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Copenhagen Consensus Center

Post-2015 Consensus: Data for Development Viewpoint, Kapto

Viewpoint Paper

Kapto (UNDP) points out that political commitment to stronger accountability of the SDG agenda provides a powerful incentive for choosing indicators more rigorously and devoting more resources to quality data. Policymakers are waking up to the fact that the new agenda will come at a cost, and they are demonstrating willingness, despite the difficult political negotiations, to confront the issues of funding that the new agenda will require. The question should not be “what can we afford?” but “what do we need?” followed by “how do we pay for it?” It would be wrong to assume that funding for the data revolution should come only from official development assistance, with many countries being able to tap into other sources of funding, including domestic. Countries should heed the lessons from the MDGs and ensure that local statistical capacity effectively serves to meet local needs instead of the demands of donors who are “paying for the results”. The rapid expansion of mobile communications also opens up opportunities for innovative, cheaper and scaled-up data collection.