Opinion Article
Editorial from
Marta Alvarilhão
Student no 53744
July 16, 2024
16. Peace, justice and strong institutions

16. Peace, justice and strong institutions

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

17. Partnerships for the goals

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

The importance of data and statistic analysis to the achievement of the SDGs

This paper was written, by a student, as a brief discussion of one of the topics presented in the Global Impact Mindset: UN SDG Module of NOVA SBE. The importance of Data for the achievement of the SDGs is a consensual topic over demographic and organs. Decision-makers require data and statistics that are precise, timely, suitably disaggregated, pertinent, available, and simple to use to properly implement and track progress on the SDGs. Over time, both the quantity and quality of data have gradually increased. Data literacy must be improved at all levels of decision-making, and statistical competence still needs to be strengthened. The data producers and users from various data systems will need to work together on this. In order to solve the complex issues surrounding sustainable development, it will also be necessary to create new methods for producing and using data and statistics.

The disappointing side of data collection and analysis

The gathering of reliable data regarding the SDGs is hampered by a few issues. Without the resources or ability to create well-designed, contemporary procedures and systems, organizations find it difficult to search and analyse their own data. Communication of reliable information is greatly undermined by this. Unless those organizations have developed effective strategies to share data while also ensuring privacy protections, the majority of data is only accessible to the collecting organization and, in some cases, their funders. It is not, however, accessible to other researchers, academics, practitioners, or policymakers, which presents as a barrier to data collection. Additionally, gathering statistics on sustainable development takes specific consideration and care. To guarantee data integrity and confidentiality, collectors must use solid procedures.

At the same time, there is a need for standardization. Data standardization requires agreement on data standards and a common data architecture across several different governments, agencies, and organizations, each of which has its own legacy record-keeping system and directives. Even if the standardization issue could be solved, many distinct datasets that are standardized and compatible could be integrated into bigger or cross-sectional datasets, but this might still be prevented by political, administrative, and legal barriers.

To get through these institutional obstacles and combine relevant and standardized datasets into broader, more valuable databases for analysis, real data-sharing agreements must be made.

Despite the difficulties, there are organizations making substantial efforts to address these challenges and provide answers to this problem from their unique viewpoints. Collecting quality, standardized, and safe information is a tremendous task that we have not yet overcome. Some of these organisations have added useful data to their own databases to keep track of the SDGs globally.

Private and public sector congruence

Data is the decade hottest concern. The majority of new enterprises are basing their activity and development with the emphasis on collecting and obtaining additional and precise data. To get over some of the difficulties of data collection, it only makes sense to establish links with those private sector entities. It also helps to not rely just on the information provided by the governments. This is well known to be manipulated by reporting overachievements to avoid harsh punishment or negative attention, or underachievement reports are made public for the sake of funding and support. Both acts are deceiving and equally harmful to the development of the world as a hole and beats the sole purpose of the SDGs.

Having said that, a few instances of partnerships include the GSMA's "Big Data for Social Good" initiative, which uses the big data capabilities of mobile operators to address humanitarian crises, such as epidemics and natural disasters; Data for Climate Action, a competition that linked researchers across the world with data and tools from leading companies to enable data-driven climate solutions; and Data Collaboratives, a new form of collaboration beyond the public-private partnership model, in which participants from different sectors exchange their data to create public value.

Nevertheless, governments still play a significant role, and many nations are working hard to improve their capacities. For instance, Equatorial Guinea implemented an Advanced Data Planning Tool after announcing its second National Strategy for the Development of Statistics in June 2016. (ADAPT). Its goal is to make it easier for essential department heads to budget for and track development efforts, allowing them to take direct responsibility of and report on success. Similar to this, in 2016, leaders from 24 African nations' national statistics offices took part in leadership training that stressed the value of active leadership and change management.

There needs to be a clear partnership between data/poor and data/rich countries to create not only stronger and more accurate information gathering but in order to have more accurate policies in order to achieve the goals set.

Ever Changing world

Our ability to see and collect data has evolved in a world that is always changing. The idea of open data offers significant potential advantages for this important stage of SDG access. Open data is information that anybody may use, access, and alter. Open data is essential for sustainable development because it fosters greater entrepreneurship and innovation around data, which in turn drives the economy. It is crucial to combine open data and the Sustainable Development Goals rather than treating them individually.

We already have several working examples that hold out a lot of hope for addressing the data scarcity, particularly in underdeveloped nations. For instance, we may have a look at REConnect Energy in India, which analyses power generation data to forecast wind and solar power output and aid in the grid integration of renewable energy. Or the Mexican company Medii, which uses geolocation data on pharmacy locations and costs to assist customers in locating the drugs they require at a fair price.

The new normal of technology in our daily lives has also demonstrated to be a chance for information collection. For instance, emotive analysis published on social media can better represent the public opinion on governance, public services, and human rights to provide data for the SDG 16, Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions. In terms of SDG 12, "Responsible Consumption and Production", we may evaluate it using internet search trends or e-commerce transactions to see how quickly the market is moving toward energy-efficient items. A final example would be the examination of financial transactions can show spending habits and the effects of economic shocks on men and women in relation to SDG 5, gender equality.


See what is happening in this sector as a portrait of what should be happening overall. There are continuous improvements and change, either necessary due to the ever-changing world we live in or caused by the motivation to improve. We can also report on the importance of the private sector, the public sector and the individuals working together with a same clear goal. Such mentioned gains or modifications were made possible by the collective effort and dependence on one another.


(UN, 2023)

(Bank, 2023)

(Acosta, 2020)

(Narain, 2017)

(UN, The Sustainable Develepment Goals Report, 2017)

(UN, The Sustainable Development Goals Report, 2022)

Marta Alvarilhão
Student no 53744

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