Measuring Distance to the SDG Targets 2019

An Assessment of Where OECD Countries Stand

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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.


Measuring distance to the SDG targets – The United Kingdom

Based on 127 available indicators allowing a coverage of 102 of the 169 SDG targets, the United Kingdom has currently achieved 17 of the 2030 targets, and many of the remaining distances to targets are small (). For example, the United Kingdom reports a relatively low death rate from traffic accidents (target 3.6), high participation rate in organized learning (target 4.2) and has achieved target 17.2 on official development assistance. However, some challenges remain; the United Kingdom is still very far (i.e. more than 3 standardised distances away) from meeting 2% of the targets. For instance, obesity rates are high (target 2.2), tobacco consumption is of concern (target 3.a) and policies and practices against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing could be improved, notably in international co-operation and engagement in cross-country initiatives (target 14.4).



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