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The President of the seventieth session of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, hosted a briefing at 10:00am on Thursday, 28 January, 2016 on the global SDG indicator framework. Mr. John Pullinger, Chair of the UN Statistical Commission, Mr. Enrique Ordaz, Co-chair of the IAEG-SDGs, Mr. Stefan Schweinfest and Ms. Francesca Perucci, Director and Assistant Director of the UN Statistical Division, participated in the briefing.

The General Assembly, in its resolution 70/1, Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, decided that the global indicator framework, to be developed by the Inter Agency Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs), will be agreed by the UN Statistical Comrnission by March, 2016 and adopted thereafter by the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly, in line with existing mandates.

In preparation for the 47th Session of the UN Statistical Commission, the report of the Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG indicators (IAEG-SDGs), including an annex with a list of indicators, was submitted as an official document for the Session.


An open consultation will take place on the proposed SDG Indicators that currently coded as 'grey', indicating that further discussion on them is still needed. The consultation will be open from Wednesday, 9 December to Tuesday, 15 December to both observers (non-IAEG Member States and representatives of regional commissions and regional and international agencies) and other stakeholders (civil society, academia and private sector) for technical comments.

The inputs provided will be considered by the IAEG-SDGs Members in their final phase of preparation of the set of indicators to be submitted to the Statistical Commission. The final decision on the number, type and formulation of the indicators in the global indicator framework proposal will be taken by the IAEG-SDGs Members.


A document containing the inputs provided by the Observers of the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) and other stakeholders during the open consultation on proposed global SDG Indicators coded as "green" has been posted online.


As agreed at the 2nd IAEG-SDGs meeting in Bangkok, an open consultation will take place on the proposed SDG Indicators that were coded as "green" ahead of the meeting. As indicated by the co-chairs of the IAEG-SDGs, additional comments on the indicators coded as "green" during the meeting can also be submitted. The consultation will be open from Wednesday, 4 November 9 am EST to Saturday, 9 am 7 November EST.

The consultation is open to observers (non-IAEG Member States and representatives of regional commissions and regional and international agencies) and other stakeholders (civil society, academia and private sector) for technical comments.

The inputs provided will be considered by the IAEG-SDGs Members in their final phase of preparation of the set of indicators to be submitted to the Statistical Commission. The final decision on the number, type and formulation of the indicators in the global indicator framework proposal will be taken by the IAEG-SDGs Members.


A document containing a summary of comments received on the List of Indicator Proposals of 11 August 2015 during the two rounds of consultations with members and observers of the Inter-agency and Expert group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators has been posted online.

It presents comments according to three different categories, namely:

  • "Suggestions for Modifications and Replacement Indicators"
  • "Suggestions for Additional Indicators", and
  • "Additional Comments",
indicating the name of the country or organisation that provided each comment. It also contains two additional columns: ‘Possible compiling entity’ and ‘Tier’ which were carried over from the August 11 document based on the request by multiple countries.

Please note that no changes have been made to the list of indicator proposals of 11 August 2015. Therefore, the status of development of the suggested indicators (so-called tiers I, II, and III) still needs to be re-evaluated on the basis of information provided since then.

A very large number of comments were received during the two rounds of consultations and those comments are reflected in the summary to the best possible extent. Users are requested to refer to the original comments for complete information.


The inputs received through the open consultation with all countries, regional and international agencies, civil society, academia and the private sector are now available online.

These inputs will inform the discussion at the second meeting of the IAEG-SDGs, to be held from 26-28 October in Bangkok.


According to the work plan of the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on SDG indicators (IAEG-SDGs), an open consultation with all countries, regional and international agencies, civil society, academia and the private sector is scheduled to start on 11 August and to be conducted until 4 September. The format of the open consultations is currently being finalised by the facilitators, taking into account the discussions so far.


On 28 July 2015, Mr. John Pullinger, the Chair of the United Nations Statistical Commission informed the intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda on the progress of the development of the indicator framework for the goals and targets.

Mr. Pullinger informed Member States that the work is well under way and that the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on SDG indicators (IAEG-SDGs) has given itself a strict timeline foreseeing multiple rounds of consultations and opportunities for observers and major groups and stakeholders to provide inputs to the discussions. He stressed that the work of the IAEG-SDGs will strictly follow the guidance received by Member States and expressed his appreciation that Member States have recognised the importance of strengthening statistical capacities in developing countries.


