Newcastle University is undertaking an SDGs project which searches for and evaluates UK data that is commensurable (i.e. sharing underpinning standards in a way that allows for comparison) to SDG indicators and targets. The [preliminary findings] of this study include:

  • Around 173 SDG indicators are applicable (in the widest sense) to the UK domestic context.
  • Of these 173 indicators, a direct equivalent, or else a readily and broadly commensurable measure, can be identified and used for a high proportion – 125 indicators or 72%. This gives an initial indication of the size of the UK data availability “gap”. These initial findings suggest that the gap is largest and most significant around Goals 10 and 16 where some indicators are especially novel and complex.

Gauging UK performance in terms of the SDGs targets and indicators is not straightforward, given the diversity of the targets themselves and issues of interpretation; in all areas there is the need for further technical work around the data. From the available data and clear, unambiguous, SDG targets the research demonstrates a clear need for UK progress across all of the Goals and specific targets.

UKSSD and Newcastle University want to work with the network and partners to develop this research and draw on our collective expertise to analyse the gaps in more detail and identify policies or programmes to fill them. If you’d like to partner with us on this project please get in touch with


January 2017 Newsletter: UK performance against the SDGs

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