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Source: Small Island Developing States

The UN’s group of experts on the SDGs indicators has agreed on 32 changes to the global indicator set. The changes include eight new indicators being added to the framework, and replacements for indicators under Goal 13 (climate action). The changes will proposed to the UN Statistical Commission for consideration when it meets in March 2020.

The UN Inter-Agency and Expert Group on the SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) held its tenth meeting from 21-24 October 2019, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The members considered a range of suggested changes gathered through a consultation process that began in May 2019. It has accepted proposals to add the following new indicators to the framework:

  • Prevalence of anaemia in women aged 15-49 years, by pregnancy status (%), for SDG target 2.2 (By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons);
  • Reduce the percentage of bloodstream infections due to selected antimicrobial resistant organisms, for SDG target 3.d (Strengthen the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks);
  • Completion rate (primary education, lower secondary education, upper secondary education), for SDG target 4.1 (By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes);
  • Redistributive impact of fiscal policy (with Gini coefficient reported as second series in database as it is a component of indicator), for SDG target 10.4 (Adopt policies, especially fiscal, wage and social protection policies, and progressively achieve greater equality);
  • Number of migrants killed while attempting to cross maritime, land and air borders (pending clarification on data sources), for SDG target 10.7 (Facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies);
  • Proportion of the population who are refugees, by country of origin, also for SDG target 10.7;
  • Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions per year, for SDG target 13.2 (Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning); and
  • Proportion of the population who have experienced a dispute in the past two years and who accessed a formal or informal dispute resolution mechanism, by type of mechanism, for SDG target 16.3 (Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all).

On a proposal to add an indicator for SDG 17 on Total Official Support for Sustainable Development (TOSSD), the Group noted that the methodology is still being refined, and decided to form a working group to finalize the methodology over the course of two years.

The IAEG will consult with custodian agencies and other parties to finalize pending issues from the meeting in Addis Ababa, and will present its recommendations in a report to the UN Statistical Commission’s 51st session in March 2020.

Also at the meeting in Addis Ababa, the Group decided to move 15 indicators (from Goals 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17) from Tier II to Tier I due to improved data availability. These include SDG indicator 15.3.1 on land degradation, as highlighted in this article from the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Three other indicators (in Goals 1, 2 and 16) were moved from Tier I to Tier II, due to lack of available data.

For Tier III, seven indicators were considered for reclassification, including from Goals 3, 11, 14, 15 and 16. Other Tier III indicators have had no updates to their workplans or methodologies for several months, including:

  • Indicator 12.7.1: Number of countries implementing sustainable public procurement policies and action plans;
  • Indicator 17.7.1:  Total amount of approved funding for developing countries to promote the development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies; and
  • Indicator 17.14.1: Number of countries with mechanisms in place to enhance policy coherence of sustainable development.

The 2020 Comprehensive Review of the indicator framework is called for in a 2017 resolution of the UN General Assembly. [Meeting Documents] 

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