8th meeting of the IAEG-SDGs – UPDATE 2

Update on latest events – Better Data and the HLPF

Yongyi Min from the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) updated participants in the IAEG-SDGs meeting on Better Data and the High-level Political Forum (HLPF), noting that it is expected to:

  • Provide political leadership, guidance and recommendations on implementation 
  • Keep track of progress
  • Spur coherent policies informed by evidence, science and country experiences
  • Enhance the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development
  • Address new and emerging issues
  • Strengthen the science-policy interface

She then presented the HLPF in numbers:

The SDG Progress Report – Implementing the 2030 Agenda for resilient societies --  was presented at the HLPF during the formal sessions, focussing on reviewing progress in achieving the SDGs and on better data for sustainable development. 

The data presented in the voluntary national reviews (VNRs) varied from country to country, the challenge being the availability of statistics and data for monitoring, especially disaggregated and alternative data. The focus should move from how to include wherewhat and who, ie Where is process being made; what policies are effective and what are not; and who are being left behind.

The experiences from previous VNRs demonstrated the differences in the ‘depth’ of statistical analysis ranging from one to more than 100 pages; differences in levels, structures and different forms of presentation; and the recognition that the statistic selection does not always reflect national SDG or policy priorities stated elsewhere in the same VNR. The availability of statistics and data for monitoring, especially disaggregated and alternative data, is therefore a challenge.

VNR lab – leveraging data for evidence-based VNRs

Interactive discussions bringing members of National Statistical Offices (NSOs), development partners and other data stakeholders together identified challenges including lack of coordination; inadequate funding; lack of meaningful dialogue; human capital; statistical literacy; data availability; and technology. Among the solutions for these challenges are: NSO engagement with policy makers and other stakeholders; effective communication of statistics; coordination mechanisms; focus on the core; and ensuring relevance.

Moving forward there should be active engagement in HLPF and VNRs, as the national statistical system is central to national follow-up and review with the NSO carrying out a critical coordinating and quality assurance role.

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