Esri Partners with International Community to Scale GIS Technology for Sustainable Development

Global Collaboration through Virtual Centers of Excellence for Geospatial Information Will Provide Greater Access to SDG Data Hubs for Nations in Need


REDLANDS, Calif.—May 12, 2021—Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, today announced its contribution to an open, community-driven partnership working to accelerate the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Governments, international organizations, foundations, universities, and civil society groups are joining the initiative to offer resources and expertise, including capacity-building efforts, that will enable virtual Centers of Excellence for Geospatial Information to provide greater access to SDG data for nations in need.

“This collaboration will bring the innovations of geospatial information science to a wider public,” said Jeffrey Sachs, University Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University, President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, SDG Advocate under UN Secretary-General António Guterres, and Chair of the Lancet COVID-19 Commission. “The virtual centers will empower communities around the world with very powerful data-driven solutions to help them implement targeted SDG changes where they are needed.”

The public and private sector collaboration’s goal is to expand adoption of SDG Data Hubs by national governments for official monitoring and reporting of SDG progress, and fostering the development of the hubs by state, provincial and local governments, NGOs, and regional entities. The hubs, powered by Esri software, allow countries to measure, monitor, and report on the SDGs in a geographic context, and make it easier for nations to collect, analyze, and share the data required to monitor progress.

“Inequality threatens long-term social and economic development, hampers poverty reduction initiatives, and the COVID pandemic along with climate change only exacerbate these problems, especially among vulnerable global communities,” said Jack Dangermond, Esri founder and president. “Our goal in this partnership is to enable the world to work more effectively together on reducing inequalities by leveraging geospatial technology to better understand and solve these challenges.”

Esri has specifically committed to provide over $15 million in technology grants for 74 of the world’s developing countries, capacity building support, and $1 million in financial resources to advance the implementation of the United Nations Integrated Geospatial Information Framework (IGIF) and the deployment of SDG Data Hubs, in close cooperation with the United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management (GGIM) Secretariat.

“The United Nations IGIF is a globally adopted multi-dimensional framework aimed at strengthening national geospatial information arrangements in countries to support national development monitoring and reporting,” said Stefan Schweinfest, Director of Statistics Division, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. “The IGIF provides an institutional framework for organizations to realize the creation of SDG Data Hubs, and enhanced by virtual Centers of Excellence for Geospatial Information. These much-needed mechanisms can significantly increase the ability of countries to collect, manage, and communicate policy-relevant, actionable SDG data and information at the global, national, and sub-national levels.”

The successful implementation of SDG Data Hubs by more than 15 countries over the last 4 years has established a consistent, scalable pattern for reporting on and monitoring the progress of the SDGs.  However, many countries continue to face obstacles that inhibit their ability to implement SDGs, making it more difficult to support national development or economic prosperity.

The next step that this community of global stakeholder organizations seeks to undertake is to provide the resources for the broader scale-up of approximately 20 developing countries currently without the adequate technology, SDG Data Hub implementation plans, and capacity development to monitor and report on the SDGs.

“Part of our mission involves bringing together partner organizations to facilitate innovative solutions for global sustainability efforts,” said Sergio Fernández de Cordova, Executive Chairman, PVBLIC Foundation. “The SDG Data Hubs are the perfect example of cutting-edge transformative technology that is designed to help build local capacity in the areas where it is critically needed and virtual Centers of Excellence for Geospatial information would amplify this effort, using data—our greatest currency—to build a better tomorrow, one country at a time.”

The goal of this international, cross-sector partnership will ultimately be the establishment of an alliance for the SDGs between the partners as well as member states. Learn more about how Esri is supporting the global community in scaling up adoption and deployment of SDG Hubs here.

About Esri

Esri, the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping, helps customers unlock the full potential of data to improve operational and business results. Founded in 1969 in Redlands, California, USA, Esri software is deployed in more than 350,000 organizations globally and in over 200,000 institutions in the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, nonprofits, and universities. Esri has regional offices, international distributors, and partners providing local support in over 100 countries on six continents. With its pioneering commitment to geospatial information technology, Esri engineers the most innovative solutions for digital transformation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics. Visit us at

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Jo Ann Pruchniewski

Public Relations, Esri

Mobile: 301-693-2643


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