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Risks (and opportunities) of usign indicators to monitor, report and evaluate progress towards sustainable development goals

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Risks (and opportunities) of using indicators to monitor, report and evaluate progress towards sustainable development goals. Lyytimäki, Salo et al. Strategic Reseach Scientific Conference: Solution Pathways to wicked problems in the management and governance of natural resources and climate change. Folkhälsan, Helsinki. 29.10.2019.

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Risks (and opportunities) of usign indicators to monitor, report and evaluate progress towards sustainable development goals

  1. 1. Jari Lyytimäki (jari.lyytimaki@ymparisto.fi), Hanna Salo (hanna.h.salo@ymparisto.fi), Annukka Berg, Jyri Mustajoki, Juha Peltomaa, Salla Rantala, Emma Terämä Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) Risks (and opportunities) of using indicators to monitor, report and evaluate progress towards sustainable development goals Strategic Research Scientific Conference: Solution pathways for wicked problems in the management and governance of natural resources and climate change Oct. 29.-30. 2019 Folkhälsan, Helsinki, Finland
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  3. 3. Towards Eco-Welfare State: can SDG indicators effectively orchestrate systemic transformation and tackle wicked problems? What kind of risks are involved when indicators are used to monitor, report and evaluate progress towards sustainable development goals?
  4. 4. Finnish SDG indicators Finnish national SD indicator baskets Structure of the indicators set SDG framework, 169 targets under 17 goals 10 baskets each containing 4-6 indicators Status of development First version published Feb. 2019, ongoing updating Launched between 2017-2019, update Oct. 2019 Type of indicators Quantitative data and graphs, no qualitative interpretation Quantitative indicators, qualitative interpretations, links to further information, public online commenting Main target group UN reporting system National policy makers, interested stakeholders, the public Organisation responsible National statistical office (Statistic Finland) supported by expert network Government organ (Prime Minister’s Office) supported by expert and stakeholder network Web page http://www.stat.fi/tup/kestavan- kehityksen-yk-indikaattorit- agenda2030_en.html https://kestavakehitys.fi/en/monitoring Case Finland: A tandem system of national sustainability indicators
  5. 5. ● Risks related to use of indicators • Siloed pursuit of indicator targets ignoring interlinkages • Neglect of other types of information • Lack of sensitiveness to local context ● Risks related to non-use of indicators • Lack of data, lack of indicators • Unfocussed and too wide-spanning approach • Communication and interaction deficits • Low resonance with key audiences ● Risks related to misuse of indicators • Risk of selective use • Information overflows • Risk of distorting use Risks identified from a group interview
  6. 6. ● Indicator factors ● What kind of content makes an indicator good or poor? ● Process & user factors ● Through what kind of processes information is collected, modified and communicated? ● Context factors ● What kinds of external issues are influencing? Challenges of a ”post-fact” society? Risks related to: Intensively studied field of indicator research; Relatively easy to avoid risks Less studied; Difficult to avoid risks
  7. 7. Project web pages ● Towards Eco-Welfare State: Orchestrating for Systemic Impact (ORSI) ● PEER Research on Sustainable Development Goals: Tackling and managing risks with SDGs (PEER-TRISD) Selected literature ● Berg A. et al. (2019). PATH2030 – An Evaluation of Finland’s Sustainable Development Policy. Publications of the Government´s analysis, assessment and research activities 23/2019. Prime Minister’s Office, Helsinki. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-287-655-3 ● Lyytimäki J. (in print) Thermostat or thermometer? A Finnish perspective on the overloaded role of sustainability indicators in societal transition. Sustainable Development 2019; 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1002/sd.1941 ● Lyytimäki J. (2019). Seeking SDG Indicators. Nature Sustainability 2: 646. Doi: 10.1038/s41893-019-0346-7 https://rdcu.be/bJgyu Further reading
  8. 8. Thank you!

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