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Lauren Barredo, Manager, and Achim Dobermann, Co-Chair of the Thematic Group on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, recently published an article in Rural 21. “Monitoring progress on agriculture and rural development” discusses principles for selecting indicators for the post-2015 agenda, example indicators, gaps in data collection and access, and how to build data capacity. They argue that indicators should be limited in number, clear and straightforward, allow for high-frequency reporting, consensus-based in their selection, pull from well-established data sources, disaggregated as much as possible, universal, and outcome-focused.

The article also calls on the need for a “data revolution,” saying, “a new, global information system built on the principle of open data sharing and real-time learning would help drive rural development and support achievement of the SDGs. Many data gaps (real or perceived) could be filled if existing information and methodologies were better aligned and available to all.”