanthropic sectors. These investments are pivotal in bolstering statistical capacity, filling data gaps for vulnerable groups, reinforcing country resilience in the face of economic crises, conflicts, and climate change, while subsidizing the efforts for growing food insecurity. . Gaining more up-to-date and thorough data can assist in creating effective policies to address global problems and accomplish sustainability goals. To progress with sustainability initiatives, increasing openness, fostering GREATer cooperation, and investing in the enhancement of data stand as crucial steps that will pave the way for collective endeavors to enable significant strides toward a sustainable future.

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