News 11 Apr 2018

Finland compiles national data on global sustainable development indicators to an open website

The UN has produced the global Agenda 2030 programme concerning all countries to advance sustainable development. The UN had also agreed on monitoring indicators common to all countries. Statistics Finland has started a project that compiles data on global monitoring indicators for Finland. The project is led by the Prime Minister's Office, which coordinates sustainable development work in Finland.

Indicators are produced by means of a large cooperation network

The UN’s Agenda 2030 programme contains 17 large development goals concerning social, economic, communal and environmental issues. A set of indicators common to all countries has been compiled under the United Nations Statistical Commission, by which the attainment of each goal and target will be reported on a concrete level. The total number of monitoring indicators is almost 240.

“’Leave no-one behind’ is the guiding principle of the Agenda 2030, and indicators common to all countries are important to make sure that people in a weaker position and in the least developed countries can be involved in the development,” says Sami Pirkkala from the Prime Ministers’ Office, the chair of the project steering group.

“Indicators common to all countries are also important because they indicate development needs in the activity of a developed country like Finland as well. Finland could improve the sustainability of consumption and production modes, for example,” Pirkkala continues.

Monitoring multidimensional goals is a challenge for measuring.

 “At the moment, around one-third of the indicators are available in Finland from regular statistical sources. One-third of the indicators can be developed with reasonable work, but the remaining one third are indicators that, at least so far, have no established measurement method,” says Statistics Finland’s Head of Development Ari Tyrkkö, who is the manager of the project. 

In addition to Statistics Finland, the biggest data producers are the National Institute for Health and Welfare and the Natural Resources Institute Finland, but in all there are tens of other important cooperation partners. 

“We are surveying the availability and usability of the indicators from the viewpoint of Finland. The aim is to create a national cooperation network whose data can be used to produce an optimally large share of the UN's indicators up till 2030,” says Mr Tyrkkö.

Open website produced for the indicators

As part of the project, Statistics Finland compiles indicators based on national data into a website, which will be open for both national and international users of data. The website also contains time series data, and it will be published at the end of 2018.

International organisations follow the attainment of the sustainable development goals in their reports. The UN annually publishes a report describing on the general level how countries have succeeded in their goals.

“It is vital that global indicator data are collected systematically for Finland and that they are easily available to all,” says Pirkkala. They also supplement well the monitoring of Finland's national sustainable development, which can be found at www.kestavakehitys.fi/seuranta.

Further information about the project:
Ari Tyrkkö, Head of Development, Statistics Finland, tel. +358 29 551 3261,
Jukka Hoffrén, Head of Research, Statistics Finland, tel. +358 29 551 3351,
Hannele Orjala, Director of Information Services, Statistics Finland, hannele.orjala@stat.fi

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