UN launches first regional online portal to bring all African countries together with data and evidence on sustainable development


17 regional United Nations entities, under the Regional Collaborative Platform for Africa (RCP), unveiled the  United Nations Data Platform for Africa for Development.   It is the first platform to serve as a one-stop-shop repository that captures high-quality data and evidence on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs from all African countries. It is also the first of its kind to raise the profile of statistical progress towards the vision of the African Union – Agenda 2063.

“With only nine years left to achieve the SDGs, it is essential to use common and harmonized data to accelerate progress. The launch of this new platform marks an important step in the actions in favor of Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063 of the African Union. Reliable and collective data will enable all actors to take the best possible evidence-based policy actions to accelerate the SDGs, strengthen collaboration, avoid unnecessary duplication and ensure we can close the gaps, leaving really no one behind. aside, ”said Assistant Secretary-General Ahunna Eziakonwa, Director of the Regional Office for Africa of the United Nations Development Program, who is also Vice-President of the African PCR,

The new data portal takes a look at the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and breaks them down into 169 targets and 231 indicators, allowing everyone to track progress at a granular level. It is open to all users, including policy makers, planners, program managers, development partners, private sector organizations, civil society groups, academic institutions, researchers, students, media and many others.

According to statisticians from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), among the 169 goals set in the SDGs, only 30% of them are quantifiable. For the rest of the non-quantifiable targets, the online platform offers target values ​​using a pragmatic and ambitious approach. It identifies outstanding countries in the region and sets their average rate of change as the target rate for the region.

“Presenting comprehensive and practical datasets will especially help us as government officials to track progress, make sound decisions, and assess results and impacts. This data platform is a long-awaited online tool to enable us to perform in-depth analyzes and assessments of progress at the goal and indicator levels, and to link them to our national development plans. ”Said Dr Saulos Chilima, Vice-President of Malawi.

The new search engine also gives users the ability to categorize statistics according to various dimensions, such as the eight regional economic communities recognized by the African Union, least developed countries, limitless developing countries and producer states. petroleum and rich in minerals. In addition, it repackages the data by key thematic questions. For example, users can categorize the SDG indicators by agriculture, energy and health, which allows them not only to analyze specific progress at the country level, but also to examine the convergence, similarities and differences between a country. variety of blocks and sub-regional topics.

“Africa is a continent with great potential and clear aspirations as articulated in the African Union’s Agenda 2063. Transformation requires quality, timely and disaggregated data to guide targeted investments and ensure desired returns in the development of its human capital, environmental sustainability, economic transformation and prosperity for all, ”said Oliver Chinganya, Director of ECA African Center for Statistics.

Building on the existing infrastructure developed by ECA, the UN Data Portal for Africa consolidates statistics from technological platforms and tools available in UN entities. Without reinventing the wheel, the UN regional group, also known as the Opportunity / Issue-based Coalition (OIBC) 1, has come up with a new way to bring data to users, strengthening the approach “UN-wide” to provide a common space where anyone can easily find critical evidence.

“The goal is to reduce the burden on countries in terms of meeting data needs and to avoid repeated requests for data from various organizations. This portal brings together fragmented data from Member States in one place, and this information can also be used by UN agencies and other partners, ”said Dr Bannet Ndyanabangi, Acting Regional Director for East Africa and Southern UNFPA and co-organizer of OIBC 1. The data portal should be used in SDG progress reports and other sustainable development documents. It can also be used to prepare speeches and presentations for senior leaders of governments and institutions, as well as to stimulate policy conversations, for example, for voluntary national reviews and other policy discussions on sustainable development programs, in particular to facilitate in-depth analyzes. The portal may also be cited by the media, research institutes and other organizations for further studies.