Chapter 7: Mainstreaming into National Monitoring Processes

Table of Contents

Introduction Multimedia
key concepts Tools
Topics Results
Key messages Activity
Takeaways Further reading



This chapter highlights the importance of integrating poverty-environment objectives into monitoring systems, and presents a considered approach and experience-based examples. It also explores the Beyond GDP initiative for measuring national and global progress.


Key concepts

  • Including poverty-environment objectives in the national monitoring system helps maintain and improve understanding of poverty-environment linkages and how they can be measured.

  • Reviewing how public funds are spent by government across sectors and nationally and/or subnationally can identify what was spent, what was achieved as a result, and whether the results achieved met pro-poor and environmentally sustainable development objectives.

  • Traditional measurements of economic growth have centred on the concept of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which measures the gross output of an economy and was never intended to be a measure of wider societal well-being.

  • Principal mainstreaming entry points for Beyond GDP work include integrated surveys and assessments, poverty-environment and green economy–related multidimensional poverty indicators, and Natural Capital valuation and accounting.


Topics covered in this chapter

  • National monitoring systems

  • Poverty-environment indicators

  • Consultative processes

  • Natural capital

  • Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)

  • Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES)


Key messages

  • Define what constitutes environment or climate expenditure, ideally through a consultative process.

  • To identify possibly poverty-environment linkages through a consultative process, select a core set of indicators from among the possible poverty-environment indicators, applying indicative criteria:

    • Policy relevant

    • Links environment and poverty goals and results

    • Specific, Measurable, Attributable, Relevant and Time bound (SMART)

    • Comparable and sensitive to changes

    • Gender sensitive

    • Disaggregated data

    • Cost-effective

    • Aggregative

  • Ideally, data will include electronic expenditure information, at its most disaggregated level, directly from the public financial management system (i.e. system of national accounts).

  • Assess which expenditures are poverty-environment or climate relevant and gauge the level of relevance to arrive at a total expenditure, according to project/sector/budget identification and labeling.

  • Analyse the data according to special issues, poverty-environment concerns, climate change adaptation, etc., to inform advocacy aimed at increasing budget allocations for poverty-environment mainstreaming and other objectives.



Did you know?

  • Bangladesh currently spends about 6–7 per cent of its annual budget on climate change adaptation. All ministries that submit projects for funding must specify the percentage of poor people that will benefit, what the impact on natural resources will be and the extent of resilience of new infrastructure to climate change.

  • The global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) is an international measure of acute poverty covering over 100 developing countries. It complements traditional income-based poverty measures by capturing the deprivations that each person faces at the same time with respect to education, health and living standards

  • Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) is a World Bank-led global partnership that aims to promote sustainable development by ensuring that natural resources are mainstreamed in development planning and national economic accounts.

  • The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) is a framework that integrates economic and environmental data to provide a more comprehensive and multipurpose view of the interrelationships between the economy and the environment and the stocks and changes in stocks of environmental assets, as they bring benefits to humanity.










Examples of Poverty-Environment Indicators. Box 7.1.

Integrating and Refining Poverty-Environment Indicators in Tanzania. Box 7.3.

CPEIR in Bangladesh Leads to New Focus on Climate Change in Budget System. Box 7.4.


Activity: Mainstreaming into National Monitoring Processes

Discuss in a small group:


  1. Has the government integrated poverty-environment objectives in the national monitoring system to facilitate the following?

  • Regular monitoring

  • Regular reporting

  • Informing the policy process

  1. Has the government considered the following approaches to integrating poverty-environment issues into the national monitoring system?

  • Monitoring poverty-environment issues within the framework of the existing national system

  • Developing poverty-environment indicators as part of national development plans and/or sector strategies

  • Coordinating and strengthening the national statistics office and related institutions involved in the national monitoring system

  • Including emerging environmental and development issues such as climate change, inclusive green economy, and sustainable production and consumption as integral components of poverty-environment indicators

  1. Has the government taken the following steps to ensure that poverty-environment issues are integrated into the national monitoring system?

  • Review literature and experience in other countries
  • Analyse national priorities and identify entry points

  • Analyse existing monitoring and reporting systems

  • Identify possible poverty-environment linkages through a consultative process

  • Select a core set of indicators

  • Continuously review and refine indicators

  1. Has the government taken the following steps in conducting a public expenditure and institutional analysis?

  • Defining the body of total expenditure that is going to be analysed in terms of poverty-environment or climate change relevance
  • Review the data available

  • Filter the data by assessing which expenditures are poverty-environment or climate change relevant

  • Further analyse the data according to special issues

  • Assess the quality of expenditure

  1. Has the government considered some principal mainstreaming entry points for going Beyond GDP work?

  • Integrated surveys and assessments, including household living standards and measurement surveys, integrated diagnostic tools including strategic environmental assessments, and poverty and social impact analyses and economic assessments

  • Poverty-environment and green economy–related multidimensional poverty indicators

  • Natural capital valuation and accounting


Further reading


The application of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting for integrated planning, budgeting and monitoring for poverty-related Sustainable Development Goals (2016).


Working Paper. UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative.


Beyond GDP – is it time to rethink the way we measure growth? (Chainey, 2016). Agenda in Focus: Beyond GDP. World Economic Forum.

Constraints in Public Environmental Expenditure Analysis in Philippine Government (2013). Mendoza, R., Asian Institute of Management, International Journal of Accountancy Research, Vol. 1.


Designing household survey questionnaires for developing countries: lessons from 15 years of the Living Standards Measurement Study (2000). The World Bank.

Gender Indicators (Aguilar, L. n.d.). IUCN-Gender and Environment.

Human Development Index (HDI) (2016). United Nations Development Programme.

Improving Gender Targeting of Public Expenditures A Guidance Note on How to Address Gender Considerations in Public Expenditure Reviews (2009). The World Bank.

Inclusive Wealth Report 2012. Measuring progress toward sustainability (2012). United Nations University and United Nations Environment Programme.

Measuring Multidimensional Poverty: Insights from Around the World (2015). BMZ and Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, Oxford University.

A Methodological Guidebook Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review (CPEIR) (2015). United Nations Development Programme.

Natural Capital Accounting (2014). The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB).

Natural Capital Accounting (2016). The World Bank.


Public Expenditure Reviews – Understanding the contribution of the environment to pro-poor development objectives (2017). UNDP–UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative.

Stakeholder Consultation (including ‘Consultation with Indigenous Peoples’ and ‘Gender Considerations for Consultation’) (n.d.). International Finance Corporation.

System of Environmental Economic Accounting (2017). United Nations.

Technical notes: Calculating the human development indices—graphical presentation (2016). United Nations Development Programme.


Published Date: 
Wednesday, November 1, 2017