Work on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework is now well advanced andwill outline a vision, goals, and targets for the next decade of biodiversity conser-vation and beyond. For the effectiveness of Protected areas and Other Effectivearea-based Conservation Measures, an indicator has been proposed for “areasmeeting their documented ecological objectives.” However, the Convention onBiological Diversity (CBD) has not identified or agreed on what data shouldinform this indicator. Here we draw on experiences from the assessment of pro-tected area effectiveness in the CBD’s previous strategic plan to provide recom-mendations on the essential elements related to biodiversity outcomes and man-agement that need to be captured in this updated indicator as well as how thiscould be done. Our proposed protected area effectiveness indicators include acombination of remotely derived products for all protected areas, combined withdata from monitoring of both protected area management and trends in speciesand ecosystems based on field observations. Additionally, we highlight the needfor creating a digital infrastructure to operationalize national-level data-capture.We believe these steps are critical and urge the adoption of suitable protectedarea effectiveness indicators before the post-2020 framework is agreed in 2021.