Statisticians are indispensable actors when it comes to SDG 16. During the time of the SDG’s predecessors, the Millennium Development Goals, it was often claimed that there was no MDG on governance because progress on governance was almost impossible to measure. Whether that was true at the time or not, it is certain that the measurement of peace, justice and inclusion has greatly improved over the past 15 years. Statisticians across countries and regions have contributed to this by developing and testing different indicators and data sources for many aspects covered by SDG 16.
In 2015, a group of National Statistical Offices (NSOs) under the leadership of the NSO of Cape Verde decided to form the Praia Group on Governance Statistics (the Praia Group) to address the issues of conceptualization, methodology and instruments in the domain of governance statistics. The Praia Group seeks to encourage countries to produce governance statistics based on sound and documented methodologies and to address the conceptualization, methodology and instruments needed to produce such statistics. It works closely with the UN custodian agencies that have been tasked to develop the global SDG 16 indicators that still lack an internationally agreed methodology (see HOW TO – Monitoring - SDG 16 Indicators).
At the national level, it is paramount for governments to work closely with their NSOs when developing national indicators for SDG 16 as they can assess which data is currently available and which data can be collected in the future, e.g. by modifying existing or developing new data collection instruments or by partnering with other actors.