Expanding the Data Ecosystem: The role of Non-Official data for SDG Monitoring and Review

UN Statistical Commission Side-Event: Organized by the Philippines Statistics Authority(PSA), UNDP, the Transparency, Accountability & Participation (TAP) Network, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and DataShift

To meet the ambition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), national implementation efforts must be matched by an equally comprehensive and inclusive monitoring and accountability framework. While National Statistical Offices (NSOs) are the primary bodies responsible for monitoring SDG progress, data being produced by other actors will also play a crucial role in providing a robust and accurate picture of progress at all levels. These “non-official” data sources can be instrumental in helping complement data from official statistical sources, and are critical to implement the 2030 Agenda’s commitment to “leave no one behind.”

Better data from a wider range of reliable sources has the potential to maximize development gains by providing an accurate snapshot of progress towards the SDGs and to help make better policy decisions. This data can come from a range of sources, including the UN, other multilateral institutions, civil society organizations, research institutions, academia, the private sector, and citizens themselves. It ranges from global surveys (e.g. Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer) and indices (e.g. UNDP’s Multidimensional Poverty Index) to personal, qualitative data generated by some of the world’s most marginalized people at the local level (e.g. citizen-generated data project Map Kibera). It also includes data translated from publicly available (open) data sets to track a specific phenomenon/issue (e.g. Publish What You Fund’s Aid Transparency Index) and information collated through expert assessments (e.g. CIVICUS’ annual State of Civil Society Report). All of these data sources will play a critical role in measuring progress against the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda.

This side event will provide an opportunity for experts to examine of the role of non-official data in complementing official sources of data for the 2030 Agenda, highlight ways in which these data providers are already contributing to SDG monitoring and review efforts, and demonstrate how NSOs have worked with these non-official actors around data collection and usage.


  • Lisa Bersales, Head of Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA)
  • Anna Lührmann, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Representative from Departamento Administrativo Nacional de Estadística (DANE)(TBC)
  • Representative from UNDP Pilot Country (Georgia, Uruguay, El Salvador)
  • Tom Orrell, Senior Advocacy Advisor, Publish What You Fund (TBC)

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