In a nutshell: SDGs

Another abbreviation we hear a lot in development, is ‘SDGs’. What does it stand for, and what do they mean?


The SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) are 17 goals agreed by the United Nations and implemented in 2016.

They define global problems and identify qualitative and quantitative targets to work towards as a global community.

Goals refer to issues such as poverty, food, health, education, water, clean energy, peace, climate action and many more. 

Cross-cutting themes are women and gender equality, education and sustainable development and education, gender and technology.

It is intended that the global goals will be attained by 2030. The aim is to protect the world and ensure that all people have a reasonable standard of living and opportunity. Ban Ki-moon, a past United Nations Secretary-General, has stated that: "We don’t have plan B because there is no planet B!”. SDGs have their critics but it gives a framework for debate and action and definite targets for measuring our success.