Progress for Every Child in the SDG Era: Are we on track to achieve the SDGs for children? The situation in 2019

Progress for Every Child in the SDG Era, a report released in March 2018, assessed the world’s performance to date, focusing on 44 indicators that directly concern the 2030 Agenda’s most vulnerable constituency: children. This brochure revisits the conclusions of that report, updated with 2018 data for a 2019 perspective. Our assessment is sobering.

Almost a billion (945 million) children live in countries where the SDGs remain out of reach.

The current trajectory of these countries puts them off track for at least two thirds of the child-related targets on which they can be assessed. Countries are most likely to be off track on goals concerning children’s protection from violence. In terms of providing a safe and clean environment for children, countries are faring relatively better but still fall short of the progress envisioned by the SDGs.

Many children remain effectively uncounted given the limited coverage of SDG data, but this situation is improving.

All regions have recorded increased data coverage on child SDG indicators since our 2018 report. Over the past year, the likelihood of a country having no or insufficient data to assess its trajectory towards a child-related SDG target has fallen from 62 to 56 per cent.

On average, 75 per cent of child-related SDG indicators in every country either have insufficient data or show insufficient progress to meet global SDG targets by 2030.

This brief calls for a step-change – both in assessing the situation of children everywhere, and using data to target our efforts to reach those at greatest risk of being left behind.

Progress towards the global targets

Share of countries assessed on progress towards global SDG targets, averaged across indicators and grouped into the five dimensions of child rights.

How has the picture changed over the past year?

First, there has been a notable increase in data coverage between 2018 and 2019. This increase is greatest in the areas of Survive + Thrive and Environment – two dimensions that were already ahead of the others in terms of data availability. For the indicators captured under Survive + Thrive, the share of countries for which we have no or insufficient data to determine trajectories towards the SDG targets fell from 35 to 23 per cent. Under Environment, the same share fell from 58 to 49 per cent. By contrast, we see little or no evidence of improved data coverage in the areas of Learning and Fair Chance.

Second, where we have sufficient data to assess progress, we observe some improvements in progress towards the SDG targets. These advancements are most noticeable in the areas of Learning and Environment. For the indicators captured under Learning, the share of countries that are off track from targets fell from 60 to 52 per cent. For Environment, the same share fell from 33 to 22 per cent.




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