Launch Of The People’s Report Card: A New Tool For Accountability On The Global Goals


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World leaders signed off on the new Sustainable Development Goals (“Global Goals”) at the UN General Assembly earlier this week. Building on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals, the Global Goals present a new set of ambitious targets for the world to achieve by 2030. Governments, businesses, and civil society hope that the new goals will not only help eradicate poverty in the next 15 years but also advance social and environmental progress. The Global Goals will not be achieved through economic growth alone, according to a new Deloitte report.

Over the coming months, a lot of time and effort will be dedicated to coming up with the right set of indicators to measure global goals. Although the United Nations will take the lead, it has heavily encouraged outside participation in the process. One measure—the People’s Report Card (image above)—to assess progress towards the global goals was launched today by Global Citizen, Project Everyone, and the Social Progress Imperative. The report card will track how the world as a whole performs in reaching for the Global Goals. Report cards are something real people understand all over the world. A for Math, B for English, D for Chemistry, etc.

Take actions now on the Global Citizen website:

Share the People’s Report Card on social media.
Pledge to raise your voice to ensure that governments, businesses and global citizens all do their part.
Email – tell Global Citizen why the world must achieve the Global Goals. Global Citizen will feature the best comments on their website!
The People’s Report Card is an accountability tool powered by the Social Progress Index. The world’s performance is translated into letter grades by looking at how the world’s performance has improved over the last 15 years, and whether continuing on that trend will lead to achieving the Global Goals by 2030. It turns out we will need to do much better than business as usual if we hope to achieve the Global Goals by 2030.

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The four grades for the People’s Report Card are calculated using the 52 indicators in the Social Progress Index. An “A” corresponds to achieving the goal; and every subsequent grade after that, i.e. “B,” ”C,” etc. represent the likelihood of achieving the goal by 2030. By aligning the Social Progress Index indicators with the Global Goals target, we set an “anchor” value to the indicators and ask, what is it that the world wants to achieve for each of the aligning targets? Then, we project the indicator value to four different time periods in the future—2030, 2045, 2060, and 2075—using historical data and simple linear projections. We then compare the projected values to the “anchor” value.

To assign a letter grade to each of the Social Progress Index indicator, we adopt a simple grading scheme.

If the target for the indicator is projected to be achieved by 2030, the world receives a B (3.0) for that indicator.
If the forecasted values for the indicator show improving performance, but at a slower pace than is required to achieve the goal by 2030, the world receives a C (2.0).
If the forecasted values show deteriorating performance, the world receives a D (1.0).
For the world, there is no A yet, as there would be no need to have a goal for a target that has already been achieved.


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Finally, we aggregate the indicator grades into a weighted-average grade for each component of the Social Progress Index. The dimension grades are the averages of the component grades. The World Grade is the average of the graded score that the world receives in each of the three Social Progress Index dimensions. For more details on how we created the People’s Report Card, please see the methodological note. See the underlying data here.

So, should we be disheartened that the world currently scores a meager C- on progress towards the global goals?

No! The global goals are needed precisely because we will not achieve progress if we continue on the current trend. The People’s Report Card provides a simple and comprehensive way for global citizens to talk about the global goals, and remind their leaders that progress is being monitored at every step along the way.

We will launch the People’s Report Card for individual countries in 2016. Stay tuned!

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Explore data from the 2015 Social Progress Index.