The transition from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) brought with it significant changes in the process of creating the goals and with the actual content of the SDGs. One of the most important developments was the inclusion of SDG 16, which recognises the central role of effective, accountable and inclusive political institutions in promoting sustainable development. Yet, a significant shortcoming is the difficulty in measuring progress on this SDG 16. In addition to general issues linked with data availability across the various indicators, a key challenge is aggregating trends across these wide-ranging indicators to track overall progress on SDG 16. A second issue that follows, is that despite claims regarding the centrality of SDG 16 for achieving the other SDGs, little is known about the causal pathways from the different indicators in SDG 16 to the other SDGs and associated indicators. In other words, questions remain over how changes in SDG 16 indicators impact a country’s progress towards indicators linked to health, gender equality, water and sanitation, and climate change.