Data Revolution for Sustainable Development

Despite relative progress in the realization of the MDG targets, Uganda still confronts 10 million people living in poverty, 11 million persons facing acute food insecurity, 7.3% HIV/AIDS prevalence rate, Maternal Mortality Ratio of 336/100,000 live births, 6.2% youth unemployment, rapid environmental degradation, and gender inequalities.[1] While the above challenges are partly attributable to State institutional constraints among other factors, human rights scholars argues that the framework for the implementation of the MDG were not strongly anchored on international human rights principles and standards. Consequently, this affected the realization of the MDG targets and several other claims that could have been made by the rights-holders against a spectrum of human rights issues addressed by the MDG. Equally, Uganda faced significant gaps in establishing baseline data for several MDG result areas including data disaggregation by prohibited grounds of discrimination as stipulated under the international human rights law.[2] In addition, the current National Statistical System (NSS) capacity to compile all the applicable SDG indicators stands at 42% and the NSS is highly reliant on external financing.[3] Furthermore, administrative data sources continue being a challenge to State efforts in measuring progress towards results with only 26% of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and 12% of Higher Local Governments (HLGs) having sector statistics plans. In addition, other institutions do not have a statistics unit or even a dedicated statistician and have no systematic data collection in place; instead, most sector administrative dataset available are being collected on request and ad hoc basis.[4] On this basis therefore, the realization of the State commitment of a model country in achieving the SDG necessitate systems strengthening particularly with respect to the data ecosystem. The current CNDPF and the SDGs framework for Uganda provides this opportunity for systems strengthening through the integration of international human rights standards and principles related to data and human rights indicators.  This shall include; strengthening capacities of the NSS, NPA, NHRI and other stakeholders on data planning, generation, analysis and reporting from a human rights perspective thus highlighting gaps in development including those left behind.

[1]UBOS 2016, MDG report (Uganda) 2015, National Food Security Assessment 2017.

[2] There was no adequate data for measurement of Maternal Mortality Rate. In addition, data disaggregation on prohibited grounds of discrimination were lacking in most of the result areas. UBOS, 2016 and MDG report (Uganda), 2015.  

[3] United Nations Statistics Division, 2018.

[4] Ibid 15.