Rob Cohen and I organized two awesome sessions on the SDGs at the Population Association of America meetings in Chicago. The first session explored progress towards measurement and impact on well-measured goals, namely health,family and education. Three of these papers were at the sub-national scale, and one by Nick Graetz of IHME spatially resolved sub-national variations in maternal schooling.
A later session explored some fascinating frontiers in how we measure SDG targets beyond the big four of health, education and poverty. Ana Escoto and Landy Sanchez of El Colegio de México modeled diffusion of increased energy consumption across socioeconomic quintile through purchasing of applicances. Mark Montgomery of Population Council described the potential use of DesInventar, a media-based retrospective and prospective disaster registration database, to use as a monitoring tool for baseline and subsequent disaster exposures throughout the SDG period. Montgomery addresses the validity of DesInventar and explores the tricky part for demographers, of weighting spatial or block-based identification of disasters to a meaningful assessment of disaster impact on humans.
Clearly a community capacity to report and assess population, risk factors and disasters directly — Goal 18’s key mission — could kickstart our ability to understand future burdens of human disaster risk and our efforts to make things better going forward.