A new tool has been developed to help governments and other stakeholders to create and choose ambitious and effective sustainable development goals (SDGs) and targets, which fulfil the commitments made by world leaders at Rio+20.
The ‘Tests of Success for the SDGs’, produced by Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future and partners, aims to help guide and assess the international process currently underway to create a new set of global goals to eradicate poverty through sustainable development.
A large and diverse range of goals and targets are being suggested for inclusion in the new global framework. This tool provides some objective parameters to assist members of the UN General Assembly’s Open Working Group on SDGs in choosing which ones to take forward, as well as to ensure that they fulfil the standards agreed by governments at the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).
The tool also provides an accountability instrument for stakeholders to use in assessing the progress made in designing the SDGs, and with which to hold policy-makers to account for the final outcome.
The ‘Tests of Success for the SDGs’ focuses on five key ‘filter’ categories: universality and differentiation; integration; transformation; communicability; and measurement and implementation. It also provides a matrix of key questions or ‘tests’ to apply at the goal, target or overall framework level. The tests were developed from an initial list of fundamental principles and criteria for the SDGs, which were based on the agreements made at Rio+20, as well as other key international and stakeholder reports.
The tool was created with the support and guidance of some of the leading authorities on SDGs and the post-2015 development agenda, including: Debapriya Bhattacharya (Centre for Policy Dialogue), Paula Caballero (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombia), Molly Elgin-Cossart (Center for American Progress), Neva Frecheville (CAFOD), Georgios Kostakos (Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability, Paul Okumu (Africa Civil Society Platform), Janos Pasztor (WWF International), Minh-Thu Pham (UN Foundation), Guido Schmidt-Traub (Sustainable Development Solutions Network) and Dominic White (WWF-UK).
Farooq Ullah, Executive Director of Stakeholder Forum, said:
“The development of new global goals for humanity’s future will be a challenging exercise. By providing key tests to measure the quality of proposed goals and targets, highlighting areas where particular components of the framework need further development and empowering stakeholders to hold governments to account for the outcome, we hope that this tool will contribute to the establishment of a truly progressive, integrated and ambitious set of SDGs which will put humanity on the pathway to sustainability.”
Guido Schmidt-Traub, Sustainable Development Solutions Network, said:
"Meeting the Rio+20 call for a small number of action-oriented, concise, transformative, and universal Sustainable Development Goals is above all a substantive and political challenge for the international community. These tests provide an important objective tool to strengthen and consolidate the work currently underway in the Open Working Group."
A copy of the tool can be downloaded here.