Bangladesh’s online tool for monitoring indicator progress towards achieving the SDGs
Without quality data, it is almost impossible to provide the right information at the right time and to design, monitor and evaluate policies. For a government to plan and monitor the impact of its policies, it must be able to benchmark data and see year-on-year progress. The scope of the 2030 Agenda requires high-quality disaggregated data that are timely, open, accessible, understandable and easy to use. Until recently, however, Bangladesh did not have an online tracking system and data repository to monitor progress toward achieving the SDGs. Data produced by various agencies were maintained in different silos and were not integrated. As a result, assembling the data manually and using them in policy decisions posed major challenges. Against this background, there was a crucial need for a monitoring tool to track SDG progress. The SDG Tracker is the answer to this need.
Towards a Solution
The SDG Tracker is a simple but powerful tool developed by the Access to Information (a2i) Programme of the Government of Bangladesh for comprehensive target setting and progress tracking of each SDG, indicator by indicator. It is an online measurement and analytics platform that takes advantage of the massive data revolution. The SDG Tracker is aimed at creating a data repository to monitor implementation of the SDGs. This makes it possible to strengthen the timely collection of data and improve situation analysis and performance monitoring for achieving the SDGs, as well as other national development goals. The cost of developing this tracker was approximately USD 62,000.
An additional USD 50,000 was allocated to maintain it for the 2018−2020 period. When this period expires, the maintenance contract will be extended accordingly. This system is maintained by a2i.
The SDG Tracker collects data electronically from various data sources, taking into consideration different geographical areas. Collected data are processed in the system to visualize the status and progress of the SDGs through multiple visualization and reporting schemes. Thus, it supports tracking of each target and indicator against the milestones set to achieve them within a stipulated time period.
The innovative design of the Tracker allows it to be customized to any language and any country. In addition to the SDGs, it can also track the progress of other development agenda aligned with the SDGs. Thus, it is easily replicable and can save valuable time and resources for other countries to develop their trackers, especially those of the global South. Knowledge-sharing on this Tracker is underway in 11 countries of the global South under South-South cooperation: Bhutan, Ecuador, Fiji, Malawi, the Maldives, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Somalia, Tunisia, and Uganda.
The SDG Tracker can be adjusted to each development context and set of challenges faced. Supporting partnerships, the availability of quality data and analysis, and accountability are themes that are crucial to successful implementation. Therefore, it has the potential to play a crucial role in facilitating the formulation of more informed policies and guiding resource allocation as well as decision-making across the Global South.
Md. Rezaul Karim, Consultant-Open Government
Data Implementation, a2i Programme, ICT Division,
Mr. Md. Shaheenur Rahman, Senior Assistant Chief,
Economic Relations Division, Ministry of Finance,
Bangladesh, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Project name: SDG Tracker of Bangladesh
Nominated by: Government of Bangladesh
Sustainable Development Goal target(s): 17.18, 17.19
Supported by: Government of Bangladesh, UNDP and USAID
Implementing entities: Access to Information (a2i) Programme, ICT Division, Bangladesh
Project status: Ongoing
Project period: First phase: 2016−2018
URL of the practice: www.sdg.gov.bd
The article is extracted from “Good Practices in South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Sustainable Development” published by United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation. The document can be accessed by clicking the following link https://bit.ly/2OcYs3z