Big Data in the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Data are the lifeblood of decision-making and the raw material for accountability. Without high-quality data providing the right information on the right things at the right time; designing, monitoring and evaluating effective policies becomes almost impossible.

In September 2015, world leaders adopted a new set of global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of a transformative agenda for humanity and the planet. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development represents a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It consists of 17 goals which will succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on 1 January 2016 and is expected to drive global development efforts in the post- 2015 era.

The architects of the SDGs took into consideration lessons learned by national governments, international agencies and civil society in the implementation and monitoring of the MDGs in crafting the new goals. Of note among these is the paucity of data for measuring progress towards the achievement of the MDGs. The poor quality of available data and the lack of timeliness in generating and disseminating data and statistics have also been noted as major hindrances to the attainment of sustainable development.

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