Progress for Every Child in the SDG Era

Preliminary assessment of how the world is doing thus far on achieving these critical targets

UNICEF Data and Analytics Section Division of Data, Research and Policy | UNICEF | 2018

Progress for Every Child in the SDG Era

Some results (excerpt):

650 million children – approaching one-third of the world’s children – live in 52 countries that are off track on at least two-thirds of the childrelated SDG indicators for which they have data.

half a billion of the world’s children live in 64 countries that lack sufficient data for us even to assess if they are on or off track for at least twothirds of all child-related SDG indicators.

Given current trends, unless we accelerate progress to meet the child-related SDG targets, between 2017 and 2030, 10 million children will die from preventable causes before reaching their fifth birthdays. As many as 31 million children will be stunted, robbed of the opportunity to fulfil their potential for lack of adequate nutrition.

At least 22 million children will miss out on pre-primary education, so critical to their later ability to succeed in school and beyond.

And without faster progress, 670 million people worldwide will still be without basic drinking water, in turn threatening.


First, we need to improve the quality, coverage, and coordination of data systems, understanding that this is the foundation of strengthening delivery systems to save and improve the lives of children and young people.

Second, just as we have pledged to leave no child behind, we must also leave no country behind, working actively together to ensure that every country has adequate data on children. This extends from encouraging the governments of high-income countries to systematically report on SDG performance, to developing innovative data solutions for conflict- and disasteraffected countries where regular surveys and routine data systems may not be feasible.

Third, the global community needs to commit itself to developing international norms and standards for data collection and analysis that all countries can use and adapt to meet their particular circumstances – and that we can all use to develop common approaches to reaching the children in greatest need and at greatest risk.

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