To Achieve SDGs, International Community Must Close Data Gaps On Aging Population

Devex: Opinion: Without disaggregated age data, the SDGs are set up to fail
Kim Bradford Smith, senior statistics and evidence lead at the U.K. Department for International Development, and Patricia Conboy, head of global advocacy and aging at HelpAge International

“…[W]ith current data collection tools, we know little about the access of older people to universal health coverage, a major [Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)] commitment that could transform health and care for older people everywhere, especially in low- and middle-income countries where health systems need to be strengthened to address aging populations. … [I]f the data leaves them all but invisible, how can their needs be met? … We want to develop tools that tell statisticians how they can collect data on older people effectively … And we want a platform to share all this important information. … By closing data gaps, we hope to break down the negative stereotypes associated with older people … We can shine a light on the many ways they participate in families, communities, and societies, and recognize the contributions they make that are currently uncounted and unknown” (9/27).