The Partnership Report on Support to Statistics (PRESS) 2017 was launched during the International Conference on SDGs held in Manila, Philippines on 4-6 October 2017. The PRESS results were presented by the Secretariat Manager, Mr. Johannes Jütting, during the Plenary Session on Financing and Partnerships for the SDG Monitoring, which was followed by a panel discussion on improving domestic resource mobilisation for statistics. Key results from the PRESS (http://www.paris21.org/press2017):
- Data and statistics are attracting more resources and new donors, but support remains low;
- More and better-targeted financial support will be vital to ensure robust SDG monitoring at the national level;
- A marker for ODA to measure commitments to development data is essential to accurately gauge sector funding.
The Financing Session, moderated by Ms. Shaida Badiee, was participated in by panellists Mr. Vincent Seaman of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Mr. Bonar Laureto of Philippine Business for the Environment; Dr. Rosario Manasan of Philippine Institute for Development Studies; Ms. Claire Melamed of Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data; and Mr. Simil Johnson of the Vanuatu National Statistics Office. Recommendations from the panellists include:
- Establish a strong structure that promotes outcome-based budgeting and performance monitoring systems for SDGs
- Data stakeholders need to align and collaborate on statistical investments; change in government mind set where data should be viewed from an investment perspective (intrinsic value to accessing data) rather than a cost (non-profit endeavour)
- Data have to be better communicated, particularly using data to highlight impacts/contribution to national goals (to show value-added of data)
- There is value in “unbundling the cost of data collection” and to speak the language of Budget Ministries in domestic resource mobilization for statistics (e.g., through the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and National Strategy for the Development of Statistics).
Using newly available data, the PRESS 2017 provides a comprehensive snapshot of resources for statistics, showing that financing remains too modest to match targets and expectations. The report calls for more support to build capacity of National Statistics Offices (NSOs), including through technical and other training. More support to statistics are on the horizon with two positive trends found by PRESS 2017: the increase in the percentage of official development assistance (ODA) allocated to data and statistics, and the expansion and diversification of the pool of donors (i.e. Gates and Hewlett Foundations).
So, how much financial and technical support are developing countries getting?