Madrid, 5 March 2021On the occasion of International Open Data Day (6 March), Access Info is calling on governments to collect and publish data on the 231 indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals, in order to measure progress towards the achievement of the goals by 2030, and to release that data following the open data principles.

The Agenda 2030 aims to tackle urgent global issues such as the climate crisis or gender inequality. Research by Access Info on the gender equality indicators (SDG 5), in seven European countries found that, on average, only a little more than half (57%) of data on 28 gender-related data indicators was published.

The clock is ticking, but without quality data to measure the SDG indicators, it is difficult to understand where we currently stand on the path to achieve them,” said Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info.

This call comes after a year in which the pandemic revealed the weaknesses in national systems for collecting and publishing accurate, timely, data, even on basic health matters such as infection rates and testing, or on the spending of public funds in emergency procurement.

See Access Info’s recommendations on transparency of emergency procurement!

Access Info has identified poor record keeping and lack of digitalisation as underlying structural problems. In our research on the gender equality indicators, we found that even when data is published it is of poor quality, not disaggregated, and sometimes significantly out of date.

“Publishing data is not only about putting it online, but making it accessible and understandable to the members of the public, and allowing its reuse to generate change,” added Darbishire.

Access Info calls for the publication of all SDG data following the Open Data Charter principles: data available for reuse, both for commercial and non-commercial purposes, downloadable in machine-readable and in open formats, visualised, disaggregated and up to date.

Access Info is the European Hub for the Global Data Barometer, which is carrying out a new global survey to evaluate the quality of data needed for democracy and development. Measurement will cover indicators such as data for political integrity, health, energy, climate, migration, and the fight against corruption.