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Developing strategies that translate the 17 Goals and 169 targets into measurable objectives and outcomes is a challenging and complex undertaking.  For such strategies to be successful, MPs and stakeholders must have a clear framework that helps map and monitor the ongoing activities and results.  Measuring the SDGs’ progress therefore requires indicators that lighten the way forward and help assess to which degree the goals are being implemented. These indicators should also allow for spotting specific problems and challenges that risk delaying sustainable development.

The leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network issued a study that maps a framework of 100 Global Monitoring Indicators, based on expertise from all around the world. This indicator framework aims to turn the goals into management tools and an eventual report card, which helps stakeholders follow the implementation and related progress of the SDGs. The study suggests a number of Complementary National Indicators, from which each country can choose a number it finds suitable in light of national circumstances and implementation capacity.

The indictors must work collaboratively, and data is expected to be reported annually.  Ideally, specific indicators are identified at local, national, regional and global levels.

Many indicators are based on previous MDGs indicators, which were revised to meet the SDGs targets. The Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network also suggests which organizations around the globe could be partners in collecting the data for any indicator. For instance for the first goal one the suggested indicator is Proportion of population below $1.25 (PPP) per day, the report suggests the World Bank as a potential leading agency which could help in measuring and collecting the data. 

The following presents examples of one indicators for each goal of the 17 SDGs :




Example of Indicator


End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Percentage of eligible population covered by national social protection programs



End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Number of agricultural extension workers per 1000 farmers [or share of farmers covered by agricultural extension programs and services]



Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Road traffic deaths per 100,000 population



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


Tertiary enrollment rates for women and men


Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Percentage of women aged 20-24 who were married or in a union by age 18



Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Percentage of wastewater flows treated to national standards [and reused] – to be developed



Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all

Rate of primary energy intensity improvement



Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all


Youth employment rate, by formal and informal sector


Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Total energy and industry-related GHG emissions by gas and sector, expressed as production and demand-based emissions (tCO2e)



Reduce inequality within and among countries

Percentage of households with incomes below 50% of median income ("relative poverty")



Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Percentage of people within 0.5km of public transit running at least every 20 minutes.



Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Global Food Loss Index [or other indicator to be developed to track the share of food lost or wasted in the value chain after harvest]



Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Official climate financing from developed countries that is incremental to ODA (in US$)



Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

Percentage of fish tonnage landed within Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY)



Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss


Annual change in degraded or desertified arable land (% or ha)



Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels


Proportion of legal persons and arrangements for which beneficial ownership information is publicly available


Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

Official development assistance and net private grants as percent of GNI



Downloading the full report here