ICTs are cross-cutting enablers of development and are therefore critical to the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs). At the same time, WSIS stakeholders have recognized the need to link the WSIS process to the SDG framework. The current SDG framework makes several references to ICTs. For example, ICTs are explicitly mentioned as a target under Goal 5 “to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”, and of Goal 9 “to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovations”. ICT indicators can also help monitor achievements in other areas included in the SDGs, such as poverty reduction, education, economic growth and inclusive societies.
While the future development agenda is still under discussion, its goals and targets have been largely defined, and are unlikely to change much. The discussion on indicators, on the other hand, is still ongoing. This offers the ICT community the opportunity to highlight the importance of ICT for the achievement of the SDGs, and to ensure the inclusion of ICT indicators within the SDG monitoring framework. The Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development is coordinating this effort among the international organisations, and has identified a set of relevant and existing ICT indicators that can help monitor the proposed SDGs and targets. The Partnership’s proposal of ICT indicators for the SDGs (pdf format) was submitted to the UN Expert Group Meeting on the Indicator Framework for the Post 2015 Development Agenda, which was held in New York in February 2015.
This WSIS 2015 Forum session will present the Partnership’s proposal and highlight selected ICT indicators that are relevant to specific SDGs and targets. It will also put the proposal in the context of the mapping exercise linking the WSIS action lines with the SDGs. The session will discuss the views of countries regarding the importance of monitoring the information society, in particular in the context of the SDGs. It will also address national needs in terms of capacity building and resources for national statistical systems related to the production of indicators for the SDG framework.