IATI and SDGs - untangling threads

Just spent longer than I care to admit investigating how IATI handles SDGs both now and post-January. Would someone please ELI5 (explain like I’m 5)?

I think the following is true…after reading all the threads at the bottom of this post - please confirm:

  • The standard allows users to use the Sector element to report SDG goals, targets, and indicator via the SectorVocabulary codelist.
  • The standard also allows for the reporting of indicators via Results, and the SDG codelist is to be added to IndicatorVocabulary as MDGs were.
  • The standard also allows, and many have suggested, using Policy Markers or the new (2.03) Tag element to ‘tag’ SDGs without %s.

Is there a written or unwritten best practice about how organizations should publish SDG information? I’m sensing confusion but it could just be me. Thanks!

Related threads:

A timely post @reidmporter. I think that the sooner we all start heading in one (or two) agreed directions the better.

Input, output or whatever

  • There are those who would like to use IATI to quantify their commitment to the SDGs on the input side using sector vocabularies. Sweden presented a case study at the TAG along these lines.
  • There are those who argue that the SDGs can only be monitored as outputs using the results element
  • And there are those who think a fuzzier relationship is easier to record.

Personally I think achieving more joined-up thinking on this rests with the development community at large: it is not an IATI-XML problem. The UN Development Group is committed to using IATI for SDG reporting so it would be useful to hear exactly what they have in mind. (@aparr, @AkermanMartin, @Riza ?)

Goals, targets or indicators

Having the choice of granularity to accurately describe activities is, I think, a good idea - particularly as the coding across the three levels has been done hierarchically (i.e. you can derive the goal and target from the indicator code.)

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Missed the Sweden case at TAG, but that’s very much in line with some work IFPRI/IISD have done in estimating the funding gap on goal 2 and what the projected donor share is. To date they’ve exclusively used CRS data, which makes sense, but there may be an opportunity to add detail via IATI data to their models.

For reference: http://www.ifpri.org/publication/ending-hunger-what-would-it-cost

Looking forward to hearing what our UN colleagues have to say :slight_smile:

@bill_anderson Currently, UNDP is only thinking to report on the input side using sector vocabularies and as far as I know, other UN Development Group members also working on the same. With our current results framework it will be challenging to link the activities directly to SDG indicators and therefore, using it in results element is not an option, at least for now.

I think reporting on the input side is more useful (Statistical - in the case of @reidmporter) and a feasible solution for most publishers - at least, for those I have spoken to. However, a hybrid approach of reporting it in both sector and results elements would be ideal, where the cause-effect relationship between the input and output can be effectively reported for SDGs in IATI.

I think reporting on the input side is more useful (Statistical - in the case of @reidmporter)

Just to make sure I understand (and to not-so-slyly raise this topic again in everyone’s inbox;-) you’re preferred method is statistical reporting via sector - yes? Do you/UNDP or any other orgs out there plan to utilize the non-statistical tag element to–ahem–tag activities with SDG markers as well?

I’m choosing not go down a rabbit hole and actually look at the data, but does anyone have a sense of how many publishers report any SDG information, and if so, how?

As indicated in another post, the WP-STAT recently approved the creation of a new CRS field to report SDG targets (and goals, temporarily) as flags.

(TL;DR) Here are the central elements of the CRS field:
•Track the SDG focus of development co-operation at the target level, and allow the possibility of reporting at the goal level for a transitional period.
•Allow multiple entries in the SDG field, with a maximum number of 10 reportable targets
•Allow the SDG field information to be recorded with a qualitative flag, indicating to which SDG targets the activity is contributing.

The SDG goals and targets are already non-embedded code lists in the IATI SectorVocabulary element. However, the Sector element is used as having implicit percentages, which means it is not the right element to publish SDG targets in a way that will align with CRS data.

I think the Tag element introduced in 2.03 is where we should be publishing SDG targets (and goals, if desired). While there’s technically no reason to limit the number of targets, those reporting to the DAC will likely limit themselves to 10 in order to align their IATI and DAC data - so this could be a good rule of thumb for other publishers. Could this guidance be added to the Tag element?

I would flag, however, that the TagVocabulary codelist does not include the SDG targets and goals at the moment. This is a non-embedded codelist, so new vocabularies can be added easily, correct?

Does the above approach make sense? @Herman, @theo.sande and others that may have been involved in the WP-STAT discussions, is this how you envisaged implementation on the IATI side?

Would appreciate if the @IATI-techteam could confirm when the codelists may be available in the TagVocabulary and what is needed to make it happen.