In September, we hosted a webinar with the Office of National Statistics (ONS) to open a discussion on their consultation on the reporting of the SDGs in the UK. We had over 35 delegates join us for a presentation from the ONS and an intervention from Dr Graham Long from the Institute of Sustainability at Newcastle University.

You can find a detailed overview of the questions we asked the ONS here and can download the presentations here. The ONS consultation closed at the end of September and they are planning to publish their report in early November 2017. The report ‘will summarise the progress we have made so far acquiring data to report against the global SDG indicators. It will also refer to our plans for data development and will include an update on the work we have done to develop a National Reporting Platform. Barring any technical difficulties, the report will include a link to the tool - the soft launch - explaining that the website is still an 'alpha' site and that feedback on the site is welcome.’

In addition, the ONS will be sharing short stories and visuals on specific indicators online. The first of these, on infant mortality rates in the UK, has been published. It shows that although overall rates have fallen, so too has our European ranking.

Other points of note include:

  • The ONS consultation was limited to reporting on the Global SDG Indicators. This means there may be a gap on information that will be available for the SDG targets. The Government may develop a distinct set of national SDGs indicators for use in the single departmental plans. There is a need for further clarity between the official SDGs reporting processes.
  • The consultation only covered the process and reporting format, not the actual indicators which will be used

Following the ONS presentation Dr Graham Long widened the context and raised several important questions regarding the implications of measuring global indicators at national level. You can read an earlier blog written by Graham for UKSSD here.