Data and Monitoring

This section captures efforts on monitoring of the SDGs, prioritization and measures to strengthen data collection.

The Ministry of Planning is also the lead agency for the monitoring of the SDGs, using the CSDG framework, which contains a list of nationally tailored SDG targets and indicators. Baseline data have been established for 2015 including annual or multi-annual milestones and end line (target) values for indicators. The National Institute of Statistics (NIS), a major provider of SDG data, is also housed within the MOP.

Data gaps are being addressed according to the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (2018–2023). There are several data initiatives supported by development partners, such as the Advanced Data Planning Tool (with technical experts from Paris 21), Stat Suite (OECD, PARIS21, UNICEF and UNSD) and an SDG monitoring project (UNSD-DFID). A data dashboard, supported by UNDP, is to be launched. Data-gathering efforts have received a lot of external funding over the past years, including for the annually conducted socio-economic survey. There are no specific efforts to collect data on SDG contributions from the private sector or CSOs/NGOs so far.

Additional efforts and funding are needed, however, to ensure that even existing data-gathering efforts deliver on critical monitoring needs and include data on groups such as the poorest and most vulnerable sections of society.

The Ministry of Planning is responsible for overseeing the overall national M&E directed via its General Directorate for Planning (GDP). They bring together statistical and administrative data within the M&E framework and are in charge of maintaining the CSDG indicator database and acting as lead technical focal point. The GDP compile data received and are expected to provide annual and five-yearly milestone reports for review by the RGC. As indicated in the CSDG Framework, the Ministry of Planning’s technical responsibilities involve advising on RGC stakeholders’ data collection and reporting procedures but the responsibility for specifying indicators and providing corresponding data is with the line ministries and agencies. Within the line ministries, there is not yet a strong culture of data collection and data sharing.

Cambodia has formulated a National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS) 2018–2023 which is said to align with Cambodia’s CSDG framework . Linking Cambodia’s national development planning and M&E processes with the CSDGs is an opportunity to streamline and integrate reporting and data collection and minimize the duplication of efforts in data collection. According to the CSDG Framework, a dashboard will be used for reporting at target and goal level to easily capture progress using a traffic light grading system based on the indicator data. Any proposals to amend baseline, milestone or endline values will require review and agreement by the Ministry of Planning. With the support of development partners, the Ministry of Planning in 2019 will undertake a goal-by-goal quality review of indicators.

Cambodia’s SDG framework, while in line with the SDG principles, has been adapted to the national context and shaped by data availability. It includes:

  • 18 goals (17 global goals and an additional 18th goal on de-mining and removal of ERW)
  • 88 targets (85 global targets and 3 additional targets in CSDG 18)
  • 148 indicators, drawing on the global set plus national proxies and alternatives.

Baseline data has been established for 2015 including annual or multi-annual milestones and endline (target) values for indicators. These values can be adjusted based on the availability of data sources. A full list of the baselines is available in Part 2 of the CSDG Framework document.

The CDC, and many other government institutions and development partners, consider one of the biggest challenges to be that Cambodia does not have reliable data sources, with gaps in the availability, timeliness, quality and disaggregation of available data. This is particularly evident in the quality of data at the subnational level which remains weak. The resources apportioned to the NIS are below what is necessary, and are insufficient for carrying out many of the core international statistical standards and recommendations in a timely manner. The NIS is very reliant on external technical and financial support and the National Statistical Master Plan has not secured long-term funding to fully support its implementation.

The 2017 UNSD SDG Assessment focused on the indicators and the availability of reliable data sources. It examined the match, periodicity and quality of current sources to support the SDG dataset of 205 indicators.

It classified the indicators into three categories:

  • Currently available or easily feasible
  • Feasible with strong efforts
  • Not feasible with strong efforts.

Data availability limitations on indicators meant that only 30 to 40 percent of the global indicators are easily available. While recognizing that there are considerable gaps in the data and quality of indicator data, the RGC addressed the gaps by adopting proxies and nationally tailored alternatives.

CSDG indicators and global indicators (by goal). Source: CSDG Framework, 2018.

According to the CSDG Framework , the Ministry of Planning plans to support efforts to collect data for the currently unavailable indicators, prioritizing those identified by the UNSD assessment as “feasible with strong efforts”.

The national census and several major surveys are to be conducted in the next five years (the household socio-economic survey, agricultural census, economic census demographic and health survey, and others) and these will provide data to support the CSDGs. Designated statistical units within the line ministries would also be called upon to provide more indicators to be derived from their management information systems and administrative records, covering economic, social and environmental domains. However, many of these are in doubt due to funding issues. In the past, donors have supported the National Institute of Statistics to carry out the socio-economic survey, the Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey and the Labour Force Survey but funding is not secured yet for their next iteration. This has led to concerns whether the survey will be administered broadly enough to ensure that marginalized and harder-to-reach communities are represented.

In the area of statistical advocacy and data planning, Cambodia has been working with technical experts of PARIS21 in adopting the Advanced Data Planning Tool (ADAPT). From March to October 2018, Cambodia also participated in a pilot project on “Advancing dissemination of the SDGs and other indicators using ‘Stat Suite’, jointly undertaken by OECD, PARIS21, UNICEF and UNSD. A project on “SDG monitoring”, is also being implemented by the NIS with funding and technical support from UNSD-DFID to ensure a stronger and formalized coordination and collaboration among national data producers. To address the issue of the lack of coordination and harmonization of data among partners, the NIS with support of UNFPA will develop a statistic development plan to support CSDG.

No private sector data collection initiatives have been found to report on for this snapshot.

A CSDG mobile application (app) was created in October 2017 to inform the Cambodian people and interested stakeholders about the CSDGs. The app was developed by a team of Cambodian innovators, with the support of the UNDP. Through the app, information about the SDGs is available in Khmer and English. Features include information on the localized goals, targets and indicators along with various competitions for sustainability-focused initiatives with a cash prize incentive. For the app to have a wider reach, it needs to be housed under a respectable and neutral institution that is able to promote and disseminate it effectively; discussions are underway on the next steps and launch.

As part of improving the CSDGs M&E ecosystem, the CSDG framework indicates that the Ministry of Planning, with the support of development partners will share official data and build an online portal (drawing on the CamInfo model) to enable wider participation and engagement on M&E and research.