Annex 1 Summary of Progress Against Recommendations from Counting on the World (2017)

Table 4: Summary of Progress Against Recommendations from Counting on the World (2017)

Pathways for Action Recommendation Lead Timeframe Progress Report
Governance & Leadership 1 Establish Chief Data Officers in all countries Office of the Deputy Secretary-General By the UN General Assembly 2018 CDOs appointed in at least 4 countries and a wide number of sub-national governments worldwide; see, for example, the Civic Analytics Network facilitated by the Harvard Kennedy School. However, there has also been a strong movement to empower Chief Statisticians to take on these functions – as in the Philippines and New Zealand – to great effect.
2a Expand the annual meeting of the UN Statistical Commission so that the official proceedings include a session for non-official data producers to showcase their data and open it up for methodological review. These sessions could be structured around individual SDGs or types of relevant data e.g. CRVS, population estimates, geospatial, or earth observation measures. UN Statistical Commission, with UN Statistics Division and the High-Level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity-Building for Statistics for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development By March 2018 More actors have been invited to participate in the thematic debates at the UN Statistical Commission and observe proceedings, with select non-governmental actors and UN agency representatives also invited to speak.
2b Expand the membership of the IAEG-SDGs to include representatives of non-governmental data producers. Non-governmental data producers regularly attend the IAEG-SDGs meetings and participate in related processes, together with international agencies. The IAEG-SDGs also launched a process on data disaggregation that is mostly formed of NGOs and other stakeholders. The first output was a report submitted at the UN Statistical Commission in 2019.
3 Establish a Heads of State-level Taskforce or High-level Panel (akin to the High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda) on the Data Revolution, including the theme of “leave no one behind” within the monitoring agenda. Office of the Deputy Secretary-General By March 2018 No actions taken; however, data is expected to be a major priority in the Secretary-General’s strategy for the 2020-2030 “Decade of Delivery.” Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, continues to chair the board of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data.
4 Establish SDG data roadmaps that articulate the functions of the National Statistical Office, Chief Data Officer, and other local data partners – including academia, private companies and non-governmental organizations – in all low-income countries without current, effective national strategies for the development of statistics and/or work to align these with SDG-related data requirements. National governments with support from the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data Completed by December 2018 Public, national SDG data roadmaps are now available in seven low-income countries as a result of strong national leadership and coordination from the UN Statistics Division and GPSDD (GPSDD 2017). More and more countries are aligning their national strategies for the development of statistics with their SDG monitoring requirements, including putting in place data exchange agreements across government. Guidance on how to produce national data roadmaps is available from the GPSDD and the Conference of European Statisticians (GPSDD 2017; UN Economic Commission for Europe 2017).
Principles & Standards 5 At the first multi-stakeholder UN Statistical Commission, agree on a set of principles as part of a new global Data Compact. Invite private companies, NGOs and research institutions to become signatories to the Compact. In signing the Compact these institutions commit to respect the principles established and to be held accountable to them at each annual meeting of the UN Statistical Commission. UNSD with the GPSDD By March 2018 No actions taken, though the UN Global Working Group on Big Data for Official Statistics continues to work on principles and methods for public-private collaboration. This should be brought to the attention of the HLG-PCCB for their action and attention.
6 Concurrent to the agreeing of principles, establish a committee to develop detailed standards to ensure data integrity across public and private actors. Mirror these processes at the national level. UN Statistical Commission By March 2018 Same as above
7 International agencies should support lower income countries / low- and middle-income countries to put in place essential data protection safeguards like data protection laws and acts. Statistical Commission, with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Ongoing Currently there is no systematic program of support but international institutions have developed some guidance notes, working papers, training programs, forums, and workshops. Examples include:
  • UN Development Group guidance note on data privacy, ethics and protection (UN Development Group 2017);
  • World Bank working paper on international data flows and privacy (World Bank 2018);
  • Training programs from the World Intellectual Property Organization (World Intellectual Property Organization 2019);
  • UN Capital Development Fund on protecting financial consumer data in developing countries (UN Capital Development Fund 2018);
  • Events on digital development and data protection from the Internet Governance Forum (Internet Governance Forum 2018)
  • 8 International agencies like the UN, World Bank, and OECD should help low-capacity countries to establish strong legal and regulatory data frameworks within which non-governmental actors should operate. National governments Ongoing The UN Statistics Division is working to assist countries on Statistical Legal Framework & use of new data sources within a joint UNSD / Department for International Development project and the UNDESA-wide project on SDG implementation. A workshop on this topic was organized by UNSD in Tanzania in June 2019.
    Technology, Innovation & Analysis 9 Instigate an annual challenge at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting or the 2019 World Data Forum on data sharing innovations from private companies. World Economic Forum and the GPSDD January 2018 No actions taken, though SDSN TReNDS, the GovLab at New York University, University of Washington, and the World Economic Forum have a joint project (Contracts for Data Collaboration) that includes developing a repository of good practices in public-private data sharing. This will be showcased at various events throughout 2019-2020.
    10 UN Statistics Division should update and identify gaps in their UN Classifications Registry to include classification systems being used by other international and large-scale epistemic communities, as well as relevant national systems, thereby making available common standards and registries for all entities looking to make their data interoperable. UN Statistical Commission March 2019 No actions taken
    11 The newly-created GPSDD working group on citizen-generated data should look to establish an inter-agency and expert group on CGD (or a “City Group”) that can help to set standards and common methods for CGD to encourage greater uptake of CGD by NSOs. The group should promote the creation of CDOs within government who can help ensure a steady stream of high-quality CGD is being fed into the national data collection process. GPSDD September 2017 No action taken, though IIASA and other partners have established two communities of practice (supported by the European Commission-funded WeObserve project) on the contribution of citizen science to the SDGs and on the interoperability and standards for citizen science which are looking to establish a comprehensive inventory of robust citizen science approaches that can be utilized for SDG reporting.
    Capacity & Resources 12 Establish a partnership between the UN Statistical Commission and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization / the Global Partnership for Education for data literacy training in schools. UNSD March 2018 No actions taken; however, PARIS21 has launched a comprehensive program on NSO leadership training and a manual on the development of national strategies for the development of statistics (PARIS21 2017; PARIS21 2018)
    13 Multilateral institutions, governments, and philanthropic donors should establish a global financing facility for statistics, which consolidates and focuses the inflow of data-related resources to capacity constrained countries and statistical systems and the production of global standards, as well as leverages private investment for SDG monitoring. GPSDD to instigate dialogue. Lead financial management institution to be identified. Initiated by early 2019 A multi-stakeholder group – the Bern Network on Financing Data for Development – has been established to investigate the feasibility of such a facility, and includes bilateral and multilateral donor representatives. Discussions are underway with the World Bank about such a coordination mechanism to better align funding for data and statistics.
    14 The GPSDD facilitates a global public-private sponsorship platform for national statistical capacity. GPSDD Launched at WEF, January 2018 No actions taken
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