Monitoring the 2030 Agenda requires an unprecedented amount of data and statistics disseminated to a wide range of users. National statistical systems are engaged in various efforts to meet the data demands of the 2030 Agenda, for example through establishment of national data platform of SDG indicators.
The availability of metadata information that defines or describes data is a vital component of expanding use of SDG indicators. Information about how the data is collected, what its limitations are, the time period that the data refers to, and its availability, for instance, are key attributes that the user of data needs to understand to use the data meaningfully. Without this information, data cannot be properly shared across various NSS entities as well.
One of the key activities of the UNSD-DFID funded SDG Monitoring Project is to support countries in their endeavor to compile and disseminate metadata on SDG indicators, and this mission is part of that activity.
The objective of this workshop is to support the national statistical system's ability to compile metadata for SDG indicators. This would be accomplished through a three-day workshop covering the following topics:
- Introduction to SDG monitoring: This module would discuss the SDG monitoring in general, the processes associated with SDG monitoring and what SDGs could mean in terms of data requirements.
- Introduction to metadata: This module of the workshop would cover what metadata is, why it is important, why it is required, giving examples along the way. There will be examples provided which show metadata across various settings.
- Metadata template for the SDG: this module with introduce the metadata template for the SDG indicators and provide an overview of terminologies and definitions, so that various data producers can speak about the data using a common language.
- Group exercises: participants will work together to fill the template for selected indicators, and participate in exercises based around metadata topics
These topics are suggested for many reasons. First, being able to describe key attributes of data is essential for its usage. It provides the context that is necessary for interpreting data, analyzing it, and effectively disseminating it. Therefore, existence of well-documented metadata, that uses common vocabulary/terminology, would enable NSOs to communicate data to users more effectively. Second, documented data would enable various entities of the NSS to share/use data across different ministries more seamlessly. Third, having metadata for SDG indicators would allow a country to participate in global data/metadata exchange across the global and national reporting platforms. Therefore, this would represent an opportunity for the NSS to highlight its data in the global platform.
Finally, elements of the workshop such as exercises that gather information on reporting mechanisms, coordination and other SDG monitoring related issues, identifying data users, is expected to foster understanding and knowledge sharing across NSS entities.