Launched at sdg.tracking-progress.org, The Global SDG Indicator Platform offers an opportunity to explore indicators for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (or SDGs) across the planet, including data for environmental sustainability and climate change.
According to the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), the platform not only gives users an engaging experience while answering, “Are we there yet?” regarding development but also highlights the importance of data availability in guiding policy decisions.
The platform incorporates approximately 100 data indicators used to measure progress toward the SDGs. The site and its companion report include information for each indicator, such as the indicator’s custodian organization, rationale, limitations, and data sources. By setting the platform’s “dashboard” feature to compare countries with similar conditions and trends, users can uncover examples where best practices may be found—and where actions on one goal may help or hinder achieving other goals.
A review of the Global SDG Indicator Platform and its companion report reveal:
- In line with recent statements from the United Nations and world leaders, much of the planet is not on track to achieve the SDGs by 2030.
- SDGs 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) had the highest number of countries reporting data.
- SDGs 5 (Gender Equality), 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), 10 (Reduced Inequalities) and 14 (Life Below Water) had the fewest number of countries reporting data.
- There are as many approaches to assessing SDG implementation data as there are studies assessing SDG implementation. High-profile reports have either extrapolated trends out to 2030, graded countries’ trends A-F, set end values for SDG targets, ranked countries on SDG achievement from 0-100, or developed regional and/or sub-regional aggregates from indicator data.
While data gaps may be related to the relative importance of an issue in a region others involve major indicators of societal well-being.
The IISD is an independent think tank that delivers the knowledge to act. Its mission is to promote human development and environmental sustainability. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa and Toronto, the work impacts nearly 100 countries.