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Trustworthy data is crucial for the achievement of the UN sustainable goals, say Commonwealth experts

On 1 November, an international group of information specialists came together at the House of Lords to mark the launch of a report on the importance of reliable data and statistics in international development, and the challenges and opportunities posed by digital records.

SAS Data
The event was chaired by Professor Philip Murphy, Director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICWS) at the School of Advanced Study, University of London

The name of the report is A Matter of Trust: Records as the foundation for building integrity and accountability into data and statistics to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is the result of a two-year Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project exploring the importance of reliable information in the drive to achieve ambitious development targets.

Hosted by Lord Kinnoull, the event was chaired by Professor Philip Murphy, director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICWS) at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, included experts from Canada, Kenya and the UK (full list below). They summarised the report’s findings, which focused on Africa’s challenges to meet its commitments.

The SDGs, launched in 2015, are 17 agreed goals for ending poverty, transforming health and education, improving cities and communities, addressing gender equity and tackling challenges such as climate change.

A Matter of Trust is aimed at policymakers and users of the information; information professionals, including data scientists, statisticians and records professionals; and those responsible for achieving the SDGs. An in-depth volume of essays on this subject will be available next spring. In the meantime, the full text of A Matter of Trust is available here.  

Panel speakers

John McDonald, Former Director of the Information Management Standards and Practices Division, National Archives of Canada)
Julie McLeod, Professor of Records Management, Northumbria University 
James Manor, Emeritus Professor of Commonwealth studies, ICWS
Anne Thurston, Director, International Records Management Trust
Justus Wamukoya, Dean, School of Information Sciences, Moi University, Kenya
James Lowry, Department of History, University of Liverpool 

If you would like to comment on the document or require more information, please contact Anne Thurston: