Global Report - SDG16DI - International IDEA

Global Report - SDG16DI - International IDEA

Global Report
Global Report - SDG16DI - International IDEA
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This report was produced by the members of the SDG16 data initiative:


                                                                                                           Global Report

With support from the following tap network members
Global Report - SDG16DI - International IDEA
SDG16DI 2020   Global Report   Page 4   SDG16DI 2020   Global Report                                          Page 5
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                                                                                                       Executive summary                 07

                                                                                                       Global violent deaths and         10
                                                                                                       sex-disaggregated data

                                                                                                       Official and non-official data    16
                                                                                                       for conflict related deaths

                                                                                                       Trade-Related Illicit financial   22
                                                                                                       flows in Argentina, Bangladesh
                                                                                                       and Côte d’Ivoire

                                                                                                       Global corruption barometer:      28
                                                                                                       unveiling SDGs 16.5 and 16.6
                                                                                                       in Latin America and the

                                                                                                       Towards a valid and viable        32
                                                                                                       measurement of SDG
                                                                                                       target 16.7: responsive,
                                                                                                       inclusive, participatory and
                                                                                                       representative decision-making

                                                                                                       Ensuring access to                38
                                                                                                       Information: Independent
                                                                                                       national reviews for 16.10.2

                                                                                                       Academic survey research          44
                                                                                                       for SDGs:filing the data gap
                                                                                                       on peace, justice, and strong
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Civil society has a crucial role to play
in supporting and complementing the
                                                    Executive Summary
work of governments in collecting,                  Five years ago, the United Nations’           data gaps in SDG16 data and reduce            While these and other governance

monitoring, and reporting on data for               (UN) Member States adopted the
                                                    ambitious Sustainable Development
                                                                                                  the capacity strain on NSOs through
                                                                                                  innovative methodologies and
                                                                                                                                                challenges are on the rise, NSOs’
                                                                                                                                                capacity to monitor these issues

SDG16.                                              Goals (SDGs) to reach by 2030,
                                                    including Goal 16’s promise of
                                                                                                  strategic partnerships with official
                                                                                                  data collectors. Second, many civil
                                                                                                                                                is simultaneously diminished by
                                                                                                                                                the global health crisis. This is due
                                                    peaceful, just, and inclusive societies.      society data producers face fewer             to reduced human and financial
                                                    Founded in the same year, the                 bureaucratic challenges to collecting         capacity for data collection, as
                                                    SDG16 Data Initiative (SDG16DI) is            and publishing data, allowing them to         many governments grapple with
                                                    a consortium of 17 organizations              pilot new methodologies and produce           shrinking GDP and the need to direct
                                                    dedicated to the implementation and           timely, high frequency data. Lastly,          resources to the immediate public
                                                    open tracking of progress toward the          civil society data producers are less         health response. The pandemic also
                                                    SDG16 targets.                                likely to face less internal resistance       introduces obstacles to gathering
                                                                                                  to producing data on politically              administrative data from overwhelmed
                                                    The SDG16DI is pleased to present             sensitive issues, such as femicide, gun       state institutions, as well as survey-
                                                    its fourth annual Global Report, part         violence, and corruption. For these           based data via face-to-face methods.
                                                    of a series aimed at evaluating global        reasons, the official data discussed in       In light of these challenges, the
                                                    progress towards realizing the 2030           this and previous Global Reports are          importance of using non-official data
                                                    Agenda’s promise of peaceful, just,           complemented by a peer-reviewed               to monitor SDG16 is greater now than
                                                    and inclusive societies. The Global           compilation of methodologically               ever.
                                                    Report provides governments, UN               robust non-official data for the SDG16
                                                    officials, and civil society stakeholders     targets.                                      Notwithstanding these concerning
                                                    with a resource to help understand                                                          trends, the 2020 Global Report
                                                    progress on the SDG16 targets. It             Since its inception, the SDG16DI has          showcases positive developments
                                                    also provides an evidence base                underscored the importance of SDG16           at the country level across several
                                                    for identifying gaps in both the              in realizing the broader Sustainable          SDG16 indicators, with a particular
                                                    implementation and monitoring of              Development Agenda and the vital              focus on partnerships between NSOs,
                                                    SDG16, and for altering course to             role of civil society in monitoring           civil society, and efforts to mainstream
                                                    accelerate implementation where               the implementation of SDG16. The              SDG16 indicators into broader data
                                                    needed. In addition, by relying on            current global COVID-19 health crisis         collection processes. This Global
                                                    both official data collected by National      has only made this more apparent              Report aims to demonstrate how
                                                    Statistical Offices (NSOs) and robust         by intensifying many pre-existing             these positive developments tie
                                                    non-official data collected by civil          challenges to achieving peace, justice,       into the Decade of Action and
                                                    society, the Global Report provides a         and inclusion. For example, there is          Accountability, building on several
                                                    holistic view of progress under each of       a growing evidence that quarantines           insights highlighted in the three
                                                    the SDG16 targets.                            have increased rates of domestic              previous SDG16DI Global Reports
                                                                                                  violence (target 16.1),1 and that the         covering the availability of data on
                                                    Civil society has a crucial role to play      economic fallout from the crisis is           all 12 SDG16 targets (2017); the triune
                                                    in supporting and complementing the           creating more legal needs related to          aims of SDG16 for peace, justice,
                                                    work of governments in collecting,            housing, medical debt, and bankruptcy         and inclusion (2018); and the state of
                                                    monitoring, and reporting on data             (target 16.3).2 Furthermore, emergency        SDG16 globally according to non-
                                                    for SDG16. There are a number of              laws are delaying elections and leaving       official data for all 12 targets (2019).
                                                    strategic advantages presented by civil       little room for parliamentary oversight       This year’s Global Report will also
                                                    society data (i.e. third-party, unofficial,   (target 16.7),3,4 and the desire to control   reinforce how non-official data is more
                                                    or complementary data not collected           the flow of unfavorable information           important than ever in monitoring the
                                                    by NSOs, henceforth referred to as            about the pandemic has led to attacks         governance impact and response to
                                                    “non-official data”). First, non-official     on the media and whistleblowers               COVID-19 .
                                                    data collected by civil society can           (target 16.10)5,6
                                                    fill methodological and conceptual
Global Report - SDG16DI - International IDEA
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The year ahead will mark five years of
                                                                                                                    » Household surveys conducted                of UN member states adopting               decision-making and a wide range
                                                                                                                      by Transparency International              Access to Information (ATI) laws, in       of other Political Science concepts
                                                                                                                      complement governments’                    accord with the official indicators        and indicators such as social and

data collection on SDG16 and present a                                                                                SDG 16 monitoring efforts by
                                                                                                                      capturing corruption in a holistic
                                                                                                                                                                 for SDG16.10, the specialized NGOs
                                                                                                                                                                 in this field are increasingly focused
                                                                                                                                                                                                            political trust, support for different
                                                                                                                                                                                                            types of regime, confidence in

vital window for producing data on the                                                                                manner (16.5) and illustrating the
                                                                                                                      relationship between vote-buying
                                                                                                                                                                 on improving and measuring
                                                                                                                                                                 “implementation” of these statutes,
                                                                                                                                                                                                            political institutions, as well as to
                                                                                                                                                                                                            evaluate the item’s reliability in

new SDG16 indicators recently adopted
                                                                                                                      and trust in government (16.6).            as required. The Global Forum for          international context, including
                                                                                                                      Transparency International’s (TI)          Media Development (GFMD) is                both democratic and authoritarian

by the Inter-Agency Expert Group on
                                                                                                                      Global Corruption Barometer                coordinating efforts with local and        states.
                                                                                                                      interviews ordinary people                 international partner groups to
                                                                                                                      worldwide and provides periodic            conduct independent assessments          Overall, the 2020 Global Report

SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) in 2020.                                                                                   nationally representative measures         of the use and enforcement of ATI        demonstrates a number of positive
                                                                                                                      of citizens’ experience and                laws in all regions of the world to      developments in efforts to monitor
                                                                                                                      perceptions of corruption. This            supplement official government           progress toward peaceful, just and
                                                                                                                      data is not only crucial to tracking       reporting on public access to            inclusive societies. The year ahead
                                                                                                                      progress towards SDG 16.5, but             information.                             will mark five years of data collection
                                                                                                                      can also be used to provide                                                         on SDG16 and present a vital window
                              The case studies in this report              far not systematically collected                                                      GFMD’s groups also rely on reports       for producing data on the new SDG16
                                                                                                                      additional insights on the interplay
                              highlight a number of positive               data on. This is especially true                                                      and data from independent                indicators recently adopted by the
                                                                                                                      between corruption and other
                              developments on the following                for SDG 16. To achieve this, the                                                      NGOs to monitor press freedom            Inter-Agency Expert Group on SDG
                                                                                                                      targets. The TI case study on Latin
                              SDG16 issues and targets:                    agenda sets out a clear role for civil                                                around the world – one of the            Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) in 2020. The
                                                                                                                      America and the Caribbean, for
                                                                           society, academica, and NGOs in                                                       “fundamental freedoms” which UN          SDG16DI intends, therefore, for the
                                                                                                                      instance, finds some evidence that
                              » New sex-disaggregated data and             producing data. Such ‘non-official’                                                   member states pledged to protect         data, methodologies, and promising
                                                                                                                      vote-buying, a form of corruption
                                gender-relevant analysis on armed          data production needs to be of the                                                    in SDG 16.10. In 2019, the official      case studies discussed in this and
                                                                                                                      relevant to target 16.5, is negatively
                                violence is now available: This            highest quality and is integral to                                                    UN indicator for press freedom           previous Global Reports to serve as a
                                                                                                                      associated with citizens’ trust in
                                section provides recent data on            SDG efforts. In this section we argue                                                 progress – documented killings of        foundation for a retrospective on the
                                                                                                                      government, itself a proxy for target
                                trends on violent deaths (target 16.1)     that the space for non-official data                                                  working journalists - registered a       first five years of gathering SDG16 data
                                                                                                                      16.6 on effective and accountable
                                and analysis on gender-relevant            as a fundamental part of monitoring                                                   significant and welcome decline,         in 2021. While the global community
                                information on armed violence              and tracking SDG 16 needs to be                                                       but a worrisome deterioration in         faces unprecedented challenges for
                                from the Small Arms Survey. It             protected and supported. Without                                                      press freedom conditions in most         data collection and governance more
                                                                                                                    » Responsive, inclusive, participatory,
                                describes progress made in the             civil society, getting reliable and                                                   regions of the world continued last      broadly in 2020, it is the SDG16DI’s
                                                                                                                      and representative decision-
                                production, collection and analysis        timely data on many SDG 16                                                            year, including in several long-         hope that the case studies in this
                                                                                                                      making (target 16.7) is a crucial
   “ Using publicly             of sex-disaggregated data on               dimensions will be impossible.
                                                                                                                      prerequisite for achieving all policy
                                                                                                                                                                 standing Western democracies.            report offer promising and innovative
                                lethal violence, based on multiple                                                                                                                                        approaches to monitoring these
    available                                                                                                         outcomes aspired by the SDGs.
                                sources, including official and          » Leveraging new and existing                                                         » New survey analyzes interlinkages        challenges and supporting the
    international trade         unofficial - using the Small Arms          technologies to support more
                                                                                                                      International IDEA has developed a
                                                                                                                                                                 between SDG16 targets on                 Decade of Action and Accountability
    data from the               Survey Global Violent Deaths               open and transparent trade in
                                                                                                                      set of indicators measuring target
                                                                                                                                                                 responsive and inclusive decision-       that lies ahead.
                                                                                                                      16.7 as part of its Global State
    United Nation               database. It will also touch upon the      Argentina, Bangladesh and Côte
                                                                                                                      of Democracy Indices, covering             making, strong institutions and
    Comtrade database,          link between arms trade (in relation       d’Ivoire. Using publicly available
                                                                                                                      162 countries. These Indices can           support for democracy in multiple
    GFI’s analysis              to target 16.4) and gender, with the       international trade data from the
                                                                                                                      function as valid and viable proxy         countries throughout the world.
                                example of the Arms Trade Treaty           United Nation Comtrade database,
    demonstrates that                                                                                                 indicators of the hitherto missing         The World Values Survey (WVS)
                                and gender-based violence risk             GFI’s analysis demonstrates that                                                      in cooperation with the UNDP
    trade misinvoicing          assessment.                                trade misinvoicing is a persistent
                                                                                                                      official indicators
                                                                                                                                                                 has conducted a pilot of a new
    is a persistent                                                        challenge to significantly reducing                                                   measure of SDG indicator 16.7.2 on
                                                                                                                    » New assessment gathers timely
    challenge to              » Use of high-resolution geo-spatial         illicit financial flows across                                                        inclusive and responsive decision-
                                                                                                                      information on backsliding in
    significantly reducing      data improves data collection on           nations, as called for in SDG 16.4.
                                                                                                                      Right to Information and Access to
                                                                                                                                                                 making. The project has been
    illicit financial flows     violence and conflict at the local         However, new developments in
                                                                                                                      Information (RTI/ATI) commitments
                                                                                                                                                                 implemented within the 7th round
                                                                           price-filter and distributed ledger
    across nations, as          level in Syria, Colombia, Global.
                                                                                                                      during the COVID-19 pandemic
                                                                                                                                                                 of the WVS surveyed worldwide
                                The sustainable development                technology offer an array of tools                                                    in 2017-2020. The new WVS
    called for in SDG           agenda incorporates an ambition            for government and customs
                                                                                                                      in Canada, Indonesia, Mongolia,
                                                                                                                                                                 survey data available for scholars,
    16.4.”                      to produce new and novel data              officials to create systems of open
                                                                                                                      Pakistan, Serbia, Sierra Leone,
                                                                                                                                                                 policymakers and NGOs in free
                                                                                                                      South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia and
                                on a range of topics that the              and transparent trade and overall                                                     access allows exploring correlations
                                                                                                                      Ukraine. With a growing majority
                                international community has so             greater financial transparency.                                                       between inclusive and responsive
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                                                                                                                      The collection and analysis
                                                                                                                      of sex-disaggregated
                                                                                                                      data on violent deaths is
                                                                                                                      essential for understanding
                                                                                                                      and responding to various
                                                                                                                      kinds of violence.

