SDG 17 Background Note
Relevant, timely and usable data are essential for countries to set priorities, make informed choices and implement better policies for sustainable development. Arab countries, through their national statistical offices, are making significant efforts to produce data to inform and monitor the implementation of the SDGs and national priorities. Considerable progress in data availability has been recorded in recent years. Arab countries are also increasingly using voluntary national reviews as opportunities to broaden the scope of data collection and enhance data quality.
However, large gaps in data availability still exist in several areas related to sustainable development. Key challenges also include the quality and frequency of the statistical information produced nationally, and their international comparability, as well as data transparency and accessibility. The lack of comparable and disaggregated data on people with disabilities, older persons, women, girls and other marginalized groups is a critical development issue in the Arab region. Without robust data, it is not possible to adequately plan and allocate the resources necessary to ensure that programmes and services achieve their objectives and reach the intended population groups. This effectively limits countries’ ability to respond to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, to prioritize action and resources, and to design responsive measures that leave no one behind. Consequently, the production of timely high-quality disaggregated data is not only a technical pillar for achieving the 2030 Agenda, but also a political one as it is fundamental to ensuring inclusivity and justice and to enhancing institutional and societal resilience to future shocks.