News 13 May 2019

Statistics Finland establishes a cooperation network to develop Finnish UN indicators

In February 2019, the website of UN indicators for sustainable development was published. During spring, Statistics Finland will establish a cooperation network consisting of the key data producers to support the maintenance and development of the indicators.

The Prime Minister's Office that acts as the national coordinator of Finland’s sustainable development is part of the cooperation group. In addition, the group will have representatives from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Natural Resources Institute Finland, the Finnish Environment Institute, and the National Institute for Health and Welfare.

"More than one-half of the indicator data are produced by other authorities than Statistics Finland. Through the cooperation between the key players we aim at accelerating indicator development and creation of new data," says Head of Research Jukka Hoffrén from Statistics Finland's .

The national indicator producer network currently includes 11 organisations, of which seven produce annually updated data. There are 19 national organisations that are responsible for the indicators.

Monitoring of the implementation of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, Agenda 2030 will continue until 2030. In Finland, Statistics Finland is centrally responsible for collecting and publishing the national indicator data, as well as for reporting Finland’s monitoring data.

Coverage of the UN indicator database is improved

At the moment, Finland’s UN indicator database contains data on 131 indicators, while there are 243 global indicators. Existing data have been compiled in the database but no new data have been produced for the database. The aim is to increases the coverage of UN indicators in future.

“The objective is to gather the time series of the indicators from 1990. In addition, we will investigate the possibility to produce internationally produced data nationally, as well as the possibilities to produce new time series on existing data,”  Jukka Hoffrén describes.  

As far as Finland is concerned, 53 per cent of indicators have been collected so far. "Some 40 per cent of the indicators are available from national sources and good 10 per cent from international sources. It has been estimated that at best a coverage of 60 to 70 per cent can be reached on an international level, as some of the indicators are still undefined. Improving the coverage from this level is largely dependent on the speed of international development work,"  Hoffrén  explains.

Finland has its own sustainable development objectives – The Finland We Want by 2050

Implementation of sustainable development in Finland is based on the objectives of the Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development, The Finland We Want by 2050, which are monitored with the national sustainable development indicators. These indicators differ significantly from the global UN indicators, as they monitor the implementation of objectives that are seen as nationally significant.  

Statistics Finland is also involved in the production and development of national indicators. “The national indicators and the global UN indicators will continue to be separated but, in future, the aim is to increase the use of global indicators also in the reporting of national sustainable development,” Hoffrén says.

The plan is to utilise Finland’s nationally produced UN indicators, for example, in the government’s sustainable development report in spring 2020 and in the reporting to UN’s High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July 2020.

UN indicators for sustainable development site

Further information: Research Manager Jukka Hoffrén tel. +358 29 551 3351,