In the sustainable development field, there is an unrealized opportunity to extract far more value from the vast quantities of data that exist. Interoperability, the ability to join up data from different sources in a standardized and contextualized way, is about more than just the form and structure of data. It is also about solving problems in a joined-up way. 

This document is an introductory note to Interoperability: A practitioner’s guide to joining-up data in the development sector. Its purpose is to introduce the concepts discussed in the Guide and to highlight how a systemic approach to handling data interoperability issues can support both the achievement and monitoring of the SDGs. The guide launched during the UN World Data Forum in Dubai on 22 October 2018.