                                                                                                                      The Small Arms Survey is a global            The collection and analysis of
                                                                                                                      centre of excellence that generates          sex-disaggregated data on violent
                                                                                                                      impartial, evidence-based, and               deaths is essential for understanding
                                                                                     RELEVANT SDG16                   policy-relevant knowledge and                and responding to various kinds of
                                                                                     TARGET(S)                        analysis on all aspects of small arms        violence. Lethal violence, including
                                                                                     16.1: Significantly reduce       and armed violence for governments,          firearm violence, is highly gendered,
                                                                                     all forms of violence            policymakers, researchers, and civil         with the majority of both victims and
                                                                                     and related death rates          society. The Survey is an associated         perpetrators being male, and with
                                                                                     everywhere 16.4: By 2030,        programme of the Graduate Institute          most of the female victims killed as a
                                                                                     significantly reduce illicit     of International and Development             result of gender-based violence (GBV)
                                                                                     financial and arms flows,        Studies in Geneva, Switzerland and           committed by men. The Small Arms
                                                                                     strengthen the recovery
                                                                                                                      has monitored armed violence since           Survey Global Violent Deaths database
                                                                                     and return of stolen assets
                                                                                                                      its inception in 1999.                       (GVD) estimates that 596,000 people
                                                                                     and combat all forms of
                                                                                     organized crime                                                               lost their lives to lethal violence in
                                                                                                                      This section will provide new data on        2018, including 93,700 (16 percent)
                                                                                                                      violent death trends (target 16.1) as well   women. In absolute numbers, this
                                                                                                                      as offer an analysis on gender-relevant      is the third highest figure of women
                                                                                                                      information regarding armed violence.        victims since 20047. This case study
                                                                                                                      If used to measure impacts, data

                                            Global violent deaths
                                                                                                                                                                   describes progress made in the
                                                                                                                      should not only serve as a diagnostic,       production, collection, and analysis
                                                                                                                      but become part of the solution. With        of sex-disaggregated data on lethal
                                                                                     DATA METHOD
                                                                                                                      this in mind, the role of non-official

                                            and sex-disaggregated
                                                                                                                                                                   violence in conflict and non-conflict
                                                                                     Multiple-source database         data is key in measuring armed               settings, based on multiple sources—
                                                                                     analysis                         violence, especially when it comes to        both official and unofficial.
                                                                                                                      gendered aspects of such violence.

                                                                                                                      However, despite Agenda 2030’s
                                                                                     DATA SOURCE                      pledge to ‘leave no one behind’, sex-
                                                                                     http://www.smallarmssurvey.      disaggregated data are still lacking for
                                                                                     org/about-us/highlights/2020/    SDG indicators, including Target 16.1.
Global Report - SDG16DI - International IDEA
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While the overall proportion of female
                                                                                                                   FIGURE 1
                                                                                                                   Global violent deaths (GVD) disaggregated by sex and instrument, 2018.

victims of lethal violence remained at
16 per cent globally, the 93,700 women
and girls who lost their life to violence
                                                                                                                     GVD among women                                       8%        16%

                                                                                                                     GVD by firearm among women

in 2018 were nearly as many as in 2017,                                                                              GVD among men

which was the highest number recorded                                                                                GVD by firearm among men

since 2005.

                           The gender relevance of most               reflected a decrease in the number
                           violent deaths datasets is currently       of male victims. Nevertheless, men
   “ A majority of         low. A majority of countries have          continue to be much more likely than
    countries have         only recently started to provide           women to become victims of lethal
    only recently          sex-disaggregated homicide data,           violence, with a 5:1 ratio. In addition,
    started to provide     while the numbers of female fatalities     they are also overrepresented among
                           in ongoing armed conflicts are             victims of firearm-related killings,
    sex-disaggregated      almost completely unknown8. The            making up 92 percent of such victims
    homicide data,         GVD database recorded a substantial        in 2018, globally9.
    while the numbers      reduction in lethal violence between
    of female fatalities   2017 and 2018. On the basis of the         The 2020 update of the GVD database
                                                                      is the first edition that allows for
    in ongoing armed       available data and estimates, however,
                                                                      analysing disaggregated data on
    conflicts are          the number of women killed did not
                           decrease at the same pace. While the       female victims of firearm killings for
    almost completely      overall proportion of female victims of    2004–18. While the rate observed
    unknown”               lethal violence remained at 16 per cent    in 2018—0.59 per 100,000 female
                           globally, the 93,700 women and girls       population—is in line with women
                           who lost their life to violence in 2018    victimization trends regarding firearms
                           were nearly as many as in 2017, which      killings across the time monitored, the
                           was the highest number recorded            absolute number of women killed with
                           since 2005. The reason why the             a firearm in 2018 (17,200 globally) is, by
                           substantial reduction in lethal violence   a small margin, the highest during this
                           from 2017 to 2018 did not translate        15-year period.
                           into an equally decreased number of
                           female victims is due to the fact that                                                                                        92%               84%
                           most of the reduction came from
                           de-escalating armed conflicts. Most
                           of those dying directly from conflict-
                           related violence are men; thus, most
                           of the 2018 reduction in violent deaths
Global Report - SDG16DI - International IDEA
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The 2020 update of the GVD database is
                                                                                                                                                                            Femicide10 is—or may be becoming— a          Secondly, states are encouraged
                                                                                                                                                                            distinct form of violence that is            to support research that helps to
                                                                                                                                                   “Currently, numerous     particularly visible in areas or countries   increase our understanding of the

the first edition that allows for analysing                                                                                                         countries collect
                                                                                                                                                    data on femicides,
                                                                                                                                                                            that are otherwise relatively peaceful.
                                                                                                                                                                            In several European countries, for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         gendered impact of armed violence
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         in the context of the ATT. These

disaggregated data on female victims of                                                                                                             either as anonymized
                                                                                                                                                    statistics or in the
                                                                                                                                                                            example, the number of women killed
                                                                                                                                                                            through homicide exceeds that of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         recommendations are echoed in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         a number of recent UN General

firearm killings for 2004–18.
                                                                                                                                                                            men; and a majority of homicides             Assembly First Committee and UN
                                                                                                                                                    form of registries      with women victims can be counted            Security Council resolutions15. Better
                                                                                                                                                    (or memorials), with    as femicides. Currently, numerous            data in line with relevant indicators
                                                                                                                                                    the latter including    countries collect data on femicides,         would help ATT states parties to more
                                                                                                                                                    victims’ names and      either as anonymized statistics or in        accurately assess GBV risks in the
                                                                                                                                                                            the form of registries (or memorials),       context of arms transfers, in line with
                                                                                                                                                    the circumstances
                                                                                                                                                                            with the latter including victims’ names     ATT Article 7(4). While femicide is one
                                                                                                                                                    of the killings, thus   and the circumstances of the killings,       obvious indicator that exporting states
                                                                                                                                                    acknowledging           thus acknowledging those who fall            should consider, the reality is that due
                                                                                                                                                    those who fall victim   victim to such violence. Femicide            to sporadic reporting and recording,
                                                                                                                                                    to such violence.”      observatories have been established          making risk assessments of this kind is
                                                                                                                                                                            in many countries, as the UN Special         extremely difficult16.
                                                                                                                                                                            Rapporteur on Violence Against
                                                                                                                                                                            Women has called for11, and serve a mix      Sex-disaggregated data is key for
                                                                                                                                                                            of monitoring and advocacy-oriented          adding context and granularity to
                                                                                                                                                                            functions12.                                 the SDG indicators. Many of the SDG
Global female violent deaths, 2004-2018                                                                                                                                                                                  16 indicators, however, start from
                                                                                                                                                                            In line with SDG Targets 16.1 and 16.4,      pioneer data collection, often lacking
                                                                                                                                                                            small arms control instruments, such         disaggregation. This also applies to key
                                                                                                                                                                            as the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), also         data on violent death rates, as per SDG
                                                                                                                                                                            highlight the gendered aspects of            Indicators 16.1.1 and 16.1.2. Civil society
                                    2,94                                                                                                                                    armed violence, as well as the need          and academia therefore play important
                            3.00                                                                                                                                            for disaggregated data and gender            roles in collecting and analysing this
                                                  2,69                 2,67                                                                                                 analysis. The ATT explicitly recognizes      data. Ultimately, both official and
                                                         2,61   2,60          2,59   2,60   2,62
                                                                                                   2,57   2,58                                                              the connection between the arms              independently generated data will be
                            2.50                                                                                        2,51   2,52

