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Creating Haiti's SDG Data Hub

The project aims to utilize nationally integrated geospatial frameworks and support Haitian institutions to better coordinate and realize their data needs for achieving the SDGs.

NEW YORK, USA, May 4, 2021 / In September 2015 world leaders ambitiously adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to collectively manage and transform the social, economic, and environmental dimensions for all countries, and as a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 169 targets, and now a global indicator framework.

The SDGs are integrated and indivisible, balancing the three dimensions of sustainable development – social, economic and environment – and involve the entire world, developed and developing countries alike, in a global partnership. Implementing the SDGs involves everyone, from individuals to the whole of society. As a transformative framework, the 2030 Agenda provides countries and the global development community with a set of significant monitoring and reporting metrics that are almost entirely geographic in nature. This requires new and innovative data sources and data integration approaches to address the world’s development challenges and to "leave no one behind".

Although not readily apparent, the SDGs are highly dependent on geospatial information and enabling technologies as the primary data and tools for relating people to their location, place, and environment, and to measure "where" progress is, or is not, being made, particularly at sub-national and local levels. From the outset, it was recognized that geospatial and statistical information, combined with enabling strategic frameworks and technologies, provide powerful ‘data’ enablers for all countries, but especially developing countries, to systematically measure and monitor progress on the SDGs.

Therefore, to fully implement and monitor progress on the SDG’s, decision-makers everywhere need geospatial data, statistics, and many other data sources, that are accurate, timely, relevant and accessible. However, many developing countries have constraints to participate fully in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, as the required data are not readily available or shared, modern digital technologies are limited, and the corresponding human resource requirements, capabilities, skills and opportunities, are not being nurtured.

The Importance of Open SDG Data Hubs

Over the past several years, SDG Data Hub stakeholders have been working with the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) and several Member States to build an open platform for sharing SDG data and maps about the status of SDG indicators for each country. This has involved implementing GIS technology to integrate relevant geospatial and statistical information and providing training and capacity-building focused on data sharing, transparency, and sustainability. This program has been endorsed by the Member States’ Statistics and Geospatial communities (see Related Global Mandates below). There has been great interest to build on the success of this initiative.

“Data is very difficult to get and share at the moment. We need the proper architecture with the proper tools and technology. There is no sharing – we need an integrated system” – Wilson Fievre, IHSI.

The Open SDG Data Hubs initiative has recently been asked to accelerate its activities, as part of the Decade of Action for the SDGs, the growing demand from the global geospatial and statistical community, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. To facilitate this acceleration at the global to local level, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), Esri, and the PVBLIC Foundation have partnered with a growing network of SDG Data Hub stakeholders to provide additional resources and expertise to enable expansion of the Open SDG Data Hubs and resulting initiatives.

Expansion for each country within this network will include developing strategic framework and implementation guidance, executed by the IGIF and any supporting country action plans that outline key indicators for a given country initiative. The IGIF is a multi-dimensional Framework that comprises three separate, but connected, parts. An Overarching Strategy, Implementation Guidance, and Action Plans at the country level. With a vision, mission, strategic drivers, 7 principles, 8 goals, 9 strategic pathways, and defined benefits, the IGIF focuses on ‘integrating’ geospatial information with any other meaningful data to solve societal and environmental problems, and to provide understanding and benefit from a country’s development priorities and the SDGs. To support the implementation of the IGIF with appropriate digital transformation capabilities, Esri will provide in-kind technology contributions for each participating country through to 2030.

Haiti's SDG Data Hub

“Data access and dissemination is limited. Platforms are not user friendly. We need more top-down engagement to put the data infrastructures in place” – Boby Piard, Centre National de l'Information Géo-Spatiale (CNIGS).

The aim of the Haiti Open SDG Data Hub Project is to utilize nationally integrated geospatial frameworks, guidance, tools and enabling technologies in Haiti. It will support Haitian institutions to better coordinate and realize their data needs and requirements for achieving the SDGs according to their national priorities and circumstances. Further, the Project will leverage and strengthen in-country expertise from geospatial experts within and across agencies.

This approach will address the lack of information available on Haiti’s progress towards implementing the SDGs and will strengthen Haiti’s capacity to take advantage of current geospatial strategies, frameworks and governance approaches that have been developed to support the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

The Project will also address the lack of understanding of the data that exists, and is required, to support the SDGs and national development priorities. It will establish baselines and track progress on data collection and processing that may not presently exist, while taking advantage of data being collected by government agencies. The Project will also seek to minimize fragmentation associated with methods and structures for SDG reporting, and take advantage of a sustainable guided framework to enable long term progress.

The Project will provide the delivery of a structured and strategic geospatial framework and action plan, as defined within the global context of the IGIF. The Project will also provide a one-stop data platform for SDGs in Haiti. It will establish a clear path to engage the correct stakeholders and resources to achieve the aim, demonstrate leadership among peers, and develop a collaborative and federated system to bridge gaps in data, information and technology through the building of an interoperable, standards-based service-oriented system for the SDGs.

The key partners behind the project are the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Esri, and PVBLIC Foundation.

National technical leaders of the Project will be the Haitian Statistical Office and Haitian Geospatial Information Authority. Other related agencies and leaders from Haitian governments and communities will be identified in the early stages of the Project.

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