Staying Relevant: Thanks to the 2030 SDGs Agenda

The 2030 SDGs Agenda has provided opportunities for wider partnerships and technical cooperation among the global official statistics community as well as at the regional and national levels. Innovation and keeping up with the pace of modernization including building partnerships and creating national SDGs platforms have promoted better collaboration and coordination in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda by providing a single point of entry for producers and users to share SDGs indicators. National platforms also contribute to streamline and standardize data exchange and improve integrity of the data along its lifecycle. These platforms provide user-friendly interactive user interface, designed to facilitate and simplify the data presentation to users, so they can focus on their decision-making and analysis tasks.

SDG 17 -Partnerships for the Goals-, which among other things aims to bring change in the SDG monitoring system to best serve data users. SDGs data platforms have emerged using best practices for the management and dissemination of disaggregated statistical data and metadata, including the implementation of a multi-dimensional database aligned with the SDMX standard: the “common language” adopted by the global statistical community to ensure the interoperability of statistical data and metadata across systems and organizations.

Maximizing the use of data depends largely on whether the data is tailored to the needs of users and here comes the importance to keep pace with user’s ever changing demands and preferences. Data science tools have contributed greatly to enhancing data utilization thanks to machine learning, AI and an abundance of data sources (traditional and new ones). These combined techniques generate real-time insights and predictions that guide better strategic decision-making. User–producer dialogue is essential to build partnerships and ensure that the relationship between these two entities will not become purely transactional and thus lose the human touch of data. To make data relevant to users and decision-makers, there is a need to invest in data and tools as well as listening to user’s needs. Speaking of data science, PCBS in cooperation with Arab American University initiated a data science initiative that targets different sectors with the aim of building partnerships and developing data skills with greater attention to unemployed youths. Such initiative has contributed to data awareness in Palestine and the need for wider partnerships among different sectors.

Relevancy begets trust as it brings a sense of appreciation and satisfaction. PCBS is the principal entity designated to manage the data requirements of the SDGs in Palestine. PCBS seized such an opportunity to strengthen trust of partners and users of the official statistical system. PCBS regularly measure user satisfaction and their preferences through standard surveys (user satisfaction survey, use of statistics by public sector, use of statistics by private sector) as well as through the user producer dialogue (i.e. workshops, seminars, meetings). Such data has contributed greatly to modernize PCBS’ services to best fit with the preferences of partners and users. One of the main findings of such surveys was the preferences in favor of electronic products and that shaped PCBS’ dissemination strategy. In addition, the findings indicate that PCBS’ data is largely used in planning and decision-making. Furthermore, PCBS seized the opportunity of the 2030 SDGs Agenda to promote the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics (FPOS) and the importance of partnerships, data quality, data confidentiality, professional independence…etc.

In conclusion, SDGs were viewed by PCBS as a process rather than an end goal and that has contributed greatly to PCBS' modernization strategy, building partnerships and staying relevant. To remain relevant, you need to seize opportunities to serve users intelligently. Relevancy will certainly make you stand out from the crowd!