possibly change SDGs to sector to policy markers


Schema Object

Type of Change
change schema object location of SDGs from sector to policy marker

Since the SDGs are currently reported under the IATI sector codelists, you are obliged to include a percentage per SDG. However, determining how much an activity contributes to an SDG or how much of the budget is spent per SDG is very arbitrary. An activity can contribute 100% to several SDGs.

One solution would be to include the SDGs as a vocabulary under the policy markers. Another solution would be to use non-statitical sectors as proposed in the previous topic (Non-statistical secondary sectors (excluded 2.03))

Standards Day


Comments (11)

Reid Porter
Reid Porter

The policy marker idea came up in the discussion leading up to the linked previous proposal as well. The only real objection was “cashew nuts are not a policy, hurricane is not a policy” and to be fair they’re not exactly sectors either, that’s just a slightly more logical place to put various classifications.

When we were crafting the linked proposal, Sangita Dubey - Sangita Dubey - from FAO also brought up the SDG use case for non-statistical tags/markers as well.

Herman van Loon
Herman van Loon

Since a large part of the SDG’s are GOALS with indicators and targets, shouldn’t the logical place to represent them be in the IATI result element? Otherwise we IATI will limit results reporting on SDG’s to measuring input only.

Vincent van 't Westende
Vincent van 't Westende

During discussions on SDG’s and IATI there often seems to be confusion on what level (goal / target / indicator) everyone is talking about. I’m also not sure who’s talking about what level in this topic.

When first looking at the SDG’s it confused me to find all 3 levels in the sector vocabularies. As I know little on result frameworks I’m not sure what the use cases for each of them are, but to me they seem different per level. It would be good if we could first find consensus on what use cases we’re trying to support here before we make any changes.

Here’s what I think the use cases are and how the SDG’s currently could be used in v2.02;


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Where in 2.03 we all agree that the SDG indicators should be added to the IndicatorVocabulary codelist and there’s different opinions on the need for changes to report the SDG goals and targets.

An interesting background to this is that Sida did a pilot on implementing SDG targets in policy-markers and sectors, which was presented in this TAG session (pdf, presentation). Sida’s country office preferred sectors with percentages over policy markers with significance levels since it gave them a precise picture.

On the other side Renate Kersten and I have been involved in a pilot at the Dutch Enterprise Agency that had opposite conclusions. They were aiming to use the SDG targets more as a ‘tagging’ interface through policy markers. When using sectors they found it hard to split SDG targets into percentages since those percentages are bound to financial commitment.

Suggestions I’ve heard for SDG goal / target changes:

  • Adding an aggregation-status attribute to sectors
  • Adding SDG goals / targets to the policy marker vocabulary
  • Leave as is, when you want to use policy markers for SDG targets, use your reporting org vocabulary

I don’t have enough domain knowledge to know which solution best supports the use cases but I hope this contribution clears some confusion and brings the discussion forward.

IATI Technical Team
IATI Technical Team

This topic has been rejected as it is now possible to report SDGs as inputs via sectors or as outputs/outcomes via results.

If you feel that this should still be included in the current upgrade, please do respond here

IATI Technical Team
IATI Technical Team

There will be some consultation calls in early July for any 2.03 proposals where people would like to discuss them further - if you would like to discuss this proposal on one of the calls please ‘Like’ this IATI tech team post by end of Mon 26 June - you can do this by clicking the heart symbol to the bottom right hand side of this message.

Further details on the calls are available in the ‘How to participate’ topic.

Vincent van 't Westende
Vincent van 't Westende

Wendy Rogers Provided the quote below I would say no.

Image removed. renatekersten:

Since the SDGs are currently reported under the IATI sector codelists, you are obliged to include a percentage per SDG. However, determining how much an activity contributes to an SDG or how much of the budget is spent per SDG is very arbitrary. An activity can contribute 100% to several SDGs.

Though I think I agree with the rejection of the proposal (seeing how the non-statistical secondary sectors discussion progresses and how that could cover it), I don’t agree with the reason for the rejection.

The issue here is tagging SDG goals / targets, which is a different use case then what can currently be done through input via sectors, outputs/outcomes via results.

Erik Hesseling
Erik Hesseling

So. let’s create a separate IATI standard for SDGs.

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency has recently tested the possibilities to report and visualize the contribution of activities to SDGs. By making use of the SDG option in the Sector standard. We managed, but for the time being we have taken the decision not to upgrade the test to a live online transparency at our IATI website. Unfortunately.

For we are faced with some major problems and disadvantages. To mention some:

  1. A SDG is something completely different than a sector. But editing the data in the same standard as a Sector leads to confusion and mistakes. For they may be mixed up. By our staff, editing the data, but also by all looking for data and/or the visualisation for policy making.
    Also technically it’s not a piece of cake to visualize SDGs separately from Sector.
  2.  The consequence of a SDG being treated as a sector is that expressing the relative importance of a SDG or adding info on how the data should be interpreted, is not suitable. Because only “percentage” is available in the standard Sector. Indicating that a project is contributing for -  let’s say - 40%, 35% and 25% to three SDGs, is non-information. It will certainly result in misinterpretation of the data provided.
  3.  Considering the IATI standard Sector as not being adequate for reporting the contribution of activities to SDGs, publishers will start looking for other opportunities. We do already know publishers who use standards on Results and Policy Markers for that purpose. But these alternatives do have their own (dis)advantages. 

If publishers are using different standards on SDGs, it will be almost impossible to get a correct overview of SDG data provided by different publishers. Just because the data has to be traced in different standard within IATI Registry.

So, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency is in favour of a separate, tailor made IATI standard for SDGs. Or in an existing standard taking into account the character of a SDG. In the years ahead, contributing to SDGs will become a major element of transparency; worldwide.

This message was on SDGs. But I can imagine that in the near future a same kind of requirements will pop-up on CSR: is an activity being validated and monitored on CSR issues?

Winnie Kamau
Winnie Kamau

The question is does SDGs have a bigger buy in from countries and donors who we are targeting to publish? If the answer is yes then a pilot would be the way to go. From a communications perspective SDGs would be a bigger and better sell. I agree with Erik as many organizations and countries are each trying to measure and achieve the goals that they deem relevant to their context.

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