Data, monitoring and accountability
Despite some positive developments, a stronger commitment to partnership and cooperation is needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. That effort will require coherent policies, an enabling environment for sustainable development at all levels and by all actors and a reinvigorated Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.
- In 2016, net ODA from member countries of the Development Assistance Committee of OECD rose by 8.9 per cent in real terms to $142.6 billion, reaching a new peak. ODA as a percentage of member countries’ gross national income was 0.32 per cent, up from 0.30 per cent in 2015. The rise in aid spent on refugees in donor countries boosted the total. But even leaving aside refugee costs, aid rose 7.1 per cent. In 2016, Germany joined five other countries — Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom — in meeting a United Nations target to keep ODA at or above 0.7 per cent of gross national income.
- Remittances sent by international migrants to their home countries in the form of personal transfers and compensation of employees have a profound impact on individual families, communities and countries. In 2016, international remittances totalled $575 billion, 75 per cent ($429 billion) of which went to developing countries, according to the latest estimates.
Information and communications technology
- Fixed-broadband services remain largely unaffordable and unavailable throughout large segments of the developing world. In 2016, fixed-broadband penetration reached 30 per cent in developed regions, but only reached 8.2 per cent and 0.8 per cent in developing regions and the least developed countries, respectively. In developed regions, about 80 per cent of the population is online, compared to 40 per cent in developing regions and 15 per cent in the least developed countries. In 2016, the global rate of Internet user penetration was 12 per cent lower for women than men. The gender gap remains even larger in the least developed countries, at 31 per cent.
- Total ODA for capacity-building and national planning stood at $21 billion in 2015. That amount represented 19 per cent of total aid allocable by sector, a proportion that has been stable since 2010. Of the total, sub-Saharan Africa received $5.6 billion and South and Central Asia received $4.2 billion. The main recipients of assistance were the public administration, environment and energy sectors, which together were provided with a total of $8.2 billion.
- During the past 15 years, developing regions have represented a growing share of international trade, with their world merchandise exports increasing from 31.1 per cent in 2001 to 44.6 per cent in 2015. Moreover, developing regions overall have maintained a trade surplus vis-à-vis the rest of the world. For the least developed countries, however, the share in world merchandise exports decreased from 1.1 per cent to 0.9 per cent from 2011 to 2015. Much of that change can be attributed to the fall in commodity prices.
- In 2015, average tariffs applied by developed countries to imports from the least developed countries remained stable at 0.9 per cent for agricultural products, 6.5 per cent for clothing and 3.2 per cent for textiles. Average tariffs applied by developed countries to imports from developing countries also remained largely unchanged in 2015.
- In 2016, 125 countries engaged in country-led monitoring of development effectiveness, which demonstrates their commitment to strengthening implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and multi-stakeholder partnerships; 54 of those countries reported overall progress towards those commitments. Countries’ own result frameworks were used to define 83 per cent of new interventions supported by donor countries in 2016.
Data, monitoring and accountability
- More than half of the countries or areas (81 of 154 countries) for which information is available were implementing national statistical plans in 2016.
- However, only 37 of 83 countries or areas with pertinent data had national statistical legislation in place that complied with all 10 Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics.
- In 2014, developing countries received $338 million in financial support for statistics. While that amount represented an increase of nearly 2.9 per cent from 2010, it accounted for only 0.18 per cent of total ODA. In order to meet the data requirements of the Sustainable Development Goals, developing countries will need an estimated $1 billion in statistical support annually from domestic and donor sources.
- Population and housing censuses are a primary source of disaggregated data needed to formulate, implement and monitor development policies and programmes. During the 10-year period from 2007 to 2016, 89 per cent of countries or areas around the world conducted at least one population and housing census, while 25 countries or areas did not have such a fundamental data source.
