Data is and will always be the bloodline of decision making and raw material for accountability. <!--more-->A national level training workshop recently held in Uganda 2016, on tracking progress Towards 2030 organised by Youth coalition on Sexual Reproductive Health and AIDS (CYSRA) was not just about tracking progress but also what the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are about, comparing the SDGs and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) data, youth engagement and youth-led data driven accountability and to further understand research. This interactive workshop brought together many young people from various youth-led organisations to discuss data as a vital element of the SDGs.
Topics, included youth-led social accountability mechanisms for better health outcomes. We discussed accountability in relation to solutions and what really needs to be done. This is because accountability for specific SDGs will depend on the availability of appropriate indicators (evidence-based data).
The PACT - a coalition of youth organizations, with a vision to create solidarity across youth organizations to work strategically and collaboratively in the HIV response towards ensuring the health, wellbeing and human rights of all young people brought together this workshop through ACT2015 which aims to bring about meaningful engagement and equity in decision-making of the young people around SDGs implementation. All young people present at this training agreed that if youth voices are recognised in the SDGs, then we would get the development we desire. One of the major challenges highlighted was the challenge of realising youth-led accountability initiatives due to data not being easily available or being difficult to interpret. If we fail to understand data, then it is hard to hold anyone accountable!
During the workshop, we were also introduced to the ‘Big idea game’ by Wilber Kakaire, who presented a strategic overview of the use of data in a programme cycle, from identifying the problem to implementation of a program. Kabaire also advised that data must be available at a reasonable cost to collect and disaggregate. This led as to an exciting innovation- iCOUNT which will help young people generate their own understanding of available data and inspire action. iCOUNT (currently waiting for approval), will ensure young people are not left behind in relation to data and the SDGs. An outcome from all the attendees was an appreciation of the innovation and commitments needed to advance the youth-led data in development programming.
We shall get there, if more young people make it a point to track progress towards 2030, especially through the use of data!
<div class="hidden plain-text">3. Good health & well-being @Nicholas Niwagaba</div>