Harnessing the Data Revolution for Development: Issues in the Design and Monitoring of SDG Indicators

A Side Event at the Cartagena Data Festival
April 21, 2015
11.30‐13.00, Training Room 2


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In September 2015, Member States will agree upon the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to guide national development and drive international cooperation. By the date of the Cartagena Data Festival, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and their related targets will be close to final. In contrast, substantive discussions and work on the precise form of the indicators and of their monitoring processes will still be ongoing.

The UN Statistical Commission and IGN have recommended the creation of a multi-stakeholder process, via an Inter-Agency Expert Group (IEAG‐SDG), to devise indicators for SDG monitoring. The IAEG will meet for the first time on June 1, 2015, and culminate their deliberations in March 2016, at the 47th Statistical Commission.

Event overview

On April 21, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) will convene a side event at the Cartagena Data Festival with aims to contribute to the discussions of the IAEG­‐SDG. Indeed, if the post‐2015 Data Revolution is to fully deliver on its promises, several technical issues related to the feasibility of monitoring and measuring the SDG indicators must be considered and addressed. Key questions for discussion will include:

What should be the guiding principles for SDG indicator design?

What levels of disaggregation are possible for the production of high‐quality indicators, as implied by the “leave no one behind” principle?

What are the core sources of data for SDG monitoring? How do we modernize tools to produce higher quality, comparable data, and to reconcile disparate estimates from different sources?

The participants in this roundtable dialogue include:

Shaida Baidee (Open Data Watch – Moderator)
Bruce Campbell (UNFPA)
Claire Melamed (ODI)
Haishan Fu (World Bank)
Jenna Slotin (UN Foundation)
Johannes Jutting (PARIS21)
Lina Castro (Phillippine Statistics Authority)
Pali Lehotra (Statistics South Africa)
Sam Clark (University of Washington)
Stephane Helleringer (Johns Hopkins University)
and co-hosts Thomas Le Grand (IUSSP) and Jessica Espey (SDSN)

Panelists will briefly respond to the key questions highlighted above, drawing upon knowledge and expertise from their relevant sectors. The roundtable dialogue will last for a maximum of 40 minutes, followed by a Q&A. The conclusions of this event will be summarized in a brief policy note to be shared with the IAEG­‐SDG, which will be responsible for crafting the SDG indicator set between June 1, 2015 – March, 2016. For more information about this event, please contact Jessica Espey (SDSN) or Tom LeGrand (IUSSP).