It is now well understood that the data required to implement and monitor the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cannot be satisfied through traditional surveys and censuses alone. Besides new data sources like satellite and mobile data, one of the most promising data sources for the SDGs is administrative data – the routine data collected by governments and service providers in the course of their day-to-day business.

When we register the birth of a child, purchase property and register the title, seek medical services, enroll our kids in school, complete customs forms at the border, and file our taxes, we are generating administrative records. Buried in these bureaucratic records is a tremendous opportunity to extract insights that are timelier and more granular than other traditional data sources. Administrative data can also be more cost effective and sustainable because it is part of an existing and recurrent business process rather than stand-alone data collection exercises, which often cost millions of dollars.

Our partners are eager to make administrative data more accessible and usable for the SDGs. They have identified a range of priorities, including improving administrative data quality and capacity, strengthening the legal and regulatory environment for data sharing, and developing the tools and processes for joining up administrative data sources with each other and other sources of data.

This workstream on administrative data will help our partners address these challenges. Knowing that administrative data is very broad, with many issues at play, our first focus will be on better understanding the demand from country partners. Working closely with our key partner in Latin America, CEPEI, we will dig into partners’ experiences and challenges to understand where they see the biggest gaps. An early focus will be on fostering peer-to-peer learning across countries and across regions. We will also work to connect country partners to expertise across the Global Partnership's network.

As always, our aim will be to identify gaps or areas where good work can be joined up or scaled through new collaborations, and where the Global Partnership can facilitate solutions that respond to a clear demand and lead to increased data use for decision-making. Like our work on interoperability, citizen-generated data, and satellite data, we will aim to build a community of partners who believe they can achieve more together than working alone.

An example of progress from our partnership with Statistics Canada (StatCan):

Support in the development of the Statistics Business Register: Technical Assistance between Statistics Canada and INEC Costa Rica

Following the initiation of a national data roadmaps process in Costa Rica in 2018, there was a request by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INEC) for a consultative mission to Costa Rica by experts to offer technical assistance (TA) in the development of a Statistical Business Register (SBR) using administrative data.

The TA is split into two:

Completed in 2019: INEC developed a proposal outlining the need for the SBR and a draft TOR outlining the scope of the TA which was presented to StatCan for review and feedback on the RUE development by StatCan Register Division experts. This was the basis for a co-creation process between INECI, Cepei, GPSDD, and StatCan in developing the scope for the TA.

Ongoing in 2020: To increase the technical capacity of the INEC team in charge of designing and executing the Register of Economic Units (RUE). This phase focused on the identification of experts within StatCan to provide the TA and the development of a four-day comprehensive program for an in-country mission to Costa Rica by the experts to offer the TA. The four-day program covering a broad range of topics and practical hands-on exercises has been reviewed and approved by INECI, but the in-country mission has now been unfortunately postponed until further notice because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the meantime, together with all the partners this will now constitute some virtual preparatory work.

StatCan will also offer some advice on strategies for managing the statistical frame for social statistics and methods that can be used to integrate population records with the SBR.


Contributing Partners

CEPEI - Knowledge factory for the world we deserve
CEPEI aims to increase regional dialogue and information sharing, provide policy solutions, and insights on critical strategic areas so as to optimize the engagement in: governance, finance, and data for sustainable development.