New SDGs "risk failure without clearer targets" says new report

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 risk failure without clearer, more measurable targets that are based on the latest scientific evidence, a report from the International Council for Science and the International Social Science Council, has warned – as Reuters and others, note.

The 17 SDGs are set to replace the 8 Millennium Development Goals.  However, the report says that the 169 targets related to the draft goals rely too much on vague language, and would be more effective if set against numerical indicators.  The research concludes that only a third of the targets were well defined and based on the latest scientific evidence, while more than half needed more work; 17% were deemed weak or unnecessary.  The report was concerned that some goals would have unintended negative consequences on others if they were pursued separately.  The targets and goals are here.

Goal 4 is of particular interest:

"Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all".

The chapter in the report on this is written by Stephen Sterling who makes the crucial point that the goal and targets are strong on access to education, but weak in terms of viewing education and learning as a key part of engaging and helping address the 16 other SDGs.

Given that all this comes from those interested in Education for All (EFA), as opposed to EfS / ESD / LfS / EE / LSD / EEfSD / SDE / DE / GL / GDE / HRE / etc. / etc., that is no surprise.  At heart, all this is a reworking of the enduring tension between EFA and EfS / etc. / etc.

UNECO has always seen EFA as the prime target, in part at least, because everyone understands what it means which has never been the case with EfS / etc. / etc. .  It looks as if nothing has changed.

For the detail of Goal 4, see this, and for a comment on Stephen Sterling's critique, which is on pages 27 to 30 of the report, see this.


Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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