Sustainable Development Goals

In September 2015, governments met in New York to adopt a new global framework to eradicate extreme poverty, reduce inequality and expand opportunity. This page brings together our work around this critical international process.



Leaving no one behind

Public event | 8 February 2016 10:00 - 12:00 GMT+00
Lilianne Ploumen, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, leads this #GlobalChallenges debate.

ODI parliamentary reception on the SDGs

Public event | 13 October 2015 13:00 - 14:30 GMT+01 (BST)
Following the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, ODI will bring together representatives from all major parties to consider next steps for the UK.
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Leave no one behind: the real bottom billion

Briefing papers | September 2015 | Tanvi Bhatkal, Emma Samman and Elizabeth Stuart
The Millennium Development Goals reduced poverty, though the gains have been close to zero for the poorest. This paper explores who has been left behind, and why.

Zero poverty, zero emissions: eradicating extreme poverty in the climate crisis

Research reports and studies | September 2015 | Ilmi Granoff, Jason Eis, Will McFarland and Chris Hoy, Charlene Watson, Gaia de Battista, Cor Marijs, Amina Khan and Natasha Grist
Poverty eradication cannot be maintained without concerted global action on climate change. If unchecked, climate change could draw up to 720 million people back into poverty.

Projecting progress: reaching the SDGs by 2030

Research reports and studies | September 2015 | Susan Nicolai, Chris Hoy, Tom Berliner and Thomas Aedy
This report projects progress for the SDGs, showing where – if current trends continue – the world will be in 2030.

Why and how a country lens matters for the SDGs

Research reports and studies | July 2015 | Emma Samman
A new research note outlines the importance of using a country-lens to measure SDG progress. Different countries are at different stages of development, and unless this is taken into account in setting targets and assessing progress, we risk creating a set of perverse...

European Report on Development 2015: combining finance and policies to implement a transformative post-2015 development agenda

Research reports and studies | May 2015 | Dirk Willem te Velde, Gideon Rabinowitz, Leah Worrall, Andrew Shepherd, Sebastian Grosse-Puppendahl, Max Büge, Debapriya Bhattacharya, Louka Katseli, James Mackie, Peter Wolff, San Bilal, Ingo Bordon, Vivienne Boufounou, Bruce Byers, Alisa Herrero, Marie-Agnes Jouanjean and Nannette Lindenberg
This report analyses the considerable changes in the Financing For Development landscape since the 2002 Monterrey Consensus.

A data revolution for governments: filling the gaps

Comment | 19 April 2015 | Elizabeth Stuart
'There could be up to 25% more people living in extreme poverty worldwide than we currently think. School attendance could be overstated by at least 10%. There could have been 133,000 maternal deaths in sub-Saharan Africa in 2013, or twice that number – we cannot...
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Leaving no one behind: how the SDGs can bring about real change

Briefing papers | March 2015 | Claire Melamed
The commitment to ‘leave no one behind’ has been a key feature of all the discussions on the post-2015 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This briefing looks at how the idea of leaving no one behind can be integrated into the SDGs.

Financing for sustainable development

Public event | 4 February 2015 09:30 - 12:30 GMT+00
​Economist Professor Jeffrey Sachs leads the launch event of ODI's #GlobalChallenges debate series to mark 2015, a key year in the fight against global poverty.

Financing the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals: a rough roadmap

Research reports and studies | December 2014 | Andrew Rogerson, Annalisa Prizzon and Homi Kharas
Income status is an unreliable guide to aid allocation. Looking ahead to Addis 2015, this report argues that middle income countries need more access to ‘hard’ loans and aid if they are vulnerable, requiring a thorough overhaul of the system of multilateral development...

What can be done to address intersecting inequalities? Social justice post-2015

Briefing papers | October 2014 | Andrew Norton; Chiara Mariotti; Andrew Shepherd; Naila Kabeer
​This briefing paper sets out what can be done to ensure that both policy action and politics at the national level address the multiple inequalities faced by marginalised people, and proposes the global monitoring of progress towards social justice through an...

