Good data needed

Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires good data.

The United Nations believes accurate and up-to-date data is vital for monitoring progress, informing policy decisions and ensuring accountability to citizens.

These statements follow the launching of the #PNGdata4development Network website during United Nations Day 2017 Celebrations on Tuesday (Oct 24), marking the 72nd Anniversary of the United Nations.

In localising the SDGs, the Government has highlighted the urgent need for the consolidation of key data to enable better analysis and inform planning. Establishing good baseline information and measuring progress enables evidence-based decision-making, and more efficiently allocated resources that can lead to better outcomes. 

Minister for Planning and Monitoring, Richard Maru, said: “The immediate action is to build on the important accomplishments of the Department of National Planning and Monitoring and shape a modern planning approach.

“This has to be backed by having a good and working information system in place that can generate timely, economic, social, administrative and population data that enables more informed decision making. There is critical need to strengthen the existing systems and ensure that the Government’s priority to have a National Data Centre is supported and established accordingly.”

The #PNGData4Development Network was established to better coordinate development data by identifying opportunities through partnerships.

Under the leadership of the Government, all sectors are represented in the Network, including businesses, social enterprises, community organizations, academia and development partners.

This week, the Network has successfully launched the #PNGData4Development Website, which is an open platform for all citizens. Members of the Network will disseminate data, studies, papers, reports and information about upcoming events and other information through this platform to make all development data more easily accessible.

The first national multi-sectoral Data for Development Stocktaking Workshop, held on 5-6 September 2017 in Port Moresby, catalysed the discussion on data and established this Network of data specialists.

Over 120 data practitioners participated in this workshop, which was convened by the Department of National Planning and Monitoring, the National Statistics Office (NSO), the United Nations, the University of Papua New Guinea / Australian National University, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

The practitioners who participated in the workshop took stock of what data sources exist in PNG, the frequency of data collection and areas where additional data could better support national development priorities. Through these discussions, new possibilities were identified for innovation and improved coordination of development data in the country.

Roy Trivedy, the UN Resident Coordinator in Papua New Guinea, said:  “One of the biggest challenges in achieving the SDGs is the availability of accurate data.

“All stakeholders are in urgent and critical need of more comprehensive, precise and disaggregated data to enable better decision making.

“Our mutual engagement in the #PNGData4Development Network will strengthen dialogue among stakeholders by convening data specialists, users and decision makers.

“The launch of the #PNGData4Development Website is a step-forward in creating a ‘data-consortium’ and facilitating ‘data-innovation’ in the country.

“To achieve the ambitious set of the Global Goals, all stakeholders in the Network must work together and this website is a platform to exhibit on-going and expanding partnerships to achieve the SDGs.”

The website can be accessed by anyone interested in data in Papua New Guinea:

Press Release