Where to start with the SDGs?

Development Matters

By Simon Scott, Counsellor, Statistics Directorate, OECD; Jeff Leitner,Fellow, New America and Managing Director, GreenHouse; and William Hynes, Co-ordinator, New Approaches to Economic Challenges programme, OECD

Simon-Scott “The SDGs as a network of targets,” from David Le Blanc, “Towards integration at last?”, DESA Working Paper No. 141 ST/ESA/2015/DWP/141

The upside to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), signed off at a UN Leaders’ Summit in September 2015, was their inclusiveness. An Open Working Group of 30 nations worked for two and a half years to develop the Goals, meeting 13 times, sometimes for a week, and organising countless national and thematic consultations, stakeholder forums, and on-line and door-to-door surveys. Almost everyone who wanted a say in the SDGs could have one, and more often than not, their voices were heard.

This led to the downside of the Goals – their sheer breadth and volume. The Economist satirised…

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