Wanted: Urban data revolution for post 2015 sustainable development goals

Post2015.org - what comes after the MDGs?

Written by David Satterthwaite, senior fellow at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and Visiting Professor at the Development Planning Unit, University College London on the IIED blog.

The focus is on what indicators to use to measure and monitor progress towards these new goals. But there is little discussion of how to gather the data needed to encourage, serve and support such goals. And the data that does exist is often so poor as to be useless.

We therefore need a data revolution, one that informs local action and that draws on the knowledge and capacity of the urban poor as collectors and users of information.

Planning in the dark

Imagine you are the mayor of a city, or the head of a national agency responsible for water supplies. In most low- and middle-income countries you will have no idea which citizens lack provision for…

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