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SDG 16 Data Initiative Global Report 2022: Are we on track to meeting the 2030 agenda?

What is the media’s role in promoting peace and sustainable development? At a time of democratic backsliding and protracted conflict in many countries, safeguarding media freedoms and protecting access to free information are essential to building inclusive societies. The SDG 16 Data Initiative’s latest global report assesses progress in this area.

Author: Yelyzaveta Bezushko | 15. November 2022

SDG 16 Data Initiative Global Report 2022

By Christopher Chanco

The SDG 16 Data Initiative is releasing its latest global report this week. The report assesses progress toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal 16, “Promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development”. The SDG 16 Data Initiative is a coalition of over a dozen organisations working in the areas of peacebuilding, sustainable development, and democracy promotion. As one of the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, SDG 16 cuts across a range of themes from the rule of law to the protection of journalists and free speech.

Key Global report 2022 findings

 “This year’s report suggests that it is looking increasingly unlikely for many of the SDG16 indicators to meet key targets. While some progress has been made, indicators such as access to justice, restrictions to civil society and democratic accountability have seen declines, or at best are stagnant. Democratic erosion, protracted conflict, armed violence and inequality are factors that have contributed to these declines.

There is a need for renewed focus on preventing ‘democratic decline’, protecting civil society organizations and media professionals involved in the increasingly high-risk work of defending media freedom, protecting human rights and providing access to justice.” –   IDEA International

GFMD’s contribution

The GFMD, through its members and partners, have been closely following this process. We are bringing together policymakers, media development practitioners, and civil society to push for a more holistic understanding of sustainable development: one that fully takes into account the role that journalists and independent media play in bolstering democratic institutions, promoting human rights, and defending free speech.

The SDG 16 Data Initiative 2022 Global report features a chapter co-authored by Ivana Bjelic Vucinic, director of the GFMD’s International Media Policy and Advisory Centre (IMPACT), Laura Becana Ball, GFMD’s Advocacy and Policy Manager, and Toby Mendel from the Centre for Law and Democracy (“Progress on access to information and respect for fundamental freedoms weak as we approach the SDG halfway point”).

The chapter evaluates the steps that governments have taken in the fight against impunity, especially in countries where journalists and other media workers find themselves at risk of violence or political repression for practising their profession. It also looks into the question of freedom of information — critical to ensuring that journalists can carry out their work in full transparency, unhindered by opaque laws or political repression.

In a separate chapter “Nearly halfway: but where are we?”, Mendel notes that we have made limited or no progress on almost all of the targets and indicators examined by the SDG16 Data Initiative.

Virtual launch of the SDG 16 Data Initiative Global Report

Date and time

Thursday, November 17, 2022, 4:00 pm Sweden Time (Stockholm, GMT+01:00)


10:00: Welcome
10:00 – 10:15: Interactive discussion
Why is SDG16 especially important for achieving other SDGs?
The inclusion of SDG16 was the most innovative change from MDGs to SDGs, but as the report shows, progress is stagnant. Why is this?
10:15 – 11:00: SDG16 DI Report Presentation
Individual chapter presentations
11:00 – 11:15: Recommendations
What can we do to achieve the 2030 Agenda for SDG16?
11:15-11:30: Questions and Answers
11:30: Closing


For further information, please contact Ms. Amanda Sourek at a.sourek@idea.int

To attend the event kindly register here or watch the event live on YouTube.

The report is available here. 

To know more about how to support journalism and media, sign up for a newsletter from GFMD IMPACT – the Global Forum for Media Development’s International Media Policy and Advisory Centre.  Join our growing community!


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