Development of Sustainability Outlook of Mongolia through SDG Data Support

1 Nov 2017 to 2 Nov 2017
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) of Mongolia in December 2016 requested support from ESCAP and ECE for the development of an Environmental Performance Review (EPR) and a Sustainability Outlook for Mongolia (SOM) with the overall objective of using these two documents to define “pathways” for the implementation of internationally agreed commitments in major Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This process is intended to support a wider strategic national effort on implementing the recently adopted Law on Development Policy Planning of Mongolia and other relevant national policies including the Green Development Strategy and to achieve the Sustainable Development Vision of Mongolia 2030.

The Sustainability Outlook for Mongolia (SOM) is being developed supported by an ESCAP Methodology on Integrated SDGs planning using the “systems thinking” approach, applied to the needs of the Mongolian Government. The process to develop the SOM includes reviews of various previous assessments, including, but not limited to, a Strategic Impact Assessment and a National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS), substantive analytical work, and extensive multi-stakeholder national consultations. The SOM process also includes a comprehensive review of data and information on basic indicators of the last 30 years, establishment of a baseline for SDG-readiness in 2017, and a 360-degree assessment of policy integration options looking at trends and future perspectives of the 2030 Agenda.

To oversee this process, an inter-agency team has been formed comprising the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, the National Development Agency and the National Statistical office. ESCAP provides technical support to the inter-agency group and is working with the local UNDP office to ensure that the outcomes of the process will feed into wider UN development work in Mongolia.
After a capacity development programme that ESCAP provided to the inter-agency team and other stakeholders (May 2017) a first national consultation took place on 22-23 August 2017 (NC1) that defined the outline of the SOM and reviewed conceptual approaches and methodologies of SOM. During this consultation the MoET, NDA, NSO and UNDP-Mongolia requested ESCAP to support the development of additional capacities on data and statistics for SDGs in Mongolia including on methods for selecting priority statistics, using data visualization for SDG progress monitoring, exploring alternative data sources and identifying SDG interlinkages and multi-dimensional impacts.

On this basis the 2nd National Consultation for the development of the SOM will have the following objectives:
1. Take stock of progress on the SOM, review and approve the integrated policy mapping undertaken, and identify integrated policy options to implement the 2030 Agenda for inclusion in the SOM through a participatory session on SDG integration approaches.
2. Enhance the statistical basis for data and information on SDGs: Using ESCAP’s “Rapid Diagnostic Tool” conduct assessments of available data, determine priorities for statistical development and work planning with institutions at the inter-ministerial level, and facilitate a discussion among stakeholders. Specifically, the diagnostic will include:
o Review mappings of existing data from various sources against the SDG indicators, SDV, commitments to MEAs, with assessments of frequency and other aspects of quality
o Define the elements of a national SDG data improvement plan, in coherence with the national strategy for the development of statistics and national development strategy/plan
o Prepare a preliminary draft of national SDG baseline data profiles, with respective visualizations for SDGs