- During the period from 2010 to 2015, more than half (56 per cent) of the world’s countries or areas (138 of 246 countries) had birth registration data that were at least 90 per cent complete. In sub-Saharan Africa, only 8 of 53 countries reached that level of coverage. During the same period, 144 countries or areas, or 59 per cent, had death registration data that were at least 75 per cent complete. In sub-Saharan Africa, only 9 in 53 countries met that standard. Even in countries with functioning civil registration systems, coverage of birth and death
Source: Report of the Secretary-General, "Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals", E/2017/66
- Achieving the ambitious targets of the 2030 Agenda requires a revitalized and enhanced global partnership that brings together Governments, civil society, the private sector, the United Nations system and other actors and mobilizes all available resources. Enhancing support to developing countries, in particular the least developed countries and the small island developing States, is fundamental to equitable progress for all.
- In 2015, net ODA from member countries of the Development Assistance Committee of OECD totalled $131.6 billion. Taking account of inflation and the rise in the value of the dollar in 2015, this was 6.9 per cent higher in real terms than in 2014, and represented the highest level ever reached. Total ODA from those countries as a share of their gross national income was 0.30 per cent, on par with 2014. Most of the increase was owing to higher expenditures for costs associated with refugees. However, even if those costs are excluded, ODA still rose by 1.7 per cent. Seven countries met the United Nations target for ODA of 0.7 per cent of gross national income in 2015: Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
- Fixed-broadband services remain largely unaffordable and unavailable across much of the population in developing regions, highlighting digital divides in access to high-speed, high-capacity Internet services. By 2015, fixed-broadband penetration had reached 29 per cent in developed regions, but only 7.1 per cent and 0.5 per cent, respectively, in developing regions and the least developed countries. Major disparities are also found in Internet use. In developing regions, one third of the population is online versus 1 in 10 people in the least developed countries. Data also reveal that more men than women are online. In 2015, globally, the Internet user penetration rate was about 11 per cent lower for women than for men. The gender gap is even higher in developing regions (15 per cent) and highest in the least developed countries (29 per cent).
- Net ODA for capacity-building and national planning amounted to $23 billion in 2014; of that total, sub-Saharan Africa received $6 billion and Southern and Central Asia received $4.6 billion. The main sectors receiving assistance were public administration, environment and energy, which together were allocated a total of $9.3 billion.
- The weighted average of applied tariffs has been decreasing over time, but still varies widely across regions and country groups on main product sectors. Average agricultural tariffs on imports coming into Asia, for instance, are the highest in the world, at around 27 per cent for Southern Asia and 20 per cent for Eastern Asia in 2015, under most-favoured nation status.
- In 14 years, the least developed countries’ share in world merchandise exports nearly doubled, from 0.6 per cent in 2000 to 1.1 per cent in 2014. The key driver of export growth during that period was a massive rise in the price of fuel, ores and metals, reflecting a high demand in developing countries, notably China. In services, the least developed countries increased their share of world exports to 0.8 per cent in 2014 ($40 billion), up from 0.5 per cent in 2005.
Data, monitoring and accountability
- The requirements of the indicators developed in the context of the Millennium Development Goals have fostered stronger national statistical plans and systems. The number of countries with a national statistical plan increased in some regions between 2010 and 2015, including in sub-Saharan Africa and the least developed countries. However, the overall number of plans declined from 56 to 54 among the countries being observed, since the time period of some existing plans expired.
- Financial support for statistical capacity amounted to $325 million in 2013, compared with $379 million in 2010. However, assistance to the least developed countries, in this regard, tripled during the period and reached $265 million. Despite an increasing awareness of the importance of statistics for evidence-based policymaking and development, the share of ODA dedicated to statistics hovered at around 0.3 per cent between 2010 and 2013.
- Population and housing censuses are a primary source of the disaggregated data needed for formulating, implementing and monitoring development policies and programmes. During the 10-year period spanning from 2006 to 2015, 90 per cent of countries or areas around the world conducted at least one population and housing census.
- Over the period 2005-2014, birth registration data were available for 183 out of 230 countries or areas, whereas death registration data were available for 157. Only 58 per cent of developing countries with available data have birth registration coverage of 90 per cent or more; 71 per cent of developing countries with available data have death registration coverage of 75 per cent or more. Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest levels of complete birth and death registration.