Sixth meeting of the IAEG-SDGs, 11-14 November, Bahrain: Update 2

During the sixth session, updates were given on the working groups on Geospatial Information; Interlinkages; SDMX; and the Joint subgroup of the IAEG-SDGs and HLG-PCCB.

The Geo-spatial Information Group, which is co-chaired by Mexico and Sweden, held its third meeting in May 2017, working in four different task groups. Their principle concern relates to data availability and is focused on 15 indicators with a second list of nine indicators. The Group has decided to have more Web-Ex meetings, with a fourth meeting at the UN in New York in December.

The Interlinkages Working Group has expanded its membership to include three from academia and two from civil society organizations and is co-chaired by Canada and China. The Group has held internal and open global consultations on the interlinkages between goals and targets and within the statistics underlying the indicators; areas and frameworks that can facilitate the monitoring of the goals, targets and indicators identified as being interlinked; best practices of integrated data collection; and integrated analyses. The group will report to the IAEG on the results of its consultations in the spring. Currently it has been holding a Global consultation. 

The task of the SDMX Working Group is to develop a Statistical Data & Metadata eXchange solution for SDG indicator data and metadata exchange and dissemination. Challenges facing the Group include diversity of indicators; possible changes to indicators; reporting and dissemination; number and diversity of stakeholders and counterparties; adaptation of DSD by countries to suit their own needs; mandatory disaggregation; remaining code lists; metadata concepts and Metadata Structure Definition. There will be a pilot data exchange, funded by UK DFID, in 20 countries in Africa and Asia.

The Joint subgroup of the IAEG-SDGs and HLG-PCCB, which was formed by the Statistical Commission, has made proposals and recommendations to prioritize Tier II indicators and related sources for capacity building. Its focus is on Tier I indicators where necessary and it will hold a consultation with National Statistical Offices (in Dec 2017/Jan 2018) to identify their most acute capacity building priorities in relation to the 2030 Agenda. It is also considering a financing mechanism. The Joint sub-group will conduct a Paris21/UNSD Survey on capacity building in Dec 2017/Jan 2018; develop joint notes and guidance on capacity building and financing aspects; prepare an overview of the types of capacity building activities needed; develop implementation notes.

As stated in the meeting, it recognizes that it is not possible to move ahead with indicators without statistics. With reference to the involvement of CSOs, there is support for civil society to be considered in capacity-building. And, in response to a question from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the sub-group will consider whether to invite National Human Rights Institutions. Tanzania emphasized the need to bring on board political will and to provide champions.

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