Sustainable Development Goals
In 2015 a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) replaced the Millennium Development Goals. This follows a two year process of global consultations and intergovernmental negotiations. The framework brings together the three aspects of sustainable development – the economic, environmental and social - and consists of 17 goals and 169 targets that will apply to all countries, with a deadline of 2030 to be met.
What about indicators?
Indicators for the goals and targets are still to be agreed. The Independent-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) has already begun a consultation on the indicator framework. Further timings for agreement are currently as follows:
- 26-28 October – IAEG-SDGs meeting in Bangkok
- December 2015 - The launch of an indicators report for consultation
- March 2016 – Formal agreement and launch of indicators
At the last meeting of the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in June/July 2015 it was agreed that reviews of progress should be universal and led by individual countries. The overall process of national reviews and thematic progress will be led by the HLPF and start from 2016.
SDGs vs MDGs – what's new?
There are significant differences between the MDGs and SDGs, including:
- The SDG framework has brought all three aspects of sustainable development – the economic, social and environmental – in a much more integrated way than the MDGs ever did.
- There were only eight MDG goals and while some have argued that this made them more achievable, others have argued that the process that resulted in the SDGs was a much more transparent and open process with a lot more consensus on the framework that was ultimately created.
- The SDGs apply to all countries, rich and poor alike.
- The world has changed significantly since the MDGs were created in 2000. Notions of developed and developing have changed, international development is less about the transfer of aid from rich to poor countries and more about progressive change for everyone, everywhere, rising powers such as China, Brazil and India are becoming increasingly influential and have established a New Development Bank, technology has advanced significantly and the world is a much more interconnected places with challenges and opportunities experienced globally as well as locally.
Read the last MDG progress report (pdf)
- Research Fellow/Digital Cluster Leader
- Participation Research Cluster Leader
- Research Fellow
HEART (Health and Education Advice and Resource Team)
HEART is a consortium of leading organisations in international development, health, nutrition and education. IDS works together with these organisations to support the use of evidence and expert advice in policymaking. More details
Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index - HANCI
HANCI measures and ranks governments’ political commitment to reduce hunger and undernutrition on an annual basis. More details
International Climate Fund: Enhancing Capacity to Deliver on Gender
A partnership between Coffey, IDS and RICARDO AEA has been formed to improve mainstreaming and targeting of women and girls in the International Climate Fund. More details
Millennium Villages in Northern Ghana Impact Evaluation
This project is a ten year independent impact evaluation of the Millennium Villages in Northern Ghana. The IE is being delivered by IDS, ITAD and PDA Ghana. More details
Participate: Knowledge from the margins for post-2015
Ensuring that the most vulnerable and marginalised communities have the opportunity to shape post-2015 policymaking More details
Participate: Participatory Monitoring and Accountability
The Participatory Monitoring and Accountability (PMA) programme marks a new phase of the Participate initiative. It aims to foster and support PMA learning processes that enable citizen participation for accountability to be embedded in development policy and practice. More details
Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability (STEPS) Centre
The STEPS Centre is an interdisciplinary global research and policy engagement hub, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. It aims to develop a new approach to understanding, action and communication on sustainability and development. More details
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By James Allen
How will the Sustainable Development Goals be implemented in Tanzania?19 May 2016
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SDG 4 Education: Necessary ambition or misplaced folly?11 May 2016
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Applying lessons from the MDGs to the SDGs in Nepal27 Apr 2016
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The role of Kenya’s devolution process in implementing the SDGs25 Apr 2016
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Breaking the cycle of poverty16 Mar 2016
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How can we implement the SDG 16 in our increasingly volatile world?16 Mar 2016
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Global challenges - why think tanks have some, not all of the answers25 Jan 2016
By Melissa Leach
How can the SDGs move on from the inequalities in water management?16 Dec 2015
By Ronaldo Munck