Thinking, they are.
Towards a Data Revolution
This summer UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon established the Independent Expert Advisory Group (IAEG) to provide concrete recommendations on how to achieve a Data Revolution for sustainable development. The IEAG report – due in early November – will be a crucial opportunity to explain how better quality and more timely data can transform development. The group is also looking for innovative approaches to data collection, publication, and use.
To solicit input from all communities of practice – particularly academia – the IAEG is hosting a public consultation at undatarevolution.org to solicit input into its work until October 15, 2015. In spite of the short notice, we strongly encourage you to submit your ideas and suggestions for the data revolution. Please share this message widely and provide your comments on the IEAG website.
Let me take this opportunity to let you know that we will issue an updated and revised SDSN Indicator Report towards the end of the month. The revised report will update the proposed indicator framework for the SDGs and explore how high-quality data can become available annually. If you have comments on the existing draft or would like more information you can visit unsdsn.org/data or contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consultation Areas Include:
- Sustainable Development Goals: measuring progress on new indicators and for all groups
- Accessible Data: open data, accountability and data literacy
- Data Innovation: big data and new technologies
- Data Landscape: addressing systemic challenges
Phi Beta Iota: The UN keeps trying to do the right thing (the Brahmi Reports, High Level panels on Threats, on Coherence, on Peace Technologies, etcetera. This is another such effort. Sadly, it is more of doing the wrong things righter — indicators are TIRED — a monitoring of the status quo, not a proactive conversion of information into intelligence to achieve outcomes. What the UN should be doing in creating an intelligence secretariat to walk the cat back from the desired end state to the direct on the ground intervention and innovation points, and then use information and intelligence (decision-support) to move money in small amounts directly to the village and operating unit level. The UN has collected $2.3 billion in promised donations to achieving the Sustainability Development Goals (SDG). Half or more of those donations probably will not materialize. The other half will be wasted by following UN “business as usual” protocols, which is to say, they will take the lazy uninformed route of outsourcing the money to a few high-level NGOs that will clip 20% for “overhead” and then down-source the money to a larger number of NGOs that will clip another 20% for overhead, and so on until virtually nothing at all gets to the real people on the ground that could actually do something tangible to achieve the goals. If the UN were instead to create a secretariat, create a holistic analytic model, establish true costs of alternative spending paths at all four levels of analysis (strategic, operational, tactical, technical), map all stakeholders capable of impacting on each goal in each of the 193 countries, and then focus on a combination of impact investments at the village level as well as matching grants combined with public education on the savings achieved by each success story, the UN could actually succeed for a change, instead of just going through the motions. We are at a turning point in human history where applied collective intelligence could reverse centuries of Western harm to the Earth and humanity. We pray the UN “wakes up” to the possibilities of modern (pro-active) information operations.