PSA Conducts the Country Workshop on the Philippine Data Revolution Roadmap for the Sustainable Development Goals

Reference Number: 2016-166
Thursday, December 8, 2016
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) conducted the “Country Workshop on the Philippine Data Revolution Roadmap for the Sustainable Development Goals” on 5-6 October 2016 in Manila, Philippines in collaboration with the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21), and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).  
The workshop was attended by representatives from international partners such as Dr. Erik Wetter of, Mr. John Cann of Microsoft, Mr. Frederic Pivetta of Real Impact Analytics, Ms. Gaye Parcon of PARIS21, and Ms. Maria Isabel Jolongbayan of UNDP. Mr. Jong Gun Lee of UN Global Pulse Lab Jakarta also gave a remote presentation during the workshop.
A total of 107 officials from 45 government agencies, local and foreign private companies, civil society organizations, academia, and development partners were present during the workshop which aimed to:
  1. discuss various tools and techniques towards the building of a Philippine/Country Data Revolution Roadmap for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which would be an integral part of the Philippine Statistical Development Plan (PSDP) to be formulated in accordance to the new Philippine Development Plan (PDP) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
  2. explore the potential of the Philippine data ecosystem to address new and emerging demands for the sustainable development of data and examine the possibilities and constraints of using new and alternative data sources such as big data, open data, private sector and citizen generated data, registries and administrative data (e.g. civil registration, business permits, among others);
  3. investigate new and innovative approaches and improvements in the existing surveys and administrative data systems of the PSA and other government agencies in the Philippine Statistical System (PSS) to enhance the essential data resources to support the monitoring of the SDGs; and
  4. discuss and recommend a framework for the SDG Data Revolution Roadmap in the Philippines which would serve as a guide to the PSS in the implementation of various statistical development programs until 2030.

In her opening remarks, PSA National Statistician Dr. Lisa Grace S. Bersales stressed the role of statistics towards the monitoring of the Philippine Development Plan vis-à-vis the SDGs in which a “Philippine data ecosystem” would be valuable.

This data ecosystem is a feat to integrate different information systems in the country in order to support each other and to provide better and timely responses to the growing data needs for policy and decision-making, as well as monitoring of interventions in the country. She also emphasized the need to pursue Goal 17 of the SDGs which is to “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development” in which partnerships, not just between the government and the private sector but also linkages with various SDG-related bodies, must be forged and strengthened. The outputs of the workshop which included documentation of good practices on the collection and dissemination of data on the SDGs in the PSS and knowledge on various aspects of data revolutions would provide inputs for the PSA’s roadmap towards the attainment of the SDGs.

