Abidjan, 13 November 2018 - Statisticians and urban planners from 15 Francophone countries have convened at a workshop held in Abidjan to Assess the feasibility of a global definition of city or urban area for monitoring and review of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for urban areas and the New Urban Agenda (NUA). This is the second of seven workshops to be conducted globally by UN-Habitat with financial support from the European Commission to harmonize the definition of the city for monitoring of the SDGs and development of methodologies and data collection approaches for indicators related to land and rural areas.

The workshops will introduce countries to the Degree of Urbanization (DEGURBA) concept developed by the European Commission to define the city based on interpretation of satellite images and statistical data obtained from the United Nations and participating countries. This will strengthen capacity in the use of urban definitions tested at the global level, adopt national monitoring frameworks based on scientifically proven methods that produce reliable, up-to-date and disaggregated data, monitor and review SDGs and New Urban Agenda (NUA), and translate the factual data generated into transformative policies and actions towards sustainable urban development.

Participants welcomed the UN initiative to help countries standardize the reporting and benchmarking process for SDG indicators. "Overall, this was a good opportunity to shed light on efforts towards harmonization of the definition of the city for monitoring SDG indicators and their comparability at the global level. It also sets the direction for activities on urban indicators,” said Mr. Tete Kossi Gbeblèwou focal point for urban issues for INSEED in Togo.

Participants at the workshop which was opened by the technical adviser of the National Institute of Statistics (INS) in Côte d'Ivoire included senior representatives of the Ivorian ministry of City and Construction and the ministry of Housing and Town Planning, the European Commission, and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).