9th Meeting of the IAEG-SDGs – Update 8  

2020 Comprehensive Review of SDG Indicators: Deadline for submission 14 June 2019

During the webinar Viveka Palm, Co-chair, and Benjamin Rae of the UN Statistics Division provided an update on the information given at the IAEG-SDGs 9th session. This posting brings together the available information.

As explained by Viveke, members of the IAEG-SDGs knew that some indicators looked difficult from a statistical perspective and that the process should aim at a system that is about the size that it is now.

The 2020 comprehensive review provides an opportunity to improve the indicator framework to help the global monitoring of the 2030 agenda and to provide the necessary guidance to countries, many of whom are already well advanced in implementing their national framework and reporting platforms. It needs to take into account investments already made at national and international levels.

The revised framework should not impose a significant additional burden on national statistical work and, while making space for improvements, changes should be limited in scope and the size of the framework should remain the same. In addition, the focus should remain on the implementation of the indicator framework in-country. 

Modifications during the review will include the replacement, deletion, refinement, or adjustment of indicators and in a few cases, additional indicators.

An additional indicator may be considered only in exceptional cases when a crucial aspect of a target is not being monitored by current indicator(s) or to address a critical emerging or new issue that is not already being monitored.

deletion will be considered when the methodological work of a tier III indicator has stalled or has not produced the expected results, and a replacement will be proposed, if the deleted indicator is the only one monitoring the corresponding target. 

Refinement or adjustments will be considered when the indicator does not map well to the target or does not track the target well.

Criteria for the comprehensive review of the indicators 

  • proposed indicators must have agreed methodology and available data (tier III indicators will not be considered) and be suitable for global monitoring
  • review will aim at maintaining close to the same number of indicators currently in the framework so as not to alter the original framework significantly and not increase reporting burden
  • Adding sub-indicators within an existing indicator tier I or II is discouraged as it adds to the reporting burden
  • Any proposal for replacement or additional indicators should minimize the use of sub-indicators
  • All proposals with sub-indicators will also be examined closely for the same reason

Timeline for 2020 comprehensive review

The IAEG-SDGs, assisted by the Secretariat, has prepared proposals containing possible deletions, replacements, adjustments and additions, based on previous analysis and assessments and consultations with member countries and inputs from experts as needed.

June 3 – All custodian agencies must provide to the Secretariat an update of their tier III workplans with the expected date by which the methodological work will be completed and when the indicator will be proposed for reclassification. Any indicators for which no response is received will be included in the 2020 Comprehensive Review 


June 14, 2019 – Deadline for submission of all proposals for replacements, refinements, adjustments and additional indicators to the Secretariat. The IAEG-SDG will not consider any submissions received after this date. 

June – July 2019 – The IAEG-SDGs will review the proposals received and prepare an initial proposal of possible deletions, adjustments, replacements and additions based on the submissions received as well as work already carried out by the IAEG-SDG (inter alia E/CN.3/2017/2, Annex V). 

29 July – 31 August 2019 – The IAEG-SDGs will hold an open consultation on this preliminary list of possible deletions, adjustments, replacements and additions during which all interested parties are invited to provide inputs. 

September 2019 – The IAEG-SDGs will review the results of the open consultation and develop a second proposed list of deletions, adjustments, replacements and additions.

October 2019 – 10th IAEG-SDG meeting. This revised list of proposals will be discussed during the 10th IAEG-SDG meeting.

30 November 2019 – The IAEG-SDGs will finalize its proposal for the 2020 Comprehensive Review and submit it to the Commission for its consideration at the 51st session in March 2020. 

Throughout the process, the IAEG-SDGs will continue to operate in an open and transparent manner and will consult with custodian agencies, member States, stakeholders and other experts as needed to clarify indicator proposals and respond to any questions the group has.

Detailed submission criteria for replacements/adjustment proposals and additional indicators can be found here.

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