Friday, March 27, 2015

Why the Economist is Wrong on the SDGs

Sometimes i do wonder about the press. They got it wrong on Rio+20 - except a few notable exceptions such as Richard Black at the BBC and afterwards John Vidal at the Guardian but most thought it was a failure - well clearly that has turned out to be a wrong assessment.

That brings me to the yesterdays Economist article on the SDGs.

Who ever wrote the article clearly did not research what has been happening on the SDGs, why we have got to the position we have nor what the real implications

A few things that might have helped them - if they had researched it and they might have liked to consider when writing the article or future articles

The author doesn't seem to know that this is NOT a development agenda it is a sustainable development agenda It is not for developing countries it is for ALL countries
  1. It is not about developing countries it is about EVERY country
  2. Unlike the MDGs which were dropped in at the last moment this process has gone through a 4 year global consultations starting in July 2011 which has included Rio+20, 120 National Consultations, 11 thematic consultations, a SG Panel chaired by three sitting PMs or President including the UK and 13 SDG Open Working Group Meetings
  3. The reason it is covering so many issues is in part due to the lack of implementation of previous agreements over the last twenty years
  4. The agreement has a delicate balance in it for key issues on governance and SRHRs which would be lost if it was reopened
  5. The push for wanting less was rejected by the UK parliament Environment Audit Committee in December after taking evidence from a wide range of stakeholders and government Ministries – who ever wrote the article should read that report.
  6. The very few countries that are pushing for less goals are ones that do not want the sustainable buit of the SDGs because they don’t want to be held accountable for sustainable consumption and production issues and inequality issues and I could go on – this is the UK Canada, Australia and USA – so be careful what you are asking for.

Happy to be an adviser to the ECONOMIST so they don't make such basic mistakes and have an informed article.




Thursday, March 26, 2015

An interesting week so far: SDG, targets and Indicators

Indicators 
The worry that some people had over indicators being used to re-open the targets and goals seems to have been allayed.The approach will be as we have highlighted here in previous posts. The Statistical Commission will establish the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) will now be set up and will develop the framework for the Indicators and agree the indicators. This will be a technical  input to the agreed targets. The survey conducted of around half the member states which i mentioned in a  previous blog was quiet rightly shelved. I am continually pleased by the way that the UN Statistical Division is doing their work. Finally the outcome in march 2016 of the Statistical Commission will still have to go to UN ECOSOC and finally to the UN General Assembly in December 2016.

Goals and Targets - Dead Parrot?



I have to say that while I was watching the session yesterday on the Goals and Targets and listening to the UK speaking it kind of reminded me of the Monty Python Dead Parrot sketch with the UK playing the owner (no the document has less goals) and  nearly everyone else playing the buyer (we agreed that there was 17 goals and 169 targets already) then please watch:


Today we heard a range of views on what to do about the 19 targets that were suggested for review.

To remind readers they fall into two groups.

The first is where there are x or ys - my advise had been that they should have just dealt with them first...but they decided to deal with the 19 as a whole. The second group is a set of redrafts that were done by the UN to align certain targets with existing targets agreed in other fora.

Some of the worries that have been expressed by G77 is that this technical proofing is opening the door for substantive changes. But before commenting on this the main criticisms have been:
1. Why didn't the UN system do this before the SDGs were agreed?
2. Why wasn't the criteria for technical proofing agreed at the January or February sessions?
3. Why these 19 and not others?

As the discussion continued it was clear from a number of developed countries: Iceland, Australia, UK and the US in particular that any review should be more broad than the 19 suggested. The US seemed to identify 32 targets it wanted to address. Iceland seemed to want to reopen some of the more controversial targets

Instead of using today to deal with the x and ys it may be that we get nothing out of this session and the discussion will be kicked down the road and also contribute to a reduction of trust in the process.

Switzerland had made an interesting suggestion which would have required all countries to agree to open a target if a target was to be reopened and if not it would stay as it is at the moment. As the meeting moved to the end of the morning session the chances for a review becoming more and more unlikely.

I would again suggest focus on the x and ys. This now will not be finished this time but starting now would be important.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Communitas Colaition side event UN HQ Committee Room B Thursday 26th 115-245

The Communitas Coalition and its core partners ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability, Tellus Institute, UN-­‐Habitat and the Network   of   Regional   Governments   for   Sustainable   Development   nrg4SD   are   delighted   to   convene   this   discussion   in collaboration  with  the  Group  of  Member  States  Friends  of  Sustainable  Cities,  the  World  Urban  Campaign,  the  Urban  SDG Campaign and the Ford Foundation. Our panel of urbanisation practitioners and governments will outline the challenges and the opportunities that lie behind measuring progress on SDG11. They will also present their ongoing experience on indicators and monitoring frameworks for urban sustainability and balanced territorial development at all geographical scales. Last but not  least,  they  will  discuss  specific  proposals  for  indicators  for  the  SDG  on  Cities  and  Human  Settlements  -­‐  particularly  on human planning and management (11.3), green and public space (11.7) and rural urban-­‐linkages (11.a) and how geospatial technology can help with these targets.

