Cross -sector Data Partnerships for the SDGs: promoting inclusive and plural data ecosystems in Costa Rica, Canada, Ghana, Nepal, Philippines and the Palestinian Territories
SDG monitoring and review is key to ensuring effective planning and implementation of the 2030 Agenda in a manner that leaves no one behind. Yet, states face numerous challenges related to e.g. insufficient statistical capacity, data gaps and lack of disaggregated data. To address this problem, Partners for Review (P4R/GIZ), the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the International Civil Society Centre launched the Cross-Sector Data Partnerships initiative. It fosters the use of non-statistical data and supports six countries to build plural data ecosystems including civil society organisations, national human rights institutions, national statistics offices and SDG coordination units.
The goal is to establish sustainable cross-sector data partnerships to strengthen SDG monitoring and review through the use of alternative data, in particular citizen-generated data and human rights data. The increased use of alternative data will not only allow for better SDG reporting, but also more effective evidence-based policy making. This practice is demonstrating that a more inclusive and collaborative SDG monitoring and review is possible. Specific objectives include: -Fostering a conducive collaborative environment through relationship building -Creating an enabling environment for inclusive and plural data ecosystems -Applying a human rights-based approach to the data processes and partnerships -Supporting the identification of data gaps, key stakeholders and potential data sources -Agreeing on methodologies and quality standards for alternative data collection and use -Agreeing on joint national roadmaps for setting up the national data partnerships
The practice supports SDG monitoring and review by bringing official and alternative data sources together to enable the use of available data to fill out data gaps. By using the data produced by citizens and deriving from human rights mechanisms and institutions, governments can improve SDG plans, policies and programmes to fulfill the pledge of leaving no one behind. In addition, by fostering the Human Rights-Based Approach in the process, the initiative enables more inclusive and collaborative SDG practices in participants respective countries.
The project is currently in its first phase (Jul. 2020 – Mar. 2021), in which stakeholders of each country agree on the scope for their national collaboration and build a roadmap (process plan) with objectives, steps and roles to establish a sustained data partnership for the SDGs in their respective countries. The process started with onboarding surveys and webinar to consolidate the participating group from six countries and map entry points for the collaboration. This was followed by coaching sessions and a series of virtual workshops encompassing a mix of cross-country knowledge exchange, guided in-country discussions and technical contributions from external partners (UNSD, UNDP, UNDESA, GPSDD and P21) Participants learned from each other and received guidance on key issues such as: Identifying data gaps, key stakeholders and potential data sources; Applying a human rights-based approach to indicators and data; Agreeing on methodologies for data collection; Developing a plan for implementing the data partnership. The sessions contribute to the development of both soft and technical skills to build capacity and trust among participants from the same country and between the countries in a group. Based on the outcomes of the first phase, the second phase (expected Aug. 2021 – Jul. 2023) will consist of tailored in-country support to pilot the data partnerships in selected countries (including data collection), combined with global advocacy. The virtual format (due to Covid-19) has been cost effective. Main costs: -Professional facilitation team, focused on stakeholder engagement (2 people, app. 25.000 USD) -4 (four) staff from the lead organizations engaged throughout. The second phase will require more financial resources, for which fundraising is currently ongoing.
Outputs: -10 peer-exchange and capacity building sessions (5 per country group). -Up to 10 individual coaching sessions with each country team. -Bilateral exchange between countries Results/impact: -5 countries developed a roadmap to establish national data partnerships (e.g. the Ministry of Planning of Costa Rica is leading the development of an SDG monitoring platform with various data sources) -Better understanding and acknowledgement of the role of civil society and national human rights institutions as data providers (e.g the NHRI of Philippines was acknowledged by the NSO and civil society as key data source and convener for the monitoring of SDG 16.10) -Increased openness from statistics offices and SDG units to agree on methodologies for alternative data collection and use in national monitoring (e.g. the NSO of Palestine initiated the development of a handbook for the use of non-official data to be developed in collaboration with the NHRI, civil society and prime minister office.
Enabling factors: -the partnership between P4R/GIZ, DIHR and ICSC and the strong networks they have established; -general trends towards using alternative data and building data partnerships for SDG reporting; -strong commitment of participants to the project. Main constraint: -the online format (due to Covid-19) which challenges relationship building, particularly in cases of weak relationships between participating stakeholders within one country. On the other hand, the Covid-19 restrictions allowed for our continuous facilitation of the process over months, with multiple country-exchanges, rather than being a single in-person event.
This first phase of implementation placed strong focus on 3 key components for ensuring sustainability: (1) strengthening the relationships between partners and (2) creating a roadmap with steps, roles and responsibilities to guide the establishment of the partnerships at national level (3) creating a structure and regularity for stakeholders’ meetings. This approach, combined with technical support from organisers and external partners (including UNSD) is expected to created lasting change in the status quo of their SDG monitoring and review practice. The lessons learned and experiences from the first phase will be shared in relevant forums, including with the P4R community and at the HLPF. The second phase will also involve a global advocacy component for continuous knowledge sharing. A combined advocacy approach from key actors from government, NSOs, NHRIs, civil society and multilateral supporters is expected to send a strong signal and inspire the SDG community around the globe.
This practice (phase 1) was originally planned as a 2 day in-person workshop. Due to Covid-19, the format was shifted online, which required a complete adaptation of plans. We took advantage of this restriction to establish a 6-month process which created a regular space and structure for stakeholders to solidify their ideas for partnerships. This change demanded and resulted in stronger commitment from both organizers and participants, with impressive results. The pandemic has impacted data collection and exacerbated data gaps. It has also increased need for more specific data, particularly data generated by citizen and human rights mechanisms and institutions. We expect these partnerships to allow for better data flow to inform response and recovery actions, helping to build back better.
SDGS & Targets
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Deliverables & Timeline
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Six countries: Costa Rica, Canada, Ghana, Nepal, Philippines and the Palestinian Territories