Sierra Leone is taking steps to harness the data revolution for sustainable development.
In June, the country’s Right to Access Information Commission, with support from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) and Statistics Sierra Leone as well as the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, conducted a national workshop on Data Roadmaps for Sustainable Development.
And next week, Sierra Leone will be among the first countries to reveal progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals at the 2016 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, hosted July 11-20 by the United Nations in New York. Sierra Leone is one of 22 countries volunteering to present their progress toward the SDGs, which world leaders agreed on last September as part of the historic 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Sierra Leone is pursuing a multi-stakeholder and whole-of-government approach to meet an unprecedented demand for data through new technologies, data sources and methodologies.
The Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data is supporting these efforts by helping Sierra Leone connect the dots in pursuit of a comprehensive, country-led Data Roadmap for Sustainable Development.
The national workshop, which took place June 14-15 in Freetown, built on significant recent achievements by Sierra Leone, including the work of the Open Data Council and the passage of the Agenda for Prosperity. As a multi-stakeholder, whole-of-government entity, the Open Data Council promotes the use of open data across Sierra Leone. The Agenda for Prosperity provides a framework for actions that are aligned with the country’s SDG priorities.
Attending the workshop in Sierra Leone were government representatives as well as business and civil society leaders. In a series of expert presentations and spirited discussions, they shared country experiences and best practices, both local and international, and discussed:
- Alignment, collaboration and coordination, especially ways to foster a whole-of-government and multi-stakeholder approach.
- Data for impact, including ways to increase data literacy, capacity and usage.
- A vibrant data ecosystem, including ways to link open data, official statistics, administrative records, citizen-generated data, telco data and earth observation data.
- Improving data, including the collection and disaggregation of high-quality data.
- Funding, namely the provision of adequate funding and capacity to create and implement Data Roadmaps for Sustainable Development, taking into account open data in particular.
The workshop helped to crystallize near- and mid-term priorities that will inform Sierra Leone’s work in the days ahead. The Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data will continue to assist this process to ensure Sierra Leone achieves its ambitious plan to eradicate poverty and hunger, diversify its economy and ensure inclusive green growth that is beneficial to all Sierra Leoneans.