WEBINAR: Data for the Africa We Want: A Close Up On The African UN Data For Development Platform

The African UN Data for Development Platform is the first platform to serve as a one-stop-shop repository that captures high-quality data and evidence on the 2030 Agenda and the African Union’s (AU) 2063 Agenda from all the African countries. It is also the first of its kind to raise the profile of statistical progress towards the African Union vision – Agenda 2063. The launch of this new platform marks a milestone in actions towards the Agenda 2030 and the AU 2063 Agenda. Reliable and collective data will allow all actors to make the best possible evidence-based policy action to accelerate the SDGs, strengthen collaboration, avoid unnecessary duplication and make sure that we can address gaps, really leaving no one behind.

The ability and capacity to monitor progress and swiftly adapt resources and policies accordingly is critical for African governments to effectively implement national, regional, and global development plans. This is underpinned by the availability and use of comprehensive and timely data and evidence. With just a few years left to achieve the First Ten-Year Implementation Plan (2014-2023) of the AU’s Agenda 2063, and the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); there is an urgent demand for data and evidence to drive Africa’s development agenda. This demand has been further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, we at the Local Development Research Institute organized a webinar on the African UN Data for Development platform to explore the thinking and aspirations behind the development of the Platform and the role it will play in enhancing effective development cooperation in providing data for development in Africa. The webinar also sought to discuss issues like the importance of partnerships in fueling the use of data for development in Africa, how different stakeholders (CSOs, NSOs, and MDAs) can leverage the available data to help accelerate the achievement of Agenda 2063 and other national and international development targets. In the panel were Molla Hunegnaw, a Statistician at UNECA, and Muchiri Nyaggah, the ED at LDRI.

 Key highlights of the discussion:

 The webinar started with Molla Hunegnaw giving a breakdown of the role of the African Center for Statistics which is the statistics division of UNECA. The Center provides support to member states to improve their statistical process so they can produce timely and quality data. Core dimensions of quality data include relevance, accuracy, accessibility, interpretability, coherence, and timeliness

 The goal of the African Un Data for Development platform

 The African UN Data for Development platform is an initiative of one of the Opportunity/issue Based coalitions whose main aim was to provide a harmonized disseminating platform for social-economic data for Africa focusing mainly on SDGs and Agenda 2063 and to create a platform that acts as a response program for member states so as to removes the burden of data requests from Data producers who include but not limited to governments, UN agencies, international organizations, and non-government organizations. The platform also acts as a one-stop-shop for data and data insights for different audiences: academia, media, public, development practitioners, etc.

A Walk-through of the platform

Data provided in the platform is on SDGs, Agenda 2063, social-economic data, UN data sources. It is further classified according to different indicators, countries, sub-regions, regional economic communities, other groups such as land-locked countries, oil-producing countries, island countries, big five countries, etc. It gives the user ability to track progress and reversals based on evidence strength. The Data provided in the platform pre-dates the covid-19 pandemic and this is one of the key areas ECA will be working on updating. Looking at the way forward Molla brought attention to the integration of National Development Data on the platform, making the platform more user friendly by integrating the use of different languages and a call out for more collaboration with stakeholders in the data ecosystem to build more interoperability for the platform, create knowledge-based products and data insights that can storm research.

Data for Africa We Want -Recommendations

There is a need to be more innovative, use of data science tools and techniques, expanding the use of alternative data sources such as big data and social media data, working on policies and modification of statistical laws to make these data sources accessible, and lastly expanding the data ecosystems to smaller geographies and specialized population groups making sure no one is left behind. Collaboration among different stakeholders is key in creating the Africa we want.

Watch the full discussion: here

Access the African Un Data for Development Platform:https://ecastats.uneca.org/africaundata/