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DFID India helps leveraging Data Intelligence to Support India’s Progress Towards the SDGs

– By Stuart Davies, Senior economic adviser, the Department for International Development (DFID), India

Today, data intelligence is driving transformation by unlocking insights for better decision-making. Development data is no exception. The UK understands this and believes Data intelligence plays a crucial role in helping policy makers better identify problems, prioritize resources, track progress and measure performance.

Working with development data is not without its challenges. This is especially true for geographically vast, thickly populated countries like India, where data is gathered from multiple sources, stored in a host of siloed, disconnected systems and updated infrequently. Such challenges give rise to decisions based on the use insufficient or inaccurate information.

How can technology help solve these problems? Can policy makers get a consolidated view of all the data they need for decision making? Recent advances in big data solutions make this possible.

The Sustainable Development Goals Dashboard

Introduced in 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. These 17 goals span a wide range of areas. Achieving these goals requires integrated action on social, environmental and economic challenges; with a close eye on inclusive, participatory development that leaves no one behind.

To help governments track progress on achieving their SDGs, an interactive dashboard has been developed partnership with the United Nations in India, to support the Government of India towards their SDGs. The innovative dashboard brings together data from over a hundred sources, portals and sectors. This single platform provides a holistic, comprehensive view of a country’s developments across all SDGs, covering over 130 indicators, as well as providing valuable insights on how these goals are interconnected. The first-ever SDG India Dashboard developed as part of the Force for Good partnership between India and the UK and launched by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. This launch is a demonstration of the power of technology in data driven decision-making.

The Bigger Picture

Already in use in India, Sri Lanka and Papa New Guinea, the SDG Dashboard has enormous potential to empower policy makers to take the right decisions and deliver the SDGs. It helps expose developmental barriers early on and target policy for development impact. Try it out at and tell us what you think!