Difference between revisions of "SDG Dashboard"

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=== History Only Indicators ===
 
=== History Only Indicators ===
  
The SDG Table has the option of displaying 204 variables for which forecasts are not currently available and that were added to the IFs database specifically for the SDG dashboard. These “history only” series are from the UNSD’s Global SDG Indicators Database, and are the official historical data the UN provides to measure each indicator (see [[SDG_data|full documentation here]]). To view these historical series, click “Use History Only Indicators” on the SDG Overview Table’s toolbar. Because these variables are not forecast in IFs, only two columns of data appear, “Most Recent” and “Target Value.” Most Recent displays the most recent data point that is available in that series for the country selected. Target Value allows the user to set a target in the same manner described above. These series are included for the user’s reference only, and are not affected by scenarios.
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The SDG Table has the option of displaying 204 variables for which forecasts are not currently available and that were added to the IFs database specifically for the SDG dashboard. These “history only” series are from the UNSD’s Global SDG Indicators Database, and are the official historical data the UN provides to measure each indicator (see [[SDG_data|documentation here]]). To view these historical series, click “Use History Only Indicators” on the SDG Overview Table’s toolbar. Because these variables are not forecast in IFs, only two columns of data appear, “Most Recent” and “Target Value.” Most Recent displays the most recent data point that is available in that series for the country selected. Target Value allows the user to set a target in the same manner described above. These series are included for the user’s reference only, and are not affected by scenarios.
  
 
= SDG Graph =
 
= SDG Graph =
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== Other Features ==
 
== Other Features ==
 
 
  
 
=== Continue ===
 
=== Continue ===

Revision as of 15:33, 8 September 2017

Purpose

In September 2015, the global community adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. Each of the 17 goals contains specific targets (169 in all), which are aligned with indicators (232 in all) to track progress towards achieving the 17 SDGs.  Reaching the global goals requires an ability to forecast these indicators, an understanding of how the indicators interact with each other and global trends, and an ability to explore the trade-offs and complementarities of interventions made in the pursuit of the targets. In an effort to build these capacities, the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Bureau for Policy Programme Support, has created an interactive dashboard with two displays to explore progress towards the SDGs.

The International Futures (IFs) system forecasts hundreds of variables that represent 14 goals, 45 targets, and 50 indicators of the SDGs. In some cases, multiple IFs variables match with the same indicator, so there are 94 variables we forecast in IFs that align with SDG indicators. Some targets have numerical values in the IFs dashboard that reflect the language of the indicator with which is associated (e.g. “eradicate extreme poverty”). Users of the system can also specify or change target values for all 94 variables. In addition, the dashboard includes 204 historical data series from the UN Statistics Division’s (UNSD) Global SDG Indicators Database. These series were added to IFs for Tier 1 indicators[1] for which there were no matching series in IFs (see documentation here). Neither numerical targets nor forecasts are currently available for these “history only” variables.

IFs Platform

The Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures is a non-profit, academic research center within the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, and home to the International Futures (IFs) forecasting system. IFs is a long-term, global, highly-integrated collection of models that allows users to explore and understand our collective future. The system forecasts development patterns for a wide array of indicators ranging from health and education to economics and international interactions. Below is a block diagram illustrating the different models explicitly represented in IFs.

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Figure 1: Visual representation of the International Futures (IFs) sub-modules and some of the ways they interact.

IFs uses our best understanding of global systems, a database of over 4,000 time-series, and relationships between variables that are found to be both statistically significant and conceptually sound to produce forecasts for 186 countries to the year 2100. Of the hundreds of variables forecast in the model, 94 align with indicators identified in the SDGs. Using the 94 indicators that align with variables in the model, we have built an interactive dashboard that allows users to see how these variables could change over time.

Many of the variables that we forecast in IFs align well with the SDG indicators. However, some variables are similar but slightly different either in terms of the measurements or their precise definitions, and in some cases multiple IFs variables can represent the same indicator. In the attached annex (Annex 1), a complete table of the SDG indicators is matched with the variables we forecast in IFs along with the data we use to initialize these variables. Where there is some disagreement between the indicator and the forecast variable, we’ve made notes describing the difficulty and the method used to address it.

