Harnessing the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development

US State Department Fact Sheet on “U.S. Government Commitments and Collaboration with the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data”: “On September 27, 2015, the member states of the United Nations agreed to a set of Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals) that define a common agenda to achieve inclusive growth, end poverty, and protect the environment by 2030. The Global Goals build on tremendous development gains made over the past decade, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, and set actionable steps with measureable indicators to drive progress. The availability and use of high quality data is essential to measuring and achieving the Global Goals. By harnessing the power of technology, mobilizing new and open data sources, and partnering across sectors, we will achieve these goals faster and make their progress more transparent.

Harnessing the data revolution is a critical enabler of the global goals—not only to monitor progress, but also to inclusively engage stakeholders at all levels – local, regional, national, global—to advance evidence-based policies and programs to reach those who need it most. Data can show us where girls are at greatest risk of violence so we can better prevent it; where forests are being destroyed in real-time so we can protect them; and where HIV/AIDS is enduring so we can focus our efforts and finish the fight. Data can catalyze private investment; build modern and inclusive economies; and support transparent and effective investment of resources for social good…..

The Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (Global Data Partnership), launched on the sidelines of the 70th United Nations General Assembly, is mobilizing a range of data producers and users—including governments, companies, civil society, data scientists, and international organizations—to harness the data revolution to achieve and measure the Global Goals. Working together, signatories to the Global Data Partnership will address the barriers to accessing and using development data, delivering outcomes that no single stakeholder can achieve working alone….The United States, through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), is joining a consortium of funders to seed this initiative. The U.S. Government has many initiatives that are harnessing the data revolution for impact domestically and internationally. Highlights of our international efforts are found below:

Health and Gender

Country Data Collaboratives for Local Impact – PEPFAR and the Millennium Challenge Corporation(MCC) are partnering to invest $21.8 million in Country Data Collaboratives for Local Impact in sub-Saharan Africa that will use data on HIV/AIDS, global health, gender equality, and economic growth to improve programs and policies. Initially, the Country Data Collaboratives will align with and support the objectives of DREAMS, a PEPFAR, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Girl Effect partnership to reduce new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in high-burden areas.

Measurement and Accountability for Results in Health (MA4Health) Collaborative – USAID is partnering with the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and over 20 other agencies, countries, and civil society organizations to establish the MA4Health Collaborative, a multi-stakeholder partnership focused on reducing fragmentation and better aligning support to country health-system performance and accountability. The Collaborative will provide a vehicle to strengthen country-led health information platforms and accountability systems by improving data and increasing capacity for better decision-making; facilitating greater technical collaboration and joint investments; and developing international standards and tools for better information and accountability. In September 2015, partners agreed to a set of common strategic and operational principles, including a strong focus on 3–4 pathfinder countries where all partners will initially come together to support country-led monitoring and accountability platforms. Global actions will focus on promoting open data, establishing common norms and standards, and monitoring progress on data and accountability for the Global Goals. A more detailed operational plan will be developed through the end of the year, and implementation will start on January 1, 2016.

Data2X: Closing the Gender GapData2X is a platform for partners to work together to identify innovative sources of data, including “big data,” that can provide an evidence base to guide development policy and investment on gender data. As part of its commitment to Data2X—an initiative of the United Nations Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Clinton Foundation, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—PEPFAR and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) are working with partners to sponsor an open data challenge to incentivize the use of gender data to improve gender policy and practice….(More)”

See also: Data matters: the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data. Speech by UK International Development Secretary Justine Greening at the launch of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data.