Measuring distance to the SDG targets

The OECD Measuring Distance to the SDG Targets Study aims to help member countries assess where they stand now and to identify the areas where additional effort is required in order to achieve the goals. It also sets out the statistical agenda – showing how much we do not yet know, and how this might impact both the achievement of the SDGs, and decisions about what to prioritise across this vast agenda. The methodology underlying the Study also provides a way for OECD countries to understand their SDG achievements and challenges in a comparative context.

This Study goes further than the previous (2017) edition in exploring how OECD countries have been doing over time by showing, indicator by indicator, whether they are moving in the right direction. It also highlights how much of the 2030 Agenda is transboundary in nature, thus requiring countries to consider their impacts beyond their own borders, as well as whether they are meeting the SDG targets domestically.

The results of the Study indicate that OECD countries are, on average, closest to achieving targets such as access to basic amenities (e.g. energy, information and communication technologies, and modern education facilities); maternal, infant and neonatal mortality rates; statistical capacity; public access to information; and conservation of coastal areas. They are furthest away from several targets related to inequalities (e.g. relative income poverty, disparities in education, women’s participation and leadership); healthy behaviours (tobacco use and malnutrition); certain educational and employment outcomes (secondary education; adult numeracy skills; share of youth not education, employment or training); and violence and safety (e.g. violence against women; feelings of safety).

When aggregated at the Goal level, the Study finds that OECD countries are on average closest to achieving goals on Energy, Cities and Climate (goals 7, 11 and 13) and goals relating to Planet (Water, 6; Sustainable Production, 12; Climate, 13; Oceans, 14; and Biodiversity, 15). They are furthest from reaching goals related to inclusiveness, such as Gender Equality and Reducing Inequality (goals 5 and 10), with Food and Institutions (goals 2 and 16) also areas of weaker performance.

The full report is available ONLINE

Source: OECD

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