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Commentary

Lack of data and access to resources are major challenges

25 September 2021
Lack of data and access to resources are major challenges


Editorial Desk :
Experts say real time data must be available to policy makers to formulate a plan of action to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) but its absence is a key challenge to achieve these goals. Lack of authentic data as well as lack of access to resources are major challenges in this regard. Besides, the government efforts to adopt a whole-of-society approach must be invigorated to attain all components SDGs such as the environment, society and economy. What came out in discussion organised by UNDP and BIDS in the city on Thursday is that the country's most recent labour force data was from fiscal 2016-17. The Health interview survey data was from the same year while the latest demographic and health survey data is from 2000.
It means that for about five to seven years, we did not have the correct information about what was happening in the country in terms of employment, poverty, income inequality, and demographic and health indicators. How the labour force component is changing and impacting on job creation and income generation is not clearly known. The country's industrialisation process is moving fast but we have no clear picture how it is contributing to achieving sustainable development goals. Similarly unavailability of disaggregated data remains a major challenge. So
real-time authentic and representative data are very important to realistic policy planning.
It is natural that if we do not have real and authentic data, policy measures or policy recommendations will not be perfect or can even be misleading. That's why we need new survey data from various sources including administrative sources. All relevant parties, including non-state actors, were the key players in achieving the SDGs and their role should be fully evaluated. Non-state actors' capacity to implement SDGs is not adequate and it should be developed through government support. In our view the government's efforts to implement the SDGs should be strengthened. We would say mere applause or winning of awards from international NGOs for the country's so-called success in implementation of the SDGs may be politically suitable but practically misleading. In our view the government should immediately carry out manpower survey and health survey at all levels to generate real time inputs to implement SDGs.

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