Statistics Experts Discuss SDG Indicators
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Representatives of Member States, specialized agencies and UN entities met to discuss the indicator framework for the post-2015 development agenda, in a UN Statistics Division (UNSD) Expert Group Meeting.

The conclusions of the meeting will be provided as an input to the 46th session of the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC) and for the preparation of its proposals to the intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda.

United Nations26 February 2015: Representatives of Member States, specialized agencies and UN entities met to discuss the indicator framework for the post-2015 development agenda, in a UN Statistics Division (UNSD) Expert Group Meeting. The conclusions of the meeting will be provided as an input to the 46th session of the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC) and for the preparation of its proposals to the intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda.

The Expert Group Meeting (EGM) took place on 25-26 February 2015, at UN Headquarters in New York, US.

Opening the meeting, Stefan Schweinfest, UNSD Director, explained that participants will be looking at “three Ps”: Parameters, or criteria for indicator selection; Processes of developing an indicator framework and an architecture for the framework; and Practices. Noting the absence of an agreed deadline for the indicator framework, he stressed the need for finding a good balance between the technical and political process to address the exiting “tension” regarding the timing, and expressed the message of the statistical community as, “don’t rush us, we need until the end of the year.”

According to participating experts, the SDG indicators should be: limited in number; scientifically robust; measurable; accessible; relevant; addressing multiple targets through their inter-linkages; and easy to understand for the general public. Participants also highlighted the need for: statistical capacity development; clearly defining the regional, national and thematic/sectoral monitoring levels; involving statistical experts from the international agencies with the work at the regional level; and developing an accountability and quality framework for international organizations for their reporting. They further underlined that disaggregation is fundamental to address the principle of “no one left behind.”

General support was expressed for the proposal by the Friends of the Chair (FOC) for the establishment of a new Inter-agency and Expert Group (IAEG) on SDG indicators, composed of representatives of national statistical systems and international agencies, to be tasked with finalizing the proposal for the indicators framework and with the development of the indicators.

There was also consensus that the preliminary proposal from the UN Statistical Commission to the intergovernmental negotiations on post-2015 – which was coordinated by the UN Technical Support Team (TST) and contains 338 indicators – should be considered as the first step of a process that will culminate with the 2016 session of the Statistical Commission and later, with the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF) in 2016.

UNSC’s 46th session will take place on 3-6 March 2015, in New York, US. [EGM Webpage] [IISD RS Sources] [Main Points of Consensus, Roadmap]


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