On 8 July, a note outlining the tentative timeline, work plan and organization of work of the IAEG-SDGs was shared with all members of the group. The note, which was prepared in consultation with the two co-chairs of the group, foresees multiple rounds of consultations and opportunities for observers and major groups and stakeholders to provide inputs to the discussions.

Mexico will facilitate the first discussion stream on conceptual frameworks and indicator concepts and definitions. France will facilitate the second discussion stream on inter-linkages across goals and targets.

The discussions will be based on an updated version of the list of proposals, which replaces the earlier version provided as an input to the first meeting of the IAEG-SDGs on 1-2 June 2015.

The Statistics Division, acting as Secretariat of the IAEG-SDGs, will support the facilitators in their function. Also, in cooperation with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, an online collaboration platform has been launched. This platform will allow the IAEG-SDGs to conduct its discussions electronically in an efficient manner.


The UN Statistics Division has compiled a first list of proposed priority indicators that summarizes the current state of discussions on indicators on individual targets, and will be the focus of the first meeting of the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs). This list of proposed priority indicators will be revised on the basis of the meeting’s discussions as well as later on during an additional round of consultations.

In preparation of the first meeting of the IAEG-SDGs (1-2 June 2015), agencies were requested to provide inputs on the indicators for global monitoring within their area of work and expertise, based on a preliminary list of indicators that was assessed by countries earlier in the year and included in the technical report of the Bureau of the Statistical Commission to the March session of the intergovernmental negotiations.

As part of this exercise, agencies were also requested to provide any available metadata on their indicator proposals. The deadline for sending inputs was 15 May 2015, although inputs received later were incorporated to the extent possible. A list of all indicator proposals received from the agencies is available here. Please refer to the “Read me first” section of this file for further information.


On 21 May 2015, the Chair of the United Nations Statistical Commission, Mr. John Pullinger, addressed the intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda to provide an update on the process to develop an indicator framework for the goals and targets of the agenda.

Mr. Pullinger expressed his appreciation for the fruitful discussions at the intergovernmental negotiations in March on the issue of indicators, which provided important guidance to the work of the Statistical Commission. He welcomed the support of Member States for the roadmap of the Statistical Commission for the development of the indicator framework for the post-2015 development agenda and the establishment of the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs). This roadmap foresees that a proposal for a global indicator framework (and associated global and universal indicators) to be presented at the next session of the Statistical Commission in March 2016.

Mr. Pullinger also informed on the preparations for the first meeting of the IAEG-SDGs, which will take place on 1-2 June. In this meeting, experts will discuss technical issues, including interlinkages across targets and data disaggregation, establish the methods of work and agree on the way forward. The group will also discuss indicator proposals for various targets. He reiterated that the IAEG-SDGs will conduct its work in an open, inclusive and transparent manner.

In his statement, Mr. Pullinger re-assured Member States that the development of the global indicator framework will be fully based on goals and targets as presented in the report of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (OWG) and reviewed during these ongoing intergovernmental negotiations and endorsed at the High-level summit in September 2015.

Furthermore, Mr. Pullinger stressed that the effective monitoring of the post-2015 development agenda will be a significant challenge for the national statistical systems, in particular for developing and least developed countries, and that increased efforts to strengthen national statistical capacities will be required. He also pointed out the importance of establishing a global database on global SDG indicators, similar to the database for the MDG indicators. Such database would greatly facilitate the implementation of the global indicator framework, to ensure the consistency methodologies across countries and regions, and to foster statistical capacity building. It would also contribute to the implementation of national and regional indicators, and allow for an integrated reporting on progress across all goals and targets.

Mr. Pullinger welcomed further political guidance of Member States on the development of the indicator framework and offered to provide further updates on the progress of the work on the indicator framework at the June and July sessions of the intergovernmental negotiations.


As part of the consultative process for the development of an SDG indicator framework, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations and organizations participating in the Major Groups have contributed their inputs on the current draft indicators and targets for the post-2015 development agenda.

