Mar 21, Colombo: Recognizing the pivotal role data plays in Sri Lanka's journey towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Government of Sri Lanka and the United Nations, jointly organized "#SDGDataLK: Enhancing Data for a Sustainable Sri Lanka"- the First National Symposium on Data for the SDGs, which took place on 20 & 21 March 2018 in Colombo.
The two-day symposium brought together multiple stakeholders from the Government, UN Agencies, Private Sector, Civil Society Organizations, Academia, and Data and Research organizations, to discuss the importance of using data towards evidence-based policy and decision-making.
With 24 esteemed local and international speakers, the symposium brought together multi-disciplinary discussions on how data helps policy making, the status of mapping SDG Indicators in Sri Lanka, as well as discussions on concepts such as Big Data and Open Data.
The second day focused on the next steps in taking the discussions forward, beyond the two-day symposium. CITRA Social Innovation Lab, Sri Lanka, introduced a prototype online tool which can host SDG related data, in order to streamline coordination and monitor the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Sri Lanka.
At the closing ceremony, Deputy Speaker of Parliament, and Chairman of the Parliament Select Committee for the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Thilanga Sumathipala stated, "The UN is us. We are partners - we have been a member of the UN for over 60 years to make the world a better place. We must make use of this shared global knowledge for us to transform as a country."
In conclusion UN Resident Coordinator a.i. Ms. Simrin Singh said the Symposium has started a vital conversation on Data for the SDGs in Sri Lanka. "It recognized the crucial role that ordinary citizens play in contributing to development, as well as the need for all partners to come together in our collective journey towards achieving the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development."
#SDGDataLK was organized by the Government of Sri Lanka and the United Nations with the strategic partnership of the Select Committee of Parliament on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Department of Census and Statistics, CITRA Social Innovation Lab, LIRNEasia, and Pulse Lab Jakarta. Resource Partners included the Central Bank, the Centre for Poverty Analysis, Ministry of National
Policies and Economic Affairs, Ministry of Sustainable Development and Wildlife, Ministry of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure, Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, Transparency International, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN HABITAT), United Nations Volunteers Programme (UNV) and World Health Organization (WHO).