Monitoring progress towards the MDGs at the global level requires the collaboration of international agencies and close consultation with national experts and statisticians. The Inter- Agency and Expert Group on MDG Indicators coordinates the efforts of UN organizations, international parties and national statistical services. Coordinated by UN-DESA, the group meets twice a year to review enhanced collaboration on data compilation, methodological development and statistical capacity-building. All specialized agencies of the UN and the regional commissions are members of the group, which also includes other international statistical services, representatives from national statistical offices and experts in selected areas. Lead agencies have been designated by the Secretary-General to steer the data and methodological developments for each of the 48 MDG indicators.
The results of this work are reflected in The Millennium Development Goals Report 2005, supplemented by a more extensive on-line report and an on-line database (millenniumindicators.un.org), which contains country-level data for each of the selected indicators, as well as other background data and explanatory material. Maintained by the United Nations, this database comprises the most up-to-date series provided by the designated lead agency for the indicator in question. An annual regional and global analysis of this data is available at the same website.
In order to assist countries in monitoring and reporting on the MDGs, and in collaboration with other parts of the UN system, UNICEF developed DevInfo. Released in May 2004, this software tool allows for the collection and analysis of standard and specific user-defined indicators. DevInfo is being used by an ever-increasing number of governments, UN country teams, academic institutions and others to provide standardized and comparable reporting on MDGs, to advocate their achievement through policy measures and to develop national institutional capacity.