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Monday, 24th April 2017 from 13.30 to 14.30, Iran Room

Engaging Countries in Capacity Development for SDG Monitoring


In March 2017, the UN Statistical Commission endorsed the SDG indicator framework comprising 230 unique indicators, and for the first time formally recognized the role of custodian agencies in the global reporting system. FAO is currently the designated custodian agency of 21 SDG indicators, and a contributing agency of six others, which represents a quantum leap with respect to the only four MDG indicators that it was previously responsible for monitoring. Among the key responsibilities of custodian agencies are to collect and compile data from national sources, transmit data and storylines to the UN Statistical Division as inputs to the annual SDG progress reports, develop methodologies to measure indicators that lack from an internationally agreed methodology and to provide statistical capacity development support to countries for the measurement of the indicators. The latter represents a big challenge for the organization but also a big opportunity to engage countries in developing optimal mechanisms of collaboration for SDG monitoring.

Objectives and expected outcomes of the side event

While Permanent Representatives have been periodically updated on FAO’s engagement in the SDG process in general, and its engagement in the SDG indicators work in particular, this Side Event will offer participants a more thorough understanding of the kinds of statistical capacity development initiatives currently deployed by FAO, how these relate to its responsibilities in SDG monitoring and how countries can benefit from them. Moreover, the interactive discussion is expected to help FAO better understand the various types of support that countries may need.

The objectives of the side event are thus to:

  1. Raise awareness of Member States on FAO’s statistical capacity development activities, how these relate to SDG monitoring and how countries could benefit from them, by showcasing selected prominent initiatives in this area;
  2. Explore ways to enhance the capacity development work, helping FAO further understand the kind of support that countries need, and vice versa.

The event will be co-organized by the FAO Office of the Chief Statistician, the Statistics Division, and the Group of G77+China.


The FAO Chief Statistician will provide an overview of FAO’s overall capacity development strategy for SDG monitoring and highlight a series of specific statistical capacity development initiatives, focusing on how countries stand to benefit from adopting new data collection methods and technologies. The presentation has the purpose of explaining to Permanent Representatives the type of work that FAO is currently doing to produce cost-efficient methods for measuring SDG indicators and to highlight the type of capacity development opportunities for member states.

Taking this presentation as a starting point, a panel discussion will follow featuring the Chair of the Group of G77+China, the Chair of the CFS Open-ended Working Group on SDGs and the FAO Chief Statistician. The panel will be moderated by FAO and will begin with a brief introduction of the panellists followed by one question to each of them. The panellists are expected to reflect specifically on countries’ needs in strengthening their statistical capacity and the opportunities of engaging on statistical capacity development focusing on SDGs monitoring. Moreover, they will be asked to present some broader perspectives on how to improve the interaction of FAO and its Member States in this area.

An interactive dialogue with the audience will follow the presentations.

Responsible office:

FAO Statistics Division


English, French, Spanish


Jose Rosero Moncayo, Deputy Director, FAO Statistics Division


13:30 – 13:35

Opening remarks (Kostas Stamoulis, Assistant Director General, Economic and Social Development Department)

13:35 – 13:55

Overview of FAO capacity development initiatives in support of SDG monitoring (Pietro Gennari, FAO Chief Statistician)

13:55 – 14:25

Moderated panel discussion with Elias Eljuri Abraham, Venezuela, Chair of the Group of G77+China; Willem Olthof, First Counsellor, EU Delegation in Rome, Chair of the CFS OEWG on SDGs; and Pietro Gennari, FAO Chief Statistician

14:25 – 14:30



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