Information Resources

Background Papers


Information for decision-making and Indicators of sustainable development

UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) on CSD-9 topic: information for decision-making and participation: 
documents, upcoming meetings, national reports, Indicators of sustainable development etc.

Information for Decision-Making
Information for decision-making is the subject of Chapter 40 of Agenda 21, which emphasizes that, in sustainable development, everyone is a user and provider of information considered in the broad sense. That includes data, information, experience and knowledge. The need for information arises at all levels, from that of senior decision-makers at the national and international levels to the grass-roots and individual levels. Two programme areas, in particular, need to be implemented to ensure that decisions are based increasingly on sound information. These are (a) bridging the data gap and (b) improving information availability. (para 40.1)
Among other activities, Chapter 40 calls for the development of indicators of sustainable development and strengthening existing institutions and programmes such as the global Environmental Monitoring System (GEMS) and the Global Resource Information Database (GRID) as well as the different entities within the system-wide Earthwatch.
The Commission has also sought information directly from Member States to facilitate its deliberations. At its first session, in 1993, it decided to request Member States, on a voluntary basis, to report annually to the Commission on progress in the implementation of the commitments contained in Agenda 21.
Decisions on information for decision-making were taken by the Commission at its first, second, fourth and sixth sessions and by the General Assembly at its nineteenth Special Session [Earth Summit] in its Resolution S/19-2 on the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21.

The UN CSD / DESA Indicators for Sustainable Development, pilot countries, etc.
Indicators of Sustainable Development
Indicators for monitoring progress towards sustainable development are needed in order to assist decision-makers and policy-makers at all levels and to increase focus on sustainable development. Beyond the commonly used economic indicators of well-being, however, social, environmental and institutional indicators have to be taken into account as well to arrive at a broader, more complete picture of societal development. As part of the implementation of the Work Programme on Indicators of Sustainable Development (ISDs) adopted by the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) at its Third Session in April 1995, a working list of 134 indicators and related methodology sheets has been developed and is now ready for voluntary testing at the national level, by countries from all regions of the world. The aim of the CSD with respect to ISDs is to have an agreed set of indicators available for all countries to use by the year 2001.

UN System-Wide Web Site on National Implementation of the Rio Commitments

Documents Related to National Reporting to CSD 9

Guidelines for National Reporting to CSD IX on Information for Decision-Making
(Agenda Chapter 40)

Indicators of sustainable development: Framework and Methodologies

UN Sustainable Development

Womenwatch - Statistics and Indicators

The World's Women 2000: Trends and Statistics
The World's Women 2000: Trends and Statistics is the third issue in the series of reports (the other two issued in 1991 and 1995) that looks at the status of women through the lens of statistical data and analysis. The World's Women 2000 is a statistical source-book which provides a comprehensive analysis of how women fare in different parts of the world. It highlights the main findings of statistical analysis on women's situation as compared to men's worldwide in a broad range of fields - including families, health, education, work, human rights and politics.
You find the following sections:
Main findings and future directions
Some important findings, by chapter

Chapter 1 - Population
Chapter 2 - Women and men in families
Chapter 3 - Health
Chapter 4 - Education and communication
Chapter 5 - Work
Chapter 6 - Human rights and political decision-making
Statistical tables

Fact Sheet on Women and decision-making
('Women in Government')

Women in Parliaments - world and regional averages
World and regional averages of Women representation in parliament (both houses).

UN Agencies Reports

UN WomenWatch / Statistics and Indicators:
Women in government, population indicators, literacy, employment, education, etc.

Progress of the World's Women Report 2000:
Latest data, analyses, etc.

United Nations Statistics Division
The World's Women 2000: Trends and Statistics

UNDP Report
Women's Political Participation and Good Governance: 21st Century Challenges

Information for decision-making
Press release, 6 July 2000
New UN agreement boosts women's influence over information and communication technologies
UNIFEM, ITU AND UNDP Sign New Agreement to Ensure Women Benefit from Communication Revolution