Q. Central Government recently unveiled National Indicator Framework. Highlight its salient features. Also, discuss its various shortcomings, if any.
– Discuss what is NIF
– Briefly discuss what are SDGs
– Its salient features
– Discuss various shortcomings of NIF
– Conclude highlighting the way ahead
What is NIF
National Indicator Framework (NIF) is a set of national indicators which will form the backbone of monitoring progress towards the SDGs.
India is a signatory to the resolution adopted on ‘Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ at the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly held on 25th September 2015.
To monitor the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its associated targets, a National Indicator Framework (NIF) comprising 306 national indicators has been developed by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) in consultation with Central Ministries/ Departments, States and other stakeholders, such as, UN Agencies and Civil Society.
The NIF can help provide a report card/dashboard to measure progress towards sustainable development and help ensure the accountability of all stakeholders for achieving the SDGs.
A sound indicator framework will turn the SDGs and their targets into a management tool to help develop suitable implementation strategies and allocate resources accordingly.
– Largest ever Monitoring Framework in the country. National Indicator Framework consists of 306 statistical indicators for SDGs 1 to 16.
– For Goal 17, no National Indicators are proposed as the Goal is for strengthening means of implementation and global partnership.
– It has been developed after extensive consultations with NITI Aayog, Central Ministries, State Governments and other stakeholders.
– The framework consists of nationally defined indicators responding to national priorities and needs. National acceptability was an important criteria used in deciding the indicators.
– Scope of improving the Framework by adding/deleting indicators with improvement in Statistical System.
– High Level Steering Committee (HLSC) has been constituted to periodically review and refinement of National Indicator Framework for monitoring SDGs.
– The major sources of data are administrative data, sample surveys (NSSO& NFHS) , agriculture surveys and census data.
Shortcomings, that need to be overcome
– For 41 Targets (including 19 targets for Goal 17), indicators are yet to be developed.
– Lack of timely, essential data to ascertain certain critical parameters like Proportion of population (Rural) living in households with access to safe drinking water & sanitation (Toilets)
– Multiple agencies involved in overseeing will hamper fixing the accountability. For instance, the NITI Aayog has been entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing the implementation of SDGs in India, whereas the MoSPI has been entrusted with the responsibility of developing National Indicator Framework for measuring the progress of SDGs and associated targets.
– This is the largest monitoring framework in the country and will be dependent on a statistical system for flow of information. Any shortfall in information will defeat the purpose of taking timely corrective action.
– The NIF still doesn’t highlight the reason of not achieving a target.
– No timelines have been fixed to disseminate the indicators to public.
– Real time monitoring of the progress of SDGs is not envisaged in the proposed framework.
– Towards real time monitoring, respective Ministries may devise their own indicators.
– An action plan needs to be put in place with scenario analysis, depicting what actions to be taken in case the indicators highlight the achievement levels to be wanting.
– Existing data sets can be put to use to generate proxy indicator sets against such indicators to track even those indicators for which no information is yet available.
– Data generated based on the indicators can be made to reflect the success of various Govt. schemes related to the target.
– Categorization in terms of criticality of the indicator in the achievement of goal/target can be done.
– Timelines can be induced in reporting of the indicators.