The discussion on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has renewed interest in strengthening the quality and availability of statistics for management, program design and monitoring performance. The Financing for Development Summit in July 2015 presents a crucial opportunity to make the case for increased investments in development data, but to do so the statistical community need to agree upon a robust estimate of resource needs.
Data for Development: A Needs Assessment for SDG Monitoring and Capacity Development, prepared by a broad coalition of data for development experts convened by SDSN, attempts to respond to that challenge. “Data for Development: A Needs Assessment for SDG Monitoring and Statistical Capacity Development” estimates that the IDA-eligible countries will need to spend $1 billion a year to upgrade their statistical systems and carry out regular data collection for the SDGs. Donors must maintain current contributions to statistics, of approximately US$300 million per annum, and go further, leveraging US$100-200 million more in Official Development Assistance (ODA) to support country efforts. For their part, recipient countries must commit to fill the gap, mobilizing domestic resources behind clear national strategies for the development of statistics (NSDSs).
Both donors and recipient countries must look to join the data revolution. The unprecedented rate of innovation in data collection techniques and technologies and the capacity to distribute data widely and freely has expanded the horizon of possibility. The adoption of the SDGs presents a strategic opportunity to realize the data revolution and demonstrate the centrality of data for development.