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After two years of measuring for SDG implementation the emphasis has shifted from the pressure to develop a global indicator framework to the need for capacity development. This has generated a significant increase in interest in national statistical offices (NSOs) for data disaggregation, not only by income, gender and population group but also by municipal and neighborhood levels in an effort to ’leave no one behind’. The shift to implementation and capacity-building has also spawned a host of initiatives and partnerships, designed primarily to enable NSOs to integrate data from non-traditional sources, such as satellite imagery, mobile phones, and social media and scanning data.

Almost three years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda at the highest level of the United Nations, the indicators to assess its progress are still being debated. The set of indicators around which there is agreed methodology and available data (known as Tier I in the insiders' jargon) shows a great degree of overlap with the existing indicators for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and misses most aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that make them transformative or represent a paradigm change.

There are 93 indicators in Tier I of the SDGs (see Table 1), of which 42 are either identical to or an elaboration of (e.g., disaggregated by sex, etc.) the already existing MDG indicators. And some important MDG indicators, particularly those related to implementation, have been lost.

The inter-session climate talks under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will kick start in Bonn, Germany, from 30 April to 10 May.

The two-week session will witness the convening of the meetings of the forty-eighth session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 48), the forty-eighth session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 48) and the fifth part of the first session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA 1.5). A key focus of the three bodies will be in making progress related to the completion of tasks concerning the implementation of the Paris Agreement (PA), known as the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP).

Various decisions regarding the modalities, procedures and guidelines necessary for the implementation of the PA are expected to be adopted later this year in December, in Katowice, Poland by the Conference of Parties meeting as the Parties to the PA (known as the CMA), which will also see the convening of the 24th session of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties, known as COP 24.

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) has defined the follow-up process for the Financing for Development process as well as the means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This includes assessing progress, obstacles, challenges as well as new and emerging topics of relevance, and “provide policy recommendations for action by the international community” (para. 131). At a side-event during the 2018 ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development Follo-up, participants are invited to provide their insights into their assessment of previous FfD Fora, their link with other international processes, and discuss with participants about opportunities and challenges, also with view to the upcoming High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development of the General Assembly in 2019. The format of the side event will be highly interactive. After a short framing presentation, the moderator will facilitate active dialogue with a small panel of respondents and the audience.

Last October, more than 150 organisations signed a PPP Global Campaign Manifesto, expressing our alarm at the increasing use of PPPs to deliver infrastructure projects and public services around the world, and in particular the World Bank’s role in promoting these contracts. Our combined evidence shows that the experience of PPPs has been negative, and few PPPs have delivered results in the public interest. Our concerns are echoed by many more organisations and individuals across the world, who are alarmed by the risk that this represents for developing countries.

The Indian state government of Tamil Nadu this year presented a Gender Budget Statement as part of the annual budget documents, quantifying the allocations that will benefit women during this fiscal year. Finance Secretary K. Shanmugam said it is the first time such an exercise has been undertaken. Kamakshi Sundaramurthy, senior researcher of Social Watch Tamil Nadu, said the gender budget does not address the needs of sub-categories among women, such as those from among the minorities, Dalits and sub-castes. “These women need better education, healthcare and hostel facilities. Employment is also critical for their empowerment. They need the gender budget more than any of us but remain excluded,” Ms. Sundaramurthy said.

For the first time the State government this year presented a Gender Budget Statement as part of the annual budget documents, quantifying the allocations that will benefit women during this fiscal.

The statement appears as the last chapter in the appendices to the Budget documents published by the Finance Department and tabled in the Assembly on March 15. The Budget speech by Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam did not mention it.

Short-termism impedes progress of hundreds of millions of people. The prospects of around 800 million of the world’s poorest people remain dire. The global economy is experiencing a moderate upturn, and momentum around sustainable investing is growing, the UN said today.

But the vast majority of investment is still short-term oriented and commitments by the international community to create sustainable economies are not being met.

While Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) have the potential to achieve faster policy implementation and ensure good maintenance standards, an audit of such projects in the European Union shows "widespread shortcomings and limited benefits", says a Special Report (09/2018) by the EU Court of Auditors.

The report of the Luxembourg-based EU Court of Auditors, dated 20 March, became available here last week.

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