ISLAMABAD: The Planning Commission, in collaboration with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), on Monday launched a ‘Data Reporting Gaps’ study to help monitor achievements of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
While launching the study, Minister for Finance and Planning and Development Dr Shamshad Akhtar emphasised that Pakistan must step forward by developing a knowledge base and called the Planning Commission to serve as a ‘knowledge hub’ and maintain a main body of literature which should have an integrated approach to study different sectors like energy, water and agriculture.
She further stated that although the government has already worked upon developing and strengthening horizontal and vertical linkages however it needs to be fast-tracked through engaging private sector, youth, academia and civil society.
The data reporting gaps study will have three major objectives: to examine whether data is available; to examine the level of disaggregation of this available data; and to develop a fact sheet for each indicator at the disaggregated level.
The study would serve as a guiding document for all stakeholders to reduce the data reporting gaps, and will eventually help in monitoring SDGs achievements.
Explaining the objectives of the study, Chief SDGs of Planning Commission, Zafar ul Hassan stated that Pakistan fares reasonably well in capturing the inclusion and equity aspects of SDGs.
Dr Shamshad Akhtar emphasised that we have to jot down as how the provincial and local statistical organisations will take forward the enhancement and augmentation of data itself, noted that a significant number of capacity development programmes would be required for not only what we have but also to manage the missing information.
The finance minister stressed to put strong focus on areas like pollution, climate change, and especially the complexed arena of environmental accounting. In this regard, she elaborated that United Nations in New York has decent contribution in this relevance which could be taken advantage of.
She emphasized the need to map out all the short-term and long-term training programmes at different levels while referring the UNESCAP’s Statistical Agency in Shiba, Japan for its qualitative performance that Pakistan must consider while initiating its own training programmes.
Dr. Shamshad Akhtar hoped that data reporting gaps study will significantly facilitate the national and provincial governments in their decision-making process, and for generating and using data for various functions.
Earlier, Secretary Planning and Development, Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui said that the report will serve four purposes to disseminate the key findings of the data analysis, to discuss various alternate solutions to fill data gaps, to build consensus with ministries, and reporting agencies to monitor and report according to their respective indicators.
Speaking on the occasion, UNDP Country Director, Ignacio Artaza, stated that the data reporting gaps study on indicators provide the stakeholders, the insights for the ongoing work and that it is crucial for timely development of new plans, initiatives and to understand where and when resources are required.
He said that UNDP and the planning commission were also collaborating with Pakistan Bureau of Statistics to support data collection and aligning national surveys with the SDGs.
Later, Dr Shamshad Akhtar formally launched the planning commission and UNDP-developed website related to the data reporting gaps study. UNDP official said that the website aims to develop a data portal for all users to extract information on SDGs progress in Pakistan.
Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2018