SDG Overview Table

Main Display

Within the International Futures system, we developed a display to track a country or region’s progress towards achieving all the SDG targets that we forecast. The display can be accessed by clicking the “Display” tab on the home screen of the model, choosing the “Specialized Displays for Issues” sub-option, and then selecting the “SDG Overview Table”. Below is an image of the current (IFs version 7.31) dashboard.

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Figure 2: Screenshot of the home screen of the Sustainable Development Goals Set of the International Futures (IFs) system. Data and forecast shown for Mexico in the Base Case.

At the top of the dashboard, the user can select a country to view. The user can also vary the year to use for the different SDG targets. The default target year is 2030, as that is the target year for most SDG targets.

The user may view both a “reference scenario” and an “intervention scenario”. The default setting is to have the Base Case (IFsBase.run) as the reference scenario. The Base Case, or the “current path” is a future where current policies hold and there are no major shocks to the system. The default setting for the intervention scenario is the working file, which is identical to the Base Case unless an alternative scenario is selected. The user may create and run different scenarios (see scenario analysis capability section below) and view changes relative to the Base Case using this dashboard.

Each of the SDG indicators that we forecast in the IFs system is listed on the left side of the dashboard. They are grouped according to their associated goal. The next column is the 2015 value, which is either taken from data, or estimated in the model. The next column, “reference scenario 2030” shows the value in 2030 for the scenario selected as the reference scenario. The third numerical column, “intervention scenario 2030” shows the value in 2030 for the scenario selected as the intervention scenario. The final column, “target value”, shows the target value identified from the SDGs. Where the target is ambiguous, we have not included an explicit target value (see annex 1: SDG indicator classification, for details on each target), but the model user has the option to input a custom target.

Targets are displayed as the value that the variable would need to be for that country to achieve the SDG for the associated indicator. The UN uses two types of target for the SDGs, relative and absolute targets. While absolute targets are universal[2], relative targets are country-specific, calling for an increase or decrease in the value of the indicator by a set amount or proportion relative to the baseline value for that country. For example, halving the number of injuries and deaths from traffic accidents between 2015 and 2030. In the SDG Table, the value displayed for absolute targets can also vary. If the country has already achieved the target, the most recent value for that country is displayed in the target column rather than the target value. It is possible to see whether a target is absolute or relative and the target’s set value by clicking on the number associated with the target. This will open a dialogue box that displays the target value and indicates whether it is relative or absolute and which allows the user to manipulate the target.

Other Features

Custom Targets

The SDG Table includes a custom target feature because some of the SDGs targets are ambiguous and because global goals can be interpreted differently at the country level. In the table, the user can also change the target value or add in a target value where none exists for any of the variables listed on the form. By selecting the target value, an option appears to “edit target”. By choosing this option, the user will be shown a form where they can adjust the target value. The figure below shows the form that will appear and allow the user to adjust the target value.

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Figure 3: Screenshot of form to edit SDG target for selected indicator.

If the desired target is an absolute number (poverty less than 5 percent, for example) then the correct option to use is the “absolute target” radial button. Then the user can select a target value and a target year to change the target. If the target is a relative target (halve the portion of the population living in poverty) then the correct option to use is the “relative target” radial button. Then the user can select the target value (a portion of the 2015 value of the indicator) and the target year. The valence toggle gives the user the option to change the desired direction of the indicator – if the valence indicator is checked, then the higher the value of the indicator, the closer to the target.

Use Groups

At the top of the screen, the user has the ability to select groups rather than individual countries. The Use Groups selection is a toggle that switches the country dropdown menu to a group dropdown menu.

Save Table

The user also has the ability to “save table” as a CSV file. By selecting any of the numeric values in the first 3 numeric columns (“2015”, “Reference Scenario 2030”, and “Intervention Scenario 2030”) the user will be able to view that data over time. When this option is selected, a table will appear with all the values until 2030.

