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New Data Portal Showcases Timely Data on Sustainable Development

SDGs Today

24 July 2020 | New York, NY, USA – Introducing: SDGs Today (sdgstoday.org). Time is ticking for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were set in 2015. With only 10 years left to achieve those goals, we need real-time data for SDGs. That is why a new online portal has just been released.

SDGs Today: The Global Hub for Real-Time SDG Data

[Posted by: Carmel McNamara, IOS Press]

SDGs Today

New York, NY, USA – Introducing: SDGs Today (sdgstoday.org).Time is ticking for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were set in 2015. With only 10 years left to achieve those goals, we need real-time data for SDGs. That is why a new online portal has just been released.

The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a leading NGO working to mobilize global scientific and technological expertise for sustainable development, announced the launch of SDGs Today: The Global Hub for Real-Time SDG Data, a new open access data portal that will feature timely data (updated regularly, at least once every year) on sustainable development measures.

SDGs Today, developed in partnership with Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, and National Geographic, aims to provide a snapshot of the state of sustainable development around the world right now, whilst enabling users to access and engage with timely data on sustainable development, obtain GIS training and resources, and learn how to use the data effectively to drive action on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Timely data are the key to achieving the SDGs – if we don’t know where we are and how we can progress, we certainly can’t arrive at the future we want,” said Jeffrey Sachs, world-renowned economist, professor, author, and President of SDSN. “I am thrilled that SDSN is partnering with Esri and National Geographic on this crucial platform. Both Esri and National Geographic are great global innovators in enabling us to think geographically in our complex, interconnected world. Their contributions to the cause of sustainable development are profound.”

To understand and effectively track progress on the SDGs, we need reliable, quality, and timely data. Yet, with only 10 years left to achieve these ambitious targets, too much of the data is still out-of-date or unavailable, and too many people are being left behind in the numbers. There is a critical need for a data platform that makes quality and timely data for sustainable development accessible to all, improves knowledge of geospatial tools and geographic information systems (GIS), and builds capacity to use these tools to support global agendas and policymaking.

“One of the most important things we can do as a society at this particular time is to help bring the nations of the world together to collaborate on and measure the progress of our collective work toward the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Jack Dangermond, Esri founder and president. “It is a crucial time for the nations of the world to work together to solve problems that transcend national borders, and which pose uniquely geographic challenges. GIS allows us to better understand these issues and measure the progress of our collective solutions.”

SDGs Today is designed to complement the official SDGs monitoring platform developed by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), and the data featured are not the official datasets for SDG Monitoring. The portal’s datasets are based on new data sources and methods, updated regularly, and have been produced within the last year. Each dataset has been rigorously vetted by SDSN, with the process being coordinated by its Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics (TReNDS). Datasets were selected based on the level of frequency, quality, international comparability, public availability, and ease of understanding. Additional real-time and/or timely datasets will be added to the portal throughout the rest of the year.

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NOTES FOR EDITORS
To access the platform, visit sdgstoday.org or contact: sdgstoday@unsdsn.org.

Media Contacts
For further details, contact Cheyenne Maddox or Alyson Marks at the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (cheyenne.maddox@unsdsn.org or alyson.marks@unsdsn.org).

About the Sustainable Development Solutions Network
The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) was established in 2012 under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General. SDSN mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. SDSN works closely with United Nations agencies, multilateral financing institutions, the private sector, and civil society. unsdsn.org/sdgs-today

IN SHORT:

In 2015, 193 world leaders agreed to a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), placing us on a path toward a more sustainable future. To understand and effectively track progress on these ambitious targets, we need reliable, quality, and timely data. Yet, five years later too much of the data is still out-of-date or unavailable, and too many people are being left behind in the numbers. Half the data used to measure the 232 SDG indicators are missing. Two-thirds of poverty data from Sub-Saharan Africa and global deforestation figures are five years out-of-date. Only 100 countries in the world have nationally-representative data on violence against women, and more than 25 million refugees around the world go uncounted in national statistics.

With only 10 years left to achieve the SDGs, there is a critical need for a data platform that makes quality and timely data for sustainable development measures accessible to all, improves knowledge of geospatial tools and geographic information systems (GIS), and builds capacity to use these tools to support global agendas and policymaking.

In partnership with Esri and the National Geographic Society, SDGs Today: The Global Hub for Real-Time SDG Data is a platform developed by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). This one-of-a-kind open access data platform has the potential to revolutionize how we understand and communicate the urgency of the SDGs and how we develop solutions, by providing a much-needed virtual space where key stakeholders from around the world can access and engage with timely data (updated regularly, at least once each year) on the SDGs and learn how to use the data effectively to push Agenda 2030 forward. The platform also houses GIS training and education resources and supports countries and other institutions to produce, share, and engage with the data to help ensure that we meet the global goals by 2030.

We don’t have time to wait. The time is now for real-time data on the SDGs.