The choice of indicators
In order to monitor global progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UN Statistical Commission adopted a set of 232 indicators in 2017. These indicators, as defined at the time, are intended to serve as a basis for monitoring global progress towards the SDGs. They are therefore not necessarily applicable to all national contexts, due to each country’s specificities.
States were therefore invited to each establish their own set of indicators for monitoring the SDGs at the national level, based on their respective priorities, realities, calculation capacities and situation. To this end, France created a multi-stakeholder working group (associations, research institutes, government institutions, businesses, local and regional authorities, public bodies, ministries and ministerial statistics departments) within the National Council for Statistical Information (CNIS).
Following an analysis of the 232 UN indicators, 66 were selected for inclusion in the French set of indicators and these were supplemented by 32 additional indicators.
The choice of method
This datavizualisation presents an assessment of trends over the last five years in the 98 national indicators [1] selected to track France’s progress towards achieving the 17 SDGs [2].
The method applied here is inspired by the one used by Eurostat for assessing the European Union’s progress towards achieving the SDGs [3]. With this method it is possible to determine whether an indicator is moving towards or away from the target, and at what rate.
However, there is no assessment of how long a given trend can be sustained. Where French or European public policies have set quantitative targets for a given date, the trends observed for each indicator are compared with the theoretical trends required to achieve them within the timeframe.
Interpreting the results
The indicator trends are displayed in the form of colour-coded dots. The colours show whether the indicators have moved in a sustainable direction or not and at what speed. For indicators with a quantitative target, the dots indicate whether, on the basis of the progress made, France is on track to meet the target. For indicators without a quantitative target, the dots indicate whether the indicator has moved towards or away from the Sustainable Development Goal and how fast. The evaluation method therefore differs slightly for these two types of indicator, as explained below.
Table 1: Colour key
The indicators for which the trend was not evaluated are indicated in the datavisualization sheets by this symbol:
The calculation method used
1. Preliminary stage: determining method applicability
Some of the 98 SDG monitoring indicators (iSDGs), are disaggregated by several variables [4]. For some of these indicators, only one variable may have been chosen. But for other indicators, several variables were included in the analysis (for example: life expectancy with good health for men and life expectancy with good health for women).
The data used are taken from the SDG indicators dashboards [5]. Changes over a five-year period since the last available value are observed. The trend is assessed only if the available data covers at least three consecutive years and if the measure of "progress" is possible.
The evaluation method uses the calculation of average annual growth rates (AGR) based on the indicator values observed at the beginning and end of the period in question.
2. Assessment method for indicators without quantitative targets
The trend assessment for indicators without quantitative targets is based on the average annual growth rates (AGR), using the following formula:
Where:
- t0 is the baseline year.
- t is the most recent year.
- yt0 is the value of the indicator for the baseline year.
- yt is the value of the indicator for the last year.
Table 2 and figure 1 show the thresholds applied and the resulting symbols, where the desired direction is upwards [6]
Table 2: Thresholds for assessing trends if the indicator has no quantitative target
Figure 1: Graphic representation of trend assessment thresholds for indicators without quantitative targets
3. Assessment method for indicators with quantitative targets
The trend assessment for indicators with quantitative targets is based on the AGR described above and also takes into account the value of the target. For this type of indicator, the actual (observed) growth rate is compared with the (theoretical) growth rate for the target to have been met in the target year. This comparison does not take into account projections of the indicator possible future developments. The calculation of actual and required indicator trends is based on the following three steps.
Step 1 : calculation of the actual (i.e. observed) annual growth rate
Where:
- t0 is the baseline year.
- t is the most recent year.
- yt0 is the value of the indicator for the baseline year.
- yt is the value of the indicator for the last year.
Step 2 : calculation of the required (i.e. theoretical) annual growth rate
Where:
- t0 is the baseline year.
- t1 is the target year.
- yt0 is the value of the indicator for the baseline year.
- xt1 is the indicator value for the target year
Step 3 : calculation of the ratio between the current and required growth rates
Table 3 and Figure 2 illustrate the thresholds applied and the resulting color of the dot.
Table 3: Thresholds for assessing trends if the indicator has quantitative targets
Figure 2: Graphic representation of trend assessment thresholds for indicators with quantitative targets
4. Calculation of coverage score per SDG
The calculation of average scores for each SDG is based on the calculations described above. For indicators without quantitative targets, the AGR (formula (1)) is used. For indicators with a quantitative target, the ratio of actual growth to required growth (formula (2c)) is used. These values are fed into a scoring function in order to calculate a score ranging from - 5 to 5 for each indicator. This function is different for indicators with and without quantitative targets (Figures 3 and 4). For each SDG, the arithmetic mean score for the indicators whose trend is assessed [7] is converted into a ten-point score ranging from 0 (equivalent to an average score of -5) to 10 (equivalent to an average score of 5).
Figure 3: Scoring function for indicators without quantitative targets, where the desired direction is upwards [8]
Figure 4: Scoring function for indicators with quantitative targets
Statistics on the datavisualisation of the 2022 dashboard indicators, published in June 2023
Among the set of 498 indicators, 114 were selected.
- For 83 of these indicators, trends are evaluated without quantitative target.
- For 14 of these indicators, trends are evaluated with quantitative target
- For 17 of these indicators trends are not evaluated (cf. table 4)
Reason of non-assessment | Series description |
---|---|
Evaluation of progress not possible | 6.i2 – Surface water bodies with good ecological status 6.i2 – Surface water bodies with good chemical status 8.i1 - Annual growth rate of real GDP per capita 14.i1 - Coastal and transitional water bodies with good ecological status 15.i2 – Natural habitats with good conservation status |
Time series too short | 1.i4 – Net housing expenditure to income ratio 2.i1 - Households forgoing protein consumption for financial reasons 3.i7a- Forgone healthcare for financial reasons – medical care 3.7b - Forgone healthcare for financial reasons – dental care 4.i2 - Participation rate of young people and adults, who have left initial education, in education and training 7.i1 - Inability to keep home adequately warm 8.i8 - Subsidized jobs in youth employment 12.i3 - Food loss and waste per capita 12.i7 Regional industrial ecology projects 14.i5 - Coral reefs in good or optimal health – Pacific and Scattered Islands 14.i5 - Coral reefs in good or optimal health – Antilles, Mayotte, Réunion 16.i1 - Homicides |
[1] INSEE, Indicators for national monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals, June 21st 2023. for 2022; January 2022 for 2021 (French content).
[2] CNIS, Report: A breakdown of France’s indicators for monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals, 2018 (French content).
[3] Eurostat, Sustainable Development in the European Union; Overview of progress towards the SDGs in an EU context, 2022 edition.
[4] Examples: the monetary poverty rate is monitored at thresholds of 50% and 60%; the prevalence of obesity among adults is monitored for men and women.
[5] INSEE, Indicators for national monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals, updated every year
[6] When the desired direction is downwards, the thresholds are multiplied by -1 and the signs (≤,≥,<, > ) are reversed.
[7] When the trend of several variations of an SDG monitoring indicator is assessed, only the arithmetic mean of their scores is taken into account when calculating the average score for the specific SDG.
[8] When the desired direction is downwards, the thresholds are multiplied by -1.