A total of 44 projects have been undertaken to collect and analyse data in order to meet 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) has been assigned to deliver these projects or hire services from the private sector. The BBS will be responsible for surveying, while data analysis and evaluation will be accepted by other organisations to deliver indicators of the SDGs.
The projects will cost approximately $125m, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal told a policy dialogue on data for the SDGs at the Daily Star Centre on Wednesday.
He stressed that the BBS will work judicially and professionally to collect data in an objective and timely manner so that the targets of SDGs may be delivered comprehensively.
The government has taken the SDGs seriously, and data collection is vital in order to measure indicators. The BBS is capable of producing objective data based on surveys and not assumptions, said the minister.
It is a government decision that the BBS will be the primary institution for data collection, with assistance from the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), divisions and line ministry.
In the seminar, it was discussed that the Statistics Act of 2013 has given the BBS the mandate to collect and endorse all official statistics. To track the SDG indicators, more investment and technical assistance should be channeled towards data generation.
It was discussed in further that the Millennium Development Goals have made it clear that there is a need for more accurate statistics to monitor and implement SDGs. The principle of of inclusiveness and leaving no one behind requires data disaggregated by geographical location, sex and gender, but more importantly by population groups, such as children, women of reproductive age, youth and the elderly, ethnic and religious minorities as well as other vulnerable groups.
The country representative of the United Nations’ Population Fund (UNFPA), Argentina, P Metavel said: “Reviewing quality issues and analysis of the scope of partnership with other professional institutions will keep BBS as the main statistics office. Also, analysis of the drives of certain issues like causes of vulnerability will help the government and other partners.”
Johan Frisell, ambassador of Sweden in Bangladesh, said: “Data is the one of the most powerful tools to do national planning.”
He said the embassy of Sweden will be in support to collect reliable data in Bangladesh to meet the SDGs.