64th ISI World Statistics Congress - Ottawa, Canada

64th ISI World Statistics Congress - Ottawa, Canada

Lessons and challenges in developing and implementing the global SDG Indicator Framework


Yongyi Min


  • YM
    Ms Yongyi Min

  • LTO
    Mr Leonardo Trujillo Oyola
  • Colombia and the 2030 Agenda monitoring

  • OS
    Mr Omar Seidu

  • SF
    Ms Sara Frankl

  • SM
    Dr Stephen MacFeely
  • Measuring the Sustainable Development Goal Indicators: An Unprecedented Statistical Challenge

  • CW
    Ms Cara Williams

  • Category: International Association for Official Statistics (IAOS)


    Following the mandate given by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the United Nations Statistical Commission established the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) to develop a global indicator framework for the follow-up and review of progress made in implementing the Goals and targets. The IAEG-SDGs worked very intensively for the development of the global SDG indicator framework between 2015-2017 through multiple rounds of global consultations and thorough technical discussions with all stakeholders. The process was very challenging as it aimed to not only ensure that the proposed global indicators are technically sound, robust, and address all SDGs and targets, but also preserve the political balance, integration and ambition contained in the 2030 Agenda.

    The global indicator framework was agreed by the UN Statistical Commission as a starting point for monitoring the SDGs in March 2016 and later adopted by the General Assembly on 6 July 2017. At the adoption, there were 232 unique indicators and more than one-third of indicators were tier III indicators, meaning that no established methodology or standards are available for the indicator or methodology/standards are being developed or tested for the indicator. The IAEG-SDGs has worked intensively over the years on the implementation of the indicator framework, in collaboration with national statistical offices (NSOs), custodian agencies, academia and civil society. As a result, there were no tier III indicators after the 2020 Comprehensive Review process. Considerable progress has also been made in the availability of internationally comparable data for SDG monitoring, with the number of indicators included in the global SDG database increasing from 115 indicators in 2016 to 217 in 2022.

    Halfway through the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the IAEG-SDGs and partners will continue to work on the full implementation of the indicator framework at global, regional, national, and local levels to support the realization of the SDGs. The continued efforts will need to build national capacity for monitoring the SDGs and incorporating data innovations. This also includes the 2025 comprehensive review of the indicator framework to further refine and improve the monitoring framework.

    The session will bring speakers from national statistical offices (NSOs), international organizations and academia to:
    • Review lessons learned and challenges in the development and implementation of the global SDG indicator framework
    • Discuss how the SDG monitoring process has helped push the methodology development of measuring many development areas that were new to the statistical community
    • Share experiences of NSOs in adopting the global SDG indicator framework to develop national SDG indicators