SDG Impact Assessment

In 2015, the United Nations agreed on 17 ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ to guide public policies and to inspire societal actors to promote sustainable development worldwide. The ambition expressed in these Sustainable Development Goals is unprecedented. The goals and the overarching UN “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” aim at nothing less than “Transforming Our World”.

Yet, five years after the launch of the goals, the question urgently arises: Will these 17 Sustainable Development Goals really help resolve the pressing challenges of economic development, poverty eradication, social justice and global environmental protection?


To address this question, a network of leading research institutions and individual scholars came together to compile the first comprehensive assessment of all the scholarly knowledge on the steering effects of the Sustainable Development Goals:
The SDG Impact Assessment.

The central question of the SDG Impact Assessment is whether the Sustainable Development Goals have become a transformative force in governance, from local to global levels. More specifically, the Assessment asked whether, to what extent and how the Sustainable Development Goals have led to political and institutional changes in six key areas.

The SDG Impact Assessment in review: Concluding session of the GlobalGoals Webinar Series

The SDG Impact Assessment was written by a team of over 60 international scholars and coordinated by the GLOBALGOALS Project at Utrecht University.

Further efforts to take stock of the political impacts of the SDGs as research extending from the SDG Impact Assessment are taking place within the Earth System Governance SDG Taskforce. To contribute to this broad research agenda, please visit the Taskforce page.