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Implications of United Nations World Data Forum for Administrative Information Systems

Agenda 2030 calls to “leave no-one behind,” an especially relevant mandate as it relates to education and SDG 4.

From 15–18 January 2017, the first United Nations World Data Forum (WDF) was held in Cape Town, South Africa. CSF gave a presentation titled Data for All: Tools for Monitoring the SDGs as a way to contribute to the  conversation around data and to highlight the importance of robust data collection practices. The talk focused on ways to support national governments and line ministries – along with their development counterparts – through the use of open-source technology applied to customizable, and loosely coupled tools for data monitoring.

Agenda 2030 calls to “leave no-one behind,” an especially relevant mandate as it relates to education and SDG 4. As of 2015, “enrolment in primary education in developing countries had reached 91 per cent, but 57 million children remain out of school”.1 The challenge lies in identifying and reaching them  This mandate comes with a challenge for those responsible for monitoring the SDGs – providing timely, accurate, and granular indicator data  to monitor progress against new targets.  These indicators are “required to ensure that the needs of the poor and most vulnerable can no longer be hidden behind ‘the average’.”2

CSF believes that the OpenEMIS initiative is well positioned to support Ministries of Education in the management of data to monitor SDG 4.

As an education management information system (EMIS), OpenEMIS provides schools with a reliable platform to collect real time, school-level data on  students and staff, while producing the required reports to the central ministry. The OpenEMIS’ architecture empowers educators and education policy-makers to leverage its tools to collect, manage and use disaggregated data for policy and planning. Comprehensive data analysis can be used to effectively implement strategies to achieve SDG4, ensuring that, indeed, no one is left behind.

Participants of the WDF agreed:  challenges exist in collecting and using disaggregated data in SDG monitoring. The Forum highlighted a very real problem: that under-resourced national statistics offices (NSOs) and their line ministry counterparts need support in order to deliver on their commitments towards SDG monitoring.  Solutions such as OpenEMIS are critical in leveraging technology to support this challenge and help duty-bearers accomplish their mandate.

For more information on the OpenEMIS initiative please visit www.OpenEMIS.org. For more information, please contact contact@openemis.org.

  1. UN Sustainable Development Fact Sheet, 2015 http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Factsheet_Summit.pdf
  2. UN World Data Forum, Newsletter Volume 1, 2017 http://undataforum.org/WorldDataForum/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/THE_UNWDF_NEWSLETTER_Vol_1.pdf