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SDG update - 26 September

26 Sept 2016 – this week’s SDG Delivery Update compiles news, opinions, reports, and events relevant to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including coverage from last week’s UN General Assembly. 

Harvesting marula in South Africa - a report from the UN Secretary General's High Level Panel on Women's Economic Empowerment looks at what progress has been made, photo: CIFOR via flickr, creative commons licence


  • DNV GL Future of Spaceship Earth: The Sustainable Development Goals. This report assesses the achievability of the SDGs and how businesses can take action, also diving into private sector solutions for attaining the Goals. For each SDG, DNV GL highlights a company pioneering progress towards the goals. The report uses a model-based forecast developed by DNV GL to predict the most likely future scenarios through 2050, but for the purposes of the report, analysis of the model is limited to the year 2030, to match the SDGs’ timeframe for completion. A launch video of the assessment is available here.
  • Global Reporting Initiative with UNDP: Measuring Impact: How business accelerates the Sustainable Development Goals. This report explores two complementary trends: 1) that businesses are increasingly engaged in impact measurement and sustainability reporting to capture their sustainability impact; and 2) that there is growing public sector interest in capturing the business contribution to the SDGs. It finds that lessons from sustainability measurement can be used by both governments and the private sector, that governments are increasingly interested in accounting for the private sector’s contribution to development, and that SMEs are also critical to achieving the SDGs. A related press release on 3BL Media is also available, here.
  • OECD: Debate the Issues: New Approaches to Economic Challenges (NAEC). This collection from OECD Insights summarizes opinions from inside and outside the Organization on how NAEC can contribute to achieving the SDGs, and describes how the OECD is placing its statistical, monitoring and analytical capacities at the service of the international community. The authors also consider the transformation of the world economy that will be needed and the long-term “tectonic shifts” that are affecting people, the planet, global productivity, and institutions. An online PDF reader of the book is available here.
  • Millennium Institute: Cote d’Ivoire 2016 iSDG Report. This research report is the first in a series of national studies assessing the potential achievement of the SDGs under different policy scenarios. Using the iSDG model, Millennium Institute compares the results for the 17 SDGs by 2030 under three scenarios in Cote d’Ivoire: a business as usual (BAU) scenario; a National Prospective Study scenario (NPS), representing the policies included in the “Cote d’Ivoire Vision 2040”; and a SDG scenario that combines the NPS scenario and additional policy interventions not covered in the Cote d’Ivoire Vision 2040. The analysis shows that in an optimistic scenario, Cote d’Ivoire can attain a level of achievement of the SDGs of about 67%, and that major synergies would emerge from the joint planning and implementation of the proposed interventions.
  • International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development: Services and Sustainable Development: A conceptual approach. This paper by ICTSD, the first in a series of services and SDG-related publications, aims to provide a basis for further work in the services area, and encourage positive service sector policy change in the world’s poorest countries. The paper provides a framework that identifies the primary channels through which services affect the SDGs, offers a range of criteria to prioritize service sectors, and outlines appropriate indicators to assess the contribution of services.
  • Rachel Kaplinsky (ICTSD): Inclusive and Sustainable Growth: The SDG Value Chains Nexus. This framework paper represents the inaugural component of a new series by ICTSD on global value chains (GVCs), noting that they dominate global trade. It aims to generate policy-relevant data intended to support the maximum achievement of the SDGs in value-chain-led economic growth. The paper outlines key dynamics that drive GVCs and discusses the processes involved in enhancing the distribution of gains. It also explores the linkages between value chains dynamics and these SDGs.
  • International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development: Trade Policies and Sustainable Development in the Context of Global Value Chains. This ICTSD framework paper complements the above analysis, arguing that the expansion and increased sophistication of GVCs has created a new “trade-investment-services-technology nexus.” The nexus involves not only the movement of final goods but also that of intermediates, capital, ideas, data, and services. The paper surveys types of trade and trade-related policies that are the most relevant to support the development of country participation and upgrading in GVCs. It also explores the implications these policies may have for GVCs to contribute to sustainable development.
  • GSMA: 2016 Mobile Industry Impact Report: Sustainable Development Goals. This first-of-its-kind report offers critical insights into the transformative impact of the mobile industry on individuals, societies and economies around the world, in developed and developing markets. It establishes a benchmark through which GSNA plans to assess the industry’s progress in contributing to the SDGs by 2030, and serves as a blueprint for other industries as they commit to achieving the Goals. The report finds that the mobile industry impacts all 17 Goals to varying degrees, with the greatest effect being felt 
on SDGs 9, 1, 4 and 13. A press release is also available, here.



  • 71st Session of the UN General Assembly. UNGA71 continued this past week in New York. The General Debate opened September 20th, under the theme ‘The Sustainable Development Goals: a universal push to transform our world.’ Video recordings of statements are available at the UN AV Library, here, while further coverage is available in the News and Blogs section below. WRI staff hosted and contributed to a range of events, including “Harnessing the Data Revolution for Climate Resilience” and an Open Government Partnership event, among others (see News and Blogs section below). A range of related articles and calendar of side events is available at IISD’s website. This past week of the General Assembly also coincided with Climate Week NYC 2016.



  • The Huffington Post launched a series of articles on the SDGs. Please see below for six selected pieces.
  • Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform. “High-level Panel on Water” (includes link to the Panel’s Action Plan on SDG 6)
  • Citizen Participation Forum for Justice and Human Rights (Foro Ciudadano de Participación por la Justicia y los Derechos Humanos—FOCO) and Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS) on Social Watch. “Can Argentina meet the 2030 Agenda SDGs?

The SDG Update is compiled by WRI, a member of IRF — a collaboration of 10 international research institutions providing critical thinking, integrated analysis and raising awareness around the 2030 Agenda. Suggestions for this digest are welcome. Please send any submissions, questions or comments to Adam Fishman (afishman@wri.org). To subscribe to this weekly digest, along with other WRI newsletters, please visit this sign-up page on WRI’s website.