13:15    Welcome and Introduction
Moderator: Ms. Maruxa Cardama, Executive Coordinator & Co-­‐Founder, Communitas Coalition

13:20    What  are  the  critical  elements  to  be  measured  across  SDG11  targets?  What  are  the  challenges  and  the opportunities?

Dr. Eugenie L. Birch -­‐ Nussdorf Professor of Urban Research | Chair, World Urban Campaign |Chair, Graduate Group in City & Regional Planning and Co-­‐Director, Penn Institute for Urban Research, University of Pennsylvania
Mr. Raf Tuts -­‐ Coordinator, Urban Planning and Design Branch and Acting Coordinator, Housing and Slum Upgrading Branch, United Nations Human Settlements Programme UN-­‐Habitat
Mr. Zak Bleicher Liaison Officer, New York Office, International Fund for Agriculture Development, IFAD Ms. Francesca Perucci  – Chief, Statistical Services Branch, UN DESA Statistics Division


13:50 What lessons can be learnt from current indicators and monitoring mechanisms applied by governments? How are governments preparing for measuring and monitoring SDG11? How can geospatial technology help crafting targets and monitoring their progress particularly targets 11.3 on planning and management, 11.7 on public and green space and 11.a on rural urban linkages?


Ms. Mireia Cañellas Grifoll -­‐ Head, Sustainability Unit, Territory & Sustainability Department, Government of Catalonia Representative of the European Commission -­‐
Ms. Seema Parkah First Secretary, Mission of the Republic of Singapore to the United Nations On behalf Co-­‐ Chair,
Group of Friends for Sustainable Cities

Ms. Marcela Ordoñez -­‐ Minister Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Colombia to the United Nations 14:20     Q&A Session

Monday, March 23, 2015

Technical Suggested Changes to 19 Targets in the proposed SDGs framework

A very interesting paper has been circulated by the co-chairs which looks at the targets to see if they are in line with previous agreements. 19 Targets from the 169 Targets have been identified as having previous agreements which need to be coordinated with or a suggestion of how to replace x with a number.

The easy targets will be where there has been a previous agreement for governments to agree to. The suggestions for the x will I believe need much more discussion.

Are there any other targets that should be looked at? I don't think so at this point this was always a package and should be understood in that way. Here is the list of suggested changes for the 19 targets and what the new language could be and what the rationale is.

Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
3.2 Present target
By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age
Suggested amended new target
By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children, measured as neonatal mortality of no more than 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality of no more than 25 per 1,000 live births
Rationale 
SPECIFICITY: Numerical targets proposed to specify what "ending preventable deaths" means by 2030 for these age groups. Such numerical targets have been endorsed through the UNICEF and WHO “A Promise Renewed Initiative” and in the “Every Newborn Action Plan”.
3.6 Present target
By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents
Suggested amended new target
By 2030, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents.
Rationale 
CONSISTENCY WITH INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS: Not consistent with the Decade of Action on Road Safety (2011-2020), which was to reduce by half from the projected increase of deaths and injuries by 2020. The baseline was 2010. Hence the target cannot be met by 2020 (using 2015 baseline). Target year should be changed to 2030.
3.a: Present target
Support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and non-communicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries, provide access to affordable essential medicines and vaccines, in accordance with the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, which affirms the right of developing countries to use to the full the provisions in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights regarding flexibilities to protect public health, and, in particular, provide access to medicines for all
Suggested amended new target
Support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and non-communicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries, provide access to affordable medicines and vaccines, in accordance with the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, which affirms the right of developing countries to use to the full the provisions in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights regarding flexibilities to protect public health, and, in particular, provide access to medicines for all.
Rationale 
CONSISTENCY WITH INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS: The 2001 Doha Declaration does not limit the use of available TRIPS Agreement flexibilities to just essential medicines (a defined term under national laws). A revised target should delete the word “essential”.

Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all
4.4: Present target
By 2030, increase by [x] per cent the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship
Suggested amended new target
By 2030, ensure all youth and adults have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship
Rationale
SPECIFICITY (Xs): Given the ambitious and aspirational character of the agenda, it is proposed to replace ‘increase by x %’ by ‘all’, even though we are cognizant that this is beyond current projections.
4.6: Present target
By 2030, ensure that all youth and at least [x] per cent of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy
Suggested amended new target
By 2030, ensure that all youth and adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy
Rationale
SPECIFICITY (Xs): Given the ambitious and aspirational character of the agenda, and difficulty in setting benchmarks to be achieved globally, x % of adults should be replaced by ‘all’, even though we are cognizant that this is beyond current projections. The target should be more ambitious than the existing EFA goal 4 which aims at a 50% improvement of adult literacy rates by 2015.
4.b:Present target
By 2020, expand by [x] per cent globally the number of scholarships available to developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and African countries, for enrolment in higher education, including vocational training and information and communications technology, technical, engineering and scientific programmes, in developed countries and other developing countries
Suggested amended new target
 By 2030, double globally the number of scholarships available to developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and African countries, for enrollment in higher education, including vocational training and information and communications technology, technical, engineering and scientific programmes, in developed countries and other developing countries
Rationale
DATE/SPECIFICITY (Xs): The doubling refers to the period 2015-2030; a doubling over that 15-year period averages out to growth of roughly 4.7% per year.
4.c: Present target
By 2030, increase by [x] per cent the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing States
Suggested amended new target
By 2030, all learners are taught by qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing States
Rationale
MEASURABILITY (Xs): A specific percentage value (e.g., doubling) is not feasible technically. The aim should be to close the teachers gap; hence the proposed revision.

GOAL 6 Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all SDGs Proposed Revision Explanatory
6.3: Present target
By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and increasing recycling and safe reuse by [x] per cent globally
Suggested amended new target
By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and at least doubling recycling and safe reuse globally
Rationale
SPECIFICITY (Xs): The percentage of wastewater recycled and re-used is currently low, estimated at around 5% globally, so an ambitious increase is appropriate.
6.6:Present target
By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes
Suggested amended new target
By 2030, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes
Rationale
CONSISTENCY WITH INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS: The timeframe should be "by 2030" in view of the fact that the target encompasses a wide scope of ecosystems

GOAL 8 Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
8.7: Present target
Take immediate and effective measures to secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, eradicate forced labour and, by 2025, end child labour in all its forms, including the recruitment and use of child soldiers
Suggested amended new target
Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms
Rationale
CONSISTENCY WITH INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS: As per article 3(a) of the ILO Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labour, 1999 (No. 182), recruitment and use of child soldiers are considered as worst forms of child labour and should therefore be listed as included under these forms. Important to clarify that the action on eradication of forced labour refers to all ages, not only to children.

GOAL 9 Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
9.5: Present target
Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people by [x] per cent and public and private research and development spending
Suggested amended new target
Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending
Rationale
MEASURABILITY (Xs): Global data on R&D workers are very incomplete and, from the data available, the numbers of such workers per million people vary widely across countries, by roughly two orders of magnitude. Thus, specifying a global percentage increase is not feasible technically. The objective is to narrow the gap, increasing numbers of R&D workers notably in countries where they are few, which is reflected in the proposed revision.

GOAL 11 Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
11.5 Present target
By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and decrease by [x] per cent the economic losses relative to gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations
Suggested amended new target
By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths, the number of affected people and the direct economic losses relative to global gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations
Rationale
SPECIFICITY (Xs)/CONSISTENCY WITH INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS: Propose to change “significantly” to “substantially”, move “affected” before people, also reformulate text on economic losses, adding “global” before GDP, in line with Sendai Framework, para 18, which reads in part: (a) Substantially reduce global disaster mortality by 2030, aiming to lower average per 100,000 global mortality between 2020-2030 compared to 2005-2015. (b) Substantially reduce the number of affected people globally by 2030, aiming to lower the average global figure per 100,000 between 2020-2030 compared to 2005-2015. (c) Reduce direct disaster economic loss in relation to global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030
11.b Present target
By 2020, increase by [x] per cent the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, develop and implement, in line with the forthcoming Hyogo Framework, holistic disaster risk management at all levels
Suggested amended new target
By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, develop and implement, in line with the forthcoming Hyogo Framework, holistic disaster risk management at all levels
Rationale
SPECIFICITY (Xs): Sendai Framework, para 18 (e) reads in part:(e) Substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020

GOAL 12 Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
12.4 Present target
By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment
Suggested amended new target
By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks and agreements, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment
Rationale
CONSISTENCY WITH INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS: This Target could be made more consistent with existing commitments by adding “agreements”. The current wording “international frameworks” can be interpreted as voluntary frameworks but not legally-binding instruments such as MEAs (Stockholm, Rotterdam, etc).

