The sixth meeting of the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) was held from 11 to 14 November 2017 in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain. Civil society was able to participate during the plenary session, which was held during the last two days. Key themes that emerged were the need for capacity building, focus on disaggregation of data, and reclassification of indicators and their respective tier rankings. Collecting data on persons with disabilities was a recurrent theme, as well as a focus on data on older persons.
As background, the IAEG-SDGs was established by the Statistical Commission at its 46th session to develop an indicator framework for the monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development at the global level and to support its implementation. The global indicator framework was adopted by the UN General Assembly in July 2017. You can read the resolution here.
This IAEG-SDGs meeting focused on data disaggregation, which is particularly relevant for persons with disabilities who are all too often not counted or included in data collection and consequently left out of key policies and programs. We advocated for disaggregation by disability during the plenary as well as with the co-chairs of the disaggregation work stream (from Germany and Ghana) with members from Bahrain, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Egypt, France, the Netherlands, and Senegal.
The disaggregation work stream released its first “stocktaking” document on disaggregation entitled “Overview of standards for data disaggregation” in which disability is highlighted You can read more here. We welcomed the document, and especially that it proposes the Washington Group Short Set of Questions as standard for monitoring the SDGs. As CBM we have supported the use of the Washington Group in Guatemala in the Guatemala National Disability Survey (ENDIS). You can read more about this work here.
Also during the meeting, certain indicators were requested to be reclassified (read here for more information on Tier classification for global SDG indicators). The relevant indicators for persons with disabilities discussed were:
- health services (indirect), 3.8.1 (will remain Tier III)
- public city space (direct), 11.7.1 (will remain Tier III, but will be reviewed again in the coming weeks)
- capacity-building support to developing countries to increase the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable disaggregated data (indirect), 17.18.2 (reclassified as Tier II)
As part of the larger stakeholder group, we had the excellent opportunity to meet with the IAEG-SDGs co-chairs (from Mexico and Tanzania) to propose our recommendations to make the process more inclusive. We proposed to change the format of the plenary so we can input prior to the closed sessions, and also to have more opportunities to engage with the working groups and input into the many processes. Our feedback was received well overall and we hope to see doors opening for civil society to engage more meaningfully in the indicator process.
We will continue to engage in the global indicator process from New York. Stay tuned for more updates on this integral work that is a key part of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.