On November 1, the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, UNFPA and UNDP convened an all-day expert-level meeting on Measuring the State of Youth in the SDGs: Tracking Global Indicators Relevant to Youth Development and Well-being.

The 35 experts from 18 different agencies and organizations, as well as representatives of youth organizations, all made a strong case to work together to ensure that youth development can be clearly tracked and measured in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

While there is no “youth” SDG per se, youth issues are included in numerous targets across all the 17 goals. Youth issues can be monitored by tracking global indicators directly relevant to youth development, and by reviewing progress for this specific age group against more general indicators where age-disaggregated data is available.

“The job of this expert group meeting is to help make the invisible, visible. For the next 14 years we need to look at the different angles by which we can highlight youth development in the SDGs,” said the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, at the opening of the meeting. 

The meeting, made possible thanks to the support of the Government of Kuwait, also offered an opportunity for agencies to present the tools they are currently using or testing to track youth development, while explaining their methodology and future plans and discussing the opportunities for ensuring synergies between the different initiatives.

The participants discussed the need for advocating for more and regularly updated data, as well as stronger capacity-building in data collection, analysis and dissemination, including by tapping into the energy of youth themselves in supporting alternative and complementary data gathering and reporting