The UN Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB for short) requires that all UN agencies report into the CEB annually. In 2018, the reporting requirements were updated and at that time a reporting of data by SDG was established. The new requirements are phased in and the one for SDGs doesn’t actually take effect until fiscal 2021 (reporting which takes place in 2022).
In all of the CEB reporting, the sum of the various views always have to tie out to our externally audited financial statements. But beyond that, the guidance doesn’t tell us how to split our data into goals and targets. That is left up to each agency and as you can imagine, each agency does it however they think makes most sense for them. I believe some agencies probably chat amongst themselves and swap ideas but ultimately we do what we need to.
But because we have to add up to our audited financials, we can use the sectors in IATI because whatever the logic is, it has to be applied against financial data. And that is probably why a lot of what you see in IATI is in the sector.
IOM is still working through the methodology of how to map our various activities to the various SDGs and should have it ready by the beginning of 2021. From there I have to figure out how to get it into IATI and if successful (there are different systems involved and currently the system that will store the info isn’t the one we use for IATI) we’d publish both the sector and the tag in order to be consistent with both the UN and the IATI SDG guidance.
So this is a long way of saying, we all do what we want/need and as long as it adds up to our audited financials we are good. Oh and null values are acceptable.
I hope that helps.