A solution to bring inaccessible data to decision-makers – and it’s not magic!
In most places in the developing world, information is still recorded on paper registers, and most of this data never makes it to a digital format. If it does become digitized, it is often stored in local languages, unstructured formats and extremely difficult to extract. To make matters worse, data is often housed in siloed, disconnected systems that just don’t talk to each other. With data this problematic, how can anyone track and accelerate the SDGs?
The initiative SocialCops in collaboration with the United Nations, active in India and Papua New Guinea, came up with a promising answer!
The SDG Solution developed by SocialCops in collaboration with the UN RCO office in India uses proprietary technology to generate and aggregate real-time data, then analyze and visualize a complete data-driven picture for every one of the 17 SDGs. With a data-driven approach to measuring progress towards Agenda 2030, their solution helps governments, nonprofits and foundations bring together data from anywhere – from web services and APIs to inaccessible PDF tables and primary surveys. By conquering problematic data and data sources, top decision-makers can finally consolidate their efforts across different sectors, measure their impact, find better solutions, and accelerate development.
The SocialCops-UNIndia SDG solution empowers decision-makers across different levels of the development sphere to make better, more data-driven decisions to accelerate the SDGs through their organization’s work. The solution is currently being implemented in three different contexts: at a national level in India with data from the government’s social welfare initiatives; across the private sector by the Business Council of Papua New Guinea to track the impact of corporate giving and throughout the state of Maharashtra’s gram panchayats (GPs, or self-governing village councils) to develop digital GP Development Plans and streamline participatory planning.
While launching its SDGs4Businesses dashboard (developed in partnership with UNDP and the Business Council of Papua New Guinea), the former UN Resident Coordinator for Papua New Guinea Roy Trivedi remarked: “Working with SocialCops has brought a wealth of cutting-edge data analytics and software engineering to PNG… They have worked around the clock to prepare this dashboard in record time and I am very proud of the result.”
The solution is still under implementation in India and Papua New Guinea, but the governments and United Nations have envisioned it as a North Star to guide and target all development programs and activities. Once the solution is complete, each country will be able to track every aspect of its progress toward achieving the SDGs, identify what is hindering its progress in real time, and align all development programs — at the central or state level, implemented by governments or NGOs — to focus on the indicators, sectors and geographies that will maximize progress toward Agenda 2030.