Setting national goals and implementing a set of strategies to achieve them have been central to how modern governments operate. From maintaining economic stability to promoting social welfare, these goals are often manifold and require a mechanism for monitoring and evaluation. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were jointly adopted in 2015 by countries worldwide, much in the same way need a robust framework, including tools to monitor their progress and inform policy makers throughout the 15-year timeline.
The Government of Indonesia sought to explore the benefits of a data visualisation asset — an SDGs monitoring dashboard. This interactive tool was designed by Pulse Lab Jakarta in consultation with the Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas) to track progress towards the SDGs across the country’s diverse archipelago.
With more than 17,000 islands and 542 districts/cities in Indonesia, the Government has a tall order when it comes to developing national governance for the SDGs. Thus, an SDGs Secretariat was established within Bappenas to support the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs. To perform these tasks effectively, however, means having timely and reliable information from each district/city government in order to design a localised roadmap and manage specific targets.
One of the Government’s first steps was to develop a system to enhance data governance itself within the public sector via the Satu Data Initiative. This initiative was expected to dovetail with the Government’s efforts to monitor the SDGs, especially pertaining to the availability of government data.
As with many compound government datasets though, the information would still be unstructured, and therefore still needing to be processed and further translated to highlight relevant linkages between the SDGs and the country’s Rencana Pembangunan Jangka Menengah Daerah 2015–2019 (RPJMD — Medium Term Development Plan). The Government’s answer was an analysis and data visualisation tool.
Together with Bappenas’ Data and Information Centre (Pusdatin) and the SDGs Secretariat, Pulse Lab Jakarta set out to analyse SDGs-related data using an interactive map dashboard. This dashboard displays information related to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals throughout 34 provinces in the country, based on 241 indicators.
Once a user selects one of the SDGs to explore on the dashboard, they will have the option to choose an indicator related to the specific SDG from the list available. Relevant statistical information and progress updates will be depicted for the 34 provinces, in the form of a line chart, bar chart and a colour-coded country map.
For example, should a user select SDG#4 — Quality Education and choose High School Gross Enrollment Rate (Angka Partisipasi Kasar — SMA) as the indicator to explore, the dashboard will show which of the 34 provinces are either above or below the national average. In the screenshot below Maluku’s average of 92.12 per cent is above the national average of 83.55 per cent (indicated by the vertical red line).
Next, by clicking on the bar for Maluku, the dashboard will depict a line graph indicating the High School Gross Enrollment Rate percentages over the years. The screenshot below depicts how High School Gross Enrollment Rate decreased from 95.13 in 2015 to 92.12 in 2016, both still above the national average of 83.55.
The data used in the SDGs Monitoring Dashboard comes from the Satu Data portal in Bappenas, which was developed by BAPPENAS as the coordinating arm in the Government tasked with planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and reporting on all the various components of the Global Goals at the national level. Nonetheless, as Indonesia’s Development Plan also integrates certain thematic overlays of the Sustainable Development Agenda, such as social, economic and environmental development, the data utilised in the dashboard not only includes data generated since the adoption of the SDGs, but also data from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) period.
To complement the SDGs data used in this dashboard, the data previously linked to the MDGs is realigned with the SDGs indicators, which may prove helpful for the creation and redesign of certain national development programmes. The dashboard was designed with a set of user-friendly, navigable features, which based on a pre-assessment of potential users are paramount for easy identification of important trends and patterns that policy makers may need to inform their decisions.
The SDGs Monitoring Dashboard is currently being utilised in BAPPENAS, particularly by the SDGs Secretariat, in preparing programme strategies and addressing challenges associated with working towards the SDGs in Indonesia, ranging from measuring changes to increasing transparency. While making use of the SDGs Monitoring Dashboard aims to simplify monitoring and evaluation of the SDGs, admittedly, achieving the goals will still require other important facets, for example the establishment of crucial indicators that have yet to be developed for some of the targets.
As countries across the world continue to work together to achieve the 2030 Agenda, their focus will need to shift to a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation framework. This interactive monitoring dashboard, in conjunction with other monitoring and evaluation mechanisms in Indonesia, aims to advance these efforts at regional level.