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Recap: UN SDG Summit

The SDG Summit marks the midpoint of the 2030 Agenda and is intended to herald a new phase of accelerated progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Digital technologies are essential for this, as Secretary General of the United Nations, Guterres has repeatedly emphasized. In this backdrop, and on the sidelines of the SDG summit, UNDP, together with UN Office of South South Cooperation (UNOSSC) and GIZ on behalf of Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) hosted the panel Data-Informed Policymaking: A Catalyst for SDGs. The panel stressed on the importance of data-informed policymaking together with the launch of the Data to Policy Navigator, a tool developed by UNDP and GIZ that caters to policymakers needs in systematically integrating data in their decision making processes.

Through data-driven and data-informed decision-making, governments can develop more efficient, sustainable, and inclusive policies across all sectors. To this end, UNDP’s Digital Office, in collaboration with GIZ, has developed the Data to Policy Navigator – a global resource, specifically designed for government officials with limited prior data science knowledge and experience. It aims to give policymakers the know-how to systematically integrate new data sources into their decision-making and policy development processes, as well as provides specific use cases or practical resources to learn from.

Top-line Messages of the panel:

  • The recent surge in data puts more power into the hands of people and policymakers as they work to achieve the SDGs.
  • Yet, limited access, resources, tech know-how, and complex governance hinder policymakers around the world from using new data.
  • The biggest challenges lie not in technical aspects but in changing the data culture. A strong data culture entails a high level of political will to listen to evidence, a mainstreamed understanding of using data by default, and clear roles and responsibilities for all steps along the data value chain.
  • In this ever-changing data landscape, the private sector is also up against learning curves.
  • Initiatives like the Data to Policy Navigator Tool and Data to Policy Network are pivotal in breaking past the data culture roadblocks. These tools are tailored for mid and senior-level government executives, the data consumers, rather than the data producers, like the data experts in National Statistics Offices.

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