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Advancing SDG 16 - Permanent Observer for International IDEA to the United Nations

The SDG16 Data Initiative (SDG16DI) was launched in July 2016 by partner organizations seeking to support the open and holistic tracking of commitments made by 193 UN Member States captured on SDG16+ and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. International IDEA leads the Secretariat of the SDG16DI in 2020 and 2021.

International IDEA produced a series of publications and events designed to evaluate global progress on Sustainable Development Goal 16 (SDG16). The discussion paper on ‘Democracy and Peacebuilding in the Framework of SDG 16+ Policy Recommendations from an Interregional and Multistakeholder Approach’ was published at the beginning of the year. 

sdg 16

As part of its policy advocacy work on the importance of non-official data within the 2030 Agenda, the Office of the Permanent Observer for International IDEA to the UN organized with the SDG16 Data Initiative (SDG16DI) partners two events on the margins of the UN Statistical Commission (March) and the High-Level Political Forum (July). These events underscored the importance of coordination among different partners, including the Praia City Group on Governance Statistics, the Global Alliance for Reporting Progress on Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, and other stakeholders and partners in the SDG16DI. The July event highlighted the special challenges associated with measuring trends related to achieving SDG16 in the context of the exceptional circumstances brought about by Covid-19 and its impact on democracy and human rights. It also discussed a possible way forward explored by both national statistical offices and non-official data providers to fill the gaps in data gathering and analysis created by the pandemic crisis. 

Furthermore, International IDEA published GSoD In Focus No. 11, ‘Monitoring Achievements on Sustainable Development Goal 16 2015–2019: A Global State of Democracy Indices Perspective’. This publication presents key findings on tracking progress on SDG16 using Global State of Democracy (GSoD) Indices data and showcases progress on SDG16 derived from the GSoD Indices covering 158 countries for the period 1975–2019. 

The GSoD In Focus was presented by the Democracy Assessment team at a virtual event entitled ‘Reinventing the role of international and regional organizations in promoting peaceful, just and inclusive institutions in times of crisis: What was done and what is next?’ organized by International IDEA’s Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy, led by our New York Office, with high-level participation from the Stimson Center, Community of Democracies, Organization of American States, African Union Commission, Association of South East Asian Nations and the Council of Europe. The discussion explored the results and challenges faced in the implementation of SDG16+, and how global and multistakeholder initiatives could further collaborate and partner with the United Nations and civil society to ensure implementation of SDG16+ in the coming years.


In November, the SDG16DI launched its fourth annual Global Report, a consolidation of quality data generated by the collaborative efforts of 17 organizations working on related issues. The report gives governments, UN officials, civil society actors, academia and other stakeholders a resource to help understand progress on the SDG16 targets. It also provides an evidence base for identifying gaps in the implementation and monitoring of SDG16, and for altering the course to accelerate implementation where needed. In addition, the report offers a holistic view of progress under each of the SDG16 targets within the SDG16+ conceptual framework. The report was launched via a virtual event organized by the Permanent Observer of International IDEA to the UN, which included the participation of the Democracy Assessment team in the discussion panel.