By: Giovanni Bruna (SDSN)
The Municipal Atlas of the SDGs in Bolivia was presented to the public on Monday, July 27 during the 2020 Bolivian Conference on Development Economics (BCDE2020). The publication assesses development in each of Bolivia’s 339 municipalities, based on more than 60 different indicators that measure various dimensions of sustainable development, based on the 2030 Agenda. It was produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network in Bolivia (SDSN Bolivia). SDSN is a global network that operates under the auspices of the United Nations.
Following the opening keynote lecture by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, President of SDSN and the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, the Atlas was presented by Lykke E. Andersen, Executive Director of SDSN Bolivia and coordinator of the project with complementary remarks by Emma Torres, VP Americas and Head of SDSN NY Office, Sébastien Hardy, IRD Bolivia and Edgar Pacheco, La Paz Municipal Autonomous Government.
The Atlas applies the same methodology as the Global Sustainable Development Report (SDR) that SDSN publishes every year for most countries in the world, but at a highly disaggregated level. This is important given the diversity of conditions found within Bolivia. In the SDR, Bolivia ranks pretty much in the middle (number 79 out of 166). However, the Municipal SDG Index presented in the Atlas shows that Bolivia has municipalities that are almost as close to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals as Scandinavian countries are, but also municipalities that are as far from reaching the goals as the poorest countries in Africa.
The Atlas provides a detailed diagnostic of the situation in each of the 339 municipalities in Bolivia, based on more than 60 indicators covering many different dimensions of development, including poverty, health, education, gender equality, access to services, productive infrastructure, environmental impacts, and many more. The assessment includes both detailed and aggregated data organized for an easy interpretation of the situation in a one-page-per-municipality format. Additionally, the entire database was published for use by researchers, journalists, students, government officials and businesses. By making this municipal level data set available to the public, SDSN Bolivia hopes to facilitate evidence-based decision-making and to stimulate new research on many different development topics.
The launch of the Atlas is timely given the upcoming drafting of Municipal Development Plans. The Atlas’ findings can help municipalities identify weaknesses and strengths and establish appropriate priorities so that each municipality can advance towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The production of the Atlas was possible thanks to the generous financial contribution of the SOLYDES Foundation and thanks to the collaboration of many institutions, both public and private.
In addition to the launch of the Atlas, the BCDE2020 included a series of presentations from international experts, as well as nearly 100 presentations of national and international research on different aspects of development. The BCDE2020 was jointly organized by SDSN Bolivia, the Bolivian Society of Economists (SEBOL), the Bolivian Academy of Economic Sciences (ABCE), the Universidad Privada Boliviana (UPB) and the INESAD Foundation, with support from the SOLYDES Foundation.
A treasure trove of information on development in each of Bolivia’s 339 municipalities is now available at: www.sdsnbolivia.org/Atlas
The conference program is available at: http://bcde2020.org/program/
Video recording is available at: www.facebook.com/BCDEOfficial