Compiling National Metadata for the Sustainable Development Goals


The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, sets forth the global vision to 2030. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which provide the benchmarks that should be achieved by 2030 in order to leave no one behind. A robust follow-up and review mechanism for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda requires a solid framework of indicators and statistical data to monitor progress, inform policy and ensure accountability of all stakeholders at the global and national level. The global indicator framework consisting of 169 targets and 242 indicators was adopted by the General Assembly in 2017. The framework has been updated and as of 2020, there are 231 indicators.

At the national level, the 2030 Agenda encourages member states to conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels which are country-led and country-driven. The United Nations is working closely with national actors as well as international partners to build capacity in countries for reporting on the SDG indicators using national indicator frameworks.

National metadata are an important element in better understanding how the SDG indicator has been collected, processed and disseminated. The global metadata set can be used as guidance, but source and processing information will be different in each country and for each data source. Definitions and concepts may also vary and it is important to sensitise the user to this.

A short test is included in the last module.


The target audience are experts in national statistical offices, line ministries and other institutions who are responsible for providing data and metadata for one or more national SDG indicators. The course can also be useful to a wider audience who is interested to learn more about metadata in the SDG context.


By the end of the course, participants will be expected to:

·         better understand key concepts around metadata, particularly related to the SDGs

·         learn how to fill the SDG metadata template

·         letter understand the importance of metadata to help explain the data and potential differences between data.


Each module consists of slides with explanations. After all modules have been completed, participants will be required to complete a final test that will cover all modules. The course is expected to take a maximum of 4 hours to complete. Participants are also expected to attend a webinar during the 3rd or 4th week of the course. The webinar will provide an overview of the course and allow for participants to ask questions on the topic.

Last modified: Friday, 26 June 2020, 4:13 PM