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08.06.2017 - Panel discussion on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the challenges for evaluation

As part of Evaluation Week in Latin America and the Caribbean, a panel discussion on ‘The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the challenges for evaluation’ was held in Mexico City on 5 June 2017. The panel consisted of Professor Jörg Faust (DEval), Dr Ricardo Gómez (GIZ), Pascual Gerstenfeld (CEPAL), Ana Güezmes (UN Women) and Dr Gonzalo Hernández Licona (CONEVAL). The exchange addressed the challenges and institutional framework for evaluating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The sheer scope of the SDGs – with 17 goals, 169 global targets and potentially more than 200 indicators – means that they need to be prioritised at the national level in accordance with the national context and obstacles to development. Furthermore, it is important to ensure that the phenomenon of ‘planning euphoria’ – which is currently frequently observed in an (overly) complex objectives system – does not lead to a disconnect between planning, implementation and evaluation and thus to a fragmented policy cycle. The complex nature of the concept of ‘sustainability’ remains a methodological challenge for evaluation, which is why the methods used to evaluate complex systems need to be further developed.

Another challenge for evaluating SDGs is the availability, quality and use of (disaggregated) data. Here, national statistical systems and institutions need to be strengthened, and national monitoring and evaluation systems set up. However, it is important that improvements in capacities to collect and process data are accompanied by the increased use of data for adapting and realigning national strategies and programmes.

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