The development of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
In September 2015, 193 Member States (including Mauritius) formally adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with a view to, among others: end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. The Agenda comprises 17 Goals and 169 Targets to be achieved by 2030. In March 2016, the United Nations Statistical Commission, at its 47th Session, endorsed the list of 229 Sustainable Development Goals Statistical Indicators on which progress will be monitored.
The SDGs officially come into effect upon expiry of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on 1 January 2016. They cover the period 2016-2030 and apply to every country. The 2030 Agenda strives for a world that is just, rights-based, equitable and inclusive. It commits stakeholders to work together to promote sustained and inclusive economic growth, social development and environmental protection and to benefit all, including women, children, youth and future generations.
Implementation of this new universal agenda requires an integrated approach to sustainable development and collective action, at all levels, to address the challenges of our time, with an overarching imperative of ‘leaving no one behind’.
It is a fact that baseline data for several targets of the 2030 Agenda are unavailable. This data gap calls for increased support for strengthening data collection and capacity building to develop national and global baselines. By signing the UN declaration, countries have taken the commitment to address this gap in data collection so as to better inform the measurement of progress.
Role of Statistics Mauritius (SM) in the implementation of SDGs
In Mauritius, Statistics Mauritius will be called upon to take the lead for the development of the SDGs statistical indicators, SM will not only compile data which falls under its responsibility to monitor and manage sustainable development at the national level but will also coordinate and manage the various data inputs from other data producers to ensure data quality, comparability and harmonisation.
Statistics Mauritius conducted a one-day awareness/kick-start workshop on 31 May 2016 at the Conference Hall of BPML, Cyber Tower 1, Ebène.
This was the first workshop on the SDGs being held in Mauritius since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda. It brought together all data producers in the national statistical system to make them aware of the importance of the SDGs indicators and also to discuss on proposed way forward to develop, collect, compile and disseminate the statistical indicators required to monitor progress for the 17 goals. Other participants comprised of NGOs, Private sectors, Trade Unionists and the media. There were around 100 participants at the workshop.
The workshop focused, among others, on four priority areas:
(i) objectives of SDGs and commitments of Member States,
(ii) the lesson learnt on MDGs, indicators
(iii) importance of quality data as recommended by the UN to achieve the 2030 Agenda, and
(iv) the role of SM and stakeholders as well as the required institutional set up.
SM made four presentations namely (i) SDGs: Goals and Indicators, (ii) Data requirement, (iii) Data availability and gaps and (iv) Institutional arrangements.
The Ag. Director of Statistics, Mr. D. Bahadoor and the guests, namely Ms. M. Jennifer Jean Louis, Chairperson of Statistics Board, Mr. Emmanuel Bor, Ag. UN Resident Coordinator and Mr. G. Gunesh, Ag. Senior Chief Executive, Ministry of Environment, Sustainable Development, and Disaster and Beach Management & Chairperson of Steering Committee on Implementation of SDGs, addressed the participants.
The Chairperson of the Statistics Board as well as the Ag. Director stressed on the role of SM and the need for collaboration of all stakeholders and the Ag. UNDP Coordinator emphasised on the need of statistics to meet the SDGs. The Chairperson of the Steering Committee on SDGs explained our national commitment towards the SDGs. As the chief guest, he opened the workshop.
SM made four presentations namely
· SDGs: Goals and Indicators,
· Data requirement,
· Data availability and gaps and
· Institutional arrangements.
Prior to the workshop, SM undertook a quick stocktaking exercise on the availability and relevance of data on SDG indicators. This exercise enabled participants to identify the Goals that fall within their purview; be informed of the data available, and the need for additional data or Technical Assistance for some of the indicators; and understand the fact that the development of SDG indicators calls for an integrated approach to ensure an efficient and careful monitoring of the Goals and Targets.
The presentation on institutional arrangement proposed the way forward towards implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
For the development of SDG statistical indicators, a committee will be set up under the aegis of the Statistics Board and chaired by the Director of Statistics. The committee will comprise relevant data providers and users, academia and subject matter specialists.
The Mandate of the Committee of SDG Statistical Indicators will be to:
· consider the development of relevant indicators at the required disaggregated level based on priorities identified by the Steering Committee on SDGs
· assess the data gaps and advise on how to address these gaps
· identify the relevant data sources
· work out an action plan for the development of SDG indicators, its compilation and dissemination