                                                                                                                 2,43                                                       trade and GBV, as expressed in ATT           needed to produce a picture of the
                                                                                                                                                                            Article 7(4)13. In preparation for, and      gendered impacts of lethal violence
   ( PER 100,000 WOMEN)

                            2.00                                                                                                                                            during, the Fifth Conference of              that is simultaneously holistic and
                                                                                                                                                                            States Parties to the ATT (CSP5) in          detailed. This is increasingly more
                             1.50                                                                                                                                           2019, states and civil society alike         pressing, as the Covid-19 pandemic
                                                                                                                                                                            focused on the implementation and            may have adverse impacts on armed
                                                                                                                                                                            practicalities of Article 7(4), i.e. how     violence as well. A rise in demands for
                             1.00                                                                                                                                           to assess—prior to authorization for         small arms17, exacerbation of conflicts,
                                    0.59   0.57   0.58   0.57   0.58   0.60   0.60   0.61   0.62   0.61   0.62   0.59   0.60   0.61     0.59
                                                                                                                                                                            export—the risk of arms being used           and an increase of domestic violence
                            0.50                                                                                                                                            in GBV in the importing country. Two         cases18 are all examples of negative
                                                                                                                                                                            action points in the CSP5 final report       possible effects related to lethal
                                                                                                                                                                            are particularly relevant. Firstly, states   (armed) violence. Civil society and
                                                                                                                                                                            parties are encouraged to: consider          academia can contribute and support
                                    2004   2005   2006   2007   2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017      2018
                                                                                                                                                                            gender aspects; collect disaggregated        the collective efforts through unofficial
                                                                                                                                                                            data and include it in their national        data, research, and analysis.
                                                                                                                                                                            crime and health statistics, including
                                                                                                                                                                            disaggregated data on the gender of
                            Global female violent death rates              Global rate of women killed by firearm                                                           victims of armed violence and conflict;
                                                                                                                                                                            and make this data publicly available14.
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                                                                                                               Throughout its 75-year
                                                                                                               history the UN has never
                                                                                                               officially and systematically
                                                                                                               collected data on where
                                                                                                               wars are happening, how
                                                                                                               many are killed, and what
                                                                                                               the broader consequences
                                                                                                               of these wars are.

                                                                                                               UN and data on war
                                                                                     Syria, Colombia, Global   This summer marked the 75th              Throughout its 75-year history the UN
                                                                                                               anniversary of the signing of the        has never officially and systematically
                                                                                                               Charter of the United Nations started    collected data on where wars are
                                                                                                               collecting signatures. The first         happening, how many are killed, and
                                                                                                               line of the Charter states that we       what the broader consequences of
                                                                                                               ‘the peoples of the united nations       these wars are. Perhaps paradoxically,
                                                                                                               determined to save succeeding            in the last decades anyone has
                                                                                     RELEVANT SDG16            generations from the scourge of          been able to access the impressive
                                                                                     TARGET(S)                 war’19 At the very heart of the of the   UN data catalogue and get up to
                                                                                                               UN’s mission from the very start were    date information on a vast range of
                                                                                     SDG 16.1.2: Conflict-
                                                                                                               attempts to prevent or, if prevention    social, demographic, and economic
                                                                                     related deaths per
                                                                                     100,000 population, by    was not possible, manage wars and        indicators. You want to know what
                                                                                     sex, age and cause        the destruction and carnage that         the population growth and infant
                                                                                                               follows in the wake of war. To this      mortality levels were in the Central
                                                                                                               core effort, the UN also added an        African Republic (CAR) last year,

                                            Official and non-official
                                                                                                               ambition to promote economic and         no problem: just go to http://data.
                                                                                                               social advancement – as a necessary But if you want to know how
                                                                                                               tool for achieving peace. For            many people were killed in war in

                                            data for conflict related
                                                                                                               economic and social advancement,         CAR last year, no such luck.
                                                                                     DATA METHOD               the UN promptly and diligently built
                                                                                                               an extensive system for collecting

                                                                                     News sources, expert
                                                                                                               and aggregating the data needed
                                                                                     coding, registry data
                                                                                                               to track, monitor, and understand
                                                                                                               how to achieve such advancement.
                                                                                                               Yet, no comparable effort was made
                                                                                                               to extend such efforts to war and
SDG16DI 2020                Global Report                                                              Page 18    SDG16DI 2020                                     Global Report                                                           Page 19

                                                                                                                  Since the pioneering work of Lewis
                                                                                                                  Fry Richardson researchers have been
                                                                                                                  compiling lists and databases of conflict
                                                                                                                  and war.

                                                                                                                  FIGURE 3
                            It’s all political
                                                                                                                  Battle related deaths, global aggregate, 1946 - 201824
   “ It’s ‘troubles’ in     The reason for this is quite simple.       Instead someone else stepped into
    Northern Ireland and    Though it should be straightforward,       the void. Since the pioneering work
    UK, ‘armed conflict’    following international law, to classify   of Lewis Fry Richardson researchers
    in Colombia, or         something as ‘a war’ the act of            have been compiling lists and                               600000
    invariably, terrorism   doing this is inherently political and     databases of conflict and war.20 And
                            intensely sensitive. Consequently, the     since the advent of the University of
    (probably the modal                                                                                                            500000
                            UN has never been able to compile          Michigan based ‘Correlates of War’
    category, from the      a list of active wars. You could infer     project which started collecting                            450000
    US, via Spain, to

                                                                                                                   BATTLE DEATHS
                            such a list, to a large extent, from       and updating data on war in 1963,                           400000
    Russia and so on and    Security Council discussions, but you      everyone has been able to access                            350000
    so forth).”             wouldn’t find it readily accessible        reliable, transparent, and routinely
                            anywhere.                                  updated data on where wars occur
                                                                       and who are engaged in them.21
                            Especially when it concerns civil wars     Presently, the most widely used such                        200000
                            states rarely want to say that they are    database is the Uppsala Conflict Data                       150000
                            experiencing war. Instead they get         Program (UCDP) and Peace Research                           100000
                            creative. It’s ‘troubles’ in Northern      Institute Oslo (PRIO) Armed Conflict
                            Ireland and UK, ‘armed conflict’ in                                                                     50000
                                                                       Database.22 This database, which has
                            Colombia, or invariably, terrorism         since been expanded and made more                               0
                            (probably the modal category, from         granular and is now regularly updated                                1946   1952   1958   1964   1970       1976   1982   1988   1994   2000   2006   2012   2018
                            the US, via Spain, to Russia and so        by UCDP, records wars, between
                            on and so forth). Of course, it could      countries and within countries,
                            all simply be called war. Since the        and battle deaths for all the world’s
                            founding of the UN states have             countries from the present going
                            protected their right to ultimately        back to 1946. It is, of course, free and
                            label something as war or not.             open to anyone and everyone who
                            Consequently, the UN has never been        wants to use it. And users routinely
                            allowed to say for themselves that         include UN organizations, see for
                            this is war, and for the same reason       instance discussions of trends in
                            they have never been able to compile       conflict in the UN and World Bank
                            a list or to monitor when and where        Pathways for Peace report.23
                            wars happen. This doesn’t mean that
                            the UN at the country and operational
                            level doesn’t monitor, for instance,
                            people killed in battle, but it doesn’t
                            happen systematically at the political
SDG16DI 2020                                Global Report                                                                  Page 20   SDG16DI 2020             Global Report                                                                 Page 21

Since the escalation of violence started
in Syria in 2011, the country has suffered
a devastating war that has crippled
infrastructure and state institutions.

