Lack of data hinders Bangladesh’s SDG progress monitoring | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 28, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 28, 2020

Lack of data hinders Bangladesh’s SDG progress monitoring

Data about a quarter of the indicators needed to monitor Bangladesh's progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are readily available, exposing the challenges the country faces in finding out how it is faring in attaining the Vision 2030, an official report said.

"There is still significant data scarcity," said the Sustainable Development Goal Progress Report 2020.

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In 2017, the General Economics Division (GED) of the planning ministry divided the SDG indicators into three categories based on data availability.

It found that the data about 70 indicators, or 29 per cent of the total, are readily available.

The data about 108 indicators, or 45 per cent of the total, are also available. But they have to be corrected, updated and assessed before they are used to gauge the progress.

But there are no data available about 63 indicators, which account for 26 per cent of the indicators, according to the GED report, which was launched at a programme at the National Economic Council yesterday.

M Shamsul Alam, a member of the GED, gave a presentation on the report.

Because of the non-availability of data, Bangladesh has not been able to select a common base year for all indicators. There are 232 indicators of the SDGs formulated by the United Nations.

So far, the country has selected a base year for 165 indicators and created a monitoring and evaluation framework for 142 indicators.

Ministries don't have updated data, the report said.

Bangladesh would be able to achieve the SDG 1, which is ending poverty in all its forms everywhere, if the increase in income inequality does not offset the impact of higher growth on poverty reduction, according to the report. 

The constraints on the mobilisation of resources especially external resources, implementation of the National Social Safety Net programmes, the vulnerability of the middle class and preventing slippage into poverty are some of the key challenges the country faces in achieving the goal, it said.

Income inequality in Bangladesh is much higher than consumption inequality. Income inequality has increased while consumption inequality has remained relatively stable over the years, the report said.

"Special focus is needed on budget allocations for health and education, including strengthening of health and education system governance, management, and service delivery capacities and implementation of essential services package, with a focus on the lagging regions."

This year closes the first cycle of the 2030 Agenda implementation. Planning Minister MA Mannan spoke at the report launching.

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