Established in 2015 as an initiative of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), SDSN TReNDS is a research network composed of experts from across the global scientific, development, public, and private sector data communities who contribute to better evidence-based decisions for policy making. These experts come from disparate communities, sectors, and institutions in recognition that development decisions require data and evidence developed through multi-jurisdictional collaborations.
TReNDS produces timely, multi-sectoral, and meaningful research and resources to inform the production and use of data for sustainable development, pilots these cutting-edge approaches to countries worldwide, with a focus on the Global South, supports countries with technical expertise with an aim towards fostering replicable solutions, and facilitates connections between local and global data actors, governments, and academics to empower and capacitate them to navigate new data sources and methods to improve development outcomes.
Priorities as a partner of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data
SDSN TReNDS will continue to actively engage with and draw from the GPSDD's wide-ranging network for peer-to-peer learning and cross-sector exchange. Additionally, TReNDS plans to continue its role as a core partner alongside the GPSDD, the World Bank, and the UN Statistics Division in the Data For Now initiative, working to enhance countries' access to the right tools and knowledge to produce more timely data to inform decision-making.
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Getting Started with the Sustainable Development Goals
WHO IS THIS GUIDE FOR?
This guide has been written primarily for:
- SDSN member institutions, notably universities
- Businesses trying to get oriented around the SDGs
- National and local policy makers responsible for thinking through the implementation of the SDG agenda
- Citizens and civic groups
To track the 17 SDGs, each country will need to reflect on its own starting points to determine how to best implement the SDG agenda. With limited resources, countries must determine which of the 229 indicators of the 169 targets should be prioritized for implementation. The SDG Guide offers helps governments at the national, subnational and sectoral levels begin the process of operationalizing and achieving the SDGs.
The SDG Guide focuses on the first steps towards implementing the SDGs. The guide is intended to support multi-stakeholder discussions on achieving the SDGs within a broad range of contexts. SDSNs at national and regional levels will help to initiate these discussions and mobilize knowledge institutions, such as universities, to offer support.
For further information about the SDG Guide, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tool 3: Questionnaire
Once all questions are answered, countries should be able to identify gaps that need to be filled to conform to global best practices, thus enabling them to best determine where to invest to build capacity for better SDG monitoring. For example, if the question “Did your country conduct a population and housing census in the past 20 years?” prompts an affirmative answer but the following question, “How many censuses were conducted in the past 20 years?” receives the answer "ONE," then a country is able to identify that more capacity needs to be built nationally to conduct a population and housing census every 10 years (as per the guidelines in the data matrix).
The Questionnaire is meant to be further refined in partnership with national statistical offices and other data stakeholders.
Minimum Essential Data Package
The first tool is a matrix that identifies and tabulates internationally accepted data sources relevant for the broad range of development that is targeted via the SDGs, in addition to making note of any international standards and best practices associated with each statistical package. The tool is informed by past recommendations (see "Key Resources" section below) as well as additional in-depth research into various data collection methods.
The second tool is a Common Template that allows multi-sector stakeholders at the country level to identify data gaps and construct data baselines specific to each country. It is built based on the Essential Minimum Data Package. In the template, each row is exactly the same as the corresponding row in the Essential Minimum Data Package, while the columns incorporate some of the key questions about each data source included in the questionnaire.
The third tool is a set of questions meant to help countries — national statistical offices (NSOs) and other government agencies, working in partnership with the broader data community, including civil society, academia/research institutions, media and private companies, with support from the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data — to assess their current data capacity and determine areas where investments need to be made for a more efficient monitoring system, based on identified global standards.
Monitoring the 2030 Agenda would require substantive improvements in national statistical capacities. The necessity for stronger and more systematic collection of administrative data to improve government performance and encourage evidence based decision making is unquestionable. Consistent and timely collection of quality data on the varied dimensions of sustainable development requires a thorough evaluation of the existing data systems in a country, and knowledge of globally accepted data collection best practices so that data gaps can be bridged through smart investments.
In light of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it is crucial to develop geospatial and environmental data systems and monitoring programs. Additionally, SDSN would like to point out new innovations in data systems and data sources that have emerged with advances in technology, such as satellite data, remote sensing, drones (UAVs), crowdsourcing, social media data, mobile phone data, web data and others that offer opportunities to collect data in more efficient, frequent and cost-effective ways, to be used as complements to official statistical data collection instruments and as substitutes in extreme data-constrained environments.
- Bubb, P.J., Butchart, S.H.M., Collen, B., Dublin, H., Kapos, V., Pollock, C., Stuart, S. N., Vié, J C. (2009). IUCN Red List Index Guidance for National and Regional Use. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.
- Data Revolution Group (2014), A World That Counts: Mobilizing the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development.
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2015), Guidelines on International Classifications for Agricultural Statistics.
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2015), World Programme for the Census of Agriculture 2020.
- Global Strategy (2014), Assessing Country Capacity to Produce Agricultural and Rural Statistics.
- International Conference on Agricultural Statistics VI (2013) – Proceedings, Improving Statistics for Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture, and Rural Development. Linking Statistics with Decision Making.
- Paris21 (2013), Towards a Post 2015 Framework that Counts: Developing National Statistical Capacity.
- Paris21 Task Force on Improved Statistical Support for Monitoring Development Goals, Household Surveys and the Millennium Development Goals.
- Sustainable Development Solutions Network (2015), Data for Development: A Needs Assessment for SDG Monitoring and Statistical Capacity Development.
- Sustainable Development Solutions Network (2015), Indicators and a Monitoring Framework for the Sustainable Development Goals: Launching a Data Revolution.
- The World Bank (2000), Designing Household Survey Questionnaires for Developing Countries: Lessons from 15 Years of the Living Standards Measurement Study.
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (2003), Information Tools for the Preparation and Monitoring of Education Plans.
- United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (2013), Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction.
- United Nations Statistics Division – DESA (2005), Household Sample Surveys in Developing and Transition Countries.
- United Nations Statistics Division – DESA (2008), Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses – Revision 2.
- United Nations Statistics Division – DESA (2010), Manual on Statistics of International Trade in Services 2010.
- United Nations Statistics DivisionDESA (2010), Economic Census: Challenges and Good Practices.
- USAID (2006), Guide to DHS Statistics: Demographic and Health Surveys Methodology.
- World Bank Group|World Health Organization (2014), Global Civil Registration and Vital Statistics: Scaling up Investment Plan 20152024.
- World Health Organization (2004), Developing Health Management Information Systems: A Practical Guide for Developing Countries