IAEG-SDGs to Finalize Plans for Tier III Indicators
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The UN Statistics Division (UNStats) has updated the plans for completing the methodology for several Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators.

The Inter-Agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) is convening in Geneva, Switzerland, from 15-18 November 2016, to review the work plans.

11 November 2016: The UN Statistics Division (UNStats) has updated the plans for completing the methodology for several Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators. The work plan document was issued ahead of the fourth meeting of the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs), convening in Geneva, Switzerland, from 15-18 November 2016. UNStats serves as the Secretariat for the IAEG.

Indicators requiring methodological development are classified as ‘Tier III’ in the tier system used by the IAEG-SDGs. Once the methodology is finalized and the indicator is “conceptually clear,” it can be classified as Tier II, which addresses the data needs for each country to report against the indicator.

Of the 230 indicators, 88 indicators are currently classified as Tier III. Another 57 are in Tier II, while 81 are Tier I – conceptually clear, with established methodology and standards available and data regularly produced by countries. Four other indicators have individual components belonging to different tiers.

The work plans show the 88 Tier III indicators alongside the proposed “custodian agency” responsible for methodological development and global compilation of data.

The work plans show each Tier III indicator alongside its proposed “custodian agency” – the international agencies, entities, funds and programmes that are responsible for the methodological development and global compilation of data for these indicators. The plans also indicate: which entities are involved in consulting and developing the methodology; the process of developing the methodology; any new international standards that will need to be approved by an intergovernmental process for the methodology; when the methodological work is expected to be completed; and the status of data collection for the indicator, among other details.

Some Tier III indicators do not yet have a custodian agency, and currently lack a work plan:

  • 1.4.1 – Proportion of population living in households with access to basic services
  • 1.b.1 – Proportion of government recurrent and capital spending to sectors that disproportionately benefit women, the poor and vulnerable groups
  • 14.7.1 – Sustainable fisheries as a percentage of GDP in small island developing States, least developed countries and all countries
  • 16.7.1 – Proportion of positions (by sex, age, persons with disabilities and population groups) in public institutions (national and local legislatures, public service and judiciary) compared to national distribution

Several other Tier III indicators also lack a work plan. The IAEG-SDGs intends to review the work plans at the Geneva meeting, and will submit it as a background documentation for the 48th session of the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC 48), in March 2017.

Also at IAEG-SDGs 4, the Group is expected to: finalize the Tier system; establish a process to refine indicators; discuss options for indicators lacking a custodian agency; and review data flows from national to regional and global level and discuss best practices for the delivery of these data. The meeting is being held in two parts: a members meeting on 15-16 November, and a plenary session open to other governments and stakeholders on 17-18 November. The plenary days will include side events on: household surveys as a source of data for the SDGs (organized by the World Bank); and country guidelines for SDG reporting (organized by UNDP).

The Group will submit a report on its progress in December 2016, ahead of UNSC 48. Also in December, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is expected to begin a peer review process for the ‘SDG Interface Ontology’ (SDGIO), which was requested by the IAEG-SDGs in October 2015. The SDGIO defines terms contained in the SDGs, targets and indicators, and their interrelations, and connects the SDG ontology with other existing, widely used ontologies. [Work Plans for Tier III Indicators] [Tier Classification] [SDGIO Update] [IAEG-SDGs 4 Agenda] [SDG Knowledge Hub Previous Story] [IISD RS Meeting Coverage]


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