WHO and UNICEF are active in over 190 countries worldwide and the JMP has well-established mechanisms for collecting and compiling data from national sources and consulting with national authorities on estimates. Since 2000, the JMP has conducted numerous country missions and regional workshops that have resulted in progressive harmonisation of indicator definitions and survey questions and improved comparability among national data sources and between national and international estimates. A key future challenge will be to support countries to adapt and apply the new SDG targets and indicators in national development plans and to provide guidance on how information from household surveys, administrative systems and other sources can be integrated in order to monitor progress.
SDG targets are defined as aspirational and global with each national government expected to set its own national targets, guided by the global level of ambition but taking into account national circumstances, and establish nationally-led monitoring frameworks. Monitoring the SDGs presents an unprecedented challenge and the 2030 Agenda explicitly calls for increased investment in national systems for collection, analysis and use of data and progressive disaggregation of indicators in order to monitor inequalities between and within countries. International agencies are expected to actively support the development and strengthening of country level systems for monitoring and reporting, primarily in order to inform national level decision making but also to facilitate more effective tracking of progress at national, regional and global levels.