Strengthening social justice to address intersecting inequalities

Research reports and studies | October 2014 | Veronica Paz Arauco, Haris Gazdar, Paula Hevia-Pacheco, Naila Kabeer, Amanda Lenhardt, Syeda Quratulain Masood, Haider Naqvi, Nandini Nayak, Andrew Norton, Nidhi Sadana Sabharwal, Elisa Scalise, Andrew Shepherd, Deepak Thapa, Sukhadeo Thorat, D. Hien Tran
The report reviews the experience of seven countries that have been successful in reducing intersecting inequalities and identifies the core ingredients characterising these experiences. It draws policy recommendations for countries committed to reduce group-based...

A place for panel data in the 'data revolution'?

Briefing papers | October 2014 | Lucy Scott and Chiara Mariotti
​This briefing makes the case for the importance of panel data – or surveys – which return to the same households or individuals at more than one point in time.

Taking the SDGs from ‘main basis’ to effective vision – what’s the roadmap?

Working and discussion papers | September 2014 | Andrew Norton, Andrew Scott, Paula Lucci, William Avis
The Open Working Group for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) published its proposal for the SDGs in July. This ODI discussion paper charts some of the challenges of converting the broader vision reflecting the world in 2015 into a workable goal framework.

From the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals: Learning the lessons from the trade diagnostic studies in the Pacific

Research reports and studies | June 2014 | Dan Gay, Jodie Keane and Yurendra Basnett
This report focuses on the transition from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with reference to the Pacific. It argues that the Pacific island countries (PICs) have much to gain from the SDGs if these goals contribute to...

Three Ps for SDGs

Comment | 7 May 2014 | Andrew Scott
'The Open Working Group's proposals will be a milestone in the process and not the final word, leaving negotiations in 2015 to further refine the framework of goals and targets of the post-2015 development agenda.'
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Zero poverty... think again: the impact of climate change on development efforts

Working and discussion papers | March 2014 | Miren Gutiérrez, Will McFarland and Lano Fonua
Climate change will affect the achievability of any future development goals through its impacts on areas such as agriculture, water and health, and through its many indirect impacts. This paper reviews what is known about the impacts of climate change on potential...

What's behind the demand for governance? An assessment of people's views

Research reports and studies | March 2014 | Gina Bergh, Alina Rocha Menocal and Laura Rodriguez Takeuchi
This paper analyses emerging data from the United Nations' MY World survey of people’s priorities for the future and how they have voted on governance-related issues. We compare this with a review of available evidence from global perception surveys and...

Governance targets and indicators for post 2015: an initial assessment

Research reports and studies | January 2014 | Marta Foresti and Leni Wild, with Laura Rodriguez Takeuchi and Andrew Norton
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are recognised as having significantly shaped the global policy debate and resource allocations for development cooperation, through raising the profile of key aspects of development. A defining feature of the goals has been that...

Game changers: global policy priorities for the post-2015 agenda

Research reports and studies | November 2013 | Pedro Martins, Jonathan Glennie, Shakira Mustapha
There is a lot of debate but little agreement on the ‘global partnership’ that could underpin new goals on sustainable development after 2015. As well as development finance, other issues like trade, migration and tax are potentially on the agenda. This paper pulls...

Equity, inequality and human development in a post-2015 framework

Research reports and studies | April 2013 | Claire Melamed and Emma Samman
A focus on tackling inequality ought to be central to a human development approach to the post-2015 framework. This paper will argue for an agenda which this focus features explicitly. It calls for an expansive conception of inequality across multiple dimensions of...

Water security: from abstract concept to meaningful metrics

Working and discussion papers | October 2012 | Nathaniel Mason and Roger Calow
This ODI Working Paper presents an overview of options for developing more rigorous metrics for progress in water security, which is essential if we are to translate the idea from an abstract concept to a meaningful tool to guide policy and practice.

European Report on Development 2011/2012 - Confronting scarcity: managing water, energy and land for inclusive and sustainable growth

Research reports and studies | May 2012 | Dirk Willem te Velde (Overseas Development Institute) James Mackie (European Centre for Development Policy Management) and Imme Scholz (Deutsche Institut für Entwicklungspolitik)
The third edition of the European Report on Development focuses on water, energy and land. It examines the constraints on each, the interrelationships between them and then considers how they can be managed together to promote growth in developing countries that is...