Between February 10 and 15, 2020, Cepei visited Asunción, Paraguay, in order to establish partnerships with sustainable development actors from the public, private and academic sectors for the implementation of the Data for Now initiative. Our Director, Philipp Schönrock; the Data Coordinator of Cepei, Fredy Rodríguez, and Margarita Vaca, Data Researcher, were part of the mission.
ABOUT THE DATA FOR NOW INITIATIVE
The deadline to comply with the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development expires in ten years; Therefore, updated, disaggregated and real-time data for decision-making is an urgent need.
However, no country is exempt from having outdated and low quality data. This implies that public policies are leaving entire communities behind, especially the most vulnerable.
The limited access and use of data is a major obstacle to reducing poverty and hunger, achieving equality, promoting well-being, taking care of our life below water and life on land, and, ultimately, achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030.
In this context, Data for Now is born as an initiative supported by the operating partners of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, the World Bank, SDSN TReNDS and the United Nations Statistics Division. Its purpose is to increase the sustainable use of robust methods and tools that improve the timeliness, coverage, and quality of SDG data through collaboration and partnership, technical and capacity support, and information sharing.
Offering scale solutions in Africa, Latin America and Asia, eight pioneer countries –Bangladesh, Colombia, Ghana, Mongolia, Nepal, Paraguay, Senegal and Rwanda– are working with governments for capacity building, and the establishment of sustainable models.
HOW IS THE DATA FOR NOW WORK MODEL?
Data for Now maps priority development needs and information gaps; It works with governments, the private sector and civil society to identify solutions to address these gaps; It also focuses on capacity building for governments to collect and analyze updated and inclusive data; And it supports governments to use this data for decision-making and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
WORK AREAS PRIORITIZED BY THE DATA FOR NOW COUNTRY PARTNERS
- Education (Characterization of student population)
- Human mobility (Migration, natural disasters, forest cover)
- Poverty (Estimation of multidimensional poverty in small areas)
- Land use (Crop yields, forest cover, flood management)
TECHNICAL MISSION IN PARAGUAY
In order to consolidate partnerships with sustainable development public, private and academic actors, that can join the Data for Now initiative in Paraguay, Cepei carried out a technical mission in order to support the Dirección General de Estadísticas, Encuestas y Censos (DGEEC) in data processing for the measurement, implementation and monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from non-traditional sources, exploring collaborations and solutions to improve the quality and coverage of data; In addition, to explore the courses of action for the use of satellite images and mobile data to measure the SDGs.
TECHNICAL MISSION RESULTS
1. There is a need to strengthen DGEEC´s technical, methodological and infrastructure capacities. This becomes more evident in environmental indicators, since there is no harmony in the measurement between the institutions involved.
2. The SDG Commission of Paraguay is carrying out a reform process to incorporate the Ministry of Environment as a member, so as to strengthen the measurement of the environmental SDG indicators.
WORKSHOP WITH THE WATER COMMITTEE
Within the framework of our mission to Paraguay, DGEEC and Cepei organized a workshop on the use of non-traditional sources to strengthen the Water Information System of Paraguay. Open discussions were carried out to present the Data for Now initiative and how it can contribute to the measurement of water indicators.
To identify priorities, initiatives and actions, representatives of ministries, the water regulator entity and water service providers, discussed the current state of the Water Information System; The use of non-traditional information sources to measure water indicators; And capacity building in measuring water indicators.
1. The health services company of Paraguay (ESSAP) reported that they have the capacity to georeference the service. This information is organized into databases that can be shared upon explicit request.
2. With the support of the World Bank, Paraguay’s health services company (ESSAP) is working on a citizen service portal regarding complaints or claims where users can track their comments.
3. The Health Services Regulatory Entity (ERSSAN) has evaluated the quality of water provided by 2,359 certified water systems. However, in some areas of the country the population’s dissatisfaction with the characteristics of the resource persists. Currently, 4,600,000 inhabitants have access to quality water.
WORKING GROUP ON BIG DATA WITH MOBILE OPERATORS
In recent years, big data has become a key tool to explore and build new solutions to economic, social and environmental problems. The analysis of large amounts of data allow to improve processes, establish predictive models, identify patterns and answer complex questions when making both business and government decisions.
Mobile phone data is one of the main sources of big data information: its wide coverage, high frequency, detail and variety of perspectives, provides instant information regarding the well-being of a population or community. This means that big data can be applied to the measurement and monitoring of sustainable development; for example, in urban planning, citizen security, sustainable tourism, disease outbreak prevention, etc.
To present the Data for Now initiative and how it can contribute to the measurement of SDG indicators from mobile data, the DGEEC and Cepei organized a working group with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies, and representatives of Claro, Personal and Tigo (mobile operators), in a discussion moderated by Lorena Cristaldo of the National Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL), and Fredy Rodríguez, Data Coordinator of Cepei.
WORKING GROUP RESULTS
1. Questions and concerns were expressed by mobile operators regarding the limitation of personnel they have for the processing of non-commercial data.
2. Mobile operators expressed the need to define projects that specify what type of mobile data would be needed, what would be the purpose of using this data, what delivery mechanisms would be used, how this would contribute to both national statistics and the company.
CEPEI MEETS WITH THE MINISTRIES OF FINANCE, AND PLANNING OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
The Director of Cepei, Philipp Schönrock, met with the Minister of Finance of Paraguay, Benigno López, to explore how to improve the reporting and monitoring of the SDGs in the country. Likewise, the Minister was informed about the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data’s interest for the country to assume a leading role as a member of its board of directors, which would provide Paraguay the opportunity to become a leading country in the generation of information.
Likewise, our Director held a meeting with the Minister Executive Secretary of the Technical Secretariat for Economic and Social Development Planning (STP), Carlos Pereira Olmedo, to present the Data for Now initiative and identify the Ministry’s line of work as Coordinator of the SDG Commission.
1. The Minister of Finance, Benigno López, confirmed his support to the Statistics Law and the Data for Now initiative.
2. The Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Carlos Pereira Olmedo, expressed interest in participating in the LAC SDG Regional Forum; as well as its support to the Statistics Law and the Data for Now initiative.
PARAGUAY SDG COMMISSION: IMPLEMENTATION, MEASUREMENT AND MONITORING OF THE GLOBAL GOALS
During Cepei’s mission to Paraguay, our team also met with the SDG Commission members: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Technical Secretariat for Economic Development Planning (STP), the Technical Unit of Social Cabinet (UTGS), the Ministry of Finance and the Directorate and / or technical team of the DGEEC.
The meeting, chaired by Ambassador Estefanía Laterza, National Coordinator of the SDG Paraguay Commission and General Director of Multilateral Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, focused on country priorities and main implementation SDG initiatives (partnerships, actors involved and schedule). It also offered the possibility to present the Data for Now initiative, the state of the art of implementation, measurement and monitoring of the Global Goals in Paraguay, as well as the 2020-2021 plan and the issues prioritized by the country.
1. DGEEC emphasizes that it is currently possible to achieve the measurement of 32% of the indicators in the short term, and that they are improving the methodologies for these indicators. On the other hand, 16% of the indicators could be measured if partnerships with other actors and access to international cooperation are catalyzed.
2. Paraguay will be a member of both the board of directors of PARIS21 and the Global Partnership, taking a step towards strengthening the objectives proposed by the country and the participation of Paraguay in international decision-making.