The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be the guiding framework for international development until 2030 and are intended to provide a reference for setting national policy priorities.
This unique, searchable database provides a snapshot of what those national priorities are. Users can compare existing national targets with the ambition of the SDGs. We intend this to be a living document, supplemented and kept up to date by crowdsourcing, and we encourage others to send us new information on national goals to update the tracker.
The review covered documents (national development strategies, country sector plans and national reports to international organisations) available online in English, Spanish and French, and took place between April and December 2014. The analysis was conducted between October 2014 and December 2014. As national targets can be adopted and revised at any point by governments, some of the information in our dataset may have been superseded by the time of publication.
We hope this will be a useful contribution as the SDGs move from the negotiation to the implementation phase.
Please send any new information on national level targets in any of the areas covered by the SDGs to email@example.com
What did the review of current targets find?
The information currently in the database is based on a review of existing national targets, or policy commitments, towards 11 selected SDGs, in 75 countries. The gap between national targets and likely global targets was calculated for 13 indicators, relating to eight goals.
• Unsurprisingly, the level of stretch beyond current levels of political ambition that will be required of low-income countries (LICs) to achieve most of the SDGs is greater than for middle- and high income countries. For LICs the biggest political stretch will be in targets for pre-primary education and secondary education completion. For MICs, the improved sanitation and access to electricity require the greatest political stretch. And for HICs, it will be renewable energy.
• The majority of national targets identified (52%) are for the period after 2015. Governments may wait for these to expire before setting national SDG targets. Countries’ national post-2015 goals and targets, and their review, will most likely be aligned with their national policy-making and planning processes.
• Governments currently articulate and measure their development objectives using a wide range of metrics. Common indicators, differentiated for example by country income groups, would enable comparisons to be made across countries.
To see the full report analysing the data, click here.
Notes on the data
Goals and targets: The review of national targets covered 11 assumed goal areas, and 62 targets and indicators. These assumptions were compared and found to be consistent with the SDGs proposal from the Open Working Group.
Indicators: The dataset includes information about quantifiable national targets, or policy commitments, for 13 indicators. Information for a total of 62 indicators was collected. The remaining data will be made available here in the near future.
Sources: The information in the dataset is drawn from publicly available sources. The main ones were national plans and development strategies, sector plans, and reports to international organisations, such as national MDG reports. Sources can be obtained from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Countries: The dataset covers 75 countries, selected to represent a balance between regions of the world and income groups.
OWG Goal Number: The number of the equivalent goal in the Open Working Group’s outcome document (July 2014) and zero draft (June 2015).
OWG Target Number: The number of the equivalent target in the Open Working Group’s outcome document (July 2014) and zero draft (June 2015).
Assumed Global Target: A statement of the global target assumed to be included in the SDGs.
Global Target Value: The quantitative and measurable global target. For most indicators the assumed global target value is either 0 (e.g. eradicating extreme poverty) or 100 (e.g. every child completes primary education). The exceptions are renewable energy, forests and maternal mortality. In the case of renewable energy the assumed global target is to double the value of that indicator in 2010 (following the Sustainable Energy for All initiative); the assumed global target value included in the database is the average of doubling the proportion of renewables for all countries in our sample that had a target (in the case of renewables as % of energy consumption, the result was 66%, whereas for renewables as % of electricity generated, the result was 48%). For forests, the global target is assumed to be zero net loss in forested area. In other words, the value of the global target is the same as the value of this indicator in 2010. For maternal mortality, the assumed global target follows that of the Open Working Group’s outcome document, to reduce it to 70 per 100,000 live births.
National Target Value: The quantitative and measurable national target identified by reviewing documents from each country. The statement of the national target and the source of the information are given in pop-up boxes.
National Target Year: The target year for the national target.
Difference between national target and global target: The numerical difference between the assumed global target and the relevant national target.
Required yearly change to meet national target: Calculated as the difference between performance in 2010 and the national target, divided by the number of years between 2010 and the national target year (change measured in the units of the indicator).
Required yearly change to meet global target: Calculated as the difference between performance in 2010 and the assumed global target, divided by the number of years between 2010 and the global target year (change measured in the units of the indicator).
Historical yearly change (1990-2010): Calculated as the difference between the 2010 value of the indicator and the 1990 value, divided by the number of years (20). The values of indicators in 1990 and 2010 are from World Development Indicators. When 1990 or 2010 were not available, the closest years were used (change measured in the units of the indicator).