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Introducing the Our World in Data 'Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Tracker'

Our World in Data presents the empirical evidence on global development in entries dedicated to specific topics.

This post introduces our Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Tracker.

Update: In June 2018, we re-launched an updated and improved version of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Tracker. Our blog post on this re-launch is available here, and our update is live at SDG-Tracker.org.

In 2015 the world set a new sustainable development agenda, pledging within the United Nations (UN) to achieve 17 development goals by 2030: The Sustainable Development Goals (also known as The Global Goals). Ranging from eradicating poverty, to ensuring clean energy for all, to reaching sustainable levels of consumption, the array of targets across these goals were selected to drive our efforts in the 15 years up to 2030.

To track progress towards these goals it is necessary to measure how these indicators are changing for all countries around the world and developing an interactive hub where people across the world can explore global or country-level progress seems like an obvious step. However, we were surprised to find that there are currently no resources which do exactly this. There are particular databases — such as the UN's SDG Indicators Global Database — where raw data and metrics are available to download. But no website to date tracks the progress towards the SDGs in an engaging way that everyone can interact with.

We have therefore created a first prototype of this website – the OurWorldinData-integrated SDG Tracker.

Our site presents all of the official UN metrics and additional visualizations relevant to each target, where data is available. You will also notice that data is poor or not available for some targets — understanding where major data gaps lie is also an important task in tracking progress.

This SDG Tracker links in closely with all of what we cover at Our World in Data. It is in essence an organized summary of many of the trends you find across our publication. Across each goal we highlight the relevant sections of the site where you will find longer-term and additional data and analysis on particular topics. This tracker in its current form is the first prototype of its kind; it is a project we aim to expand upon and keep up-to-date. To help us make it as useful as possible, we are keen to hear your feedback on what works well, what we could do better, and how to extend the reach of SDG engagement as widely as possible. If you have any thoughts, please don't hesitate to get in touch via the 'Feedback' option in the footer of the site.