Link to SDG Graph Dashboard

When any of the indicators are selected from the first column, an option will appear to “display graph”. This will bring the user to the second SDG dashboard, the SDG graph, described below.

History Only Indicators

The SDG Table has the option of displaying 204 variables for which forecasts are not currently available and that were added to the IFs database specifically for the SDG dashboard. These “history only” series are from the UNSD’s Global SDG Indicators Database, and are the official historical data the UN provides to measure each indicator (see documentation here). To view these historical series, click “Use History Only Indicators” on the SDG Overview Table’s toolbar. Because these variables are not forecast in IFs, only two columns of data appear, “Most Recent” and “Target Value.” Most Recent displays the most recent data point that is available in that series for the country selected. Target Value allows the user to set a target in the same manner described above. These series are included for the user’s reference only, and are not affected by scenarios.

SDG Graph

Main Display

Within the International Futures System, we developed a second display to track the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The display can be accessed by clicking the “Display” option on the home screen of the model, then choosing the “Specialized Displays for Issues” sub-option, and then the “Sustainable Development Goals” display. Or it can be accessed from within the SDG Table by clicking on any Indicator line’s text and selecting the pop-up option that says “Display Graph”.  Figure 4 is an image of the current dashboard.

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Figure 4: Screenshot of the home screen of the SDG form in the International Futures (IFs) model. Display of SDG goal 1, target 1.1, indicator 1.1.1a for Kenya.

The user can choose from the 17 SDG goals in the top-left drop-down list. Once the goal is selected, the user can choose from different targets in the next drop-down list (to the right of the goal list). Once the target is selected, the user can choose from a selection of indicators in the next drop-down list (to the right of the target list)—some SDG indicators link to multiple variables in IFs with letters (a, b, c, etc.) to identify each variable. The final drop-down list on the right allows the user to select the geographic area to display. The default setting shows all 186 countries of the IFs model as the geographic regions, but the use can change the settings to use groupings of countries or decomposed regions by clicking “Use Groups” at the top of the form.

 For any selected indicator/variable, 3 time-series are shown on the display: History, SDG Goal, and the scenario line (defaulted to be the IFs “Base Case”). The “history” plot shows historical data for the selected indicator. Data points appear as blue dots connected with a solid blue line. The first value of the forecast (2015) is also represented by a blue dot; however, the line connecting historical data and the initial 2015 value is a dashed line, rather than a solid line. This is because the 2015 value is an initialization and is not necessarily a data value.

The Goal Path displays a straight line from the 2015 value to the 2030 target value. The scenario line (defaulted to “IFsBase”, or the Base Case) shows the forecast values for the selected scenario. The user may change the scenario using the scenario list in the bottom left corner of the display.

The bottom left corner of the form gives the user the option to view multiple scenarios simultaneously. Figure 5 shows the same indicator as displayed in Figure 4, but with 2 scenarios selected: the Base Case, and a “Security First” scenario. In the Security First scenario, Kenya is even further away from achieving the SDG than in the Base Case.

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Figure 5: Poverty reduction in Kenya in 2 different scenarios.

The box to the right of the scenario selection display is a list of geographic areas (countries or country groups). This gives the user the ability to view the same indicator for multiple geographic regions simultaneously. Figure 6 shows the same indicator and scenario (Base Case) for 6 different African countries.

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Figure 6: Poverty forecasts for six different African countries.

Other Features

Continue

This closes the display and allos the user to continue back to the home screen to explore other displays or sectors of development.

File

This option allows the user to either export (save) the graph currently displayed, or print the graph. Once “export graph” is selected, the user may choose which file type to export (EMF, WMF, BMP, JPG, PNG, text/data). The user may also choose the size of the file to export.

Global Summary

This option allows the user to select “Global Map” which displays the selected indicator on a global map. The map is colored based on the selected indicator, with higher values represented by darker colors.

