Monitoring implementation in the time dimension
Monitoring Millennium Development Goals in Time Distance Perspective PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 October 2009

Time distance technique offers policy makers, NGOs, media and the international community a clear picture of measuring achievements of various MDGs in intuitively understandable way  

The new generic time distance methodology offers a new view of the implementation of the MDGs that is exceptionally easy to understand and communicate. S-time-distance calculates the time lead or time lag of actual values from the lines to 2015 MDGs targets. It is like tracking the actual arrivals in comparison with the train timetable 

On the one hand, progress has been made in all selected indicators and in all world regions. Yet looking at the implementation of MDGs for the selected 10 indicators for Developing Regions 8 indicators were behind the lines for between 4 years and nearly 13 years. The largest delays were for maternal mortality ratio and prevalence of underweight children under-five years of age; by regions in sub-Saharan Africa, Western Asia and Southern Asia.  

Official Development Aid: tracking the timetable for reaching the UN target of 0.7 percent of GNI with time distance showed that the performance in 2008 was off the track: the delay of four years for DAC total.

Sub-Saharan Africa by countries: for 8 indicators S-time-distance analysis was in 79 percent of cases behind the lines to target and 21 percent of cases ahead of them. The worst situation was for the indicator percent of the population undernourished. The percentage rule for determining the MDGs target understates the progress made in Africa and puts a much more demanding target in terms of feasibility to regions and countries with more difficult starting positions.

Under-five mortality rate for 150 developing countries: 54 countries were ahead of their line to MDGs target and 96 countries lagging behind. 

The application to monitoring of the MDGs gives a new broader understanding of the situation in a dynamic context to enriching the policy debate. The time distance methodology can be usefully applied also in monitoring plans, budgets, forecasts, etc. and SICENTER developed a free web tool to facilitate this for interested users. 

Free Web tool for time distance monitoring updated with easier preparation of input files PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
SICENTER with the free Web tool enables a variety of interested users such as international and national organizations, NGOs, experts, students and media to monitor implementation of targets in the time dimension from the Lisbon and NRP targets in the case of EU and for MDGs or other planned, budget, or aid disbursement targets at world, regional, national, sub-national or business levels. 
A new template to facilitate the user with the preparation of the input file for our free web monitoring tool is provided below. This template enables you to paste the corresponding actual data of your choice in the block format (simple copy paste). It also calculates linear or exponential lines to targets according to your assumptions and combines it with actual data. This greatly reduces the amount of time needed to prepare the input file from a structured database.   

Template: Web_tool_preparation_1.0.xlt

Data entered into the template should be saved as ‘Microsoft Excel Workbook 97-2003 version’ (.xls), and not as Template (.xlt). Notwithstanding that the template when opened in Excel 2007 shows "Read Only" users of Excel 2007 version can enter the data into the template and save it under a new name as Excel 97-2003 version. Such saved input file can then be imported into the web monitoring tool using the 'browse' button in the tool. 

Pavle Sicherl at OECD conference Data Designed for Decisions PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 18 June 2009

Time distance offers a novel perception of world disparities and of the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals

This is the presentation of Pavle Sicherl at the joint OECD and Institute for International Design conference, June 18-20, Paris.

In the ‘Beyond GDP’ chain Statistics-Knowledge-Policy we need new concepts and
indicators, but also new understandable statistical measures facilitating very diverse
groups of stakeholders to build their perceptions of the situation.

S-time-distance is such a novel statistical measure providing new insights to many
problems. Expressed in time units it is readily understood by policy makers,
managers, media and general public, thus an excellent presentation and
communication tool for policy analysis and debate.

S-time-distance measures the distance between the points in time (lead or lag in
time) when the two compared countries reach the same level of the indicator X. In
measuring the overall “position” and “progress” among and within countries the new
dimension succeeds in finding new stories about development gaps from existing
data. It complements prevailing static measures by telling new more complex stories
in simple terms.

The new story of this added dimension of the disparity in the world is found by
showing how many years earlier were the present values for 160-200 countries
attained in Sweden as a long-term benchmark. For GDP per capita one half of the
countries (80 countries) were lagging Sweden by more than 70 years (36 countries
even for more than 160 years). Yet for internet users per 100 inhabitants the
corresponding value was 10 years, even though the static disparities were high. The
perceptions of the degree of disparity may be very different in static terms and in time
distance pointing to broader conclusions and semantics important for policy

Cross-fertilization: Gaptimer meets Gapminder. Time gap measure animation
example is provided in the Gapminder Community graph.

Application to monitoring implementation of targets with time distance is shown
for Millennium Development Goals. Free web monitoring tool is available for users at
the world, country, regional and local levels.

