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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

1. Responding to the multiple crises, has the governing body of your organization taken any decisions or adopted any new strategies to enhance effective delivery of sustainable, resilient and innovative solutions and to reinforce the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and poverty eradication? (200-800 words) 

At its Sixty-Fourth Session (16-17 November 2023), the UNITAR Board of Trustees took note of the outcomes of the Sustainable Development Goals Summit, the Climate Ambition Summit and other pertinent meetings, and requested that UNITAR participate in an ample way. The Board also took note of the 2024 Summit of the Future and the observations made on UNITAR’s work and the planning exercise for the 2026-2029 strategic framework, and requested that Management report back to the Board at its Sixty-Fifth Session. The Board took note of the observations made and UNITAR’s considerations to incorporate artificial intelligence more broadly into its learning products and services.  The Board also took note of the Report of the Secretary-General on UNITAR (E/2023/70) and ECOSOC resolution E/Res/2023/7 and welcomed UNITAR’s achievements in the implementation of its strategic framework and supporting Member States with the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  

2. In the past year, has your organization organized any intergovernmentally mandated conferences, forums or events that contributed to the achievement of the SDGs, or in the process of planning and organizing any such mandated events to be held next year?  

Event Name: 


Event Dates: 


Event Location (City, Country): 


Relevant SDGs: 


Description (max 150 words): please include a short summary of the event’s mandate and contributions to the SDGs, including its main outcome(s)  


Website (if applicable) 


3. In the past year, has your organization published or planned to publish any analytical work or guidance note or toolkits to guide and support the implementation of SDGs at national, regional and global levels? Please select up to three to highlight, especially those that address interlinkages among the SDGs. 

Resource Name 

Proden E., Fraisl, D., and See, L. “Citizen Science: What is in it for Official Statistics Community” in “Citizen Science: Theory and Practice”, Volume: 8 Issue: 1, 2023. 

Relevant SDGs (list all relevant goals) 

SDG 17, cross-cutting on data for all SDGs 

Publishing entity/entities 

Citizen Science Association 

Target audience  

Citizen science community and NSOs 

Description (max 150 words)  

This is a research paper prepared by UNITAR and IIASA based on work carried out under EU Crowd4SDG project. Citizen science data are an example of a non-traditional data source that is starting to be used in the monitoring of the SDGs and national priorities by National Statistical Systems (NSSs). However, little is known about how the official statistics community views citizen science data, related opportunities and challenges. To fill this gap, this paper presents the results from a 2021 survey of NSS representatives globally to understand the key factors in the readiness of national data ecosystems to leverage citizen science data for official monitoring and reporting. The results showed that less than 20% of respondents had direct experience with citizen science data, but almost 50% felt that citizen science data could provide data for SDG and national indicators where there are significant data gaps, highlighting SDGs 1, 5, and 6. 




Website (if applicable)…;

Resource Name 

European Policy Brief. “High-Quality Citizen Science Data to Inform and Complement Official Monitoring on Sustainable Development and Climate Change: Recommendations for National Statistical Offices and the Citizen Science Community”, 2023 

Relevant SDGs (list all relevant goals) 

SDG 17, cross-cutting on data for all SDGs 

Publishing entity/entities 

European Commission 

Target audience  

Citizen science community and NSOs 

Description (max 150 words)  

In this Policy Brief, the Crowd4SDG project reports on best practices for National Statistical Offices and Citizen Science Communities to use, in order to produce high-quality citizen science data to help inform national and regional policies to promote sustainable development and address climate change. The Policy Brief draws on two surveys of the National Statistical System undertaken in 2021 and 2023 to understand current use of citizen data, quality requirements, encountered challenges and best practice. It also draws on the results of the quality assessments of datasets produced by citizen science community to identify frequent issues with data quality and how they can be addressed. Drawing on the above, it proposes a series of recommendations relevant for NSOs and citizen science communities on how to deal with quality requirements and address potential issues to harness citizen data for SDG and national priorities’ monitoring. 




Website (if applicable) 



4. In connection with the 2023 SDG Summit, the United Nations development system announced 12 High-Impact Initiatives where transformative progress is possible despite challenging global circumstances. Please share if your organization is contributing to any of these High Impact Initiatives and how various actors are being rallied behind them to mobilize further leadership and investment to bring progress to scale.  

  • Digital Public Infrastructure (Scaling inclusive and open digital ecosystems for the SDGs) 

  • Energy Compacts (Scaling up ambition to deliver on SDG7) 

  • Food Systems Transformation (Transforming food systems for a sustainable world without hunger) 

  • FutureGov (Building public sector capabilities for the future) 

Under “FutureGov”, jointly with UNDESA and RCOs, UNITAR helps strengthen the use of systems thinking and strategic foresight by public sectors, in particular in SIDS and LDCs. 

