Objectivity as Distance or Engagement: The Riddle of SDG Measurement

Image credit: William Chen via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

What is objectivity in SDG measurement? This commentary explores the complexity of objectivity in measurement when the problems are ‘global’ yet manifest themselves with local specificities. This special issue helps elicit gaps in knowledge, tools and contexts in SDG measurement. But in doing so through the lens of political economy, ‘sets the cat among the pigeons’. The key question they raise is the sanitization of measurement and its sanctification to the status of objectivity without realizing that the process is fraught with contexts that make self‐ interest and conflict of interest an endemic risk.