Using an online form, the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS) collected inputs from civil society’s major groups and other stakeholders on the initial list of indicators proposed by the Bureau of the United Nations Statistical Commission in its technical report to the post-2015 inter-govenrmental negotiations.

A summary of inputs from civil society and other stakeholders is available online, and contains general comments, suggested amendments to the set of initially proposed indicators, as well as proposals for new indicators. Many of these inputs also take into account the proposal released on 23 March by the co-facilitators of the inter-governmental negotiations to update 19 of the targets originally proposed by Open Working Group on SDGs.

This summary of civil society’s inputs will be available to the members and observers of the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators at its first meeting, which will take place on 1-2 June 2015.

The IAEG-SDGs will decide on the way forward to develop an indicator framework for the post-2015 development agenda, including how to consult with civil society, academia and the private sector in the coming months.

More information about the post-2015 negotiations may be found at sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015.


At its 44th session, held from 26 February to 1 March 2013, the United Nations Statistical Commission created the Friends of the Chair group (FOC) on broader measures of progress, in response to the request of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20 Conference) to launch a programme of ta work on broader measures of progress to complement gross domestic product (GDP) in order to better inform policy decisions. The Commission also requested the FOC to monitor the debate on development frameworks, and to undertake an active dialogue with United Nations bodies and the policy sphere to ensure that a robust statistical measurement approach was incorporated from the outset in the preparations for the post-2015 development agenda.

Since its inception, the FOC has provided important support and inputs to the intergovernmental process on the post-2015 development agenda. Particularly its reports to the Statistical Commission, presented at its 45th and 46th sessions, helped prepare and guide the discussion on the development and implementation of an indicator framework for the goals and targets of the post-2015 development agenda.

At its 46th session, in March 2015, the Statistical Commission endorsed the roadmap and timetable proposed by the FOC for the development and implementation of an indicator framework for the post-2015 development agenda.

The report of the FOC to the 46th session of the Statistical Commission contains the remaining work programme of the FOC. The work on the development and implementation of an indicator framework for the goals and targets of the post-2015 development agenda is taken over by the newly created Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) and the High-level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity-Building for post-2015 monitoring (HLG).

For further information on the activities and outputs of the FOC, please refer to http://unstats.un.org/unsd/broaderprogress/.


On 6 March 2015, at its forty-sixth session, the United Nations Statistical Commission endorsed a roadmap and timetable for the development and implementation of an SDG indicator framework. The roadmap envisages the endorsement of a final proposal for a global SDG indicator framework and a list of indicators for global monitoring at the Commission’s forty-seventh session in March 2016.

The Statistical Commission stressed that the development of a robust and high-quality indicator framework is a technical process that requires time and needs to be conducted in stages. It also noted that, as the available knowledge evolves, the global SDG indicator framework may need to be further refined.

One major decision by the Statistical Commission was creation of an Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs), composed of Member States and including regional and international agencies as observers (click here for the IEAG-SDGs’ Terms of Reference). The IAEG-SDGs will provide a proposal of a global indicator framework (and associated global and universal indicators) for consideration by the Statistical Commission at its forty-seventh session in March 2016.

In addition, the Statistical Commission agreed to establish a High-level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity-Building for post-2015 monitoring (HLG), tasked with providing strategic leadership for the SDG implementation process as it concerns statistical monitoring and reporting. The group will consist of national statistical offices and regional and international organizations, as observers, operating under the auspices of the Statistical Commission.


Continuing the dialogue with civil society on the development of an indicator framework for the post-2015 development agenda, the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) held on 20 April 2015 a briefing in the context of the post-2015 Intergovernmental Negotiations.

The briefing session was opened by UNSD’s Director, Mr. Stefan Schweinfest, and UNSD’s Chief of the Statistical Services Branch, Ms. Francesca Perucci. In their remarks to about 75 civil society representatives, they provided an overview of the mandate of the recently created Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs), which will hold its first meeting in the beginning of June 2015.

UNSD also emphasized that the entire process of formulating the global SDG indicator framework will be open and transparent. In this connection, representatives of civil society were encouraged to provide their inputs to the discussion on indicators, by submitting their contributions to the office of UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS). NGLS will provide a summary report of the inputs for consideration by the IAEG-SDGs, which will be made available soon.