GOAL 15 Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt  biodiversity loss
15.1 Present target
By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
Suggested amended new target
By 2030, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
Rationale
CONSISTENCY WITH INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS: The timeframe should be "by 2030" as target is beyond the focus area of Aichi targets.
15.2  Present target
By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and increase afforestation and reforestation by [x] per cent globally
Suggested amended new target
Promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore at least 15% of degraded forests by 2020, and increase afforestation and reforestation globally
Rationale
SPECIFICITY (Xs)/CONSISTENCY WITH INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS: Aichi Biodiversity Target 7 reads: “By 2020, ecosystem resilience and the contribution of biodiversity to carbon stocks have been enhanced, through conservation and restoration, including restoration of at least 15 per cent of degraded ecosystems, thereby contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation and to combatting desertification”
15.3 Present target
 By 2020, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world
Suggested amended new target
By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world
Rationale
DATE: change to 2030
15.5 Present target
Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species
Suggested amended new target
Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation and fragmentation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species
Rationale
CONSISTENCY WITH INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS: Add “and fragmentation” after degradation. The amendment would make this more consistent with Aichi Biodiversity Target 5.

GOAL 17 Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
17.2 Present target
Developed countries to implement fully their official development assistance commitments, including to provide 0.7 per cent of gross national income in official development assistance to developing countries, of which 0.15 to 0.20 per cent should be provided to least developed countries
Suggested amended new target
Developed countries to implement fully their official development assistance commitments, including to provide 0.7 per cent of gross national income in official development assistance to developing countries, of which at least 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of GNI should be provided to least developed countries
Rationale
CONSISTENCY WITH INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS: Add in the last phrase words: “of which at least 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of GNI should be provided to least developed countries”. The Istanbul Programme of Action on LDCs [para 116-2(a)(i)] calls for donors which are already providing more than 0.20% of their GNP as ODA to LDCs to continue to do so and maximize their efforts to further increase ODA to LDCs.




Sunday, March 22, 2015

Interview From Rio+20 to the New Development Agenda: An Interview with Felix Dodds

Maria Bolevich conducted an interview with me late last year you can read it in the latest issue of Global Education Magazines.

The first question and answer:
From 1985 to 1987, you were the chair of the UK LIBERAL YOUTH WING PARTIES. How much political experience has helped you and are today politicians sufficiently interested for the environmental protection?
Felix Dodds, Rio+20, sustainable development, global education magazineFelix DoddsWhat being active in a political party did was help me understand the way politicians act and the way policy is developed and the role the civil servants have in it. Most NGOs do not and that puts them at a huge disadvantage when dealing with the political process. As far as politicians interest in the environment is concerned it depends some come to the issue through an understanding of the impacts policies are having on their community, their country the world others come from a religious values perspective that we are custodians of the planet for God and then others through an interest in the issues themselves. Mrs. Thatcher is a classic example of that she was a scientist and so when Joe Farmer of the British Antarctic Survey found the hole in the ozone layer in 1982 she understood enough of the science to realize that urgent action was needed and pushed other government leaders to ratify the Montreal protocol and to set an early date for the banning of ozone depleting chemicals completely. I myself got involved in environmental issues because I lost a vote so we have our own strange paths.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Indicators brief for next weeks meeting

The agenda for next weeks Post 2015 process starts with two days on indicators. It will have presented a report from the Statistical Commission. Overall the tone of the Statistical Commission's report is good. they recognize the role they have in providing 'technical support' to the political process. They were asked by G77 to ensure they came forward with suggested indicators for ALL the targets, They nearly managed this based on a survey of countries national statistical offices there are of the 169 targets only 7 to date without suggested indicators. These are:

Target 1.b.  sound policy frameworks at the national, regional and international levels, based on pro-poor and gender sensitive development strategies, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication actions.

Target 3.a Strengthen the implementation of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in all countries, as appropriate.

Target 3.b Support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and non-communicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries, provide access to affordable essential medicines and vaccines, in accordance with the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, which affirms the right of developing countries to use to the full the provisions in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights regarding flexibilities to protect public health, and, in particular, provide access to medicines for all.

Target 3.c Substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing states.

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.

Target 6.a By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies

Target 6.b Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management.

They have also produced from the results of a survey of countries who were asked to rate the indicators A to C the feasibility, suitability and relevance of the proposed provisional indicators for each target the following results. 

On Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere: 
Only one indicator falls into the CBB range  (low feasibility,  medium suitability and relevance)
On Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. 
There are four indicators that fall in the CBB range
On Goal 3:Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
Only one indicator that fall in the range.
On Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Only one indicator that fall in the range.
Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
There are three indicators that fall into this range.
Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
There are two indicators  that fall into this range. 
Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
There are no indicators that fall into this range though 1 falls into CBA
Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
There are seven indicators that fall in this range
Goal 9:Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
There are three indicators that fall into this range
Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
There are nine indicators that fall into this range
Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
There  are seven indicators that fall into this range.
Goal 12:Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
There are nine indicators that fall into this range.
Goal 13: Take  urgent action to combat climate change and its impact.impact.
There are five indicators in this range.
Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans,seas and marine resources for sustainable development. 
There are 12 indicators that fall into this range.
Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity lose.
There are six indicators that fall into this range.
Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
There are eight indicators that fall into this range and one into CBA.
Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. There are  17 targets that fall into this range.

All together 95 indicators have low feasibility,  medium suitability and relevance.  according to the countries national statistical offices. and if we add the 7 that had no data that brings it to 102 indicators that there seems to be have a problem with.

What happens now?

Those stakeholders that are engaged in particular goals should look at the report and see what they think. Can they suggest some indicators? The problem we all face is that not enough effort has been put into data collection over the last twenty years, There was an attempt in 1998 to put the roots down at a CSD but the process failed and to some extent we are reaping the results of that. An attempt to restrict the number of core indicators did not go well. the approach is much more enlighten today and the work of the UN Statistical Division is to be commended but we do have problems as clearly has been shown by the results of their survey.

It is not that for some of the indicators that there isnt work being undertaken for example Gross National Happiness would be one that was classified as a CBB. There is an index on GNH - it isnt one indicator but 33 indicators and there has been a problem with index's as far as some in the statistical world is concerned.

My main measure for this discussion is we are on a journey and as we go forward some of our data will be imperfect, non existent as yet and that shouldn't be  a reason not to take that journey. We may at the beginning in some areas be reporting more descriptively but this evolve as we move through the 15 years the High Level Political Forum meets at Heads of State level every 4 years so readjustment can be made.

Governments have politically said what they would like to be measured and some of those that have imperfect indicators will turn out to be very important as we move forward. An example of that in particular are the ones in Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries.

To help the process move forward the outcome of the Expert Group Meeting on the indicator framework for the post-2015 development agenda, 25-26 February 2015 reached a consensus on the following main points:
  • It is necessary to define an architecture for an integrated monitoring framework that would include global indicators and different levels of regional, national and thematic monitoring;
  • The global level monitoring framework should be limited to a small number of indicators;
  • Such indicators should be selected on the basis of an agreed set of criteria;
  • The initial proposal for indicators to be put forth by the Statistical Commission is expected to be further refined and reviewed by the Commission at its forty-seventh session, to take place in 2016;
  • A mechanism such as an Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) should be established.
  • It is necessary to ensure national ownership of indicators (including of the estimation process);
  • It is necessary to ensure disaggregation of indicators and to include a human rights dimension to the indicator framework (following the “no one left behind” principle);
  • It is necessary to further strengthen national statistical capacity, including by mobilizing the necessary resources;
  • It is important to draw from existing integrated statistical frameworks;
  • It is important to build on the Millennium Development Goals’ experience and lessons. 
The IAEG-SDGs has now been established and the main work will be undertaken here. 

I am looking forward to Monday and Tuesday's discussion on indicators very much. 


Friday, March 20, 2015

Historic Decision by UK Parliament on ODA

Sometimes I may be a little critical of my country and the present Coalition government but on Monday i was proud of it.

On Monday the House of Lords passed the "The International Development (Official Development Assistance (ODA) Target) Bill" which will make it legally required for all UK governments to provide 0.7% gross national income (GNI) for ODA. It is awaiting royal consent. The last time that didn't happen was under Queen Victoria so it is going to happen.

The bill was proposed by the Liberal Democrat MP Michael Moore under what is termed a Private Members Bill and supported by all sides of the House and shepherded through the House of Lords by Liberal Democrat peer Lord Purvis.

There was some attempt by a few conservative MPs to stop it but they failed.

The UK is the ONLY G8 country to give 0.7% GNI I hope others will follow. Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Russia, USA and Canada please note.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the climate agenda will require considerable public money to support their implementation and although ODA will not be the only way that will happen it can play a significant role in helping developing countries transition to a clean and healthy environment, and to deal with the impacts of climate change.
G8  countries % GNI in 2013 on Overseas Development Aid (ODA)
UK 0.70
France 0.38
Germany 0.37
Russia 26.4
Japan 0.19
US 0.19
Italy 0.16