There are many systems and processes that are linked to the monitoring of the SDGs, covering those related to policy design and implementation, coordination, the production and the dissemination of data corresponding to the SDG indicators, the analysis and research on the SDG data. These processes and systems involve numerous stakeholder from government and from non-governmental institutions/organisations. The quality of the structures and processes implemented is key for the relevance and the reliability of the results achieved and must thus be considered globally, covering the different stages of the work and all the stakeholders.
Challenges usually occur with regard to national quality standards for:
Issues to be particularly addressed: Good governance, transparency, accountability, ownership, participation of non-governmental actors (civil society, private sector, academia & science), inclusive development, policy coherence, evidence-based policies, impact assessments, monitoring and evaluation. International quality norms are particularly clear for official statistics (data production and dissemination). For non-official statistics as e.g. administrative data and other sources (open data, big data), a specific quality framework must be developed.
A national commitment to quality and standards could take many forms:
The ISO/IEC, ISSAI/ISAM and GSBPM/NQAF/EFQM frameworks are implemented by the stakeholders involved in the SDG monitoring systems and processes
Links with other Steering processes: the commitment to quality must be reflected at all the levels of the national policies. Clear mandate should be given to the Supreme Audit Institutions and large publicity should be made of the results of the audits. The investment carries an increased demand for resources, in particular for well-trained human resources.
Link with Core processes: Quality standards should be considered for all the processes that are linked to the development and functioning of the national SDG monitoring system.
Links with Supporting processes: The development/improvement of quality and standards requires a large effort in capacity building and knowledge/knowhow transfer. It also requires a comprehensive communication and promotion plan. In addition, it must be given a specific consideration in all the dimensions of digitalisation.
International ISO/IEC norms for quality frameworks
ISO: Contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals with ISO standards
ISO: Using and referencing ISO and IEC standards to support public policy
UN fundamentals principles for oficial statistics
EU code of practices
Supreme Audit Institutions
Global standards for CSO accountability
Guidance Materials to complement the Global Standard and practical advice on how to use the Global Standard (PDF)