BD facing considerable data gap in monitoring SDGs: Study

DHAKA : Bangladesh is facing a considerable data gap for monitoring Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as data of two-thirds of the indicators are either partially available or not available at all, says a study report, reports UNB.
The report, titled ‘Data Gap Analysis for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Bangladesh Perspective, says the data of less than one-thirds of the indicators are readily available to evaluate the implementation of SDGs in Bangladesh.
General Economics Division (GED) of the Planning Commission prepared the report. The report along another two-‘Banking Atlas’ and ‘Environment and Climate Change Policy Gap Analysis in Haor Areas’-was launched at a programme at NEC Conference Room in the city on Thursday.
The GED and the Support to Sustainable and Inclusive Planning (SSIP) Project of UNDP Bangladesh jointly arranged the programme.
Placing the findings of the Data Gap Analysis, GED Member Prof Shamsul Alam said out of total 230 indicators (Bangladesh did the analysis with 240 indicators as seven indicators repeated twice and two repeated thrice) to monitor the 169 targets under 17 global goals, data of only 70 indicators are readily available while data on 108 indicators are partially available and 63 indicators related data are not available at all.
“With support from relevant government agencies and under overall leadership of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), we will soon chalk out a detailed plan to get the remaining data to monitor the SDGs progress in the country,” he said. Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said there will be no data gap finally. “We’ve already asked all the data-producing agencies to provide or generate the data, and will soon get the remaining ones.”
He said Bangladesh will obviously achieve many of the SDGs well before the set deadline — 2030.
He, however, said Bangladesh is helpless to prevent the adverse impacts of climate change, though Bangladesh is not responsible for the curse. “The impacts of the climate change hinder normal activities of people and economic activities in the country’s Haor and low-lying areas.”

The government will prepare a master plan for the development of haor areas, the minister said.
Noted economist Prof Wahiduddin Mahmud said Haor regions are not poor in terms of having resources, but the areas need to be developed so that the common people can get benefits of haors.
About data gap, he said the data collection drive is important as the drive creates awareness among people to reach the goals.
The study report titled ‘Banking Atlas’ showed ‘substantial improvement’ in access to and use of formal banking services at upazila level in Bangladesh in between 2010 and 2015, sending a strong message of improvement in financial inclusion.
The number of branches of the banks, accounts, amount of deposit and amount of credit has increased during the time (in between 2010 and 2015) connecting more rural poor to the formal financial network.
The Workshop Outcome Document on ‘Environment and Climate Change Policy Gap Analysis in Haor Areas’ recommended better coordination among government agencies, engagement of private sector for development in haor areas, and efforts to be taken to preserve and conserve haor bio-diversity and ecosystems.
The report also recommended leasing out water bodies to social organisation instead of individual by revising the water body regulations and rolling out new programmes to bring the diversification of agricultural products to improve lifestyle and livelihood of haor people.
UNDP (Bangladesh) Country Director Sudipto Mukerjee, Director General of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) Dr KAS Murshid and Director General of Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management (BIBM) Dr Toufic Ahmad Choudhuryalso spoke on the occasion.