The SDG 2020 Targets: Rehearsing for the future

“An effective monitoring of some of the 2020 Targets is not possible due to insufficient data. This is a vicious circle worsened by not having achieved the 2020 Target on enhancing capacity-building support to developing countries to significantly increase the availability of timely, quality, and disaggregated data”.

Javier Surasky

August 12, 2021

This document presents an analysis of the SDG 2020 targets in regards to their state of progress. Which ones were met and which ones are lagging behind?

A first package of 21 targets, 12% of the 169 targets adopted in the 2030 Agenda, met its achievement deadline on the last day of 2020, with less than encouraging results. 

Principales Hallazgos

None of the targets that should have been met by 2020 was fully accomplished. Some targets show regressions on the indicators, which leaves us farther away from their fulfilment.

Nonfulfillment of the 2020 Targets especially affects environmental SDGs, since they make up for 20% of SDG 13 targets; 40% of SDG 14 targets; and 42% of SDG 15 targets. Reality demonstrates that this topic is assigned little priority in world leaders’ speeches.

Nonfulfillment introduces a debate on how to treat the unachieved targets: Both options, to maintain the targets and to update them, have associated advantages and risks. There is still no clear institutional scenario in which this decision should be taken.

About the author

Javier Surasky

Ph.D. in International Relations (La Plata National University, Argentina) Master in International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Action (International University of Andalucia). He has taught international cooperation courses at different postgraduate careers in Latin America and European universities.