EY, Edinburgh Varsity Engage Stakeholders on SDGs Data Analytics

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EY Nigeria and University of Edinburgh recently engaged stakeholders on the Sustainable Development Goals Data Analytics, with participants drawn from the public and private sectors, as well as developmental institutions, civil societies and NGOs.

The three-day workshop with the theme ‘SDGs Data Management for enhanced Corporate Sustainability Performance’, sought to understand the current efforts to implement the SDGs in Nigeria, set goal and agreed on a collaborative implementation roadmap for SDGs data management required for sustainable socio-economic development.

At the end of the interactive and insightful workshop, participants generally called for the creation of a multi-stakeholder initiative for mainstreaming SDGs data gathering, impact measurement, tracking and reporting in Nigeria.

In his opening remarks, EY Regional Managing Partner for West Africa, Anthony Oputa, said the workshop was aimed at identifying gaps and rallying both the public and private sector stakeholders for a unified SDGs data metrics.

He said the workshop, among others, was to harness the power of data analytics for the attainment of the SDGs, as well as build an expert working group on it.

While explaining the rationale behind the workshop, Professor Christina Boswell of Edinburgh University, noted that the workshop was in line with the strategic goals of the institution, which is big on harnessing and tapping data for social goals.
She stated that the university is currently collaborating with organisations like UNICEF, MEDELIN in Colombia to build a wide range of database to address urban planning.

“University of Edinburgh is partnering with organisations like UNICEF and MEDELIN in Colombia to address the SDGs, while aiming to use data analytics/big data in partnerships with public and private sectors to develop products, services and to develop data literacy in an inclusive and socially progressive way,” Boswell said.

Participants at the workshop commended EY and University of Edinburgh for the initiative, noting that the workshop could not have come at a more favourable and better time.

The Head of Sustainability, Access Bank, Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, while making a case presentation on sustainability and SDGs implementation at Access Bank, provided it’s practices, measurement and reporting as obtain within the bank.

Dr. Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien, Private Sector Advisory Group on SDGs, Nigeria, who co-led the discussion session, called for increased collaboration among stakeholders to ensure inter-connectedness in SDGs data gathering, measurement and reporting.

According to her, the workshop has set the tone for an important dialogue around SDGs implementation that would make the difference in improving the wellbeing of the Nigerian society.

Mrs. Soromiday George, Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainable Business, Unilever (Ghana/Nigeria), gave a case presentation on Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) and the alignment between USLP and the SDGs.

On his part, Dr. Simon Harry, Director, Corporate Planning, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), while presenting a paper on the role of the bureau in ensuring efficient management of data for the SDGs, said the bureau would ensure a strict compliance of context and localisation of data, while working towards data monitoring and tracking.

He catalogued some challenges to include, among others; lack of political will, apathy towards statistical implementation, poor culture of good record keeping, as well as slow pace of ICT development.