News Excerpt
Recently, the Global Indicator framework for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was revised and adopted by the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC), at its 51st session.

●    Agenda 2030 is intended to streamline development policies and action for the higher and time bound achievement of human wellbeing.
●    The UN General Assembly Resolution 71/313 had adopted a global indicator framework for SDGs in 2017.
●    Resolution also mandated that the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) to look after the development and implementation of the global indicator framework for Sustainable Development.
●    For the development and to facilitate the implementation of the global indicator framework, all indicators are classified by the IAEG-SDGs into three tiers based on their level of methodological development and the availability of data.

Tier 1 Indicator    Tier 2  Indicator    Tier 3  Indicator
●    Indicators are conceptually clear.
●    Indicators are based on internationally established methodology & standards.
●    Data is regularly produced by countries.
●    Indicators are relevant for at least 50 % of countries and of the population in every region.    ●    Indicators are conceptually clear.
●    Indicators are based on internationally established methodology & standards.
●    Data is not regularly produced by countries.    ●    No internationally established methodology or standards are yet available for the indicator.
●    Practically No data produced.
●    Indicators play an instrumental role in assessing the progress under individual goals. It also makes the concept of sustainable development (SD) appealing to a wide spectrum of potential stakeholders.

Key Revisions under Framework
    These new changes are based on the ‘2020 comprehensive review’ conducted by IAEG-SDGs and presented to the UNSC.
    The revised global framework will have 231 indicators; besides the additions and deletions, eight indicators have been revised and 14 have been replaced.
    Additional indicators were added across six SDG goals — 2, 3, 4, 10, 13 and 16.
Reason for Addition: These are added because a crucial aspect of a target is not being monitored by the current indicators or to address a critical or emerging new issue that is not monitored by the existing indicators, or when a whole Goal has very few tier I or tier II indicators for the follow up.

Newly added Indicator/Goals    Significance
Indicator 13.2.2: on the total greenhouse gas emissions per year for the SDG target 13.2.    It will integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
Target 2.2: Prevalence of Anaemia in women aged 15-49 years, by pregnancy status (percentage).    It will pursue national governments to end the forms of malnutrition by 2030.
SDG 3: A new indicator on reducing the percentage of bloodstream infections due to selected antimicrobial-resistant organisms has been added.     It will realize the Global complete health goal.
Indicator 10.7.3: on the number of migrants killed while attempting to cross maritime, land and air borders.    It will boost cooperation among countries during the refugee crisis and significantly address the humanitarian issue.  
Indicator 10.7.4: on the proportion of the population who are refugees, by country of origin.
    It is likely to promote the sense of recognition among refugees that would help in the rehabilitation process.

    Six indicators across six SDG goals — 1, 4, 8, 11, 13 and 17 — have been deleted. These include-
o    Indicator 1.a.1: on the proportion of domestically-generated resources allocated by the government directly to poverty reduction programmes.
o    Indicator 4.2.1: on the proportion of children under five years of age who are developmentally on track in health, learning and psychosocial well-being, by sex.
o    Indicators that measure progress for children between 0 and 23 months of age, which is currently in tier III, was proposed for deletion.
o    The indicator 13.3.2: quantifying the number of countries that have communicated the strengthening of capacity-building for implementing adaptation, mitigation and technology transfer, and development actions has been deleted.
    Reason for Deletion: When the methodological work of a tier III indicator has stalled or has not produced the expected results, and a replacement will be proposed if the deleted indicator is the only indicator monitoring the corresponding target.

The indicator 15.9.1 measures integration of biodiversity into national accounting. It is unprecedented that a greenhouse gas focused indicator has been added, but climate equity would have ideally required a per capita indicator. In addition to that in contemporary times the initiative of climate change is also derailed now.
Sustainable tourism could be a viable alternative of employment but the indicator 8.9.2 on the proportion of jobs in sustainable tourism has been deleted by the UNSC.

Issues with SDGs framework
    It is being cited that all the SDGs indicators are equally important but the assigned weight is unequal. Therefore, all SDG indicators need to be considered as an integrated package and equally important in order to achieve agenda 2030.
    SDGs impose an extraordinary demand on the national statistical systems to generate and analyse an unprecedented amount of data, methodology and more so on issues that are complex and evolving. For instance- Neither art nor culture are included in the wellbeing, because they are too difficult to measure.
    Every country will require robust statistical systems and metrics to translate these goals into action for implementation.
    Although SDGs represent the aspirations of the global community and also a valiant effort to push the frontiers of sustainable development, the guided suggestions require a focus on individual goals. It would be an easier task if inter-connectedness among goals were defined.
    The progress towards the SDGs is majorly driven by the policies, schemes, programmes, campaigns of the governments and private sector, and public action, to an extent. Quantifiable data from private sector and NGOs are not included (in India), and at same time data of many regions are not available. The government should either evolve a mechanism or accept data from non-state actors in order to achieve the agenda 2030 for all, there should be no exception.
    The information gap affects all aspects of the SDGs for instance-Inextricable interconnectedness of the SDGs, limited availability of disaggregated official data project targets of selective Goals only rather than acknowledge the universal target under all SDGs.

    It is now universally acknowledged that the SDGs represent an elaborate agenda for the governments, that necessitates achieving progress simultaneously across social, economic and environmental pillars. SDGs have the potential to move society toward a more holistic and ‘sustainable’ prosperity. The success of such transformative agenda rests on its implementation.
    A robust indicator framework will transform the SDGs and their targets into a management tool to help countries to develop implementation strategies, policies, schemes and allocate resources accordingly. Further a framework would act as a report card to measure progress towards sustainable development and ensure the accountability of all stakeholders.
    The 2020 comprehensive review provides a good opportunity to improve the indicator framework to help the global monitoring of the 2030 agenda and to provide the necessary guidance to countries, many of which are already well advanced in implementing through national framework and reporting platforms.

MDGs,UN StatisticalCommission,National Indicator Framework,SDG India Index.

India & SDGs Framework
    India has adopted National Indicator Framework (NlF) prepared by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation in order to monitor the progress of the SDGs and associated targets.
    NIF have broader coverage of goals, targets and indicators than the global SDGs framework.
    India is making a significant progress in implementation of SDGs, for instance- ‘Development for All’ (SabkaSathSabka Vikas) ensure the Agenda 2030.
    Further, some of schemes like-PoshanAbhiyaan, Aayushman Bharat, BetiBachaoBetiPadhao and Aspirational Districts Programme are base schemes that streamlined the India’s agenda on the lines of Agenda 2030.
    NITI Aayog has recently released the Sustainable Development Goals India Index 2019.
    India has improved its score on indicators like health, water and sanitation, but more needs to be done on the poverty, hunger, gender and climate fronts.