Mobilising the Household Data Required to Progress toward the SDGs

OPHI Working Papers

Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be reported annually, but at present data on poverty-related SDGs are not updated frequently, nor are the data always available promptly. This paper reviews the key non-census data sources underlying the MDGs – household surveys (national and international), and administrative and registry data – to assess which data sources could provide the more frequent data required to design and coordinate policies, measure, manage, and monitor progress towards the poverty-related SDGs. It also reviews new data sources such as opinion polls ‘big data’, satellite data, call records, and other digital breadcrumbs to see how these might augment the information required to assess progress in the SDGs. We evaluate each option according to ten criteria. While each option has strengths, and each will clearly contribute, high quality multi-topic household surveys complemented by interim lighter surveys have a demonstrated ability to collect the core indicators of human poverty at an individual and household level in a rigorous way, so are likely to remain a core component of the data framework. 

Citation: Alkire, S. and Samman, E. (2014). 'Mobilising the household data required to progress toward the SDGs', OPHI Working Papers 72, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford.  

Also published in Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Briefing Paper, September 2014.

Post-2015 development agenda, data revolution, household survey data, public opinion polls, administrative data, big data

Sabina Alkire and Emma Samman
Series Name
OPHI Working Papers
Publication date
JEL Codes
C80, C83, E20, I32, O00
Publication Number
WP 72