The UN High-Level Political Forum took place in New York earlier this month. DiploFoundation and the Geneva Internet Platform covered all sessions related to data and digital policy. Certain sessions also addressed the issue of capacity building, noting that it requires financial resources and knowledge sharing. While the additional amount of money needed to fund SDG data - annually about USD$ 200 million - is relatively small compared to the sum needed for SDG implementation, there is an important funding gap. To close this gap, there is a need for political support and awareness, and a change of the perception about the utility of official statistics among policymakers. This also requires smoothening the relation between policymakers and data producers, with NSIs demonstrating the power of data; ‘unless data is made valuable, we won’t get the wallets to open up’. Finally, partnerships with civil society, academia, and the private sector will be key. These sectors could address gaps in data and methodologies, and share the burden of work.
Capacity development is often defined as the improvement of knowledge, skills and institutions to make effective use of resources and opportunities. Widespread on the agenda of international development agencies, capacity development programs range from societal to individual level and include a diversity of strategies, from fundraising to targeted training.