Trends in conflict

Using this data, we can easily look at      we have seen upsurges in both the          War (1946–1949) and the Korean War                                       Syria is an extreme case, but the           In any case, both these examples
trends in conflict deaths over time.        number of conflicts and the severity       (1950–1953). Wars, such as Vietnam,                                      world all routinely sees wars of            highlight that it is incumbent on
Note that the chart shows ‘battle           of war. Does this portend an end to        Iran-Iraq, Afghanistan, DRC, and                 “In 2015 Human          this size and scope. It is absolutely       us, the international civil society, to
related deaths’ which is narrower in        the waning of war? We also know            Ethiopia-Eritrea account for the                  Rights Watch           inconceivable that a Syrian National        produce such data, using standards
scope than the ambition of SDG 16.1.2       that battle casualties do not follow       subsequent peaks. The general pattern             reported that a        statistical office would be able to         just as strict and rigorous as those
to record all conflict related deaths       the same pattern as the number of          is one of decline, with each peak falling                                collect reliable and updated data on        used by state agencies for other
                                                                                                                                         number of people
and to disaggregate this by sex, age,       armed conflicts. The number of battle      short of its predecessor. The small rise                                 battle casualties in such a situation.      types of data. As the SDG 16 Data
and cause. We know, because of              casualties peaked in the early 1950s.      in battle casualties evident since 2011
                                                                                                                                         had been killed        Yet, it is precisely during conflict that   Initiative, its many members, and the
this, that since the end of the Cold        Despite the low number of conflicts,       results mostly from the civil war in              as guerillas by        updated statistics on deaths is most        many organizations working on this
War, the trend in armed conflict has        this period contained some of the          Syria, as that was winding down battle            Colombian armed        needed, meaning we have to think            not part of the Data Initiative, have
been generally downward as seen             most deadly wars in the post–World         deaths are again declining.                       forces when in         differently. For the second reason,         shown, we do that just fine.
in the above figure. Yet since 2011,        War II era, notably the Chinese Civil                                                        fact they were not     we have to acknowledge that even
                                                                                                                                                                countries with ostensibly democratic
                                                                                                                                         combatants at all”
                                                                                                                                                                regimes will be tempted to present
                                                                                                                                                                biased statistics of conflict deaths.
The sustainable development agenda
                                                                                                                                                                This could involve the pattern of
                                                                                                                                                                labelling deaths as part of police
No indicator on war was included in the     the world. But at least the UN member      to. Second, for most SDG 16 indicators                                   actions and not as conflict casualties,
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).        states now agreed that such data           we can not simply trust the states to                                    thus biasing the number of deaths
Some countries pushed for one, but it       should exist.25                            produce reliable information. They                                       downward, but it could also be the
was vetoed. In the final MDGs report,                                                  will have all manners of incentives to                                   opposite. In 2015 Human Rights
then Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon          Moreover, the sustainable development      disguise, bias, or circumscribe data on
                                            declaration clearly and unequivocally                                                                               Watch reported that a number of
wrote that ‘war remains the largest                                                    conflict deaths, human rights abuses,                                    people had been killed as guerillas by
obstacle to development’ and the            gave civil society a voice and a role in   or the extent to which their institutions
                                            production of data for the agenda. That                                                                             Colombian armed forces when in fact
member states were finally able to                                                     are accountable.                                                         they were not combatants at all.26 This
agree that such an indicator should be      is, production of such data is not under
                                            the essential and sole purview of states   For the first reason, present day Syria                                  became known as the ‘false positives’
part of the sustainable development                                                                                                                             scandal where the Colombian army
agenda. The academic community, in          and their National statistical agencies.   represents an extreme case. Since
                                            For conflict deaths, as well as for many   the escalation of violence started in                                    murdered civilians as labelled it as
particular, was somewhat dismayed                                                                                                                               regular conflict casualties to boost
that the Inter-Agency Expert-Group on       other SDG 16 indicators, this role for     Syria in 2011, the country has suffered
                                            civil society is absolutely crucial. For   a devastating war that has crippled                                      their statistics. Thus, actually, biasing
SDGs voided 50 years of cutting-edge                                                                                                                            killings upwards.
research and decided that neither           two reasons in particular. First, many     infrastructure and state institutions.
methodologies nor data existed to           countries most hit by for instance         The Syrian government lost control
collect data, the official classification   conflict quite simply will not have the    over large parts of its territory and still
of a Tier III indicator, on and track the   systems, the resources, or the time to     does not control its entire country.
number of conflict related deaths in        collect such data even if they wanted
SDG16DI 2020         Global Report   Page 22   SDG16DI 2020                       Global Report                                                             Page 23
Photo by Chuttersnap on Unsplash

                                                                                                                     Trade revenues are critical sources        UNCTAD and UNODC are currently
                                                                                                                     of income for developing countries.27      preparing the latest assessment
                                                                                                                     However, each year money is lost to        of the conceptual framework
                                                                                                                     trade-related illicit financial flows,     document that will detail the latest
                                                                                                                     which undercuts this valuable              refinement of the indicators in a
                                                                                                                     revenue-generating activity.               joint publication expected in July
                                                                                                                                                                2020. Work is progressing on actual
                                                                                                                     The act of trade misinvoicing, in          methodological sets to be tested
                                                                                                                     which importers and exports seek           in-country in 2021 and based on
                                                                                                                     to hide illicit flows within the regular   these tests, final indicators will
                                                                                                                     commercial trading system by either        be developed into guidelines for
                                                                                                                     under or over-pricing their imports        countries to follow. UNCTAD and
                                                                                                                     or exports, is a major component           UNODC will also jointly submit a
                                                                                                                     of illicit financial flows. Typically,     report to the United Nations General
                                                                                                                     trade misinvoicing is undertaken to        Assembly (UNGA) in September 2020
                                                                                                                     illicitly move proceeds from illegal       to provide an overview of the mix
                                                                                                                     activities or corruption, and can          of the work being done on statistics
                                                                                                                     also be used to evade income taxes,        used for the indicators and by policy
                                                                                                                     customs duties, value-added taxes          colleagues in both agencies.
                                                                                     COUNTRIES                       (VAT) and currency controls. From a
                                                                                     Argentina, Bangladesh,          development perspective, it deprives       So far, the agencies have been
                                                                                     Côte d’Ivoire                   developing country governments of          delayed in part by trying to figure
                                                                                                                     an important source of tax revenues        what the best data sets are to
                                                                                                                     that could be used to fund efforts to      monitor the SDG16.4 indicators going
                                                                                                                     achieve the Sustainable Development        forward. The corresponding lack of
                                                                                                                     Goals (SDGs) by the 2030 deadline.         data has so far hindered the ability of
                                                                                                                                                                experts to comprehensively assess
                                                                                                                     This problem is relevant to SDG            progress on SDG 16.4 and indicator
                                                                                     RELEVANT SDG16                  16.4, “By 2030, significantly reduce       16.4.1 on estimating the total value
                                                                                     TARGET(S)                       illicit financial and arms flows,          of illicit inflows and outflows. In
                                                                                                                     strengthen the recovery and return         this respect, while methodologies
                                                                                     16.4: By 2030, significantly
                                                                                                                     of stolen assets and combat all            are being devised by UNCTAD and
                                                                                     reduce illicit financial and
                                                                                     arms flows, strengthen          forms of organized crime” and              UNODC, non-official data gathered
                                                                                     the recovery and return of      specifically indicator SDG 16.4.1 “Total   by non-governmental organizations
                                                                                     stolen assets and combat all    value of inward and outward illicit        can help supplement the data gaps
                                                                                     forms of organized crime;       financial flows (in current United         in knowledge.
                                                                                     16.4.1: Total value of inward   States dollars), which suffers from
                                                                                     and outward illicit financial   a lack of officially reported data. In     As part of its work to analyze
                                                                                     flows (in current United        October 2019, at the tenth meeting         non-official data pursuant to
                                                                                     States dollars)                 of the Inter-agency and Expert             measuring progress on SDG 16.4.1,

