Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and its accompanying monitoring framework has major implications for national statistical systems worldwide as they face the complex task of producing reliable, consistent and comparable statistics for an increasing number of goals and targets. The MDGs had 8 Goals, 21 targets and 60 indicators whereas the SDGs have 17 Goals, 169 targets and 232 indicators.
As a custodian agency, the ILO reports to the UN data for 14 SDG indicators, grouped under 5 of the 17 Goals. Moreover, the ILO’s role in strengthening countries’ capacity for producing high-quality labour statistics has become even more crucial.
What are the SDGs?
The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly. The 17 SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. They cover a broad range of social and economic development issues, including poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, the environment and social justice, with a focus on the most vulnerable and a commitment that “no one will be left behind.”
The role of decent work
Goal 8, which aims to “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”, highlights the importance of decent work in achieving sustainable development.
The role of statistics
The role of national statistical offices (NSOs)
High quality data (i.e., reliable, timely, consistent and comparable data) are required in order to measure and monitor progress towards the SDGs. NSOs play a pivotal role in the areas of data collection, coordination, reporting and validation of statistics for the SDGs. It is the responsibility of NSOs to provide statistics to international agencies such as the ILO to support the measurement of progress on SDGs. This includes identifying appropriate data sources and methodologies to produce the SDG indicators.
The role of the ILO Department of Statistics
The ILO contributes to five of 17 Goals. As custodian for 14 SDG indicators, the ILO is responsible for:
The ILO Department of Statistics is the focal point for all inputs provided to the UN Statistics Division, with key contributions from other departments and field offices.
TIER 1: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, and data are regularly produced by countries for at least 50 per cent of countries and of the population in every region where the indicator is relevant.
TIER 2: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, but data are not regularly produced by countries.
TIER 3: No internationally established methodology or standards are yet available for the indicator, but methodology/standards are being (or will be) developed or tested.