Assessing progress towards achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) and the associated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a complex, multi-faceted process involving actors at the subnational, national, regional and global levels. Though complex, the process can be conceived of in broad terms as comprising two sets of activities, one objective and the other subjective. The objective activities – which are the focus of this publication – include all those associated with the compilation and dissemination of the 231 individual indicators4 that have been chosen by the international community to measure the SDGs. The subjective activities include all those associated with the use of these indicators along with other information for the purpose of reviewing progress toward achieving the SDGs and explaining where progress is and is not being made. The objective activities related to compiling and disseminating the SDG indicators are commonly referred to as “measurement and monitoring” and the subjective activities related to reviewing progress are commonly referred to as “reporting”. Measurement and monitoring are largely the domain of official statisticians and other data providers, while reporting is largely the domain of departments or agencies with policy responsibilities.

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