                                            Trade-Related Illicit
                                                                                                                     Group on Sustainable Development           Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a
                                                                                                                     Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs),               Washington, D.C.-based think tank,
                                                                                                                     indicator 16.4.1 was reclassified as       examined 4,860 bilateral trade

                                            financial flows in
                                                                                                                     a Tier II level indicator, with United     relationships for trade-related illicit
                                                                                                                     Nations Conference on Trade and            financial flows across 135 developing
                                                                                                                     Development (UNCTAD) and United            countries and 36 advanced
                                                                                     DATA METHOD

                                            Argentina, Bangladesh
                                                                                                                     Nations Office on Drugs and Crime          economies by trading partner,
                                                                                     Partner-Country method of       (UNODC) listed as potential host           commodity, region and percent of
                                                                                     analyzing international trade   custodian agency(ies).28                   total trade, among other indicators,
                                                                                     data to identify the value

                                            and Côte d’Ivoire
                                                                                                                                                                to identify the scale and scope of
                                                                                     gaps which are indicative of                                               trade misinvoicing in the global
                                                                                     trade misinvoicing                                                         economy.29
SDG16DI 2020                 Global Report                                                                 Page 24    SDG16DI 2020                                      Global Report                                                                    Page 25

Since the escalation of violence started
in Syria in 2011, the country has suffered
a devastating war that has crippled
infrastructure and state institutions.

                             It is important to note that while the        in 135 countries, this case study            FIGURE 4
                             term “illicit financial flows” (IFFs) may     discusses findings for three countries
   “For example, if                                                                                                     Sums of the Value Gaps Identified in Trade Between Argentina, Bangladesh and Côte
                             include many types of activities, such        chosen at random across three
                                                                                                                        d’Ivoire and 36 Advanced Economies, 2008-2017, in USD Millions
    Ecuador reported         as trade misinvoicing, smuggling, tax         continents: Argentina, Bangladesh
    exporting US$20          evasion, etc., this analysis focuses          and Côte d’Ivoire, to demonstrate the
                             on trade misinvoicing, or the trade-          breadth of trade-related IFFs.
    million in bananas
                             related aspects of illicit financial flows.
    to the United States     It does not address all forms of IFFs         Table A below provides three
                                                                                                                           		 2008                        2009       2010       2011       2012       2013       2014    2015    2016    2017    Average
    in 2016, but the US      and is therefore not a full picture of        samples of GFI’s value gap findings,
    reported importing       the total value of IFFs, which is likely      showing the data for Argentina,
                                                                                                                          Argentina            6,105      4,055      5,404      6,476      6,246      6,496      5,693   4,765   4,473   4,717   5,443
                                                                           Bangladesh and Côte d’Ivoire. For
    only $15 million in      to far exceed these estimates. This
                                                                           example, in the first row for Argentina
    bananas, this would      point further exemplifies the need
                                                                           for the year 2008 is the figure
                                                                                                                          Bangladesh           2,558      2,457      3,091      3,358      3,198      3,799      N/A     4,578   N/A     N/A     3,291
                             for greater official and non-official
    reflect a mismatch,                                                    $6.1 billion, representing the sum             Côte d’Ivoire        1,522      1,493      1,347      1,397      1,160      1,160      1,424   1,309   1,262   1,357   1,343
                             data alike in measuring the total
    or value gap, of         value of IFFs globally, given that GFI’s      of all of the value gaps identified
    $5 million in the        estimates of trade misinvoicing, one          within Argentina’s bilateral trade             Note: N/A indicates a year for which there was no reporting to UN Comtrade by the country.

    reported trade of this   facet of the IFF problem, are so large.       relationships with each of the 36
                                                                           advanced economies. In other words,
                             For its analysis, GFI evaluated trade         there was a value gap of $6.1 billion
                             statistics supplied by individual             between Argentina and all of its
                                                                                                                        FIGURE 5
                             country governments to the United             advanced trading partners in 2008.
                             Nations Comtrade database30 in                The far-right column provides the            Total Value Gaps Identified Between Argentina, Bangladesh and Côte d’Ivoire and 36
                             order to identify the “value gaps,” or        average US dollar amount for the             Advanced Economies, 2008-2017, as a Percent of Total Trade
                             mismatches, in the reported data.             sums of value gaps identified for each
                             For example, if Ecuador reported              developing country’s bilateral trade
                             exporting US$20 million in bananas            between 2008-2017.
                             to the United States in 2016, but
                                                                           Correspondingly, Table B shows the                                  2008       2009       2010       2011       2012       2013       2014    2015    2016    2017    Average
                             the US reported importing only $15
                             million in bananas, this would reflect a      value gaps as a percent of a country’s
                                                                           total bilateral trade with the 36              Argentina            18.60      16.74      17.35      16.92      16.76      17.51      18.02   17.55   15.75   16.23   17.14
                             mismatch, or value gap, of $5 million
                             in the reported trade of this product.        advanced economies for each year
                                                                                                                          Bangladesh           15.62      14.57      15.30      13.82      13.25      14.58      N/A     15.18   N/A     N/A     14.62
                             While the available data is not perfect       examined, as well as the ten-year
                             and country figures are not exact,            average. For example, the first row for        Côte d’Ivoire        22.71      23.53      20.76      19.61      17.50      17.07      18.66   17.97   16.69   16.03   19.05
                             the resulting value gap estimates             Argentina for the year 2008 shows
                             provide an order of magnitude view            18.6 percent, meaning that the value           Note: N/A indicates a year for which there was no reporting to UN Comtrade by the country.

                             of each country’s trade misinvoicing          gap denoted in Table A ($6.1 billion) is
                             challenge, reflecting the scale of the        equivalent to 18.6 percent of the value
                             problem. Additionally, while the full         of Argentina’s total trade with the 36
                             report examines trade misinvoicing            advanced economies in 2008.
SDG16DI 2020               Global Report                                                               Page 26   SDG16DI 2020                               Global Report                               Page 27

In its full analysis of 135 developing                                                                           While developing countries wait for
countries, GFI identified a total value                                                                          such technology to be commercially
gap of $8.7 trillion in trade between                                                                            available, viable and affordable, non-
developing and advanced economies                                                                                official data such as GFI’s analysis of
between 2008-2017.                                                                                               Comtrade records can help fill the gap in
                                                                                                                 official SDG 16.4.1 data reporting.s.

