Comments at CS Pre-meeting to UNECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies, Geneva 28 February 2018

“Where do we stand with the indicator framework?”

Marianne Haslegrave, Commat

The Global Indicator Framework (GIF), developed by the IAEG-SDGs, was adopted as the final “piece” of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development during 2017. The list of 232 indicators  accompanies the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) and 169 targets, with at least one indicator for each target . (In reality the list of indicators comprises 244, but there are some that are repeated under different targets and in addition there are moves to separate a few indicators into two.) 

The GIF, as its name suggests, is global in character and other banks of indicators also exist that can be used in developing national level indicator frameworks.  

From the outset, indicators have been categorized into Tiers I, II and III. Tier I indicators can now be used as the methodology is established and widely available; for Tier II that methodology is also established, but is not widely available; and for Tier III the methodology has not yet been agreed. So far, some indicators have moved from Tier III to Tier II, (see: and also from Tier I to Tier II where they are did not meet the requirements for Tier I classification (see: One indicator that has still not been re-classified to Tier II from Tier III is 5.6.2 on sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights. Progress will be reported at the next session.

7th meeting of the IAEG-SDGs, Vienna, Austria 9-12 April 2018

The seventh session of the IAEG-SDGs will be held in Vienna, Austria, 9-12 April 2018. There will be three days for plenary sessions beginning of 10 April, after a one-day closed session. Major Groups and other Stakeholders (MGoS) will be able to participate as observers if they have received an invitation. In the most recent session in Bahrain, the processes for observer participation have opened up considerably with MGoS being able to intervene in the deliberations, instead of statements at the end, and being invited to make presentations on progress in the monitoring of the SDGs.

2020 review of indicators

The work on reviewing the GIF to decide what indicators should be added will begin at the forthcoming session. The review itself will take place in 2020, with a further review in 2025.

Disaggregation and ‘Leave no one behind’

The IAEG-SDGs as a whole works on disaggregation of data. So far it is possible to disaggregating in two fields, eg age and sex and possibly in three fields eg age, sex and disability, It is, however, not yet possible to disaggregate in more fields eg older migrant women in rural areas with a disability. Furthermore, measuring ‘Leave no one behind’ prevents further difficulties as does ‘reaching those furthest behind first’. 

CSOs can make a useful contribution in carrying out discreet studies in pre-defined areas which can provide information to go alongside the data collected by National Statistical Offices.

Contribution from Women’s Major Group

Marianne reported that she had made a presentation on behalf of the Women’s Major Group during the sixth session of the IAEG which she had stressed that the WMG “must be the voice that is heard on issues related to gender equality and women’s empowerment in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

While disaggregation of data is a small, albeit important part of its concerns in relation to the global indicator framework, the WMG’s endpoint is structural change. Further disaggregation is, moreover, required to identify and reach marginalised women, including:

  • indigenous women, including indigenous black women of African slave descent and Afro-descendants
  • aged and senior women, (taking on board the UNPD-DESA comments just now)
  • widows and wives of the disappeared
  • women in conflict and security fragile areas 
  • women and girls in child, early and forced marriages, victims of female genital mutilation and other harmful traditional practices
  • women and girls with disabilities 

Insofar as these women are often invisible, they are the ones who are in danger of being left behind. Household surveys should also randomly select those in families who respond to ensure that the concerns of the most marginalized are captured.

The possibility for making such statements on gender and indicators demonstrates the need for the Women’s Major Group (WMG) to be present at sessions of the IAEG-SDGs.

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