SDGs: Ruling by Numbers
What happens to the SDG agenda when it is translated into targets and indicators?
The SDGs provide an enormously important normative agenda. But is there a danger that the SDGs will lose their transformative potential when they are translated into detailed targets and indicators? Illustration: Colourbox
In this seminar, we present the findings from a major international research project on the SDGs.
by Desmond McNeill, SUM - Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo (UiO)
SDGs and the Power of Numbers:
Presentation of the findings
by Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, The New School, New York
SDG2 and Struggles over Sustainable Agriculture: Case study presentation by Desmond McNeill, SUM, UiO.
- Alexandra Wilde, UNDP Oslo Governance Centre
- Live Margrethe Rognerud, Statistics Norway (SSB)
- Viveka Palm, Statistics Sweden, member of IAEG-SDG
- Jon Lomøy, Director-General of Norad
Questions from the floor
About the seminar
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide an enormously important normative agenda. Negotiated through a complex process, with engagement of stakeholders with diverse interests and aspirations, the agenda is ambitious.
The SDGs call for development that is inclusive and sustainable, containing elements that tackle major structural causes of inequality and environmental destruction. Is there a danger that in the process of translating it into detailed targets and indicators, the SDGs will lose their transformative potential?
We present the findings from a major international research project on the SDGs.
About the research project
Knowledge and Politics in Setting and Measuring SDGs will be published in a special issue for Global Policy before the end of the year. Consisting of a dozen case studies undertaken by researchers from around the world, the aim of this study has been to better understand the possible limitations as well as the potential of the SDGs, so that they can best achieve their purpose.
Through the case studies, we have traced the trajectory of the SDGs from goals, through targets to 169 indicators. We studied the actors and their objectives in negotiating goals and targets and the process of selecting indicators.
The project addresses all the SDGs, covering topics such as gender, education, food and agriculture, inequality, environment, and employment. It also includes two papers focused on the changing landscape of data in development.