The SDG Local Data Action Solutions Initiative (LDA-SI) is a crossover project between the USA-Sustainable Cities Initiative (USA-SCI) and the Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics (TReNDS). Upon the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals by 193 countries in September 2015, a clear consensus emerged that data would play a key role in measuring- and achieving – progress towards the goals. Stakeholders from across national governments, private sector corporations, and civil society groups have mobilized to this effect. And now, almost two years into the agenda, the importance of supporting local action in this global data effort is becoming even more apparent. And experience is showing that local SDG data and monitoring initiatives provide a platform for broad stakeholder engagement that, in effect, promotes more relevant, effective and inclusive SDG implementation.
In SDSN’s sub-national SDG implementation efforts, including USA-SCI, experience has proven the importance of data and monitoring activities for providing structure to local strategies for target achievement. Experience has also shown that these data and monitoring activities need to consider stakeholders – both as data providers and as data users – to ensure these tools are locally relevant, and useful in the quest to achieve SDG targets. As momentum for sub-national SDG implementation increases, new local entities (cities, counties, states and provinces) are joining the global effort and are seeking guidance on how to build locally-appropriate, effective data solutions.
LDA-SI focuses in on a primary objective: promoting sound, replicable technical methods for sub-national SDG monitoring that facilitate local action in support of the “leave no one behind” principle (LNOB). This objective will be achieved by harnessing knowledge from actual local experiences, and will use these to generate technical guidance and inform a learning exchange. The SI convenes practical know-how of sound SDG data localization, beginning with a bedrock of technical and process-oriented learning from first-mover cities, metropolitan areas and regions as they adapt the SDG framework locally. It will serve as the living library for case studies and technical knowledge developed in consultation with implementing stakeholders, including city staff, stakeholders and their technical partners. Through LDA-SI, SDSN aims to contribute to SDG data and localization communities as a learning partner on sub-national data and monitoring.
Building a Virtual Library of Sub-national SDG Data Tools and Guidance
As momentum for new local efforts expands, actors are seeking more guidance on the “how to” of SDG localization. Straddling two work streams at SDSN, LDA-SI documents and promotes sub-national SDG data models and methods to provide “blueprints” and case study lessons that can be applied in other sub-national initiatives. As part of this, LDA-SI is building a library of case studies, tools and technical guidance that document and support sub-national SDG data and monitoring efforts.
This LDA-SI library will feature a selection of LDA-SI knowledge briefs that document methodological lessons and innovative data tools so that these can be transferred and adapted to support local SDG achievement strategies around the world. New knowledge briefs, prepared in 2018, will also include information on how local data activities improve stakeholder representation and engagement, both in their outputs and in their process.
A series of briefs that were prepared in Summer/Fall of 2017 are listed below. In an endeavor to expand this online library resource, the LDA-SI team is looking for briefs and resources to add to the collection. The team welcomes all suggestions and contributions – please email your ideas to: firstname.lastname@example.org. LDA-SI will also provide a limited number of micro grants to promote knowledge on innovative sub-national SDG data solutions. More information on the micro grant opportunity, which is currently accepting applications, can be found here.
United States of America
Bay Area/ San Jose, California:
Data Tools for the California Bay Area: Actionable Intelligence for Cities to Support SDG Achievement