Information
  • Lead-organizer: Armenia
  • 13:30 - 15:00
  • Date: 15 Jun 2012
  • Room: P3-1

Sustainable Development index methodology-possible options

Organizing partners

Government of the Republic of Armenia, WWF (tbc), Universities of Yale and Columbia (tbc)

Introduction

During the Rio Summit in 1992 it was decided to develop a Sustainable Development Index in the coming years. Countries and international organizations were invited to make their contribution. This target has not been fully achieved during the last 20 year.

Several multi-stakeholders consultation processes conducted in Armenia within the framework of Rio + 20 preparation, analysis of different thematic and assessment reports, including Human development report and others. Experts? observations have revealed that those assessments and statement on the progress achieved doesn?t necessarily reflect the country?s reality.

Taking into consideration that Armenia was one of the first countries piloting calculation of SD indexes, the Armenian Government decided to update the existing set of SD indicators and to present the country?s approaches to the issue at the side-event during the RIO+20 Conference, based on its own experience and recent achievements across the globe.

Detailed programme

During the Rio Summit in 1992 it was decided to develop a Sustainable Development Index in the coming years. Countries and international organizations were invited to make their contribution. This target has not been fully achieved during the last 20 year.

Several multi-stakeholders consultation processes conducted in Armenia within the framework of Rio + 20 preparation, analysis of different thematic and assessment reports, including Human development report and others. Experts? observations have revealed that those assessments and statement on the progress achieved doesn?t necessarily reflect the country?s reality.

Meeting of the National Council on Sustainable Development stressed the necessity of improvement of assessment methodology and monitoring tools as a whole, emphasizing the need for most adequate assessment tools to reflect specific peculiarities for the countries.

It should be stated, that several activities were conducted on improving the development assessment methodology. The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development formulated a set of sustainable development indicators, tested by 22 countries along with Eurostat (the Statistical Office of the EU). The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) focused on integrated economic, environmental and social frameworks to measure sustainable development in order to develop statistical indicators for sustainability (OECD, 2004). A Eurostat task force of national experts established in 2001 set out to develop indicators to support the EU Sustainable Development Strategy, and published sets of indicators in 2005 and 2007. Different scientific institutions have conducted research on the Indicators and Indexes for measuring the progress (Environment Performance Index by Yale and Colombia Universities, etc.). The latest UNDP 2011 global human development report incorporated also some environmental components. Though only a few indicators were used, this is very much in line of integration of environmental indexes into HDI - what Armenia was proposing in 2005. In addition, many countries have developed their own sustainable development indicator sets to assess progress towards goals in national plans or strategies for sustainable development.

The UN in Armenia spearheaded by UNDP supported independent expert analysis in 1995 towards the transformation of HDI into SD index, thus elaboration of the respective methodology for calculating comprehensive sustainable development index was conducted. The methodology, considering also environmental component, used the same principles applied in the Human Development Index to ensure comparability of data. In 1996-2006 the National Statistics Service used this methodology for calculation of sustainable development index in Armenia.

However, there was no generally accepted set of indicators for calculation of progress in sustainable development, except for a few initiatives. Taking into consideration that Armenia was one of the first countries piloting calculation of SD indexes, the Armenian Government decided to update the existing set of SD indicators and to present the country?s approaches to the issue at the side-event during the RIO+20 Conference, based on its own experience and recent achievements across the globe. Meantime, additional involvement of relevant international institutions and experts will create a good platform for sharing broader experience and gathering knowledge on existing models for calculating development indicators to further improve national assessment methodological framework and ensure country?s input into post Rio development assessment processes, etc.

Since Armenia has certain experience coming from late 90-s on transformation of Human Development Index into more comprehensive Sustainable Development Index, the idea to continue index development activities and present country?s experience has been further elaborated by the Government during UNCSD Rio + 20 regional preparatory meeting for ECE countries in Geneva, December 2011.

In order to properly measure its development progress, Armenia is going to further improve methodological approaches for calculation of integrated development index and introduce the revised methodology into the assessment system as a mandatory tool to be used at national and regional levels.

Thus, the country will be better equipped in terms of engagement into further post-Rio actions to address its own sustainable development agenda and needs. Moreover, Armenia will be able to actively contribute to the post MDG (potential SDG) assessment and monitoring related discussions, as well as provide contribution on elaboration of new assessment methodology.
This can be useful for providing recommendations for harmonized development of indicators at the national, regional levels, and for incorporation of a suitable set of these indicators in common, regularly updated and widely accessible reports and databases, for use at the international level, subject to national sovereignty considerations.

Presentations will be provided by the Member, Staff Council of State of the Republic of Armenia, National Statistics Service, Representative of the UNDP, Bratislava Regional Center; "Association for Sustainable Human Development", NGO, Armenial; Yale and Columbia Universities representatives (tbc), WWF International (tbc)
Copyright (c) United Nations 2011 | Terms of Use | Privacy Notice | Contact | Site Map | New