Harnessing the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development: The U.S. Government and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data
Harnessing the data revolution is a critical enabler for driving action to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals) by 2030, through ensuring data-driven decision-making, evidence-based policies, and mutual accountability for programs and investments. The United States is a leader in harnessing the data revolution for sustainable development. Domestically, the United States is launching innovative approaches for data collection and dissemination:
- In September 2016, the United States began reporting national metadata and statistics for Global Goals indicators using the U.S. National Reporting Platform at http://sdg.data.gov. Featuring interoperable metadata formats, public accessibility, and a user friendly design, the platform hosts official statistics from multiple federal sources, including, as appropriate, nontraditional data sources. The platform will inform efforts to use data to achieve and monitor the Global Goals. The platform uses open source technology and will be available for adaptation by other countries.
- Through an update of the Third Open Government Partnership National Action Plan for the United States, released on September 20, 2016, the United States has committed to develop a U.S. government Global Goals Data Revolution Roadmap through an open process that engages citizen, non-governmental, and private sector stakeholders. The Roadmap will chart the course to fill data gaps and build capacity for data-driven decision-making.
The United States is a founding member of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (Global Partnership), a multi-stakeholder network of more than 150 data champions working to galvanize collaboration and innovation in today’s booming data ecosystems. Launched in September 2015, the Global Partnership aims to broaden the collection, analysis, use, and release of data to achieve and measure the Global Goals. The U.S. Government, through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), has provided a total of $3.3 million to the Secretariat for 2016-2018. The Global Partnership has made significant progress in the past year, including catalyzing country-led multi-stakeholder Data Roadmaps for Sustainable Development in Colombia, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Tanzania, Senegal, and the Philippines, and the launch of a digital Global Goals data marketplace that connects demand from countries with supply from its network of stakeholders.
Highlights of U.S. Global Efforts to Harness the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development
Health and Gender
- Health Data Collaborative – PEPFAR and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are part of the Health Data Collaborative, a multi-stakeholder effort to work alongside countries to improve the availability, quality, and use of data for local decision-making and tracking progress toward the health-related Global Goals. Since its launch in March 2016, significant progress has been made, such as the launching of the Kenya Health Data Collaborative and publishing a Roadmap outlining Kenya’s One Monitoring & Evaluation Framework.
- Data Collaboratives for Local Impact– PEPFAR and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) are partnering to invest $21.8 million in the Data Collaboratives for Local Impact (DCLI) program in sub-Saharan Africa. The first two projects are already underway in Tanzania: the Tanzania Data Lab to develop a Data Roadmap, and a Data for Local Impact Innovation Challenge to encourage entrepreneurs to use data for development solutions. By March 2018, DCLI aims to demonstrate how data-driven decision making can enhance impact, improve alignment of budgets and needs, and increase transparency and mutual accountability at community and national levels.
- PEPFAR Data Transparency and Innovation – The recently updated PEPFAR Dashboards include procurement transaction data from the USAID Supply Chain Management System and subnational results. By the end of 2016, through PEPFAR, the U.S. Government will begin releasing quarterly subnational data to the public. As part of the DREAMS partnership to help girls become Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe, PEPFAR launched the DREAMS Innovation Challenge and announced 56 winners across 10 sub-Saharan African countries to implement innovative solutions in six Challenge Focus Areas in 2016. Five winners were announced under Focus Area Six: Applying Data to Increase Impact.
- Data 2X: TechMousso – MCC, the UN Foundation, the Web Foundation, and the Government of Côte d’Ivoire partnered on the “TechMousso” Gender Data Competition under the Data2X initiative. The competition joined civil society activists, policymakers, and technologists to find solutions to the barriers in gathering gender-specific data.
- Harnessing the Data Revolution for Climate Resilience – The U.S. Government is committed to open sharing of climate and weather data to inform climate resilience, and increased collaboration and innovation. In September 2016, the U.S. Government joined other governments and stakeholders in endorsing the Joint Declaration on Harnessing the Data Revolution for Climate Resilience. The Administration launched the public-private Partnership for Resilience and Environmental Preparedness (PREP). PREP is a collaborative effort among U.S. federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and civil society to help communities build resilience by: working to identify priority information needs, reduce barriers to data access and usability, and develop an open-source platform to enable sharing and learning. PREP is being pursued in coordination with the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data.
- Region-wide Access to Climate Data in the Americas – The U.S. Government supports the collection, distribution, and integration of climate data into decision-making processes for countries throughout the Western Hemisphere fulfilling President Obama’s commitment at the 2015 Summit of the Americas to ensure all countries in the Western Hemisphere have access to climate information by 2020.
Water and Agriculture
- GODAN Summit 2016 – In September 2016, the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative, an international coalition of over 350 partners representing governments, donors and non-governmental organizations, organized the 2016 GODAN Summit and GODAN High-Level Forum (HLF) in New York City. The GODAN Summit was the world’s largest open data meeting supporting the agriculture and nutrition fields and was hosted by five GODAN partners: the Governments of the United States, United Kingdom, and Kenya, and the non-profits, ONE Campaign and Presidents United to Solve Hunger (PUSH). During the Summit and HLF, the GODAN petition was delivered to high-level policymakers and diverse stakeholders, calling for continued support of open data resources in the agriculture and nutrition fields.
- MCC’s Niger Statistical Capacity Investment – MCC has committed $5 million under the Niger Sustainable Water and Agriculture Compact to support the development of the statistical capacities of the Niger National Institute of Statistics and the Ministries of Water and Sanitation, Agriculture and Livestock, and Environment. The funding will help generate more relevant, timely, and gender responsive data; analyze government policy impact; measure economic growth and poverty; and enhance Niger’s monitoring and evaluation capacity.
- Innovating with Open Geographic Data – The U.S. Department of State, USAID, and the Peace Corps are expanding efforts to recruit, train, and mobilize digital volunteers to contribute to OpenStreetMap, an open and editable map of the world. The U.S. Department of State’s MapGive program is catalyzing mapping for humanitarian and security applications. USAID’s YouthMappers program, Mapping for Resilience, will train youth in developing countries to utilize geospatial data in support of programming decisions.
- GeoInformation for Sustainable Urban Management and Resilience (GeoSUMR) – GeoSUMR is a public-private partnership enhancing knowledge of geospatial tools to contribute to sustainable urbanization. The partnership builds the capacity of urban planning and information communication technology managers to utilize geospatial technology. Through the partnership, infrastructure planning is linked to both the natural resources and social characteristics of urban centers through integrated map layers.
U.S. Foreign Assistance Data
- ForeignAssistance.gov – With over $30 billion of annual programming data, the ForeignAssistance.gov platform is helping recipient governments manage aid, empower citizens to hold governments accountable, and support data-driven development.
- FIND – FIND is a data visualization platform that compiles country indicators and standardizes them for use by U.S. Government analysts. It is part of the U.S. effort to move beyond data collection to efficient and impactful data usage.
See more data, tools, and resources on U.S. efforts to advance open data at www.data.gov.