TA 2. Innovations and synergies across different data ecosystems

(TA2.03) SDG Data Challenges and Opportunities: Geospatial Reference, Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development

Abu Dhabi Stat Hall October 24, 2018 10:45 am - 12:00 pm

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Andrew Tatem
Rachael Beaven
Mark Peterson
Bahadur Hellali
Heather Chamberlain
Dorsamy Pillay
Virginia Murray
Sabrina Juran
Pierre Klissou

Access to reliable and credible data is central to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and successful implementation of international agreements such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. A critical challenge is the need to integrate data from diverse social, natural, health, and engineering disciplines, across national boundaries, and on a range of temporal and special scales to meet the needs of SDG monitoring and to support evidence-based decision making. Improved sub-national data on boundaries, placenames, settlements, and populations are vital to such integration, and to supporting a wide range of development and humanitarian objectives, including needs assessments, planning and budgeting; equitable distribution of public resources and services; monitoring the incidence, prevalence, and spatial transmission of disease; targeting interventions and tracking population trends; and natural resource protection.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provide a simple way of linking many kinds of geospatially-referenced data and a highly intuitive way of communicating the results of data analysis, through maps that allow users without data expertise to understand sophisticated and rigorous findings. GIS are increasingly being integrated into the process of national censuses. Moreover, the integration of additional geospatial datasets, derived from satellites, georeferenced surveys, and other sources, can complement census data, fill gaps, and provide inter-censal updates. In cases of fragile or conflict-affected states, such data can be used to produce relevant core datasets on settlements and population through statistical modeling.

This session will address innovative solutions to SDG data integration challenges, focusing in particular on a new initiative, Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3) initiative, a partnership between UNFPA, WorldPop/Flowminder, CIESIN, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the UK Department for International Development.

Session objectives include highlighting the value of geospatial data integration, showcasing example applications in Nigeria and Afghanistan, discussing opportunities and barriers to implementation and adoption of geospatial approaches in national statistics, and advancing collaboration between scientific and development communities to support international agendas related to sustainable development, disaster risk management, and climate change. The target audience is the development and statistical communities who can benefit from improved data integration and collaboration across disciplines, borders, and applications.