Causality

This option allows the user to view the variables which most directly impact the selected indicator. Once “causality” is selected, a “block diagram” will appear with the selected indicator in the middle. The variables to the left of the selected indicator represent variables in IFs that directly impact the indicator. The variables to the right of the indicator represent variables which are directly impacted by the indicator. By double-clicking on any of the blocks, the user can “follow” the chain of causality from one variable to the next to better understand the way different variables affect each other in the IFs system.

From this screen, the user can save the block diagrams in the “display” drop down options on the toolbar. The user may also show definitions of the variables by choosing “Variables” from the toolbar and then selecting “Show Definitions”.

Graphics

This option allows the user to make cosmetic changes to the display. The user can choose to show the graph’s title, make the graph monochrome (black and white) and make other customized changes. From the “Customize” display, the user can change all aspects of the graph (the font size, the axis labels, the line types, etc.).

Use Groups

This option is a toggle that changes the display to show groups of countries rather than individual countries. The user may select any group already defined in the model. The user may also create their own group using the “Manage Groups/Countries/Regions” option from the “Extended Features” tab from the home screen.

Display Options

This option allows the user to change the time horizon for the graph by changing either the first year or the latest year to display. The latest year by default is 2030 and the earliest year by default is 1990. By increasing the latest year, the user can see how the forecast changes past 2030. By decreasing the earliest year, the user can see data (where available) for years before 1990.

About SDGs

This option allows the user to view a list of all the SDGs, more information of the display itself, or to show the selected indicator in the “Self-Managed Display” of the model. The Self-Managed Display provides the most functionality regarding forecasted variables in the model. 

Scenario Analysis Capability

The IFs system allows users to create and compare their own scenarios. From the home screen, the user can select the “Scenario Analysis” tab at the top of the screen. The first option, “Quick Scenario Analysis with Tree” will open a form that allows the user to create their own scenario by adjusting different parameters in the model. Below is a brief description of how to create 3 different scenario files.

Contraception Use Increase Scenario

Step 1: Find “contrusm” (contraception use multiplier) by clicking the “parameter search” button at the top of the form and searching for “contraception”. Once found in this screen, select “load”.

Step 2: Select “Using Countries” at the top of the form. The default setting is to use countries as the unit of analysis, but for this example we want to adjust contraception use for the world. Once selected, the user will be given a list of groups. Scroll down to “world” and click the word.

Step 3: Adjust contrusm to 2 by 2030. Select “fully customize” when this parameter is selected. Change the “desired value” to 2, and the years to repeat or interpolate to 15. Then select “interpolate”. Close the immediate window. A notification will appear that reads, “Your customized changes have been added to the scenario tree.” Select “OK”.

Step 4: Save scenario file. Select “Scenario Files” from the top menu, then select “Name and save”.

Step 5: Run scenario. Select “Run Scenario” from the top menu. A notification will appear that reads, “Do you with to process the parameters in the tree and proceed to running the scenario?”. Select “yes”. Select your time horizon and click “Start run.” For the purposes of this demonstration, choose 2030 as the time horizon.

Step 6: Save run file. Once the scenario is run, click “Scenario Analysis,” and then select the option File Management > SAVE working file as… Save the working file as “Contraception”.

Transfers Increase Scenario

The process for creating, saving, and running the transfers scenario is identical to the process described above, except that you will need to adjust different parameters.

Step 1: Enter the scenario tree by selecting Scenario Analysis > Quick Scenario Analysis with Tree from the home screen.

Step 2: Clear the tree of all adjustments previously made to create the contraception scenario (Scenario files > Clear tree).

Step 3: Find “govhhtrnpenm” (government to household pension transfers, multiplier) by clicking the “parameter search” button at the top of the form and searching for “transfers”. Once found in this screen, select “load”.

Step 4: Select “Using Countries” at the top of the form. The default setting is to use countries as the unit of analysis, but for this example we want to adjust contraception use for the world. Once selected, the user will be given a list of groups. Scroll down to “world” and click the word.

