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Seven German partners have jointly developed indicators for mapping the Sustainable Development Goals: Bertelsmann Stiftung, Federal Institute for Building, Urban and Spatial Research, Deutscher Landkreistag, Deutscher Städtetag, Deutscher Städte- und Gemeindebund, Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik and Engagement Global with its Service Agency Communities in the one world. The first project results are now available.
Sustainability starts in the communities, they are the basis for the implementation of the 17 SDGs and their 169 subgoals. The cities, counties and communities will ultimately decide whether sustainable development will be a success. Therefore, the way communities address sustainability and SDG implementation is central.Ultimately, it will be the cities and communities where the struggle for sustainable development is won or lost.
Hardly any municipality that is currently concerned with the issue of sustainability is doing so, without focusing more on the SDGs and examining their relevance and influenceability in the specific situation on the ground. This could be done by each municipality alone and on its own. For example, each community could itself develop indicators to assess and track the progress and evolution of the SDGs. But perhaps it will be more efficient and effective to jointly review and document which indicators are well suited for monitoring the SDGs in German municipalities.
The "SDG Indicators for Municipalities" working group, which was formed by representatives of the above-mentioned seven organizations, took this route: the indicator catalog now available is the result of a good one-year intensive work process. It documents the current state of work - without any claim to finality or general liability. He describes an intermediate level on a high secured level, which now requires the practical testing on site, the discussion and certainly the revision.
The choice and definition of SDG indicators presented has been largely based on existing sets of indicators and definitions. Wherever possible, comprehensive indicators are available, but indicators are recommended that are not. The reason: An attempt should be made to map the SDGs in their full width. The justification for limiting the number of finally selected (core) indicators results above all from the fact that the most comprehensible and manageable catalog of indicators should be made available. The result: In the indicator catalog, the same target size of approx. 3 (core) indicators was sought for all SDGs.
This target was deliberately exceeded for individual, especially municipal SDGs. SDG No. 11, for example, is represented by five indicators. For other SDGs, the target size was also undercut due to a rather minor importance for municipalities or due to a lack of available indicators. Where possible, indicators are assigned to not just one but multiple SDGs. The proposed (core) indicators partly relate to the municipal level;some of them are displayed at the county level. If individual subject areas of the SDGs could not yet be comprehensively mapped, the working group accepts this as an order for further work.
In any case, it should be emphasized that the now developed catalog of SDG indicators is a first suggestion on the part of the project initiators. Each municipality can and should decide on the basis of the respective framework conditions and priorities on the ground, which indicators are suitable for mapping the respective contribution to the SDGs and the Agenda 2030. Our modular system makes it possible to omit, modify or supplement indicators at any time. The comprehensive list of indicators or indicator lists can be a working aid for this.
For two-thirds of the proposed SDG indicators, data are available nationwide, at least at district level, but also at community level. These data will be provided on the portal "Wegweiser Kommune". In addition to concrete indicator values for cities and municipalities of more than 5,000 inhabitants and the counties, the Guide to the Town also contains general recommendations for action, practical examples and reports.
In order to facilitate the identification of other or further indicators by the municipalities, the result brochure of the working group mentions not only the selected (core) indicators, but also all others collected and evaluated in the context of the work. We are publishing a consolidated interim status that provides for a steady evolution of our pre-selection of indicators based on practical trials and statistical data analysis.
The working group now wishes to work on site with the SDG indicators collected and described in detail. We will accompany and evaluate this work in order to meet the need for further development. Suggestions and feedback are therefore more than welcome!
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