Global Policy Forum

Global Indicator Framework for SDGs: value added or time to start over?

GPF_Logo_4CAn essential basis for an effective review mechanism for the Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the indicators used to measure the achievement of the targets. At a meeting in October 2019, the responsible Interagency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goals (IAEG-SDGs) has worked on further developing the indicator framework. After ten semi-annual meetings and one month of open consultation, the IAEG SDGs made important progress for completing their global framework of indicators at this meeting. The IAEG-SDGs has agreed on a number of additional indicators, thus also responding to demands from civil society organisations. It has also renewed or replaced some Tier III indicators, following an appeal by Member States in the IAEG-SDG. However, this review process has also raised new concerns and highlighted some persistent problems of the framework. Questions remain about the way in which the indicator framework has contributed to progress in achieving the SDGs, particularly at national level.

December 9, 2019 | Global Policy Watch

Global Indicator Framework for SDGs: value added or time to start over?

New Briefing by Global Policy Watch

An essential basis for an effective review mechanism for the Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the indicators used to measure the achievement of the targets. At a meeting in October 2019, the responsible Interagency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goals (IAEG-SDGs) has worked on further developing the indicator framework. After ten semi-annual meetings and one month of open consultation, the IAEG SDGs made important progress for completing their global framework of indicators at this meeting. The IAEG-SDGs has agreed on a number of additional indicators, thus also responding to demands from civil society organisations. It has also renewed or replaced some Tier III indicators, following an appeal by Member States in the IAEG-SDG.

However, this review process has also raised new concerns and highlighted some persistent problems of the framework. Questions remain about the way in which the indicator framework has contributed to progress in achieving the SDGs, particularly at national level. There is further uncertainty about the relationship of SDG indicators to other evaluation mechanisms for sustainable development, such as those developed by individual UN bodies or presented in the Global Report on Sustainable Development. In addition, it is still unclear how to operationalize some of the indicators, as sometimes there is a lack of generally accepted methodology or reliable data. The impact of these difficulties on the implementation of SDGs and the targeted use of important financial and human resources still remains an open question.

The IAEG-SDGs has presented its 2020 comprehensive review, which began in January 2019, as “an opportunity to improve the indicator framework to help the global monitoring of the 2030 Agenda and provide the necessary guidance to countries, many of which are already well advanced in implementing their national framework and reporting platforms.” This long-promised opportunity to re-open the global indicator framework for addition, deletion, revision and replacement of indicators has resulted in a number of changes that will be submitted to the Statistical Commission for their March 2020 meeting. In the interim, outstanding issues are to be resolved separately with agencies and “other interested parties”, including Member States. This is consistent with the consultation process in the development of the indicator framework: it has been characterized by frequent opportunities for input by a range of diverse actors, but less frequent clarity and transparency on the dynamics of actual decision-making.

You can read and download the whole briefing here.

 

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