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SPECIAL FEATURE T


A PLATFORM FOR PEACE: MOURAD WAHBA ON THE ADP’S POTENTIAL


he ADP has been instrumental in spreading awareness and understanding based on fact around the Arab world – something that Wahba believes will be key to


promoting peace in the region. “For a long time now, countries have been using their own data to plan their development policies,” he says, but the ADP has “democratized the access to data and sped up development progress.”


Then ADP provides all UN institutions, as well


as governments, with a common language to track progress on Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development. “Having access to better data allows us to progress more quickly along the development path,” Wahba says. Youth comprises over 60 percent of the population in the Arab world, and has a critical role to play in the development process, Wahba believes. “This is a tremendous opportunity for development, because this [youth] represents the dynamism of the future,” he says, explaining that governments need to create the right environments and agree proactive policies that allow for the participation of youth, and young women in particular. Wahba explains that during the ADP’s fourth phase, there will be two focus areas: “First, we want to teach data literacy, so that Arab youth can look at their own country’s data and understand where policies are coming from – and see how other countries in the region are doing. And secondly, we will focus on how to use this data to inform policy.” Wahba sees the ADP not just as a platform for data, but as a tool for political and social change. He’s confident that what he calls a new ‘atmosphere’ will foster a ‘multiplicity of views and positions’, which he believes will lead to progress. But for this to happen, he says, “there must be a dialogue that is based on reality and based on fact.” And that’s exactly where the ADP comes in.


Phase four Through its SDG tracking tool feature, the ADP has also been instrumental in policy discussions, particularly within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. “Phase four is opening the floor for a higher level of policy discussions,” says Farah Choucair. “The ADP aims to bring together ministries with private sector and academia in a high-level policy forum later this year.” In its fourth phase, the ADP also plans to produce more aggregated analysis and publish


a data evolution report on the Arab region to serve as a reference for those interested in the impact of data on development. “We also plan to roll out data-driven debates in some key universities in 2019,” Choucair adds.


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