The Government of Sri Lanka and the United Nations jointly deliver #SDGDataLK, the First National Symposium on Data for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
COLOMBO, (20th and 21st March 2018 at Waters Edge) #SDGDataLK, Sri Lanka’s First National Symposium on Data for the SDGs, was inaugurated with the presence of the Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Karu Jayasuriya, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Chairman of the Parliament Select Committee for the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Hon. Thilanga Sumpathipala, and the UN Resident Coordinator Ms. Simrin Singh. The two-day symposium is a platform for enhancing the use of data towards evidence-based policy making and coordination of monitoring the progress on the SDGs in Sri Lanka.
Ten sessions were conducted during the two days by 24 esteemed local and international resource persons. The sessions discussed three main points: 1) Impact and Importance of Data; 2) Context and Challenges of SDG data in Sri Lanka, and 3) Strategy and Way Forward in using data for the SDGs. The discussions will focus on the need for mapping baseline data in Sri Lanka, against the 244 SDG indicators, to understand where Sri Lanka currently stands in the journey towards achieving the SDGs by 2030.
Speaking at the event Hon. Thilanga Sumathipala, Deputy Speaker of Parliament, and Chairman of the Parliament Select Committee for the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development stated, “We have been working for more than a year since November 2016 and we have managed to publish a Parliamentary Report on SDGs, as the first country in the world to do so, making an assessment of the SDGs and the impact it can have on the country. For any country to go forward in achieving the global goals, they need to have a plan to achieve those respective goals.”
Further emphasizing, Hon. Deputy Speaker stated that the Government needs to have proper data unless the data is accurate it’s difficult to make an assessment. The Symposium is organised today for us to understand the importance of data i.e. why we need data, the methodology of data collection and how we can use data based on accuracy of data. The information flow is taking time. We are behind in collecting data. DCS has made a presentation to the government and the government is working towards it. Further it was said that, there is data at the lower level, data is collected at certain levels, but it does not come fast and there is no system to bring these data to the top level. Make sure we spend our money wisely through our national budget in order to collect data. Once in every 3 months the Speaker of Parliament calls for a meeting with regard to SDG and it is discussed as to where we are on SDG and when we plan to publish our 2nd report. We have sent letters to government agencies through Mr Austin Fernando, Secretary to the President with templates in all 3 languages.
Further emphasizing, Hon. Deputy Speaker requested all present at the symposiums to make use of the 2 days and study the guide lines and get the proper data.
On an ending note Hon. Thilanga Sumathipala thanked all the UN agencies who are working towards the success of SDGs and specially thanked UNFPA for initiating the symposium in educating all agencies on data collection.