The presentation is available at  Sicherl presentation DD4D ver 2.ppt

Novel monitoring method looks at delays for Lisbon targets PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 29 September 2008

The Time Distance Perspective to the Commission's Report

This paper presents the application of the novel broader two-dimensional monitoring system to analyse the implementation of targets for selected structural and sustainable development indicators for the EU. It can be used across many indicators as well as across and within countries in many fields.

S-time-distance measure as the new added dimension deals with lead or lag in time of the actual attainment in a given year against the line to target (it is like tracking in time the actual arrivals in comparison with the train timetable). The degree of implementation for the two EU targets specified in the Commission Report showed that the total employment rate for EU27 was in 2007 about 2.8 years behind the line to target; for the share of the R&D expenditures in GDP S-time-distance indicates that the time delay was more than 6 years in a 6 year period, the value in 2006 was even lower than the starting value in 2000.  

For the later the total disappointment holds even for the reduced targets in the National Reform Programmes. For 7 countries with nearly 40 percent of the EU population the value in 2006 was lower than in 2000. Results by countries are presented. This is not a good indication for the long-term position of EU in the world.

The analysis for 12 selected structural and sustainable development indicators for EU15 across 7 SD themes shows that the four indicators with the greatest delays in time are related to long-term issues: sustainable transport (theme 7), share of R&D in GDP (theme 1), total greenhouse emissions and share of electricity from renewable resources (theme 6 climate change and energy). Again, their values were worse at the end of the period than in the starting year. This type of analysis can be repeated in the EU case for all 27 countries across a greater selected number of available indicators with established targets.  

These results present the situation in transparent terms with clear interpretability also to general public, which can as well facilitate understanding of the situation, need for stronger commitment and broader participation in the Lisbon process. SICENTER prepared a FREE WEB MONITORING TOOL to empower a broad range of stakeholders (such as international and national organizations, NGOs, experts, managers, educators, students and media) in Europe and in the world with an excellent presentation and communication tool that is easily understood and can support decision-making as well as influence public opinion across many fields of concern.

Official development assistance alert - a point for the G8 Summit PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 26 June 2008
G7 Countries Average is lagging 5 years behind the line to the UN 2015 target.

For the net official development assistance 2007 was another disappointing year. The indicator percentage of gross national income devoted to official development assistance (ODA/GNI) was studied in relation to the assumed line to the UN 2015 target of 0.7%.  Several of the analysed countries are not officially committed to this target but a common benchmark allows also for the relative comparisons of the assistance effort. S-time-distance measure was used to get an easily understandable overview of the situation of whether the 22 DAC countries are on- or off- the track to this MDG target.  

Tracking the timetable for reaching the UN target with time distance showed how widely the performance in 2007 was off the track: the delay of 5 or 4 years for G7 as a group and for DAC total, respectively, is a drastic underachievement.  In the seventh year the ODA/GNI value was at the level supposed to be achieved already in 2002 and 2003, respectively, on the line to the UN target. Also the hypothetical projections for 2010 by the OECD-DAC Secretariat indicate that no radical breakthrough is in sight as the time gap would stay unchanged: 5 and 4 years, respectively; the percentage shortfall would amount to 54% for the USA and 59% for Japan. Public awareness of these facts should be instrumental for public pressure on the governments for far-reaching improvements in this domain.

There is a wide gap between the development assistance efforts among the observed 22 countries.  The ODA/GNI value in the 5 European countries that have already reached the 0.7% target is in relative terms four times higher than in the last group where it is below 0.2%. It is sad that the latter group devoting less than 0.2% of their GNI for official development aid includes 57% of the population of the DAC countries. Furthermore, the whole 88% of population is in the countries with values below 0.4% and between 2-7 years behind the line to target. They need to find the political will to do much better, especially the G7 countries. It is hoped that the forthcoming G8 Summit in Japan can make an important contribution to remedy this unacceptable situation.  

Annex tables and graphs provide detailed information on individual countries as well as enable the comparisons across them. They are prepared using the free GAPTIMER monitoring tool for calculation and graphing of S-time-distance deviations from the line to target. S-time-distance methodology allows numerous stakeholders to benefit from this novel statistical measure for policy debate for many issues and at various levels. 

It provides the official organisations as well as the media and NGOs with an additional analytical and presentation tool for continuous monitoring of the implementation of the established targets at world, regional, national, sub-national and business levels.

Text: G7 lags the UN 2015 target by 5 years.pdf

Annex tables: Annex tables with 2010.pdf

Annex graphs by countries: Annex Graphs ODA_GNI.pdf
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