| January 16, 2017

One of the main goals for the inaugural United Nations World Data Forum being held in Cape Town this week is to find innovative approaches in making sure that no one is left behind.

This is the UN's main motif with regards to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) declared at the UN General Assembly in 2015.

South African Statistician-General Pali Lehola says the issue of measurement has become integral in the quest to meet the SDGs because without measurement there is no way of knowing how far the world has progressed in sustainable development.

Development cannot be development without measurement. It's a deliberate process, he added as the forum opened here Sunday. It will continue until Wednesday.

The forum is the first of its kind and is being organized in line with recommendations of the report, A World That Counts, which was presented in November 2014 by the UN Secretary-General's Independent Expert and Advisory Group on Data Revolution for Sustainable Development.

Statistics South Africa and the South African government were chosen to host the event.

More than 1,000 attendees will gather for the sessions at the Cape Town International Conference Centre from all levels of statistics including government agencies and private companies.

This World Data Forum brings people together to understand measurement not just for the sake of measurement. But measurement in order to know whether we're making progress in the world at all, said Lehola.

During the forum, a number of sessions will be held covering six broad areas -- Leaving no-one behind; New approaches for capacity-building for better data; Innovation and synergies across different data ecosystems; Understanding the world through data; Data principles and governance; and The way forward: A Global Action Plan for Data.


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