Sri Lanka aims for real-time data to guide policymaking

ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lankan government wants to adopt advanced information systems that can provide real-time data to help policymakers do their job better, Karu Jayasuriya, Speaker of the Parliament, said.

“For a country such as Sri Lanka, with established digital infrastructure, and 20.4 million people, gathering data should be more cohesive, and forward thinking,” he told the First National Symposium on Data for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“We should see how we can move away from the traditional methods to more technologically advanced systems that can provide real-time data that can guide policymaking in the country,” Jayasuriya said.

The two-day forum, which began Tuesday was organised by the government of Sri Lanka and the United Nations, aiming to highlight the role of data in the SDG agenda which is often downplayed.

The 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.

“Data is the lifeblood of decision-making, without which policy makers are unable to make informed, effective and evidence-based decisions that lead to achieving the SDGs,” a UN statement said.

Highlighting the importance of data, Simrin Singh, UN Resident Coordinator, said, “Without data, we cannot know how many people are born and at what age they die; how many men, women and children still live in poverty; how many children need educating, and how many doctors to train.”

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.

(COLOMBO, March 20, 2018)






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