This week: The Succinctly Didactic Goals?


Let’s play a game. What else could the acronym SDG stand for? Super Deliberated Goals, maybe? Or how about Snowballing Data Gathering? There is a lot being said about the Strategic Development Goals that are set to replace the MDGs next year.

ActionAid spoke up about “three things to remember as the world’s new anti-poverty goals are decided” which included the need for a stronger push for human rights, some interesting commentary on corporate engagement, and a call for ending corporate tax avoidance to bring more revenue to countries working on these goals.

The conversation around the post 2015 agenda has started an outbreak of enthusiasts for a “data revolution.” The Executive Director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Networkrecently wrote why data was so important for the SDGs and how to do this well. He points out the necessity of tracking indicators on a yearly basis and the need to limit the number of indicators in order to make this high level of frequency possible.

A recent CGD report, “Delivering on the Data Revolution in Sub-Saharan Africa” focused on the struggles that limit Sub-Saharan Africa from delivering on the data revolution. Notably, the biggest blockers are politics and systemic processes.

This finding aligns with a recent post on the UN Global Pulse that made the argument that development agencies and Governments can learn from corporate “datavores” which showed that companies who make data driven decisions are also more likely to agree that their employees are free to try new ideas and set the pace of their work.

We can suspect that organizations and governments that were to make data driven decisions would be less restricted by politics and systems and allowed more freedom for employees to make decisions and adapt based on available data, information and given situations. The trick then, which is no easy task, is to get large development organizations and governments which are mired in policy and decision making based on historical layers of politics and processes to  start fresh and become “datavores” themselves.

Publish What You Fund is focusing on the initial aspect of first getting the data out there by launching a focused push to get all countries who committed to publishing via IATI format by 2015 across the finish line.

Now if you’re reading this and thinking of all the data and reports you have sitting around feeling unclicked and undownloaded, join the OpenGovHub for a brownbag on “Publishing Content: If not in PDF, then what?” and find out some of the options for publishing your data in a more useful format.

Weekly updates are written by Taryn Davis of Development Gateway; email her your tips for next week's update to get a shout-out in the post.

Tags: SDGsMDGsMillennium Development Goalsopen governmentopen datapost-2015corporationsUNgoals