Subsequently, Ms. Maria Luisa Jolongbayan of the UNDP provided salient characteristics of data revolution that could influence change and development. Since good data were considered to be the lifeblood of decision-making and the raw material for accountability, data revolution would be relevant in delivering the right information to the right people at the right time and format. 
Data revolution highlights the importance of data for both decision-making and analytical debate. It offers a better and bigger picture of human development and of sustainable development by mounting stronger and more diverse set of indexes. Also, data revolution serves as platform for democratic dialogues that make the businesses of government easier through the provision of robust, useful and evidence-based reports that are grounded on rich and disaggregated data. Lastly, data revolution directly impacts human development by giving access to good information that consequently expands the life choices of people and enables citizens to better hold their leaders accountable.
Other resource speakers, presenters and panellists in the workshop included:
  • Ms. Myrna Clara B. Asuncion, Assistant Director, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)
  • Mr. Romeo S. Recide, Deputy National Statistician, PSA
  • Dr. Rosario G. Manasan, Research Fellow II, Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS)
  • Usec. Austere A. Panadero, CESO I, Undersecretary for Local Government, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)
  • Exec. Dir. Merwin Salazar, Director V, Senate Economic Planning Office (SEPO)
  • Mr. Manuel  P.Aquino, Congressional Policy Budget Research Department (CPBRD)
  • Mr. Sixto Donato C. Macasaet, Executive Director, CODE-NGO
  • Ms. Raisa Perez, Open Data Philippines
  • Mr. Paul Andrew M. Tatlonghari, NEDA
  • Ms. Francisca N. Dayrit, Geodata Systems Technologies, Inc.
  • Mr. Maning Sambale, OpenStreetMap
  • Mr. Reynaldo R. Cancio, Director IV, NEDA
  • Ms. Patricia Anne R. San Buenaventura, PSA
  • Ms. Editha R. Orcilla, Assistant National Statistician, PSA
  • Usec. Jesus Lorenzo R. Mateo, Department of Education (DepEd)
  • Ms. Rhodora Alday, Director, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD
  • Ms. Frances Mamaril, Department of Health (DOH)
  • Dir. Bresilda M. Gervacio, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
  • Ms. Josephine Khaleen Sasuman, Philippine Commission on Women (PCW)
  • Dr. Erniel B. Barrios, Professor, School of Statistics, University of the Philippines Diliman
  • Dr. Zita VJ. Albacea, Professor, UPLB Institute of Statistics (UPLB INSTAT)
  • Ms. Lina V. Castro, former PSA Interim National Statistician
On the second day of the workshop, the participants provided their insights on the following topics during the three discussion group sessions:
  • Economic and environment development-related SDG indicators 
  • Social development-related SDG indicators
  • Harnessing SDG data literacy and advocacy, data sharing and dissemination, financing of the SDGs and accountability towards data sustainability
Since the PSA should produce 32% of statistics and information needed for the SDGs through censuses and surveys, laying out of expectations and recommendations became an integral part of achieving this goal. The following were the major recommendations by the workshop participants:
  1. The demand for the statistical systems in the generation and monitoring of the indicators was very high. The variety and specificity of the SDGs, targets and indicators added to the pressure for statistical systems to respond to this demand. The government, the PSS, and other key players must thus focus on key indicators/targets that would be truly reflective of the needs of the people. The findings from NEDA’s AmBisyon Natin 2040 might be a useful reference for identifying priorities. 
  2. Advocacies on the mainstreaming of SDGs should be strengthened through the integration of SDGs indicators in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of policies and programs of various government departments and agencies.
  3. Local policy-making, policy-program evaluation, project identification, and resource allocation would be greatly improved if highly granulated, sound, timely and evidenced-based local-level statistics would be available. With this, roles of the local government units (LGUs) in the generation, monitoring and achievement of the targets must be clarified and properly apportioned. SDGs must be seen and felt at the “ground-level”, therefore, making the local government increasingly accountable for their performance.

    a. capacity development of the local statistical system up to the barangay-level;
    b. utilization of administrative-based data for data-generation and monitoring of SDG indicators; 
    c. greater data accessibility for various government agencies (institutional knowledge sharing) from the national down to the local-level.

  4. Consider harnessing data from various non-conventional sources such as citizen-generated data (crowdsourcing), open data, mobile data, mapping technologies, as well as the utilization of these data by employing different data management and analytic tools.
  5. For various sector-related SDG indicators, prioritization of the goals should be a must. Capacity building, SDG mainstreaming, interagency collaborations most specifically on data sharing, ICT infrastructure, research, data collection improvement, and the possibility of utilizing proxy indicators must be explored and strengthened. 
  6. Legal framework must be set for the way forward. This should involve looking into the National Privacy Commission’s data privacy guidelines.
  7. Deliberate on the possibility of the PSA having a “Data Warehouse” which contains high-quality, rationalized, granularized information with standardized metadata (Data Dictionary) and other auxiliary information for ease of access and usage.
  8. Utilization of administrative data would necessitate strong collaboration between the PSA and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) wherein DICT will provide the infrastructure and architecture while the PSA will handle the standardization/framework of the data system.
  9. Partnerships among public, private, academe and the civil society organizations must be forged. These partnerships could thrust the ecosystem forward by stimulating awareness, data literacy, data culture, and architecture. Also, the need for a common analytics platform must be resolved.
  10. The PSA must publish the baseline SDGs (Tier 1) so that efforts, improvements, and challenges could be properly and empirically addressed.
  11. Reflect on the essentiality and usage of various data gathered by the PSA. This would entail censuses and survey harmonization and the possibility of harnessing alternative data sources.
After the two-day workshop, Ms. Josie B. Perez, PSA Deputy National Statistician for Censuses and Technical Coordination Office closed the workshop. She underscored that the revolution towards the attainment of the SDGs has just started and assured everyone that the different data issues and concerns raised during the workshop were all noted. She also emphasized that the generation and monitoring of the SDG indicators being spearheaded by NEDA and PSA would need everyone’s support. In this light, the PSA looks forward to fruitful future collaborations with various partners in this endeavor.
The PSA extends its warmest gratitude to the participants and resource speakers in the Country Workshop on the Philippine Data Revolution Roadmap for the Sustainable Development Goals for graciously sharing their views and experiences. 
For interested parties, the presentation materials used in the workshop can be accessed at the Workshop webpage:
National Statistician and Civil Registrar General