Samoa on verge of launching first global human rights web application

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A GREAT MOVE: Peseta Noumea Simi.

A GREAT MOVE: Peseta Noumea Simi. (Photo: File)

A web application designed to help Samoa guide implementation of and reporting on human rights obligations and Sustainable Development Goals was the focus of a gathering at Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel last Thursday.  

The Sadata workshop was attended by representatives from a number of government ministries.

Supported by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the U.N’s Resident Coordinator, Lizbeth Cullity, spoke about the importance Sadata.

 “Human rights are enshrined in the very Constitution of Samoa and the fa’a Samoa itself shares many of the core values of dignity and respect,” she said. 

“With these commitments and values comes an ongoing obligation to report. The process has the potential to be extremely powerful (but) it is not a small task. To take full advantage of the human rights system… you have to be smart and that is exactly what Samoa is doing. You have had the vision to go further than any country before and develop Sadata.”

Sadata will be a publicly accessible website which tracks the progress of government to implement human rights and link to the S.D.Gs.  

Peseta Noumea Simi, Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, highlighted the importance of Sadata in simplifying procedures and processes to meet Samoa’s reporting obligations, and allow for a more coordinated approach to implementing the human rights instruments Samoa has signed up to. 

Members of the public will be able to log on at any time and access a wealth of information on the activities the Government and civil society have been carrying out to help further the enjoyment of rights in our country. 

The ‘app’, funded by U.N.D.P., N.Z. and O.H.C.H.R., was initially devised in Samoa by O.H.C.H.R. and National Human Rights Institution consultant, Ashley Bowe, who facilitated the workshop.

 “There are a couple of databases out there to track human rights implementation but Sadata automates the data collection process and uses a sophisticated clustering system to reduce the amount of time needed to write reports and to eliminate duplication of activities – all of which leaves civil servants with more time to do what they are best at, the development of Samoa,” Mr. Bowe said.

Participants of the workshop were impressed with what they saw with one commenting the most useful aspect was ‘not just getting to know how to use Sadata for reporting to the UN but also how it could be used to collect data for our work purposes in developing policies.” 

IMPACT Open Source Software, the basis for Sadata, is on the brink of being launched globally where it is already attracting significant international interest, showing that Samoa is at the forefront of human rights protection and prevention in the region and beyond. 

The National Mechanism for Reporting and Follow-Up, co-chaired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development  is in the process of drafting a National Human Rights Implementation Plan, which once finished will be entered into Sadata and heralds a new era of data collection, reporting and transparency in Samoa.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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