This report builds on a pioneering report last year of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, Sustainable Development Goals: Are the Rich Countries Ready?, which benefited also from the collaboration with the SDSN. Last year’s report described the status of the SDGs in mostly high-income countries. This report extends the work in several directions, by adding more indicators, refining the methodology, and by taking a global approach including non-OECD countries as well, with a coverage now of 149 of the 193 UN member states.
The purpose of this report is to assist countries in getting started with implementing the new SDGs. The SDGs are a universal agenda of sustainable development, calling on all nations to pursue a holistic strategy that combines economic development, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability. We are gratified that throughout the world, local and national governments are already rallying around the new goals, seeking ways to incorporate them into planning processes. Businesses, universities, and civil society are also recognizing that the SDGs are truly “something new,” requiring a new orientation of strategy.
Both the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the SDSN are deeply committed to the universal success in achieving the SDGs. As this report is written to help countries start the process of implementing the SDGs, we will jointly produce it for the coming three years. We look forward to the opportunity to improve the quality and coverage of the SDG Index and Dashboard over time. As this is the maiden voyage, we encourage and welcome feedback on the usefulness and limitations of the SDG Index and Dashboard, and advice on how the report can be made more useful and accurate in the coming years.
Aart De Geus and Jeffrey D. Sachs