Murphy, Enda and Walsh, Patrick Paul ‘A Coded Taxonomy of the Statistical Indicators for Global Reporting of Targets within the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’. – Dublin: Dublin Statistical Society, Vol. XLIX, 2019-20
In 2015, 193 UN member countries signed Resolution A/RES/70/1 2030 – ‘Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’. The United Nations (UN) 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) lie at the heart of this international agenda on sustainable development. The 17 SDGs have associated targets (169) and statistical indicators (251) that aim to assist a follow up and review process for achieving the SDGs. A key contribution of this paper is to create a taxonomy of the SDG Targets, and associated indicators, into desired Outcomes for each of the goals, Linkages (from a defined goal) across all other goals, Means of Implementation (MoIs) to achieve a defined goal and MoIs to achieve the overall agenda across goals. We incorporate our taxonomy into the indicator codes that were developed by UNSD for data transfer, tracking and other statistical purposes in the Global indicator framework for the SDG targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development [as contained in the Annex of the resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 6 July 2017, Work of the Statistical Commission pertaining to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (A/RES/71/313), annual refinements contained in E/CN.3/2018/2 (Annex II), E/CN.3/2019/2 (Annex II), 2020 Comprehensive Review changes (Annex II) and annual refinements (Annex III) contained in E/CN.3/2020/2, and annual refinements contained in E/CN.3/2021/2 (Annex)]. The benefit of our taxonomy is shown by way of example using the 83 ‘Environmental’ SDG targets, and associated indicators, spanning the 17 SDG goals, as defined by the UN Environmental Program (EP). Using the available environmental SDG indicator data for Ireland we benchmarked Ireland’s performance on environmental SDG indicators relative to peer nations in the European Union (EU). Overall, the analysis shows that Ireland is 64 per cent of the way towards the aggregate best performers in the EU in available environmental SDGs indicators. We are also able to decompose Ireland’s overall performance by desirable Outcomes, Linkages and MoIs across the available 83 Environmental SDG Targets. Overall a mixed performance is captured. The agenda needs MoIs and positive Linkages to achieve the desired Outcomes in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.