July 17

Press Release: New Data Portal Showcases Timely Data on Sustainable Development

The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a leading NGO working to mobilize global scientific and technological expertise for sustainable development, announced the launch of SDGs Today: The Global Hub for Real-Time SDG Data, a new open access data portal that will feature timely data (updated regularly, at least once every year) on sustainable development measures.

SDGs Today, developed in partnership with Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, and the National Geographic Society, aims to provide a snapshot of the state of sustainable development around the world right now, whilst enabling users to access and engage with timely data on sustainable development, obtain GIS training and resources, and learn how to use the data effectively to drive action on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Timely data are the key to achieving the SDGs – if we don’t know where we are and how we can progress, we certainly can’t arrive at the future we want,” said Jeffrey Sachs, world-renowned economist, professor, author, and President of SDSN. “I am thrilled that SDSN is partnering with Esri and the National Geographic Society on this crucial platform. Both Esri and National Geo- graphic are great global innovators in enabling us to think geographically in our complex, interconnected world. Their contributions to the cause of sustainable development are profound.”

To understand and effectively track progress on the SDGs, we need reliable, quality, and timely data. Yet, with only 10 years left to achieve these ambitious targets, too much of the data is still out-of-date or unavailable, and too many people are being left behind in the numbers. There is a critical need for a data platform that makes quality and timely data for sustainable development accessible to all, improves knowledge of geospatial tools and geographic information systems (GIS), and builds capacity to use these tools to support global agendas and policymaking.

“One of the most important things we can do as a society at this particular time is to help bring the nations of the world together to collaborate on and measure the progress of our collective work toward the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Jack Dangermond, Esri founder and president. “It is a crucial time for the nations of the world to work together to solve problems that transcend national borders, and which pose uniquely geographic challenges. GIS allows us to better understand these issues and measure the progress of our collective solutions.”

SDGs Today is designed to complement the official SDGs monitoring platform developed by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), and the data featured are not the official datasets for SDG Monitoring. The portal’s datasets are based on new data sources and methods, updated regularly, and have been produced within the last year.

Each dataset has been rigorously vetted by SDSN, with the process being coordinated by its Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics (TReNDS). Datasets were selected based on the level of frequency, quality, international comparability, public availability, and ease of understand- ing. Additional real-time and/or timely datasets will be added to the portal throughout the rest of the year.

For more information and to access the platform, visit or contact

Photo courtesy of Isriya Paireepairit.

Source: Press Release (link opens in a new window)

Impact Assessment, Technology
data, global development, research, SDGs