LIRNEasia at Sri Lanka’s First National Symposium on Data for Sustainable Development: #SDGDataLK

Posted on March 21, 2018  /  0 Comments

LIRNEasia was proud to partner on Sri Lanka’s first national symposium on Data for Sustainable Development. Held over two days (March 20-21), the event offered a unique platform to share LIRNEasia’s views and experience on the use of data for the SDGs, particularly in relation to our big data work.

Sriganesh Lokanathan, Team Leader – Big Data research moderated the first session of the symposium, and was part of a panel discussion on day 2. I had the opportunity to showcase LIRNEasia’s experience on using Big data for SDGs at a session that was co-presented with UN Global Pulse.

At the first session, Sriganesh moderated a panel that emphasized the importance of data to achieve the SDGs, and set the tone for the symposium. On day 2 Sriganesh was part of an esteemed panel that explored the role of citizen-generated data for the SDGs. The panelists included Dr. Nandala Weerasinghe, Senior Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Hon. Harsha De Silva, State Minister, National Policies and Economic Affairs, Mr. Chamindha Rajakaruna, Executive Director, Sarvodaya Sharamadrana Movement, and Ms. Madusha Dissanayake, Assistant Representative, UNFPA. The lively discussion touched on the need for good data for good policy, the need to convert data into language that people understand, and the need to fact check citizen generated data. Sriganesh spoke about the need for conversations between multiple disciplines when integrating numerous data sources and the need to fact check such data. He highlighted the role of trusted intermediaries in the fact-checking process.

Diastika Rahwidiati, Deputy Head of Office, Pulse Lab, Jakarta and I  co-presented a session on Big Data for Sustainable Development, where we  used various use case examples to demonstrate the potential of leveraging big data to achieve the SDGs. We were able to give the audience a flavor of the types of sources and insights that could be generated from big data and engaged the audience in a discussion on the various challenges of using big data, including privacy concerns, issues of representativity and bias. We wrapped up the session by highlighted some of the key opportunities of big data: complementing traditional statistics in the interval between surveys, partnerships between government, civil society, academia, private sector, etc. The slides can be found here.


For more tweets from the event click HERE.

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