The Addis Ababa Action Agenda stresses the importance of transparency. In the realm of data, transparency is particularly important in order to help users access the best possible data for decision-making at all levels from the household to the State. Country needs assessments for improving data capacities are important to enabling better data provision and utilisation.
The Addis Agenda specifically:
- Recognizes that greater transparency is essential and can be provided by publishing timely, comprehensive and forward-looking information on development activities in a common, open, electronic format; takes note of the International Aid Transparency Initiative
- Stresses the importance of preparing country needs assessments for the different priority areas to allow for greater transparency and efficiency by linking needs and support, in particular in developing countries
The growing role of new technologies, data sources and actors has driven the establishment and rapid growth of a vast marketplace for individual data, where data demands have dramatically increased. At the same time, there are rising concerns about the use and access to such data, as well as data privacy and security. This new and evolving data ecosystem challenges the role of official statistical systems as the predominant producers of statistics and providers of information for policymaking, and forces them to update their vision, strategy and role.
Many official statistical systems around the world have responded to changes in the data ecosystem by embarking on an ambitious modernization process, including by standardizing statistical production processes and implementing new initiatives and partnerships. They are increasingly using new big data sources and integrating geospatial and statistical data, which can strengthen monitoring of SDG implementation and provide the necessary data and analysis for evidence-based policymaking. At the international level, this work is supported by the High-level Group for the Modernisation of Official Statistics, the Global Working Group on Big Data for Official Statistics and the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management, among others.
As cities and regions around the world are increasingly using the SDGs to shape their local development strategies and plans, many have started to design and implement their own, place-specific indicators. Building on these efforts, several international groups and initiatives, including the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), have been developing localized indicator frameworks. Additional work will be required to turn such frameworks into useful policy tools, especially in the case of developing countries where data at the subnational level is particularly scarce.