The SDGs Indicators: A Challenging Task for the International Statistical Community

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The papers in this Special Issue raise a number of relevant and important questions, of which three particularly deserve comment. Are indicators reductionist? They might be indeed, both regarding the process of defining them and in their use, which is why it is essential that each be based on a deep and sufficient knowledge of the phenomenon concerned. The human development index illustrates both the pitfalls and potential of global indicators. Are there dark forces behind the selection of indicators? The agreement of the 2030 Agenda was the outcome of a political process that led to a negotiated consensus accomplished by the Open Working Group. In determining the indicators, the Inter‐Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG SDG) was asked for a simple and robust framework which would not affect the political equilibrium reached in the Open Working Group (OWG); no easy task. Is the IAEG SDG an arcane bureaucratic entity? In the face of this immensely challenging task, it has sought a balance between what is feasible in the short term and what is required in the long term. The IAEG SDG has become a space for open and constructive dialog between national statistical offices and international agencies.