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Data Ecosystems for Sustainable Development: An Assessment of Six Pilot Countries

September 27, 2017

A data revolution for sustainable development is underway, reshaping how knowledge is produced and used, policy is formulated, and governance is redefined and enacted around the world. At its core, it is about people—as users, producers, beneficiaries, and owners of data—who must be at the centre of accountability and participatory mechanisms for the 2030 Agenda and in turn be closely involved in the delivery of the new development agenda. To this end, UNDP has sought to facilitate interactions, synergies and partnerships among different stakeholders, governments, civil society, international development organizations and the private sector that are grounded in perspectives of, and meaningful participation from, people. UNDP particularly seeks to ensure that development experience from the grassroots informs global discussions, and that the data revolution is actionable at the national level.While significant strides have been made with respect to upgrading data and statistical systems since the adoption of the MDGs, the 2030 Agenda encompasses a far broader ambition requiring better, more timely and reliable data on a wider variety of indicators. Thus its adoption by countries around the world necessitates an even more significant increase in the data that is available to, and used by, governments, civil society, the private sector, academia and international organizations to begin tracking progress towards the achievement of the SDGs.This synthesis report presents the findings of six pilot case studies assessing the readiness of national data ecosystems to harness the data revolution for the implementation and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda. This assessment focuses on the legal and policy frameworks and capacities for official statistics; entry points for action and obstacles for multi-stakeholder engagement on data for SDG implementation and monitoring; innovation and new technologies for plugging data gaps; and the infrastructure requirements for improved collection, dissemination and use of data for sustainable development.

Integrated Approach to HIV and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Southern Africa

January 1, 2014

This report documents findings of a rapid assessment on existing implementation linkages between HIV responses on one hand, and WASH on the other, in four southern African countries: Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Zambia.

Swaziland: A Failed Feudal State

September 17, 2013

The government of Swaziland denies its people basic human rights and conditions necessary for making a living, raising their children and escaping an early death. Swazis and their rich cultural heritage are at extreme risk due to the greed and depredations of their king, who is Africa's last absolute monarch. This report sets out the critical issues affecting Swaziland and recommends approaches for key stakeholders. Apart from generating discussion amongst those directly involved with the movement for democracy is Swaziland, this report is also intended to serve as a fact sheet for those who are new to Swaziland's issues.

The Role of the Education Sector in Providing Care and Support to Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Lesotho and Swaziland

March 27, 2013

As the HIV epidemic continues to unfold across southern Africa, countries are still struggling to find effective means to address many of its negative impacts at individual, family and community levels. One of the most complicated challenges is how to support the growing number of orphans and other children made vulnerable, or made more vulnerable, by the direct and indirect effects of HIV on their households. In particular, there have been many individual and institutional efforts to assist these children through schools and other educational services and institutions. But there has been little research into the actual impact of most of these interventions.The Open Society Education Support Program (ESP) and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) have been involved in some of these programs and came to the realisation that too many interventions within the education sector have not been adequately documented nor have they been evaluated rigorously enough to be certain that they are producing positive lasting benefits for the children. So ESP and OSISA agreed to fund a study of multi-sectoral efforts to assist orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) through schools in two of the countries most affected by the epidemic, Lesotho and Swaziland.In particular, the study was intended to probe in greater depth, and within the more systematic frame of a research methodology, the achievements of two current initiatives in each of the countries.The four cases described in this report each present an innovative approach to improving the care and support of vulnerable children within schools. Some of that support is direct and individually focussed (Lesotho Girl Guides Association and Moya Centre), while some is more indirect and focussed on strengthening systems and general community capacity (World Vision Lesotho or the Bantwana Schools Integrated Programme). However, what is common across all cases is the magnitude of the need within communities, not only for the support of vulnerable children but also for the community as a whole.