The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets will guide the actions of government, international agencies, civil society, and other institutions to 2030. However, at present, the SDG data requirements far exceed the current capacities of national systems.

Because food security, agricultural development, and the sustainable use of natural resources are at the center of the 2030 Agenda, the World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (a custodian agency for monitoring 21 of the SDG indicators) have joined forces to establish the Global Rural and Agricultural Integrated Surveys (GRAInS) partnership, which aims to improve the quality and availability of rural and agricultural data across low and middle-income countries.

The partnership works to achieve four objectives:

  1. Increased capacity of national data systems to conduct integrated farm and household surveys,
  2. Improved methodologies for integrated surveys,
  3. Increased availability and use of survey data, especially through open data, and
  4. Sufficient resources for and increased awareness of integrated surveys.

It builds upon the work of different survey initiatives, including the LSMS–Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA), FAO’s Agricultural and Rural Integrated Survey (AGRIS), the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Core Agricultural and Rural Data Surveys (CARDS), and technical support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

GRAInS will allow the partners to coordinate the implementation of major technical assistance and capacity-development activities (such as the country program implementation for AGRIS and LSMS-ISA) and pool and coordinate resources to advance survey methodological work and coordinate the harmonization and integration of instruments and methods across the different initiatives.