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“We realize that not everyone is an economist or a statistician, so we try to tailor the way data is presented.”


Farah Choucair


S 26


REGIONAL PARTNERSHIPS: FARAH CHOUCAIR ON THE ‘CONVENING POWER’ OF THE ADP


ince coming online in 2016, the ADP has achieved much. The project has created the first regional SDG tracking tool and publishes nationally-produced Arab-related


development data (including information on more than 6,600 indicators from over 140 sources). “ADP’s unique business model has brought together key regional and national players in the Arab region,” explains Farah Choucair. “This has made the ADP a platform with a convening power. In addition to having access to a network of national statistical offices, we have a network of data journalists who are becoming advocates for development. They are designing data-driven advocacy campaigns and engaging in meaningful public debates on


key priorities, challenges and opportunities.” The project has also gained international attention, in particular from statistical offices in the UK, Sweden and Canada. “They are interested in our experience in bringing together data from different sources and giving visibility to this sub-national level of information.” Other countries are making contact, too, explains Choucair. The Statistical Office in Moldova, for example, is seeking the ADP’s assistance in designing a similar SDG tracking tool. In Asia, the regional UN commission is also considering how to redesign its SDG tracking tool to host national statistical data in addition to data provided by international organizations. “We’ve offered something new,” Choucair explains, by involving different users in the


process of data collection and analysis. Diverse groups are exchanging ideas and learning from each other: “We realize that not everyone is an economist or a statistician, so we try to tailor the way data is presented.” In this regard, she explains, the portal’s data visualization tools serve the less technical user. A targeted approach has identified different user communities, such as academia, the private sector and journalists. Partnerships are crucial to the ADP’s success and in some cases ADP users have become partners. One example is the strategic relationship the ADP has cultivated with the media to help engage the public. “We’re supporting the first data journalism network in the Arab region, and organizing a series of workshops,” says Choucair.


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