"Every Body Counts" - Small Arms Survey Advocates for Measuring Violent Deaths as SDG Indicator 

First published 19th Mar 2015

In early March 2015 Small Arms Survey published a research note "Every Body Counts: Measuring Violent Deaths", focusing on the objective measurement of violent deaths as a composite indicator that can be realistically used for monitoring progress towards target 16.1 of the Sustainable Development Goals (formerly Millenium Development Goals) Target 16.1 seeks "To significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere".

This report, available available here, was released as the 46th Session of the UN Statistical Commission met to seek agreement on modalities for the development of the indicator framework for the post-2015 development agenda and discuss its implementation.

The report reviews the range of available data indicators, which includes the data being compiled by member organisations of the Casualty Recorders Network convened by Every Casualty, as well as the integrative database that Small Arms Survey has been compiling, and which informs its periodic reports on the "Global Burden of Armed Violence".

The report points out that:

"In the past decade the availability of data on violent deaths has improved substantially in terms of both coverage and comprehensiveness...Countries have a greater capacity to establish and maintain systems for recording violent deaths and to disaggregate the collected data, although large gaps are still present."

The report concludes by saying, "The adoption of ‘violent deaths’ as an indicator within the SDG framework would be accompanied by a strong will among UN member states to build the necessary capacities for smooth and effective data collection. Furthermore, it would contribute to realizing the call for a data revolution,a call that sees data and statistics as comprising an instrument of change towards more transparency, accountability, and inclusion, so that no one is indeed left behind."

Every Casualty welcomes this report, and endorses the call on states to support efforts for better and more consistent monitoring of violent deaths worldwide.