The period of this strategy—2021-2025—is a pivotal one. During these five years, the world will experience an acceleration of the data revolution, brought about by increasing digitalisation. We will also pass the halfway point of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with significantly greater action needed to ensure that we “leave no-one behind”. We must do everything that we can to prepare countries to meet these challenges.
Despite considerable progress, many low-income countries still lack basic quality data and the statistical capabilities to reap the benefits of the new data era. This needs to change, now. We must build solid statistical systems that can provide high quality “public good data” on topics that matter for all citizens in every country, tomorrow and beyond 2030.
Data and statistics provide the foundations upon which decision-makers set priorities, target policies and investments, make informed choices to advance sustainable development, and monitor and evaluate progress. Having access to, and knowing how to use, sources of robust, timely and relevant data enables hospitals and schools to be built in the areas that need them most, skills training programmes to be targeted to those occupations in greatest demand, and business and economic growth to be stimulated. More broadly, it enables the full political and economic participation of the whole population, including women and girls and marginalised groups.
Now, more than ever, the world needs an organisation that can help to close the national statistics gap, helping every country develop the strong statistical system necessary to advance sustainable development.
That organisation is PARIS21.
Together with our partners, we will continue to provide NSOs, planning and finance ministries, civil society organisations and others with the tools and training to undertake long-term planning, and arm them with the knowledge and capacity to build robust, inclusive statistical systems capable of producing timely and high-quality data and analysis that capture the diversity of the population. We will advocate at the highest levels for the continued relevance of national statistics and ensure that they become more prominent on the development agenda, and we will catalyse greater funding for statistics among the donor community to close critical data gaps.
We will also help develop data ecosystems that are open and transparent, and ensure that their benefits are available to all, including women and girls. Within this ecosystem, the NSO will enrich national statistics and SDG reporting by drawing on a variety of data sources. Journalists and civil society organisations will be able to access, analyse and communicate official statistics to inform, educate and enrich public dialogue and hold governments and others to account. Private sector companies will share data for the public good, and lend their expertise and innovation to advance statistics for sustainable development, inclusiveness and gender equality.
We will champion the case for data and statistics at the heart of policymaking through communications campaigns that highlight real-world successes, rebuild trust in the science and practice of statistics, and foster peer learning.
We will also help national statistics offices communicate better, making their products and services more relatable and useable by their target audiences.
Finally, we will ensure that sustainable development leaves no-one behind by ensuring that everyone—especially least-developed countries and fragile states—is able to produce and use data and statistics to understand the scope of the challenges, particularly for women, girls and vulnerable populations, and implement the solutions necessary to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.