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Closing the Gap on National Data Deficiencies

Wednesday, 06 March 2019 14:17 Written by 
  • Location(s): Botswana
  • Type(s): Solution
  • Theme(s): Democratic Governance, Inclusive and sustainable growth, Knowledge Management
  • SDG(s): 10. Reduced Inequalities, 16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • Locations in Africa: Botswana
  • Types in Africa: Solution
  • Themes in Africa: Democratic Governance, Inclusive and sustainable growth, Knowledge Management
  • SDGs in Africa: 10. Reduced Inequalities, 16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • Types of ComSec Solutions: Solution


The project explores applications of Big Data to measure SDG 16.6.2: public satisfaction with public institutions’ service delivery. Drawing sentiment data from Facebook, the aim is to assess user experiences of public services in real time, as a means to bridge the gap between evidence and informed decision-making on service delivery.


In Botswana, reliable and timely measurement of the Sustainable Development Goals is at risk of being inhibited by structural constraints on institutions, low quality data, limited technical capacities, and insufficient financial investments in data collection, analysis, and use. The UNDP Country Programme (2017 – 2021) highlights that achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals requires the availability of comprehensive data for design, prioritization and continuous progress tracking. However, the national data systems currently experience inadequate robustness to achieve this, motivating a need for reforms in order to meet the increasing and evolving needs of data users, including for the full implementation of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.


As part of a cross-regional initiative to measure progress on SDG indicators, the Government of Botswana and UNDP are testing the potential of social-media generated Big Data for improved public services. The project aims to leverage new and emerging data sources to produce better and real-time insights that help deliver on the SDGs and improve decision-making.

The tool will serve both as a regular feedback mechanism for line managers to improve public services in the short term, and an evidence base upon which to improve policies and make structural improvements to systems in the long term.

Results include:

  • National and sub-national institutions are able to measure indicators for which standards and methods for measurement are not developed hence contributing to data gaps and responding to Tier 3 data gaps.
  • SDG indicators are measured and monitored using new sources of data and analytical methodologies.
  • The findings are used for national and sub national SDG reporting and feed into national policies and/or decisions.
  • Partnerships forged in development and adoption on new methodologies and tools (hardware and software).

The Ministry of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development (MELSD) has volunteered to pilot the data collection approach, and the Office of the President, as custodian of overall public service delivery will provide logistical support where required. The UNDP Innovation Facility and Istanbul Regional Hub provided financial resources, Data Pop Alliance provided technical expertise in prototype design, and the National Statistical Organisation will provide technical support in terms of adherence to data collection standards.   

The project focal points engaged with the UNDP Iraq office, to launch a similar initiative relevant to the Iraqi context.

Provider Country: Botswana

Beneficiary Country: Botswana

Supported By: UNDP Botswana

Implementing Agency: UNDP, Pilot Ministry - MELSD

Project Status: Completed

Project Period: October 2017 - March 2018

Contact Person: Wilmot Reeves, Economics Advisor, UNDP Botswana, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Bame Mannathoko, Monitoring and Evaluation Analyst, UNDP Botswana, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read 4662 times Last modified on Saturday, 15 February 2020 06:01
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