8 data and SDGs experts where part of the event organized by SDSN TReNDS, the Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá and Cepei. The main topics of discussion revolved around alliances and innovations that are improving the quality of data for sustainable development, through specific cases at the subnational level for the monitoring of the 2030 Agenda.
The keynote speaker was Shaida Badiee, Director of Open Data Watch and Co-Chair of SDSN TReNDS. Badiee said: “Sustainable funding, donor support, strong partnerships are some of the key focuses to find solutions in bettering our data ecosystem”. She reiterated that in order to achieve the SDGs and comply with the 2030 Agenda, it is necessary to expose and find solutions to the important gaps that remain in the production and use of data at the global level. “Unfortunately, the lack of basic data and weak statistical systems around the world is a major obstacle to monitoring and measuring the SDGs”, she concluded.
The first panel: ‘What partnerships and innovations are improving the quality of data for sustainable development?’, moderated by the Director of Cepei, Philipp Schönrock, took place after her presentation. The panelists were: Steven Ramage, Director of External Relations of the Group on Earth Observations; William Hoffman, Data Director for the Development of the World Economic Forum; and Mrs. Badiee. Mr. Ramage highlighted the importance of geostatistical data in monitoring the SDGs with environmental indicators, and assured that partnerships with private companies can deliver great results in this area. Hoffman, on his side, stressed the importance of involving vulnerable populations from the start, in the creation of data ecosystems: “It’s time to move beyond “innovation departments” to view innovation as part of our job descriptions if we are to achieve the 2030 Agenda”, said Ramage.
The second panel of the morning was called: ‘How do we monitor the SDGs subnationally?’. It’s participants: Monica Villegas, Project Manager of Fundación Corona; Laveesh Bhandari, Director of Indicus Foundation; and Jeanne Holm, Deputy CIO of the City of Los Angeles. Trough local examples they tried to show how data has become an element in civic construction. Bahandari stressed that: “Data tells a story”. On the other hand, Fredy Rodríguez, Data Coordinator of Cepei, reiterated that the SDGs help generate a common language when sharing data.
Jessica Espey, Director of SDSN TReNDS and Senior Adviser to SDSN, was in charge of the closing remarks for the event, assuring that: “Colombia is a lighthouse in the data revolution”.