  • Global Accelerator (The Global Accelerator on jobs and social protection for just transitions)   

  • Local2030 Coalition (Pushing key transitions and achieving the SDGs by 2030)  

  • Nature Driving Economic Transformation (Leveraging the power of biodiversity and nature to drive equitable economic progress) 

  • Power of Data (Unlocking the data dividend for the SDGs) 

Under “Power of Data”, UNITAR contributes to the work of the Global Network of Institutions for Statistical Training (current Chair), and Collaborative on Citizen Data (member of Steering Group). Through its work, it helps strengthening statistical training and capacity development at national and local levels, promote access to statistical learning for data producers, enable them to use new data sources such as citizen data, and enhance the effective use of data by policy-makers and other stakeholders through statistical literacy initiatives. 

  • Spotlight Initiative (To eliminate violence against women and girls) 

  • The SDG Stimulus (Scaling up long-term affordable financing for the SDGs)  

  • Transforming4Trade (Paradigm shift to boost economic development) 

  • Transforming Education (Learning to build a better future for all) 

Under “Transforming Higher Education”, UNITAR has teamed up with UNESCO to help strengthen capacities in higher education institutions to promote “Whole-Institution-Approach” and “Whole-Community-Approach” and effectively integrate sustainability competencies across all educational programmes. 


5. In addition to the above, has your organization been part of any other initiatives or multi-stakeholder partnerships that enhance effective delivery of sustainable, resilient and innovative solutions and reinforce the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially in the areas of poverty eradication (SDG1), food systems transformation (SDG2), climate action (SDG13), governance (SDG16), partnerships (SDG17), which will go under in-depth review at the HLPF in 2024, or related to the Secretary-General’s proposals in Our Common Agenda?  


Initiative/Partnership Name 


Partners (please list all partners) 

68 partners, including many UN agencies with the Secretariat provided by UNITAR and UNSSC 

Relevant SDGs (list all relevant goals)  

All SDGs + SDG4 

Member States benefiting from it 

It is a global platform designed to be accessible to all Member States, it is currently translated into additional languages beyond English 

Description (max 150 words) 

UN SDG:Learn is a United Nations initiative that aims to bring relevant and curated learning solutions on sustainable development topics to individuals and organizations. 


Through the collaborative efforts of the United Nations, multilateral organizations, and sustainable development partners from universities, civil society, academia and the private sector, UN SDG:Learn provides a unique gateway that empowers individuals and organizations through an informed decision when selecting among a wealth of SDG-related learning products and services that are currently available. 


UN SDG:Learn consists of three main components: The Platform (Gateway); The Partnership (Steering Group and Working Groups); The Programme (Joint innovative solutions). 


The Platform is approaching the mark of 500’000 users at the end of 2023. 




6. In the Political Declaration adopted at the 2023 SDG Summit, Member States committed to using the review of the high-level political forum at the 78th session of the General Assembly to further strengthen the follow-up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, harnessing data to track progress in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and targets, strengthening analysis of the interlinkages across the Goals and targets, including policy implications of their synergies and trade-offs. Please provide your organization’s recommendations, if any, in this regard.  

  • Strengthen follow-up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at HLPF 

Strengthen periodic country-level reporting and national partnerships to allow the analysis of progress to draw more evaluative and scientific /research evidence as well as stakeholders’ perspectives. As experience shows from a number of countries, with well designed process, systems and capacities, progress review and reporting can facilitate cross- and inter-sectoral collaboration between various parts of Government and society to inform more integrated policies. 

  • Harnessing data to track progress in implementation 

Leverage citizen data for monitoring progress on the SDGs at national and local levels and build the capacities of communities and individuals by raising statistical literacy and helping improve the quality of the data generated by them. NSOs should respond to current challenges and seize new opportunities by acting as stewards for the whole of national data ecosystems going beyond the traditional boundaries of the NSSs. More specifically, NSOs can promote stronger and more inclusive data governance and empower other stakeholder groups to use data and statistics and to contribute to their production while helping them improve and ensuring data quality. 

  • Strengthening analysis of the interlinkages across Goals and targets, including policy implications of their synergies and trade-offs 

Strengthen national capacities to use systems thinking methods a part of strategic foresight but also to inform operational policies and resource allocation. Systems thinking competency is one of the cross-cutting sustainability competencies promoted by UNESCO. The incorporation of these cross-cutting competencies across all educational programmes as well as the inclusion of socio-emotional and behavioral objectives in addition to cognitive should be part of the transformations pursued in higher education.

ECESA Plus Member
Year of submission: 2023