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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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Executive summary

With eleven years left to achieve the ambitious goals of the 2030 Agenda, how close are OECD countries to reaching the SDGs? And how is our understanding constrained by targets and indicators that still cannot be measured? 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.

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