The SDG committee is responsible for the strategic direction and coordination of the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations in Aruba. Together, these 17 goals have the ambition to drive sustainable development. Data, knowledge and well-founded information play an important role in this. The Central Bureau for Statistics collects, studies and stores statistical data, but the question is whether there is a role for other institutions to be able to carry out relevant research in the form of reports, theses and such, for the implementation of SDGs.
At the request of the SDG Committee, the Financial Economics Department instructed five students from Hogeschool Windesheim to investigate this. On the basis of source research and no less than 23 interviews with stakeholders, the research team concluded that there is broad support for the University of Aruba to play an important role in the collection and dissemination of secondary data. Within the four faculties, teachers and students already carry out research in many fields and there is also the ambition to further expand the research activities and to bring out the results more.
The will to work together is also great among government institutions and the private sector. However, agreements must be made about how this cooperation should be formulated and how privacy and access to sensitive data can be protected and guaranteed.
The research team indicates that policy makers and researchers should look for closer cooperation with each other. Within the UA, an SDG Research and Data Center should be set up that, among other things, is to maintain relationships with the government and society and to create an accessible digital database.
The students were Bas Huisman, Damon Winter, Dilara Erikli, Maurice van Roemburg and Rebecca Segers. The supervising teachers at the University of Aruba were Bauke Feenstra and Luc Alofs. On behalf of the SDG committee, Jocelyne Croes and Ghislaine Nicolaas were direct contact persons and the entire SDG committee was involved in the investigation. The final report with recommendations is currently being presented to the SDG committee and to the University of Aruba.