Countries own the monitoring and reporting of the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda clearly specifies that global follow-up and review “will be primarily based on national official data sources”. Countries are also the main beneficiaries of improved access to higher quality data, and in most cases, they already have monitoring systems in place. Global (and regional) monitoring efforts must therefore build on, and reinforce, national monitoring. This calls for a strengthening of the national statistical system, with a focus on developing technical and institutional capacity and infrastructure for monitoring.
Global monitoring must also work to ensure that data from one country are comparable with data from another, and comparable over time. This harmonization process is based on internationally agreed definitions and standards, and necessitates striking an important balance between country ownership and global (and regional) comparability.