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Governing through GoalsSustainable Development Goals as Governance Innovation$
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Norichika Kanie and Frank Biermann

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035620

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035620.001.0001

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Measuring Progress in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

Measuring Progress in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

(p.99) 5 Measuring Progress in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals
Governing through Goals

László Pintér

Marcel Kok

Dora Almassy

The MIT Press

The chapter argues that the global process that lead to the adoption of the sustainable development goals is synergistic with the decades-old ambition to redefine the framework of how society measures progress. The political interest in goals also brought renewed interest in measurement, but it is also raising the question whether standard ways of thinking about measurement will be enough to realize the SDGs transformative potential. Moving beyond its traditional conceptualization as a technical exercise, viewing measurement through the lens of political economy opens up new possibilities for understanding its potential as a transformative force. Conceptual aspects, actors and actor interests, mechanisms and institutions, and instruments are proposed for consideration both by the policy research community and by practitioners engaged in SDG implementation. The scope of inquiry would also need to go beyond questions related to the supply side and more explicitly address issues related to the use of measurement in policy design, monitoring, reporting and accountability mechanisms.

Keywords:   sustainable development goals, indicators, measurement, political economy, governance, institutions, policy use, transformation

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