                           Analyzing value gaps as a percent of        One of the most significant               When the declared value is more            While developing countries wait for
                           total trade is illuminating, because        challenges in assessing the problem       than one or two orders of magnitude        such technology to be commercially
   “One of the             the size of value gaps in dollars may       of trade misinvoicing is that those       off the recent prevailing global           available, viable and affordable,
    most significant       often reflect the size of a country’s       who engage in it are trying to            average price, it is a strong indication   non-official data such as GFI’s
    challenges in          economy, and less so the amount of          hide it. This limits even the best        of attempted trade misinvoicing            analysis of Comtrade records can
                           potential illicit activity. For instance,   assessments and overall estimates of      and thus can be flagged for further        help fill the gap in official SDG 16.4.1
    assessing the
                           despite the fact that Argentina’s           macro-level analyses of international     investigation. Likewise, attention has     data reporting. Such non-official
    problem of trade       average value gap is $4 billion             trade data. However, it is possible       been drawn to efforts to develop           data sources and analysis can help
    misinvoicing is that   greater than Côte d’Ivoire’s, a larger      to identify trade misinvoicing by         distributed ledger technologies, such      experts better understand the
    those who engage       percent of Côte d’Ivoire’s total trade      using micro-level transaction data        as blockchain, to create a new type        problems of illicit financial flows
    in it are trying to    is routinely misinvoiced, at 19.05          to cross-reference the invoices of        of comprehensive international trade       and their corrosive impacts on
    hide it.”              percent, compared to 17.14 percent          importers and exporters in both the       ledger to better track the distribution,   financing sustainable development.
                           for Argentina. This indicates that          exporting and importing countries.        routes and quantities of globally          Data is crucial to understanding and
                           despite having a smaller economy            Unfortunately, getting access to such     traded goods. In practice, all crates      curtailing IFFs globally, particularly as
                           than Argentina, trade misinvoicing          data can be difficult, akin to a needle   and containers would have scannable        developing countries struggle with
                           is happening at a higher rate in Côte       in a haystack.                            barcodes accessible to customs             funding shortfalls and the economic
                           d’Ivoire.                                                                             officials and investigatory agencies       brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic.
                                                                       There are, however, promising             the world over, that would reveal the
                           In its full analysis of 135 developing      new uses of technology to help            origin of the good and the destination
                           countries, GFI identified a total value     customs agencies, central banks           country, along with important tax and
                           gap of $8.7 trillion in trade between       and tax authorities to identify           tariff information. Trade data would be
                           developing and advanced economies           trade misinvoicing – in real time         recorded in a way that is transparent,
                           between 2008-2017. In just 2017             – when it can be stopped. Using a         updating in real-time and very difficult
                           alone, the total value gap in trade         method known as price-filtering,          to falsify. Advancements in this area
                           between all developing and advanced         new specialized database tools31          are slow, but hold much promise for
                           economies was $817.6 billion.               can enable customs officials to           increasing internationally available
                                                                       cross-check the value of cargo as         and accessible trade data.
                                                                       declared on an invoice submitted by
                                                                       an importer or exporter against the
                                                                       prevailing average global price for the
                                                                       same good.
SDG16DI 2020         Global Report   Page 28   SDG16DI 2020                         Global Report                                                              Page 29
Photo by kobby-mendez on unsplash

                                                                                                                        The potential of bribery
                                                                                                                        rates to shed light on
                                                                                                                        other manifestations of
                                                                                                                        corruption is limited.
                                                                                      Argentina, Bahamas,
                                                                                      Barbados, Brazil, Chile,
                                                                                      Colombia, Costa Rica,
                                                                                      Dominican Republic, El
                                                                                      Salvador, Guatemala,
                                                                                      Guyana, Honduras,
                                                                                      Jamaica, Mexico,
                                                                                      Panama, Peru, Trinidad
                                                                                      & Tobago and Venezuela            Back in 2015, the Inter-Agency and         Moreover, not only is it unrealistic to
                                                                                      (Latin America and the            Expert Group on SDG Indicators             expect that multidimensional targets
                                                                                      Caribbean).                       (IAEG-SDGs) selected two official          for broad concepts like corruption
                                                                                                                        indicators for SDG target 16.5, which      can be captured by two indicators
                                                                                                                        relates to the control of corruption.      on bribery, as is the case for target
                                                                                                                        These are the proportion of persons        16.5, but in many countries around
                                                                                                                        (16.5.1) and businesses (16.5.2) within    the world the necessary data is
                                                                                                                        a given country that had at least one      simply not recorded.33 Additionally,
                                                                                                                        contact with a public official during      topics like corruption are politically
                                                                                      RELEVANT SDG16                    the previous 12 months who either          sensitive, which may leave the
                                                                                      TARGET(S)                         paid a bribe or were asked for a bribe     reliability of the figures provided by
                                                                                      16.5: Substantially reduce        by those officials.                        national statistics offices open to
                                                                                      corruption and bribery in all                                                question.
                                                                                      their forms 16.6: Develop         Albeit important, these two indicators
                                                                                      effective, accountable and        alone are insufficient to measure          These three issues concerning
                                                                                      transparent institutions at all   if and how well countries are              SDG16.5 monitoring processes,
                                                                                      levels.                           “substantially reducing corruption         namely the inadequacy of indicators
                                                                                                                        and bribery in all their forms”, as        16.5.1 and 16.5.2 alone to capture the
                                                                                                                        formulated in the wording of the           complex phenomenon of corruption,

                                       Trade-Related Illicit
                                                                                                                        target. Reported bribery rates             the unavailability of official data as
                                                                                                                        are best suited to capturing the           well as the potential unreliability

                                         Global corruption
                                                                                                                        incidence of petty corruption, that        of data that does exist can all be

                                       Financial Flows in
                                                                                                                        is, the everyday abuse of entrusted        at least partially addressed by
                                                                                      DATA METHOD                       power by public officials in their         incorporating data produced by

                                         barometer:  unveiling
                                                                                      Global Corruption                 interactions with ordinary citizens,       civil society organisations. Apart

                                       Argentina,  Bangladesh
                                                                                      Barometer, a nationally           who are typically trying to access         from plugging current data gaps,
                                                                                      representative public             basic goods or services.32 The             the Global Corruption Barometer

                                         SDGs 16.5  and 16.6 in Latin
                                                                                      opinion survey conducted          potential of bribery rates to shed light   (GCB) developed by Transparency

                                       and Côte  d’Ivoire
                                                                                      mainly through face-to-           on other manifestations of corruption      International (TI) illustrates the
                                                                                      face interviews in the            is limited.                                need for complementary data to

                                         America and the Caribbean
                                                                                      local language (Computer                                                     reveal the extent of corruption
                                                                                      Assisted Personal                                                            and the effectiveness of national
                                                                                      Interviewing, CAPI).                                                         responses to it in both a holistic and
                                                                                                                                                                   authoritative manner.
SDG16DI 2020              Global Report                                                            Page 30    SDG16DI 2020                                Global Report                                                                Page 31

Although Brazil presents one of the                                                                           Better control of corruption requires
lowest bribery rates in the region, the                                                                       better data.
number of respondents who have been
offered money or a favour in exchange
for their vote is remarkably high.

