Measuring progress towards the SDGs

27 August 2020 | Maison de la paix, Graduate Institute, Geneva

A Road to Bern event in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Statistical Office

SDSN Switzerland and the Swiss Federal Statistical Office hosted an event in the context of Road to Bern, to present and discuss different tools and initiatives analyzing progress towards the achievement of SDGs at national, regional and global levels. These comprise on the one hand the formal processes of different monitoring systems at global (e.g. the SDG indicators established by the IAEG-SDGs) and at national levels (e.g. the MONET 2030 indicator system). These also include all kinds of assessments of the progress towards the SDGs, such as the Sustainable Development Index (SDI) developed by Dr. Jason Hickel, the SDG Index and Dashboards developed by SDSN Global, the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR), and the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs).

Impressions of the event

Panel 1
Panel 2
Sunset with the Jet d'Eau in Geneva

Video recording of the event


15:45    Welcome Coffee

16:15    Welcome and Introduction

  • Janet Hering, Director of the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) and Co-Chair of SDSN Switzerland

  • Georges-Simon Ulrich, Director of the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (FSO)

16:30    Keynote: Tracking progress: How to set up monitoring systems

  • Fritz Gebhard, Network "stats_agenda2030", FSO

16:45    Keynote: Landscape of assessing progress towards the SDGs

  • Guillaume Lafortune (remotely), SDG Index Manager, SDSN Global

17:15    Panel on accountability: Meaningful and context-relevant assessments

  • Andres Vikat (moderator), Chief of the Social and Demographic Statistics Section, UNECE

  • Viveka Palm (remotely), Co-Chair of IAEG-SDGs

  • Georges-Simon Ulrich, Director of the FSO

  • Guillaume Lafortune (remotely), SDG Index Manager, SDSN Global

  • Thomas Breu, Director of the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern

17:45    Panel on communication: Communicating SDG data

  • Marie-José Kolly (moderator), Data journalist at Republik Magazin

  • Jacques Ducrest, Delegate of the Federal Council for the 2030 Agenda

  • Géraldine Pflieger, Director of the Institute for Environmental Science, University of Geneva, and member of SDSN Switzerland

  • Steve MacFeely, Head of Statistics & Information, UNCTAD

18:15    Summary of panel discussions and closing session

  • Janet Hering, Director of Eawag and Co-Chair of SDSN Switzerland

  • Georges-Simon Ulrich, Director of FSO

18:30    Apéro Riche

What is the Road to Bern?


The Road to Bern is an initiative of some units of the Swiss Federal Administration, which consists of a series of events leading to the United Nations World Data Forum (UNWDF).

Co-hosts of the event:

Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft.jpg

Since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, significant progress was made with regards to analyzing the progress of its implementation. A formal system has been put in place under the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) to which UN member states are regularly invited to submit voluntary national reviews. Furthermore, the UN Secretariat is producing its official Sustainable Development Goals Report, building on indicators identified by the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs). At the same time, new approaches are emerging and some initiatives have established new indices or approaches to monitor and assess progress towards the SDGs.