Counting on the World to Act 2019

Eradicating poverty and hunger, ensuring quality education, instituting affordable and clean energy, and more – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) lay out a broad, ambitious vision for our world. But there is one common denominator that cuts across this agenda: data. Without timely, relevant, and disaggregated data, policymakers and their development partners will be unprepared to translate their promises into reality for communities worldwide. With only eleven years left to meet the goals, it is imperative that we put in place the fundamental building blocks for robust, inclusive, and relevant national data systems that support the curation and promotion of better data for sustainable development. In Counting on the World to Act, TReNDS details an action plan for governments and their development partners that will enable them to help deliver the SDGs globally by 2030. Our recommendations specifically aim to empower government actors – whether they be national statisticians, chief data scientists, chief data officers, ministers of planning, or others concerned with evidence in support of sustainable development – to advocate for, build, and lead a new data ecosystem. In this report, we highlight four building blocks of an innovative and inclusive national data system.

  • Strong leadership and governance with an empowered national statistician or relevant national data coordinator who is open and enabled to collaborate with third parties, and is actively encouraging a more inclusive international statistical system
  • Common principles, standards, and policy frameworks to ensure data comparability and the capacity to integrate data from different sources, as well as a supportive environment for collaboration
  • An open, user-centric system that actively supports public and private data demands, collaboration, and innovation at the local, national, and international levels
  • A robust funding model that ensures the long-term production of the vital data we need to manage progress towards sustainable development

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