GSMA, the UN Foundation and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data met with UN agencies and country missions to discuss the actual and potential contribution of partnerships and data to a better world. GSMA shares concrete examples of how an industry sector is using partnerships and data to deliver real impact on people’s lives
To wrap up 2017, GSMA, the UN Foundation and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (the Global Partnership) met in New York with UN agencies and country missions to discuss the actual and potential contribution of partnerships and data to a better world. GSMA shared concrete examples of how an industry sector is using partnerships and data to deliver real impact on people’s lives. GSMA presented data and cases from its 2017 Mobile Industry Impact Report: Sustainable Development Goals, launched last September during the UN General Assembly.
Opening the session, the Global Partnership’s Executive Director Claire Melamed highlighted the potential of data in today’s world to drive social and economic development. She emphasised governments, business, civil society and multilateral organizations must find a way to surpass barriers to data use for sustainable development. Robust partnerships will further ensure a more efficient process when leveraging data to address pressing social and environmental threats.
“Data can help us solve the world’s toughest challenges, but it won’t work unless we’re collaborating across sectors. The mobile industry has data that can shape better policies, track progress, and guide lifesaving interventions for vulnerable populations. Let’s connect the data with the gaps to ensure we’re not missing this opportunity to create sustainable change for those who need it most.” – Claire Melamed, Executive Director, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data
Committed to the power of measuring and tracking data for development, GSMA has committed to monitor and collect information on the mobile industry’s impact on development, and disclose the findings on a yearly basis. Measuring more than 100 variables in over 150 countries allows the industry to identify areas of opportunity against each SDG and its targets.
One of the main findings of the report is that the mobile industry’s contribution increased from the previous year across all 17 SDGs, with the highest overall impact on SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; 13: Climate Action; and 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.
The collected data proves the industry’s impact is driven by three factors: (i) better networks; (ii) more connectivity; and (iii) people doing more with mobile technology. Data also allows to better understand local circumstances and needs, and supports a contextualised roadmap for action.
The impact on the SDGs outlined in the report is not the result of the industry’s actions alone, but rather of a carefully knit net of partners who join forces to maximise their impact. The GSMA Big Data for Social Good initiative demonstrates the ability of partnerships to bridge gaps. Through the Big Data for Social Good programme, 19 mobile operators participate in a Taskforce to develop common best practices for aggregating, anonymising and analysing big data. This operating model is complemented by our participating partners from the UN Foundation and the Global Partnership, among others from the international community, who advise on how mobile data can be translated into action on the ground and ultimately how it can deliver the greatest impact.
Going forward, GSMA and the mobile industry will continue to deliver on its commitment to the SDGs, measuring its impact and leveraging data to effectively accelerate its contribution. Hand-in-hand with partners such as UN Foundation and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, GSMA will continue to think big and establish ambitious goals to ensure no obstacle hinders us from securing the better future we all want.