Data to accelerate the SDGs: the role of the private sector

March 1, 2024

Ricardo Valencia
Senior Data Advisor

We are at a turning point in the data revolution, as society witnesses unprecedented data production and the emergence of new technologies that promise to transform civilization.  

All of us are producing data every second. Smartwatches monitoring sleep and showering generate electricity and water consumption data. Millions of data and patterns accumulate daily with the use of social networks.  

There is data available to answer any questions and solve numerous problems, and there are also risks to individuals and countries. Privacy and security are exposed in the face of this vast volume of data that now translates into developing technologies that simulate human intelligence. 

On the other hand, it is now possible to solve previously impossible problems, as well as helping to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs, which are already making progress. Six years from the 2030 Agenda, we are talking about a true data revolution, a moment that promises to close gaps to achieve a sustainable future.

Companies play a key role in achieving sustainable development, which includes collecting information and extending to various actions associated with data.  

Many companies globally have the potential to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs. Knowing and disseminating these types of actions is necessary to amplify their potential. This knowledge is helpful for companies, civil society organizations, and political decision-makers.

Cepei started the second phase of a project that collects and systematizes information on partnerships with private participation and partnerships that develop data actions with value for achieving the SDGs. This knowledge will be available to the general public in newsletters, summaries of regulatory and institutional contexts, working papers on issues of interest, and data viewers.  

The project also supports communities of practice in Medellín (Colombia) and Nairobi (Kenya), intending to articulate the private sector, the State, and civil society around local data agendas, and the results of their research will be shared at international events such as the World Data Forum, to be held in November this year.

In 2021, Cepei, in collaboration with partners from five world regions [1], undertook an initiative to explore the impact of data public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the global south. The SDG Acceleration Roadmap achieved: 

In 2024, Cepei initiated the second phase of the project to assess and identify the value of public-private data initiatives in local contexts, such as Nairobi and Medellin, to develop more effective approaches that contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.

[1] The regions where the first phase of the project was implemented were: Africa, Asia, Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean.

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