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Measuring Distance to the SDG Targets 2019

An Assessment of Where OECD Countries Stand

image of Measuring Distance to the SDG Targets 2019

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set a broad and ambitious programme for the world to achieve by 2030. With 17 Goals, underpinned by 169 Targets, the complex and integrated nature of the 2030 Agenda presents national governments with huge challenges for implementation. To assist countries, the OECD has developed a unique methodology allowing comparison of progress across SDG goals and targets. Based on the UN Global List of 244 indicators, this study evaluates the distance that OECD countries need to travel to meet SDG targets for which data is currently available. This 2019 edition of the study presents the latest results for OECD countries, both on average and individually, as well as new exploratory approaches to assessing progress over time and transboundary aspects of the SDGs. By providing a high-level overview of countries’ strengths and weaknesses in performance across the SDGs, this study aims to support member countries in navigating the SDGs and in setting their own priorities for action within the broad 2030 Agenda.

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The methodology behind measuring distance to the SDG targets

The complexity of the 2030 Agenda, with 17 Goals, 169 targets and 244 indicators on the UN Global Indicator List, makes assessing performance on SDGs a difficult undertaking. In order to measure the distance of OECD countries to SDG targets, the study uses a unique methodology allowing comparisons across goals and targets. This chapter describes the methodology used, including the selection of indicators and the setting of numerical values for the targets. In addition, it details the methodology used for assessing trends over time and performance on the transboundary targets of the 2030 Agenda.

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