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Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by all member states of the United-Nations in 2015, describe a universal agenda that applies to and must be implemented by all countries. Sound metrics and data are critical for turning the SDGs into practical tools for problem solving.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The Sustainable Development Report (formerly the SDG Index & Dashboards) is the first worldwide study to assess where each country stands with regard to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Unlike its predecessor the Millennium Development Goals, the SDGs set standards not only for emerging and developing countries, but also for the industrialized nations. Governments and civil society alike can utilize the Sustainable Development Report to identify priorities for action, understand key implementation challenges, track progress, ensure accountability, and identify gaps that must be closed in order to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

The Sustainable Development Report is co-produced every year since 2016 by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). It is a complement to the official SDG indicators and voluntary country-led review processes. The report is not an official monitoring tool. It uses publicly available data published by official data providers (World Bank, WHO, ILO, others) and other organizations including research centers and non-governmental organizations.

The interest in the global Sustainable Development Report has spurred many initiatives to develop localized assessments of SDG progress. For example, the SDSN and its partners are preparing city-level SDG indices for the United States, Italy, Spain, and the European Union, among others. The SDG Center for Africa and the SDSN have prepared an Africa SDG Index and Dashboards Report. Several other regional and sub-national assessments are in preparation.