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The U.N. Set 17 Goals To Make The World A Better Place. How's It Doing? (NPR)

March 22, 2018

From the article:

Forget all your preconceptions about how the world has changed over the past several decades. Here's all the data you need in a shiny new tool that tracks the planet's progress toward becoming a better place for everyone.
 
The folks at Our World in Data recently launched a first-of-its-kind "Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Tracker." It compiles the best available data from the United Nations, the World Bank and other sources to create interactive maps and charts that show how countries have progressed — or regressed — on issues like health, safety, poverty and equality.
 
It also shows where we stand in light of where we hope to be by 2030.
 
The framework for this tool is a set of 17 global goals that U.N. member states agreed in 2015 to achieve by 2030. The goals are highly ambitious, from "end poverty in all its forms everywhere" to "achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls."
 
Under each of the 17 goals, there are also specific targets to be measured by certain indicators.
 
It's a lot, and critics have complained that the goals are just too lofty and comprehensive. Nevertheless, global development efforts since 2015 have been geared toward achieving these Sustainable Development Goals.
 
...According to Charles Kenny, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, data collection is "slow and patchy." Policymakers, he says, need even more "fine-grain" information than they're getting.
 
"It's not country averages we want," he says. "It's county averages. And we don't have it. We have national data three years late."
 
He adds that, "in a way, it's another advantage of having Our World in Data do this project: It's a very rich resource that shows how well we're doing on the SDG targets we can track. [But it] points out that we can't even track many of these targets."
 

Read the full article here.

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Director of Technology and Development and Senior Fellow