Vision and Mission
The SDG Vertical, in collaboration with Union Ministries and States/ UTs, is the nodal agency for coordinating and monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals.
Through the approach of cooperative and competitive federalism, the Vertical works towards accelerated adoption, implementation, and monitoring of the SDG framework and related initiatives at the national and sub-national levels.
The Vertical works closely with key stakeholders—including the Government, civil society, private sector, academia, think tanks, research organisations, and multilateral organisations—to fast-track the achievement of SDGs in the country.
Monitoring progress achieved under the SDG framework at the global, national, and sub-national levels is the core function of the Vertical. NITI Aayog prepares and presents India’s Voluntary National Review (VNR) at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development at the United Nations. For national and sub-national progress monitoring, the Vertical has developed the SDG India Index and Dashboard, the official and principal SDG progress monitoring tool of the country.
The States and UTs play a pivotal role in the achievement of SDG targets at the national level. The Vertical works closely with the State/UT Governments and supports them in a range of initiatives for SDG localisation—including the State and District Indicator Frameworks, review mechanisms, and capacity building.
Private Sector Engagement
The targets under the SDG framework are not meant to be achieved by Government action alone. It requires commitment and solid action by the private sector. The Vertical drives initiatives to improve the participation of the private sector in SDG efforts. Key collaborative outputs in this area include SDG Investor Map and private sector integration for SDGs.
SDG Costing and Financing
Estimating the cost to achieve the SDGs and developing and implementing the tools to attract SDG-related finance and investments are key requirements for the timely achievement of the ambitious targets under the SDG framework. The initiatives of the SDG Vertical in this area include SDG costing exercise for key SDGs and an online platform to facilitate SDG-linked investments.
Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Reduction
The SDG framework specifically targets ending poverty in all its forms, thereby raising the stakes on accelerated multidimensional poverty reduction. The Vertical steers the development of India’s national Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) and the reform action plan to reduce multidimensional poverty.
- Ms Sanyukta Samaddar, Adviser (SDG), firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mr Sundar Narayan Mishra, Senior Consultant, email@example.com
- Mr Dinesh Dhawan, SRO, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ms Farha Anis, RO, email@example.com
- Ms Vidya Warrier, Young Professional, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mr Vishnu Govindaswamy, Young Professional, email@example.com
United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office (UNRCO)
The SDG India Index and Dashboard are products of the partnership between the SDG Vertical and UNRCO. Both parties also collaborated in 2019 on a knowledge product titled ‘Localising SDGs: Early Lessons from India’, which details the experiences of and learnings from the localisation efforts of all States and UTs. The SDG Vertical, UNRCO, and the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) collaborate on the SDG Data Forum for supporting data, indicators, and statistics for monitoring SDGs in India.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
UNDP is the Vertical’s partner for the localisation efforts. The workshops and other engagements with the States/ UTs led by NITI Aayog are supported by UNDP. Both parties also collaborate on the initiatives on multidimensional poverty measurement and reduction. The partnership has been formalised through an MoU signed by both the organisations in August 2020.
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
The Vertical and GIZ have entered into a partnership to take SDG localisation to the city level. Both parties will collaborate on developing an index and dashboard to monitor and report the progress on achieving the SDG targets at the city level. The collaboration also aims at training and capacity-building programmes on data-driven urban governance for urban local bodies’ officials. The partnership has been formalised through an MoU signed by both the organisations in October 2020.
Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI)
OPHI, UNDP, and the SDG Vertical entered into a partnership for multidimensional poverty measurement and reduction. The development of the national MPI is an output of the collaboration. The partnership also extends to the design of a reform action plan for faster poverty reduction.
The SDG Vertical partners with KPMG and UNRCO on private sector integration for SDGs, which aims to measure the impact of the business sector on the SDGs.
Primus Partners, UNDP, and the SDG Vertical have collaborated on developing an online platform to facilitate attraction of SDG-linked investments.
SDG India Index and Dashboard
The SDG India Index and Dashboard, designed and developed by the Vertical, is the country’s official and principal tool for SDG progress monitoring at the national and sub-national levels. Two editions of the Index—2018 and 2019-20—rank the States/ UTs on their achievements in various SDGs and associated targets. They also highlight the country-level performance on each goal. The Index dashboard hosts visualisations and representations that make data-based decision making easier for policymakers. The Index also serves as an advocacy tool to propagate the messages of sustainability, resilience, and partnerships. The third edition of the Index and dashboard will be launched in May 2021.
Localisation of SDGs is crucial to any strategy aimed at achieving the goals under the 2030 Agenda. Localising SDGs involves the process of adapting, planning, implementing and monitoring the SDGs from national to local levels by relevant institutions and stakeholders. To accelerate SDG achievements, the Vertical has adopted the approach of cooperative and competitive federalism, which is based on Centre-State collaboration and a healthy competition among the States in various development outcomes. The Vertical strives to institutionally empower and position the States/UTs to achieve the SDGs, with the support of the Central Government and allied institutions. The Vertical’s efforts in this direction include structured engagements and workshops in State capitals with the leadership and other officials, where a detailed picture of the State’s progress, and institutional and other efforts for fast-tracking SDG achievements are presented and discussed. The key outcomes of the SDG localisation efforts include State and District Indicator Frameworks, review mechanisms for progress monitoring, and capacity building of government officials. As a result of strong partnerships, 21 States/UTs have developed and operationalised their own State Indicator Frameworks; 12 States have taken it to the district level by developing District Indicator Frameworks.
