Tracking the Sustainable Development Goals: Emerging Measurement Challenges and Further Reflections

66 Pages Posted: 7 May 2019

See all articles by Hai-Anh Dang

Hai-Anh Dang

World Bank - Development Data Group (DECDG); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA); Global Labor Organization (GLO); Vietnam National University Ha Noi; Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) - Centre for Analysis and Forecasting

Umar Serajuddin

World Bank

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Date Written: May 6, 2019

Abstract

The Sustainable Development Goals recently adopted by the United Nations represent an important step to identify shared global goals for development over the next two decades. Yet, the stated goals are not as straightforward and easy to interpret as they appear on the surface. Review of the Sustainable Development Goals indicators suggests that some further refinements to their wordings and clarifications to their underlying objectives would be useful. This paper brings attention to potential pitfalls with interpretation, where different evaluation methods can lead to different conclusions about country performance. The review of the United Nations'Sustainable Development Goals database highlights the overwhelming challenge with missing data: data are available for just over 50 percent of all the indicators and for just 19 percent of what is needed for comprehensively tracking progress across countries and over time. The paper offers further reflections and proposes some simple but cost-effective solutions to these challenges.

Keywords: Inequality, Economic Growth, Industrial Economics, Economic Theory & Research, Educational Sciences, Global Environment

Suggested Citation

Dang, Hai-Anh H. and Serajuddin, Umar, Tracking the Sustainable Development Goals: Emerging Measurement Challenges and Further Reflections (May 6, 2019). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8843, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3383814

Hai-Anh H. Dang (Contact Author)

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Umar Serajuddin

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