The proposed framework rates how a given target interacts with others in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework on the seven-point scale proposed by Nilsson et al. in the journal Nature last year. It also looks at factors such as the “directionality” of the interactions, relevant contextual factors, and the current level of scientific evidence and agreement.

To illustrate how the framework works, the Working Paper looks at samples of interactions with targets under the six SDGs in the spotlight at the 2017 High-Level Political Forum: Goal 1 (on poverty), Goal 2 (on hunger and food security), Goal 3 (on health), Goal 5 (on gender equality), Goal 9 (on infrastructure and industry) and Goal 14 (on seas and oceans).

The new framework is not just as a way for countries to map specific interactions for better, more coherent policy-making, but also as an aid to science-policy and sector-sector dialogue on SDG implementation. The paper concludes with a call for an institutionalized knowledge base on SDG interactions, which could among other things help countries to analyse and prioritize interactions even in the absence of robust data.

The paper is based on one commissioned by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and presented at an expert meeting in preparation for the HLPF in December 2016.

Download the Working Paper (PDF, 2.9 MB)

Read a related blog article “Do we need a global knowledge base on SDG interactions?”

Read the ICSU report (external link)