India’s Voluntary National Review at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development
The HLPF is the highest international platform for review and follow-up of the SDGs. The Forum meets annually under the auspices of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. The VNRs presented by Member States at the HLPF are a critical component of the review of progress and implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. NITI Aayog presented India’s second VNR to the HLPF in July 2020, which highlighted the country’s accomplishments and the way forward in its journey towards achieving the SDGs. In addition to the progress achieved in various sectors, the VNR report also presented the Indian model of SDG localisation, perspectives from various stakeholder consultations, strategies of business integration in the implementation of SDGs, and ways to strengthen the means of implementation. Consultations with over 1000 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) representing various population groups, seeking their inputs on social, economic, and environmental challenges being faced and prospective solutions have been the cornerstones of the VNR report preparation process.
Multidimensional Poverty Index
The SDG Vertical has been assigned the responsibility of leveraging the monitoring mechanism of the global Multidimensional Poverty Index to drive policy reforms and develop an action plan. This is part of the Government of India’s decision to monitor the performance of the country in 29 select global indices through an exercise known as the ‘Global Indices for Reforms and Growth (GIRG)’. The MPI allows for indigenisation through addition of new indicators for the computation of regional, national, and sub-national MPIs. The SDG Vertical is working on designing and developing a national MPI based on the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) for benchmarking and ranking of State performance. Utilising the results of the global MPI to identify reform areas for policy action is a key part of the GIRG mandate. This feature of the MPI is being leveraged into a six-step action plan process for identifying reform areas.
North-Eastern Region District SDG Index and Dashboard
The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (MoDoNER), UNDP, and SDG Vertical are collaborating on developing an NER District SDG Index and Dashboard, which will not only monitor progress but also serve as a tool to trigger the action needed by the State Governments. The Index, along the lines of the SDG India Index, will be based on the State and District Indicator Frameworks of all eight NER States. The NER District SDG Index will be an innovative, data-driven, comprehensive tool to measure progress of all the districts of the North-Eastern Region on the SDGs and will reflect the context-specific realities of the region. This is an outcome of the SDG Conclave of the eight North-Eastern States held in Guwahati in February 2020, organised by NITI Aayog and MoDoNER, in which the State Indicator Frameworks of all the eight North-Eastern States were launched.
SDG Cities Index
In executing the policy outline, the implementation of several targets is devolved at the city level in every State. Against specific indicators, there is a need to measure the progress made by every city to better monitor and report SDG progress. This is the rationale behind the SDG Vertical’s project to institute an SDG monitoring mechanism at the city level. The project will involve annual progress monitoring of around 60 cities in the country on a set of about 100 indicators. The project will take the SDG localisation efforts one level further, thereby bringing it close to the actual implementation machinery.
Private Sector Engagements
The Vertical operates on the premise that the targets under the SDG frameworks are designed not to be met by Government action alone. Strong commitment and action from the business sector is required for the timely achievement of the targets. In this direction, NITI Aayog has been driving two major initiatives: the SDG Investor Map and private sector integration for SDGs. The SDG Investor Map for India is a market intelligence tool that provides localised data and specific information on investment and business opportunities, which align with the SDGs. This tool was developed by forging a partnership between UNDP, Invest India, and NITI Aayog. It has identified five key sectors as investment opportunity areas: education, healthcare, renewable resources and alternative energy, food and beverages, and financials. These areas, including sub-sectors across specific geographies, will contribute towards strengthening the means of implementation for realising the SDGs by 2030 in the country by focusing efforts and investments from the private sector. The project on private sector integration for SDGs involve mapping the value chain of high priority sectors with respect to impact on SDGs, developing an assessment matrix, and arriving at the sectors that can have a high impact on the priorities under the SDG framework.
To estimate the cost to achieve the SDG targets in five key areas—health, education, water and sanitation, roads, and electricity—the Vertical, Ministry of Finance, and Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD), IMF, collaborated on an SDG costing exercise. The study reached the conclusion that progress in these sectors will require additional spending as a percentage of GDP. The study also identified specific sub-sectors in these areas where improving spending efficiency and implementing reallocation of resources are required.
The Vertical is partnering with Primus Partners and UNDP in developing a web-based platform that can facilitate SDG investments. The platform is aimed at connecting investors who would like to invest in SDG-related themes and projects, and investees who are seeking funding support for their SDG-aligned projects. It is designed to be a facilitator for investors, project-implementing agencies, NGOs, social enterprises, and Ministries/Departments of the Government of India, State Governments, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) agencies to work in a cohesive and coordinated manner to drive SDG achievement. The States would be able to maximise investment flows and SDG achievement by leveraging the platform for all CSR/SDG funding; monitoring projects at a district level and approving projects above a particular size, thereby channelising funds to themes, geographies, beneficiaries with the greatest funding gaps; rating the implementing and M&E agencies to provide credibility to investors; align budgets to SDGs; and actively participate in the further development of the platform.
As SDGs cover almost every area of development, all Line Ministries are direct or indirect partners in the SDG efforts. However, the Vertical has developed close associations with:
- Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation
- Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region
- Ministry of Finance
- Ministry of Education
- Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
- Ministry of Women and Child Development
- India’s Voluntary National Review 2020
- SDG India Index 2019-20
- Localising SDGs: Early Lessons from India 2019
- SDG India Index 2018