'Leave no one behind' index 2019

Briefing papers
September 2019
Soumya Chattopadhyay and Stephanie Manea

The commitment to ‘leave no one behind’ is a cornerstone of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and was also the theme of the first High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development of the Sustainable Development Goals era in 2016.

This index reviews the readiness of 159 countries to ‘leave no one behind’, assessing and monitoring the extent to which government systems are set up and ready to meet their leave no one behind commitment enshrined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It builds on its previous iterations in 2017 and 2018 and maintains the same methodology used in 2018. Our analysis compares changes over the past year, as well as increasing the scale of coverage from 86 countries in 2018 to 159 in 2019.

The index comprised three main thematic components:

1. Data: Are countries undertaking the surveys necessary to identify those at high risk of being left behind?

2. Policy: Do countries have key policies in place that address the needs of those at risk of being left behind – namely, women’s access to land, anti-discrimination labour-laws and universal access to health – that previous ODI research identified as critical areas to support leaving no one behind?

3. Finance: Are governments investing adequately in education, health and social protection – three sectors key to supporting those at high risk of being left behind? This dimension compares the share of public budget relative to international targets in these three sectors that build critical human capital.