Lyytimäki, J., Salo, H., Lepenies, R., Büttner, L. and Mustajoki, J., Risks of producing and using indicators of sustainable development goals. Sustainable Development.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) aim to provide humanity with a global
roadmap to sustainability. Official SDG indicators have been intensively developed, and they have a prominent and pronounced role as a key monitoring and policy instrument. Furthermore, various complementary or alternative indicator sets have been introduced at the global, regional and national levels. This article focuses on the risks related to the national indicators. The analysis is based on experiences from the preparation processes of sustainable development indicators in Finland and insights from indicator professionals and stakeholders in Finland and Germany. The risks related to overuse, nonuse and misuse of indicators are analyzed from the perspectives of indicator contents, processes of production and communication and external context factors. Opportunities for avoiding d ifferent risks and improving the desired societal impacts and influences of indicator usage are discuss ed. The concept of risk is helpful in terms of empirical diagnosis and for formulating mitigation recommendations.