Monitoring sustainable development goal 6 in Fiji with UNICEF
Following the endorsement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in 2015, governments globally have been searching for better ways to collect, align, collate, visualise and share their data. This is particularly important given the breadth and depth of the 17 sustainable development goals, their 169 targets and over 230 separate indicators. For governments across the world, it is essential not only to prioritise specific goals, but to ensure that the goals and indicators align with the national priorities of the country.
Together with UNICEF Pacific and the World Health Organisation (WHO), Akvo is supporting the government of Fiji to streamline their data processes and ensure targeted programmes and policies for the areas that need support so that they can achieve SDG 6.
Above: Government staff capture data using Akvo Flow in Fiji, March 2019. Photo by Nicola Sloan.
The government of Fiji is embracing the sustainable development goals, particularly SDG 6: clean water and sanitation for all. With multiple indicators and stakeholders, it can be hard to track progress. What do the definitions of the SDG indicators mean in the Fijian context? Which ministries and non governmental organisations (NGOs) hold the relevant data? How can we ensure that the SDGs are aligned and embedded within Fiji’s national priorities?
For the government of Fiji, there were challenges in gaining oversight of the relevant data. While different ministries and NGOs hold data for different indicators, there is little sharing between them and no centralised place to bring them together.
Government staff receive data training in Fiji, March 2019. Photo by Nicola Sloan.
To reduce duplication and ensure that the SDGs are aligned with the national priorities, Fiji’s WASH cluster has focused on creating national WASH indicators which are embedded within the local context. Alongside WHO and UNICEF Pacific, Akvo has been supporting the relevant ministries in mapping out the various data sources needed to measure and monitor SDG 6. We've also assisted them in digitising the data collection process, visualising the progress towards SDG 6, and performing a data gap analysis.
Together, the partners have facilitated a series of workshops aimed at building capacities within the WASH cluster to design surveys, use Akvo’s data platform, finalise the national indicator definitions, and create a dashboard providing a real time overview of the WASH system.
Following the workshops and research, the government of Fiji was able to use the data gap analysis to feed into plans for data collection and close the SDG indicator gaps. They are currently in the midst of finalising a memorandum of association, which will allow ministries to share data freely. This step is essential in reducing duplicate data and fostering open collaboration between the ministries. Along with standardised questions and data formats, this will make merging datasets from different sources much easier, allowing the government to track specific indicators. We’re in the process of creating a dashboard with real time WASH data from the ministries. Watch this space!