[Read more session reports and live updates from the 12th Internet Governance Forum]
The special session was opened by Ms Marilyn Cade, CEO of ICT Strategies, who stressed that this was a ‘working session’ to learn from those working on the space of data collection and measurement and to make recommendations and progress in achieving SDGs.
Mr Thomas Schneider, Ambassador and Director of International Affairs at the Swiss Federal Office of Communication (OFCOM), emphasised the fundamental role of ICTs in achieving SDGs and how there should be a strategic thinking behind it. At the national level, Schneider explained that there was an ‘Agenda 2030 Baseline Assessment’ to see where the country is standing in terms of the 17 SDGs and the development activities to support the other countries. The Office of Communication worked in a multi-stakeholder manner to call for a Development Strategy that is aligned with the Digital Strategy. Schneider also added that his administration learned to understand how to support projects in an efficient way by knowing the challenges they are facing.
Mr Andre Laperrière, Chief Executive of the Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN), shared their belief that one of the best ways to achieve global food security and better quality of life for everyone is through the exchange of knowledge and of Data. According to Laperrière, ‘Data is the third revolution’, the issue is how to use Data and how to put it at the reach of everyone thanks to modern technologies.
Mr Hossam El Gammal, Chairman of the commission of decision support center in the Egyptian Cabinet, shared their national experience in gathering and analysing Data in order to make proper suggestions to decision-makers through ‘Digital Development Maps’ that are constantly updated on the advancement and execution of plans. El Gammal explained how this helps in designing Geomaps to visualize the gaps and opportunities. El Gammal also shed light on ‘E-complain’ and SDD systems that help them in improving governance and fighting corruption.
Dr Claire Melamed, the Executive Director of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, intervened remotely to stress the importance of ensuring Data is not used against the end-users and their privacy. Melamed also added that both the private sector and governments should work on improving Data systems.
Mr Oluwatomi Damilola, Chief Executive Officer for Mobile-Phones, spoke about the ‘Challenges of Data Protection; the case of Developing Countries’ and highlighted how all the data is time stamped and hence, reliable. Damilola showed how they assist in addressing Special Data and gathering statistics in a very short time by women who contribute in getting back this Data to their communities and supplementing their income.
Mr Omar Seidu. Head of Ghana statistics, talked remotely on the different challenges Ghana faced with the SDG frameworks and how they adopted a position to align, adopt, and adapt the SDGs to their national report development framework. For this, three institutions were put in place to oversee the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs in the country: the High level Ministry chaired by Ministry for planning and chaired by the office of the President, the SDG implementation committee, and the National Technical Committee. In doing so, they tried to assess the capacity of the country in monitoring the SDGs and looked at data availability. They focused on the tier one and tier two indicators. Then, Ghana started engaging in global partnerships in order to host a national data road map forward in April.
Ms Tanya Zarube, from the Office of Reform in Lebanon shared the Lebanese government’s strategy for the process of business registration in the country, and how this started and the initiative for data protection, data sharing, and interoperability through the service model, a ‘data dictionary’.
Dr Driart Elshani, a university professor of computer science, reported on the Kosovo Open Data Initiative and how it stimulated the business environment and created demand and supply for the open data. Elshani noted the challenges for Kosovo and the data initiative such as limited available open data and streamlining open data.
Mr Moctar Yedaly, from the African Union, declared that from an African point of view, the problem is the poor quality of the Data collected most of the time, specifically with regard to the energy sector, but pointed that technology is improving and also Data collection.
By Ines Hfaiedh