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SDG16 Data Initiative Report 2021

December 07, 2021 • By Luis José Consuegra

In 2015 the United Nations member states adopted the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be achieved by 2030, including SDG 16, on peaceful, just and inclusive societies. Recognizing the need to support efforts to measure progress on the 2030 Agenda, 17 organizations came together to create the SDG16 Data Initiative, a consortium dedicated to the implementation and open tracking of progress towards the SDG 16 targets, using non-official data. The SDG16 Data Initiative has collaborated throughout 2021 to continue to assess challenges and opportunities to advance towards the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda’s promise of peaceful, just and inclusive societies and the achievement of SDG 16, which—just like the 2030 Agenda as a whole—has encountered an
uphill race during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The consortium presents its fifth annual Global Report, which provides a broad range of stakeholders, including governments, UN officials and civil society, with a resource to help them understand methodologies designed to support the process of measuring progress on SDG 16 targets. It also identifies gaps in both the implementation and monitoring of SDG 16, proposing recommendations to accelerate implementation and ways to measure it, in a context characterized by severe challenges to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


The SDG16 Data Initiative Global Report series aims to evaluate global progress towards realizing the 2030 Agenda’s promise of peaceful, just and inclusive societies. The Global Report provides governments, UN officials, and civil society stakeholders with a resource to help understand progress on SDG16 targets and an evidence base for them to identify gaps and shortcomings in both implementing and monitoring SDG16.

This introduction offers a brief overview of the main findings of the following chapters, written by experts from the SDG16 Data Initiative’s partner organizations. Chapter 1, by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), presents an overview of indicators from the Global State of Democracy Indices, which provide complementary indicators to measure progress on SDG Targets 16.3; 16.5, on reducing corruption and bribery in all their forms; 16.6, on developing effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels; and 16.7, on ensuring responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels. Chapter 2, by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), covers SDG 16.1, highlighting research on government produced disinformation and censorship, and honouring the important work done by journalists worldwide, while also analysing challenges to data collection during the Covid-19 pandemic. The chapter also analyses trends in violent conflict in past years and ends by highlighting potential innovations in data collection that could enhance independent monitoring of SDG 16. Chapters 3 and 4, by the Centre for Law and Democracy and the Global Forum for Media Development analyse data collection methods and assess progress on SDG 16.10, the challenge of disinformation during the pandemic (Chapter 3), and access to information (Chapter 4). Chapter 5, by the World Justice Project (WJP), uses data from the recently launched World Justice Project Rule of Law Index® 2021 to analyse progress on SDG 16.3, on promoting the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensuring equal access to justice for all. The chapter also points to new types of data collection methods that can help improve independent reporting on this target.

The SDG16 Data Initiative would like to thank the World Justice Project, the Peace Research Institute Oslo, the Centre for Law and Democracy, International IDEA and the Global Forum for Media Development for their contributions to this report.


To find out more, Download the SDG16 Data Initiative Report Here!


About the authors

Luis José Consuegra
Resource Mobilization and Partnerships Officer
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