UIS convenes Expert Group meeting on heritage statistics

Around the world, culture is acknowledged as the cornerstone of identity, providing a sense of belonging and the social and economic cohesion of communities. It is also the foundation of sustainable development, a fact that has been in acknowledged in the Agenda for Sustainable Development. But how should the precise linkages between culture and development be measured?

A UIS-convened meeting of the Expert Group on Heritage Statistics, in Paris from 26 to 28 September, will take up the challenge and seek to develop the first-ever global indicators to help close some key knowledge gaps.

Specifically, SDG 11 aims to make every human settlement inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, and Target 11.4 focuses on efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage.

The expert group, which includes representatives from Member States, civil society and international organizations, will consider the issues and challenges for the collection of internationally comparable data for the global monitoring of SDG indicator 11.4.1, which measures total expenditure per capita on cultural and natural heritage disaggregated by several variables including type of expenditure, type of heritage, level of government and type of private funding. 

In addition, other potential indicators to measure the preservation of heritage as well as data collection methodologies in line with the 2009 UNESCO Framework for Cultural Statistics will be considered.

Cultural statistics and methodology  have been an area of UIS work for decades. With the UIS monitoring the new indicator, the intention is to build a global data collection within the next two to three years that will inform the SDG agenda.