Data gaps could affect measurement of SDGs implementation – report

There are gaps in monitoring the implementation of Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs), according to the SDGs Index and Dashboards Report 2017.

There are gaps in monitoring the implementation of Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs), according to the SDGs Index and Dashboards Report 2017.

The report by Bertelsmann Stiftung and Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), which was released last week, stated that such data gaps limit effort to establish internationally comparable country baselines for SDGs.


The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, adopted by world leaders in September 2015, consist of 17 SDGs which seek to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, as well as tackle climate change by 2030. 


Talking about methodological and data limitation, it said that many proposed official SDG indicators lack data for the majority of countries. Other countries lack data for some SDGs.

Ignace Kabano, speaking to journalists at the sidelines of the meeting on finding local solutions to achieve SDGs, in Kigali on Wednesday. Emmanuel Ntirenganya.

There is also lack of coherence between national and international data, which scholars exposed as a concern in a meeting to find local solutions to achieving SDGs in Kigali on Wednesday.

According to the report, not all data for SDGs Indicators is updated annually and at the same time for all countries.

“In particular, household and other surveys are conducted infrequently and at different times across countries. Moreover, the data might become available with lags of several years, as is the case with estimates of headcount poverty rates. As a result, updated editions of the SDG Index may not be fully comparable with earlier versions, and may not reflect the most recent developments in each country,” reads part of the report.

Speaking at the occasion from Kigali, SDSN Executive Director, Guido Schmidt- Traub, said that accurate data is important in monitoring development trends, calling for updating the data.

“There are gaps in the data. Data is needed to measure the SDG goals carefully. If we don’t have the data, we don’t’ know where we are going,” he said.

The report recommended that “these gaps will require increased investments in statistical capacity and other forms of data collection especially but not only in low-income developing countries.”

Traub also said that Rwanda’s National Institute of Statistics (NISR) is doing great work in terms of professional statistical data production; the efforts he said should be maintained.

Ignace Kabano, head of training at the African Centre of Excellence in Data Science said  if development entities want to measure health indicators, Rwanda currently has the Demographic Health Survey which meets international recognized norms for methodologies of data collection.

“Rwanda also has a method for monitoring poverty level through the integrated households living condition,” he said.

The African Centre of Excellence has a mission to train all prominent African Statisticians to close the gaps in data collection and interpretation. 

“We are focusing on data mining through providing needed technical skills such in poverty, economic indicators, and democracy,” Kabano added.

Jean Claude Nyirimanzi, Principal Statistician in charge of Research, Publication and Documentation at the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) said that “We follow internationally recognized methodologies when producing data (statistics) so that we publish reliable data, and that data being used informs accurate policy and decision making.

Currently, NISR produces statistics every three years yet it used to generate them after 5-year interval.

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