Dubai Declaration adopted to measure progress of SDGs

By Kiran Pandey
Last Updated: Monday 29 October 2018

Launched at the UN World Data forum, it details measures to boost funds for data and statistical analysis for monitoring progress towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals

There is no data for two-thirds of the indicators set out in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and this makes it hard to measure the actual progress of the SDGs since their inception in 2015. This could be because 0.3 per cent of aid goes to the development of statistical systems. According to the OECD, at least $200 million per year is still needed for developing countries to collect good data, which will make it easier to measure progress.

Recognising this, the 2018 UN World Data Forum in Dubai concluded with adoption of the Dubai Declaration that detailed measures to boost funding for data and statistical analysis for monitoring and speeding up progress towards the 2030 SDGs. Aimed towards mobilising domestic and international funds and activating more effective data partnerships, this Declaration supports the implementation of the Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data .

It calls for the establishment of an innovative funding mechanism open to all stakeholders for mobilising both domestic and international funds, and to activate partnerships and funding opportunities to strengthen the capacity of national data and statistical systems. The funding mechanism will be created under the guidance of representatives of statistical systems and different data and donor communities who will support the decision-making on the operational modalities and on raising resources to address the data needs for the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Satellite data is currently being used to improve knowledge and deliver more effective programming. Hence, the Declaration also focuses on geo-spatial data and calls for supporting fundamental data collection programmes, such as the 2020 Population and Housing Census Round.

Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs said that the Declaration will help to shape the way forward to promote more and better funding for data and statistics. He said that it is now important to translate the ideas of the Declaration into action and maximise the effectiveness of funding for sustainable development data, as this is crucial to fulfil the data needs of the 2030 Agenda.

Road map to mobilise action for funding data revolution

The World Bank recognises the funding gap for high impact strategic initiatives at the global, regional and national levels, and had recently launched a Partnership Fund for the Sustainable Development Goals—known as the SDG Fund, to support the implementation of the UN SDGs by improving data and skills.

Of the 232 indicators of success under SDGs, 80 indicators, like resource and waste management are under-developed. Three months ago, the high-level forum on sustainable development held at New York, demandedan improved coordination to finance the statistical and reporting capacities too. Data is available on only 26 per cent of 85 gender indicators, revealed the first review of the status of women and girls in the Asia-Pacific region. For the world to achieve SDGs by 2030, it is imperative to ensure a means to measure, monitor and report the progress on SDGs.

Now, this global statement signed by at least 100 countries reiterates that national and worldwide political will is inevitable for the world to achieve better data outcomes for SDGs. It is expected to mobilise the data revolution for sustainable development.