Step 5: Adjust govhhtrnpenm to 5 by 2030. Select “fully customize” when this parameter is selected. Change the “desired value” to 5, and the years to repeat or interpolate to 15. Then select “interpolate”. Close the immediate window. A notification will appear that reads, “Your customized changes have been added to the scenario tree.” Select “OK”.

Step 6: Repeat steps 1 – 3 for the parameter “govhhtrnwelm” – government to household welfare (all non-pension) transfers, multiplier.

Step 7: Save scenario file. Select “Scenario Files” from the top menu, then select “Name and save”.

Step 8: Run scenario. Select “Run Scenario” from the top menu. A notification will appear that reads, “Do you with to process the parameters in the tree and proceed to running the scenario?”. Select “yes”. Select your time horizon and click “Start run.” For the purposes of this demonstration, choose 2030 as the time horizon.

Step 9: Save run file. Once the scenario is run, click “Scenario Analysis,” and then select the option File Management > SAVE working file as… Save the working file as “Transfers”.

Contraception and Transfers Scenario

Step 1: Enter the scenario tree by selecting Scenario Analysis > Quick Scenario Analysis with Tree from the home screen.

Step 2: Clear the tree of all adjustments previously made to create the contraception scenario (Scenario files > Clear tree).

Step 3: Load both the contraception scenario and the transfers scenario. Click “Add Scenario Components”. This will bring you to the list of saved scenarios. Find the contraception scenario previously made and select “load”. Do the same thing for the transfers scenario.

Step 4: Save scenario file. Select “Scenario Files” from the top menu, then select “Name and save”.

Step 5: Run scenario. Select “Run Scenario” from the top menu. A notification will appear that reads, “Do you with to process the parameters in the tree and proceed to running the scenario?”. Select “yes”. Select your time horizon and click “Start run.” For the purposes of this demonstration, choose 2030 as the time horizon.

Step 6: Save run file. Once the scenario is run, click “Scenario Analysis,” and then select the option File Management > SAVE working file as… Save the working file as “ContraceptionAndTransfers”.

Comparing Scenarios Using the SDG Forms

Once all of these scenarios have been run and saved, they are visible from the SDG forms. The user can compare progress towards achieving different SDGs across any of these scenarios. The screenshot below shows progress towards achieving SDG target 1.1 for Kenya in the 3 different scenarios created above as well as the Base Case. In the Base Case, the portion of the Kenyan population living in extreme poverty (less than $1.90 in 2011 USD) decreases from 29 to 27 percent from 2015 to 2030. In the contraception scenario, extreme poverty is decreased to below 24 percent. In the transfers scenario, extreme poverty is decreased to below 22 percent. In the combined scenario (both contraception and transfers) extreme poverty is reduced to just over 19 percent. The transfers scenario has a bigger impact, and the effects of the intervention are more immediate, but the trend of the lines suggest that the contraception scenario will have a larger impact past 2030 than the transfers scenario.

The user can view the effects of these interventions on any indicator for any country or region.

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Figure 7: Levels of extreme poverty in Kenya in the Base Case, the Contraception scenario, the Transfers scenario, and the ContraceptionAndTransfers scenario.



[1] The UN classifies SDG indicators on a scale of 1 to 3 based on methodological strength and data availability. A Tier 1 indicator is one that, “is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, and data are regularly produced by countries for at least 50 per cent of countries and of the population in every region where the indicator is relevant.” See: https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/iaeg-sdgs/tier-classification/

[2] Absolute target values are not strictly universal in that the UN does not provide explicit numerical values for the language it uses to describe the SDGs’ targets. For the SDG Form, we selected numerical values for the targets based on their individual language. For example, we use a threshold of 3 percent for targets that call for elimination or eradication of large scale social phenomena like extreme poverty and hunger, which we feel captures the spirit of the target while being more realistic than 0. We use a threshold of 0 in other cases, such as disease incidence, where the goal of 100% eradication is more realistic based on historical experience. However, the form allows the user to override any target, allowing for the flexibility to override these subjective decisions.