At the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted at the United Nations in 2015, are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that countries across the world are committed to achieving individually and collectively by 2030.
Five years after the adoption of the SDGs there is a growing need to track the progress countries are making on each of the SDGs and identify the areas that might require more attention and resources from policymakers if significant progress has to be made in achieving those SDGs by 2030, the deadline for achieving the SDGs.
The Commonwealth SDG Data website attempts to track the progress Commonwealth countries are making collectively and individually on each of the 17 SDGs by visualising and analysing the latest and most comprehensive data made available by the most credible source for each data set. By displaying the progress Commonwealth countries are making on the SDGs, and by highlighting the areas where they may be lagging, this website seeks to provide accurate and objective data-led insight to help policymakers, development practitioners and innovators in Commonwealth countries do what is needed in order to accelerate progress in achieving all the SDGs in Commonwealth countries by 2030.
The 17 SDGs are:
SDG1: No poverty – end poverty in all forms and dimensions by 2030. This involves targeting the most vulnerable, increasing basic resources and services, and supporting communities affected by conflict and climate-related disasters.
SDG2: No hunger – The SDGs aim to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030, making sure all people–especially children–have sufficient and nutritious food all year. This involves promoting sustainable agricultural, supporting small-scale farmers and equal access to land, technology and markets. It also requires international cooperation to ensure investment in infrastructure and technology to improve agricultural productivity.
SDG3: Good health and well-being – Good health is essential to sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda reflects the complexity and interconnectedness of the two. It takes into account widening economic and social inequalities, rapid urbanization, threats to the climate and the environment, the continuing burden of HIV and other infectious diseases, and emerging challenges such as noncommunicable diseases. Universal health coverage will be integral to achieving SDG 3, ending poverty and reducing inequalities. Emerging global health priorities not explicitly included in the SDGs, including antimicrobial resistance, also demand action.
SDG4: Quality education – Achieving inclusive and quality education for all reaffirms the belief that education is one of the most powerful and proven vehicles for sustainable development. This goal ensures that all girls and boys complete free primary and secondary schooling by 2030. It also aims to provide equal access to affordable vocational training, to eliminate gender and wealth disparities, and achieve universal access to a quality higher education.
SDG5: Gender equality – It’s proven that empowering women and girls helps economic growth and development. It is vital to give women equal rights land and property, sexual and reproductive health, and to technology and the internet. Today there are more women in public office than ever before, but encouraging more women leaders will help achieve greater gender equality.
SDG6: Clean Water and Sanitation – Safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030 requires we invest in adequate infrastructure, provide sanitation facilities, and encourage hygiene. Protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems is essential.
SDG7: Affordable and clean energy – investing in solar, wind and thermal power, improving energy productivity, and ensuring energy for all is vital if we are to achieve SDG7 by 2030. Expanding infrastructure and upgrading technology to provide clean and more efficient energy in all countries will encourage growth and help the environment.
SDG8: Decent work and economic growth – The SDGs promote sustained economic growth, higher levels of productivity and technological innovation. Encouraging entrepreneurship and job creation are key to this, as are effective measures to eradicate forced labour, slavery and human trafficking. With these targets in mind, the goal is to achieve full and productive employment, and decent work, for all women and men by 2030.
SDG9: Industry, Innovation and infrastructure – Investment in infrastructure and innovation are crucial drivers of economic growth and development. With over half the world population now living in cities, mass transport and renewable energy are becoming ever more important, as are the growth of new industries and information and communication technologies.
SDG10: Reduced inequality – Income equality is on the rise across the globe and require sound policies to empower lower income earners, and promote economic inclusion of all regardless of sex, race or ethnicity. This involves improving the regulation and monitoring of financial markets and institutions, encouraging development assistance and foreign direct investment to regions where the need is greatest. Facilitating the safe migration and mobility of people is also key to bridging the widening divide.
SDG11: Sustainable cities and communities – Making cities sustainable means creating career and business opportunities, safe and affordable housing, and building resilient societies and economies. It involves investment in public transport, creating green public spaces, and improving urban planning and management in participatory and inclusive ways.
SDG12: Responsible consumption and production – The efficient management of our shared natural resources, and the way we dispose of toxic waste and pollutants, are important targets to achieve this goal. Encouraging industries, businesses and consumers to recycle and reduce waste is equally important, as is supporting developing countries to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption by 2030.
SDG13: Climate action – aims to mobilize US$100 billion annually by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries to both adapt to climate change and invest in low-carbon development. These actions must also go hand in hand with efforts to integrate disaster risk measures, sustainable natural resource management, and human security into national development strategies.
SDG14: Life below water – The SDGs aim to sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems from pollution, as well as address the impacts of ocean acidification. Enhancing conservation and the sustainable use of ocean-based resources through international law will also help mitigate some of the challenges facing our oceans.
SDG15: Life on land – Urgent action must be taken to reduce the loss of natural habitats and biodiversity which are part of our common heritage and support global food and water security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and peace and security.
SDG16: Peace, justice and strong institutions – The SDGs aim to significantly reduce all forms of violence, and work with governments and communities to end conflict and insecurity. Promoting the rule of law and human rights are key to this process, as is reducing the flow of illicit arms and strengthening the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance.
SDG17: Partnerships for the goals – The goals aim to enhance North-South and South-South cooperation by supporting national plans to achieve all the targets. Promoting international trade, and helping developing countries increase their exports is all part of achieving a universal rules-based and equitable trading system that is fair and open and benefits all.
The 17 SDGs are underpinned by 169 targets and a global indicator framework developed by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) and agreed and refined upon by United Nations Statistical Commission. The list of 169 targets underpinning the SDGs are available on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals website.