From October 4 to 6 2017, The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) with the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) hosted the 2017 International Conference on Sustainable Development Goals Statistics (ICSDGS) which will was held in Manila, Philippines.
The Conference with the theme “Level Up: Shaping a Strong Data Ecosystem for Monitoring Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”, gathered together statisticians, researchers, data providers and users as well as other stakeholders of statistics on SDGs. Representatives from national statistical offices of various countries, national/country coordinating agencies on SDG indicators, international organizations, international and local civil society organizations which are engaged with the SDG statistical process, and private individuals and companies which have stakes on SDG statistics also attended the event.
The three-day Conference aimed to:
- Serve as a venue for knowledge sharing/discussion on methodologies, addressing data gaps and the demand for data disaggregation (geographical, income, sectoral, age, sex, race, ethnicity or other characteristics).
- Facilitate sessions on improving traditional data sources, civil registration systems, administrative records and exploring Big Data, citizen-generated data and other third-party data as potential sources of official statistics for the monitoring of SDGs.
- Serve as a forum for identifying needed resources, support, capacity building and possible collaboration with international development partners that can facilitate SDGs data availability and access.
Five (5) plenary sessions also were organized covering topics on:
- Data Ecosystem: Exploring New Technologies and Data Sources (including Big Data)
- SDG Data Users: Needs and Expectations
- Financing and Partnerships for the SDG Monitoring
- Counting the Uncounted
- The Way Forward
A total of 16 breakout sessions were also conducted on the following themes:
- Data storytelling (Communicating and Understanding the Data)
- Integration of different data sources for SDG monitoring
- Localizing statistics
- Monitoring sector specific indicators
- Setting statistical standards
- Building readiness for the SDG challenge
Cepei´s Director, Philipp Schönrock, participated in the session “Big Data Technology” held on Thursday, October 5. Current opportunities to monitor the Goals were discussed, as well as the use of new technologies and citizen-generated data for some SDGs indicators. The advantages of private sector, academia and civil society data to monitor the SDGs, were also on the table during the session.
On Friday, October 6, our Director also participated in the session “Data Journalism and Communications: The Story Beyond the Numbers”, which intended to show different ways of presenting traditional data through story creation. It explored interactive graphic and visual resources that make it easier for users and readers to understand the information. The Deputy Director of the Colombian National Administrative Department of Statistics, Carlos Prada, also joined the conversation. Cepei commented about its experience in organizing workshops for journalists and technicians to create stories based on data for the SDGs, and also presented its initiative Data República, a virtual data platform with a component for data users to publish their stories.