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Mobilizing Data to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

Updated: May 2, 2022

We believe data is an essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, which is why we partnered with W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Esri, Chia, and the United Nations Statistics Division to form the SDG Data Alliance.

Data is essential for decision-making and the raw material for accountability. Today, in the private sector, analysis of big data is common, with consumer profiling, personalized services, and predictive analysis being used for marketing, advertising and management. Similar techniques could be adopted to gain real-time insights into people’s wellbeing and to target aid interventions to vulnerable groups. New sources of data - such as satellite data -, new technologies, and new analytical approaches, if applied responsibly, can enable more agile, efficient and evidence-based decision-making and can better measure progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a way that is both inclusive and fair.

Big data can shed light on disparities in society that were previously hidden. For example, women and girls, who often work in the informal sector or at home, suffer social constraints on their mobility, and are marginalized in both private and public decision-making. Much of the big data with the most potential to be used for public good is collected by the private sector. As such, public-private partnerships are key to understanding data and utilizing it to advance the SDGs.

In 2021, PVBLIC Foundation partnered with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Esri, and the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) Secretariat, to form the SDG Data Alliance. Using the power of purpose-driven collaboration, globally recognized geospatial frameworks, and leading geographic information system (GIS) technology, this influential group of partners will accelerate achievement of the SDGs by creating 17 SDG Data Hubs across developing nations in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Based on geospatial frameworks and technology, the data hubs will assist developing countries in measuring, monitoring and reporting on their progress toward reducing inequality & will empower people to ensure inclusiveness and equality.

Stephen Keppel, President of PVBLIC Foundation, was invited to attend and speak about the SDG Data Alliance at the United Nations this week at the First Plenary Meeting of the High-level Group of the Integrated Geospatial Information Framework.

“This is truly a multi-stakeholder partnership. We have the UN, Esri and Chia in the private sector, W.K. Kellogg and PVBLIC from the non-profit sector, and data leaders from countries around the world coming together to mobilize data in a way that can be actionable and help us all achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.” -Stephen Keppel, President of PVBLIC Foundation

The SDG Data Alliance team spent the first few months of this year developing and designing a new digital platform which can be found at The new platform will host the numerous data hubs that are being created and also serve as a “Center of Excellence” providing informational resources about geo-spatial data and how to create SDG Data Hubs.

A demo SDG Data Hub was created this year for Haiti using data from USAID’s Demographic and Health Surveys Program (DHS program), pulling in data points and matching them to country goals and SDGs. PVBLIC and SDG Data Alliance partners are working with the Haitian government this year to further build out their hub.

Other SDG Data Hubs include: Ireland, Philippines, Mexico, State of Palestine, and United Arab Emirates. These hubs help countries around the world measure their progress in achieving sustainability and equity and make the data accessible in a way that is easy to use.

Big Data and the SDGs

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