Indicators in the Transforming Our World - The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

As stated in paragraph 75 of Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, “the Goals and targets will be followed-up and reviewed using a set of global indicators. These will be complemented by indicators at the regional and national levels which will be developed by member states, in addition to the outcomes of work undertaken for the development of the baselines for those targets where national and global baseline data does not yet exist”.

In order to identify a global indicator framework for the goals and targets, the United Nations Statistical Commission gathered in March 2015 at its 46th Session and established an Inter-Agency Expert Group (IAEG) on SDG Indicators, whose composition reflects equitable regional representation.

The group aims at ensuring technical expertise and assistance for the implementation of the indicators, once approved and will be in charge of monitoring the use of harmonized and agreed indicators definitions as well as of reviewing methodological process and issues related to the indicators and their metadata.

In this context, UN DESA's Statistics Division is organising the second meeting of the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs), to be held on 26-28 October 2015 at the United Nations Conference Center in Bangkok, Thailand and hosted by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). On this occasion, the list of possible global indicators will be reviewed in detail, whereas the global indicator framework together with the work plan and the next steps to be followed will be further discussed..

The proposal for Global Indicator Framework will be submitted for consideration by the Statistical Commission at its 47th Session in March 2016 and adopted thereafter by the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly, in line with existing mandates.

Agenda 21
Chapter 40 of Agenda 21 called on countries and the international community to develop indicators of sustainable development. Such indicators were needed to increase focus on sustainable development and assist decision-makers at all levels to adopt sound national sustainable development policies.

Johannesburg Plan of Implementation & CSD-11, CSD-13
The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation in its Chapter X and the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) at its 11th and 13th sessions encouraged further work on indicators for sustainable development by countries, in line with their specific conditions and priorities. CSD-13 invited the international community to support efforts of developing countries in this regard.

Guidelines on Indicators & their Detailed Methodology Sheets
The third, revised set of CSD indicators was finalized in 2006 by a group of experts from developing and developed countries and international organizations. The revised edition contained 96 indicators, including a subset of 50 core indicators. The guidelines on indicators and their detailed methodology sheets became available as a reference for all countries to develop national indicators of sustainable development. The CSD indicator set was based on the previous two (1996 and 2001) editions, which had been developed, improved and extensively tested as part of the implementation of the Work Programme on Indicators of Sustainable Development adopted by the CSD at its third session in 1995 and presented to the CSD in 2001.