                          Since 2003, TI has carried out           The GCB 2019 explored not only Latin       But there is more – whereas                 Incorporating the GCB dataset allows           likely to distrust the government when
                          ten editions of the GCB - a public       Americans’ involvement with bribery        vote-buying relates exclusively             for not only an improved monitoring            compared to those who were never
   “Whereas no Latin      opinion survey across the globe,         when accessing public services but         to elections, political corruption          capacity of SDG targets 16.5 and               bribed to cast a vote for a particular
    American and          asking ordinary citizens about their     also their experiences with vote-          encompasses many other arenas,              16.6, but also an assessment of the            candidate or party.
    Caribbean country     experiences and views on corruption.     buying. This measure helps to unveil a     including fraudulent political funding,     linkages between these targets. It is
                                                                                                                                                                                                         The detrimental effect of one form of
                          TI’s GCB follows high survey             facet of political corruption36 that the   illicit lobbying, and in fact any           plausible to hypothesise that high
    officially reported                                                                                                                                                                                  corruption, vote-buying, on trust that
                          standards and yields periodic and        SDG official indicators are unable to      circumstance in which political actors      levels of vote-buying correspond to
    data on SDG 16.5.1    nationally representative measures       capture: the extent to which political     act for private gain to the detriment of    low levels of trust in the government.         this incipient analysis suggests for
    in 2019, in the       of bribery and attitudes towards         integrity is compromised by one form       the public interest. Political corruption   Being bribed to vote might have an             eight Latin American and Caribbean
    same year the GCB     corruption, amongst many other           of election abuse. In Latin America        as a whole is, in turn, merely one of       impact on how individuals regard               countries is particularly alarming
    surveyed more than    corruption-related topics.               and the Caribbean, almost 25 percent       many illicit forms of behaviour that fall   the functioning of the country’s               when taking into consideration
                                                                                                                                                                                                         that dwindling citizen trust itself
    17,000 citizens in    Whereas no Latin American and
                                                                   of the respondents were offered a          under the overarching umbrella term         government and the reliability of its
                                                                                                                                                                                                         has the potential to cripple modern
                                                                   bribe or a special favour to vote in a     “corruption”. This complexity clearly       politicians and other public officials.
    18 countries in the   Caribbean country officially reported                                                                                                                                          democracies, which rest upon popular
                                                                   certain way during the previous five       demonstrates the need for a range           To test whether this connection exists,
    region.”              data on SDG 16.5.1 in 2019,34 in the     years. Countries with the highest          of complementary data sources to            TI used GCB data to run logistic               legitimacy.40 Yet vote-buying patterns
                          same year the GCB surveyed more          levels of reported incidences of           provide an accurate picture of global       regressions with trust in government           in the region and their connection
                          than 17,000 citizens in 18 countries     vote-buying are Mexico (50 percent),       progress towards SDG 16.5.                  as the dependent variable and                  with citizen trust might have gone
                          in the region.35 The results revealed    Dominican Republic (46 percent),                                                       vote-buying as the variable of interest.       unnoticed were it not for TI’s
                          that the levels of bribery in the        Brazil, and Colombia (both with 40         The data produced by the GCB is not         These analyses controlled for the              periodic surveys in the region. Better
                          region are relatively high. First,       percent).                                  limited to SDG 16.5. Citizens in Latin      potential influences of age, gender,           control of corruption requires better
                          citizens were asked whether they                                                    America and the Caribbean were              income, education and whether the              data, and progress towards SDGs
                          had contact with six key public          Interestingly, although Brazil presents    asked whether they had “a great deal”,      respondent had paid a bribe for public         16.5 and 16.6 will be inadequately
                          services in their country during the     one of the lowest bribery rates in the     “a fair amount”, “not a lot” or “no trust   services during the 12 months prior to         documented and understood for
                          previous 12 months (the police, the      region, the number of respondents          at all” in the government (including        being interviewed.                             as long as sources of non-official
                          courts, health care, schools, identity   who have been offered money or a           politicians, public servants or any kind                                                   data from civil society organisations
                          documents, and utilities), to which 76   favour in exchange for their vote is       of government agency); the courts;          The regressions were performed                 are not given due consideration by
                          percent responded affirmatively. Of      remarkably high. Similarly, whereas        and the police.37 Measuring the             by country and survey weights                  national governments as part of SDG
                          these, more than one in five people      Venezuela presents the highest             levels of trust that individuals have in    were applied.38 The results of these           monitoring processes.
                          (21 percent) paid a bribe to obtain      bribery rate in the entire region,         state institutions is a useful proxy to     analyses show that there is indeed an
                          basic services. Venezuela, Mexico,       vote-buying seems to be a much less        evaluate how effective, accountable         inverse relationship between vote-
                          and Peru present the highest bribery     widespread practice in that country        and transparent these institutions are      buying and trust in government that is
                          rates in the region, with 50, 34, and    when compared to its Latin American        (target 16.6). Taking the region as a       statistically significant for Brazil, Chile,
                          30 percent respectively. On the          counterparts (26 percent). This brief      whole, a minority of people express         Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican
                          other side of the spectrum, Costa        comparison neatly illustrates the          trust in the government (21 percent),       Republic, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago
                          Rica (seven percent), Barbados (nine     limitations of measuring complex           courts (27 percent) and police (33          and Venezuela.39 In other words, after
                          percent) and Brazil (11 percent) are     phenomena with unidimensional              percent); in only two countries –           controlling for bribery, socioeconomic
                          the Latin American and Caribbean         indicators.                                Barbados and Guyana – did a majority        and demographic variables, the
                          countries with the lowest overall                                                   of respondents state that they trusted      nationals of these countries who
                          bribery rates.                                                                      these institutions.                         experience vote-buying are more
SDG16DI 2020         Global Report   Page 32   SDG16DI 2020                      Global Report                                                            Page 33
Photo by Raquel García on Unsplash

                                                                                                                      To provide data, significant
                                                                                                                      funding will be required to
                                                                                                                      conduct opinion surveys
                                                                                                                      and collect administrative
                                                                                                                      data with a global coverage

                                                                                                                      The UN Member States have set           extent to which the proportional
                                                                                                                      ten specific targets for Sustainable    representation of various
                                                                                                                      Development Goal 16, the promotion      demographic groups in (a) the
                                                                                                                      of just, peaceful and inclusive         legislature, (b) public service, and
                                                                                                                      societies. Of these targets, target     (c) the judiciary corresponds to
                                                                                       COUNTRIES                      16.7 aims at ensuring “responsive,      national distributions of the same
                                                                                       Hungary; 162 countries         inclusive, participatory and            groups. This is captured in indicators
                                                                                       globally                       representative decision-making at       16.7.1a-c. The second indicator set
                                                                                                                      all levels.” Among the 17 SDGs and      measures the proportion of people
                                                                                                                      the 169 targets defined to achieve      who (1) believe that they have a say
                                                                                                                      the Goals, target 16.7 may be viewed    in what the government does and
                                                                                                                      as a key target, because it focuses     (2) feel that the political system
                                                                                                                      on political decision-making, a         allows them to have an influence on
                                                                                                                      crucial prerequisite for all of the     politics. This is captured in indicator
                                                                                       RELEVANT SDG16                 desirable policy outcomes defined       16.7.2. Both indicator sets are to be
                                                                                       TARGET(S)                      in SDG 16 and in the other SDGs.        disaggregated by sex, age, disability
                                                                                                                      This chapter discusses the official     status, population groups and levels

                                              Towards a valid and viable
                                                                                       16.7: Ensure responsive,
                                                                                       inclusive, participatory and   indicators for monitoring target 16.7   of government.
                                                                                       representative decision-       and argues that the Global State
                                                                                                                      of Democracy Indices – a set of         According to the metadata sheet

                                              measurement of SDG
                                                                                       making at all levels
                                                                                                                      democracy measures developed            prepared by the UN Statistics
                                                                                                                      by the International Institute for      Division, the choice of indicators
                                                                                                                      Democracy and Electoral Assistance      16.7.1 a-c is based on the assumption

                                              target 16.7: responsive,
                                                                                                                      (International IDEA)41 – can function   that when parliament, public services
                                                                                                                      as valid proxy indicators.              and the judiciary reflect “the social
                                                                                                                                                              diversity of a nation, this may lead

                                              inclusive, participatory and
                                                                                                                      The UN Statistical Commission           to greater legitimacy [of these
                                                                                       DATA METHOD                    has selected two indicators, or         institutions] in the eyes of citizens,” as
                                                                                       Expert assessments; coded      more precisely: sets of indicators      their “members resemble the people

                                              representative decision-
                                                                                       observational data             to measure progress on target           they represent in respect to gender,
                                                                                                                      16.7.42 The first set measures the      age, ethnicity and disability.”43

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