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08 to 09 March 2023 | By invitation only

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  1. Background

Leaving no one behind (LNOB) is the central, transformative promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals. LNOB means moving beyond assessing average and aggregate progress, towards ensuring progress for all population groups at a disaggregated level.

To support governments and the United Nations system in the Asia-Pacific region, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has developed a user-friendly diagnostic tool called Leave No One Behind (LNOB) platform. The tool is used to improve the understanding of how various circumstances intersect and create inequalities in access to basic opportunities covered by the Sustainable Development Goals. Building on empirical methodologies such as Classification and Regress Trees (CART) and the Dissimilarity index (D-index), it uses data and statistics at national and subnational levels to identify groups left furthest behind and the circumstances they share.

In this technical R training, ESCAP took participants through the inner workings of its LNOB platform, using the statistical R code that prepares, analyzes and produces evidence on 16 SDG indicators based on the Tonga Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) from 2019. In addition to replicating the results hosted in LNOB platform, participants would also learn how to operationalize the LNOB methodology on indicators other than those currently available on the platform and to carry out LNOB analysis, using other nationally representative surveys such as Household Income Expenditure Survey upon availability.

  1. Training Objectives

The primary objective of this statistical training was to strengthen national capacities in building the evidence base to developing policies that reduce inequality of opportunity and accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, by making sure that those left behind are also included.

At the end of the training, technical officials and specialists were able to map out inequalities in access to opportunities and prevalence of barriers for which they have data and identify furthest behind and furthest ahead and quantify the level of inequality at national and sub-national levels through the D-Index.

  1. Target Audience

The statistical training drew participation from technical officials and specialists in ministries, departments and agencies, academia, think-thanks, research institution and the United Nations system entities. The Tonga Statistics Department along with the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office were key partners of ESCAP in organizing this training. The target audience was expected to reach maximum 25 trainees. Given the complexity of the code and the short duration of the training, a basic level of understanding of and experience with statistical software programmes such as R and Stata would be helpful to follow the instructions. Participants would need to follow pre-training guidelines for installing and preparing the R Studio environment and obtain relevant data. It might be beneficial, but is not required, for participants to review basic R skills available online through tutorials.

  1. Organization and Participation

The statistical training was organized physically at the Tonga Statistics Department Conference Room, Nuku’alofa, Tonga, on 8-9 March 2023. The meeting was conducted in English. The tentative programme of the training is on the Event Programme tab. 

08 Mar 2023
09:00
09:15
Opening remarks
  • ESCAP representative
  • Tonga Statistics Department Representative
  • UN RCO Representative
09:15
09:30
Self- introduction of experts
09:30
11:15
Session 1: Theory behind LNOB Methodology

This Session reviews the theoretical background of LNOB methodology and provide a working understanding of the Classification and Regress Trees (CART) and D-index methodologies.

  • Theory I: CART: Presented by Sejal S Sood, ESCAP
  • Theory II: D-index: Presented by Selsah Pasali, ESCAP
  • Q&A
11:15
11:30
Coffee/tea break
11:30
12:30
Session 2: Setting up R Studio working environment

This session will focus on setting up R studio on each participants computer and become familiar with R and its different working environments. Participants will also be guided through basic R syntax which will prepare them for the LNOB code in the training.

12:30
13:00
Session 3: Getting Ready for the LNOB Analysis

This Session reviews the set-up for the LNOB code, organizes input files and gives background to using R for LNOB analysis.

13:00
14:00
Lunch
14:00
15:30
Session 4: Reproducing LNOB results at the national Level

This session begins the LNOB R code where our independent (circumstances) and dependent (indicators) variables are defined. Using MICS data, participants will create a focused data frame which includes data for the defined variables, with the intention of learning how to sort through and manipulate large amounts of data in R. Participants will also be guided to explore different ways to use R to produce simple results including access rates of different population groups. For this first indicator we will focus on access to Basic drinking water.

Once data are prepared, participants will run the CART algorithm and D-index calculations at the national level for the Basic drinking water indicator and its defined circumstances. Results will be verified on the https://lnob.unescap.org/ platform.

15:30
15:45
Coffee/tea break
15:45
16:45
Session 4: Reproducing LNOB results and the use of additional factors

In continuation of our national results, participants will learn how to add additional factors to the CART algorithm for the defined indicator, access to Clean Fuel (SDG 7.1.2). This includes regional level analysis and additional circumstances that may be considered, including but not limited to Religion, Ethnicity and Language. The circumstance of disability will also be explored.

16:45
17:00
Closing of Day 1 by ESCAP
09 Mar 2023
09:00
10:30
Session 5: Complex LNOB Indicators

In this session participants will experience running the full analysis, including at national and regional levels, and by using additional circumstances, for the more complex indicator, Completion of secondary education for 20-35 age group (SDG 4.1.1). The composition of the circumstances will be discussed in more detail.

10:30
10:45
Coffee/tea break
10:45
12:15
Session 6: LNOB Barrier Indicators The LNOB platform treats Opportunities and Barriers differently. This session will focus on exploring two barriers from the LNOB platform, Any type of Violence against Women in the past 12 months (SDG 5.2.1) and prevalen

The LNOB platform treats Opportunities and Barriers differently. This session will focus on exploring two barriers from the LNOB platform, Any type of Violence against Women in the past 12 months (SDG 5.2.1) and prevalence of stunting (SDG 2.2.2) will be investigated.

12:15
13:15
Lunch break
13:15
14:45
Session 7: New dataset and new indicator

The LNOB platform uses MICS and DHS as its primary data source, given its comparability across Asia and the Pacific. However, the LNOB methodology can be applied to any dataset. This session will first focus on a new SDG indicator from MICS, namely child marriage (SDG 5.3). Upon availability, it will then focus on selected indicators from Tonga’s latest Household Income and Expenditure Survey.

14:45
15:00
Coffee/tea break
15:00
15:30
Session 8: Next steps, when to use the LNOB analysis

Voluntary National Reviews, Common Country Assessments, national studies are just a few examples of how the LNOB methodology can be integrated. This session will discuss ways the methodology has been used and can be used in the future.

15:30
16:30
Session 9: Q&A, Discussion and Feedback

Before closing the training, participants will have a chance to ask questions on the methodology, the code, or general questions about LNOB work. This session will also give a chance for participants to provide feedback or ask for any additional inputs from the ESCAP team.

16:30
17:00
Closing Remarks and Certificate Ceremony

for more information, please contact

Social Development Division +66 2288 1234 [email protected]
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