Monthly Archive: March 2019

Who influences whom in the policy arena? Statisticians seek greater voice

By Barbara Adams and Karen Judd
A common theme that ran through the 50th Session of the UN Statistical Commission, March 2019, was the often tense interface between data and policy-making and the asymmetrical power dynamics that shape it. This was evident in the several reports submitted for consideration by the Commission. One from the UN Statistics Division (UNSD) reported on the federated system of data hubs, designed to integrate new data sources into a platform which is accessible to National Statistics Offices (NSOs) and creates comparable data among users. Another was a proposal by the High-Level Group for Partnership, Cooperation, and Capacity Building for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for a UN Chief Statistician to enhance the voice of statistics in UN policy processes. Read more…

Decoupling is the glue that holds “sustainable” and “development” together, material footprint is its indicator

By Roberto Bissio
“Development” is usually understood as a synonym of “economic growth” and it is universally measured by per capita gross domestic product (GPD). “Sustainable” is usually understood as “within planetary boundaries” or “in harmony with Nature” or “respecting the rights of future generations and it is measured… well, the problem is that the world cannot agree on how to measure it and thus “sustainable development” is an unbalanced promise. Read more…

Measuring the SDGs: Who controls the process, who owns the results?

By Barbara Adams and Karen Judd
Statisticians from around the world, meeting at the UN Statistical Commission in March, will again take stock of progress in the world of data over the previous 12 months, largely driven by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The official report on filling the gaps in the global indicator framework—a clear priority of the 2018 Commission—show that while some progress has been made much has stalled. Gaps and tensions continue over the selection and interpretation of indicators, the data to fill them, the selection of partners as well as control of the process and ownership of the results. Read more…