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Not all countries ready to meet 'leave no one behind' commitments – ODI experts

Written by Romilly Greenhill

Press Release

Only 25 of the 44 countries presenting their progress on the sustainable development goals (SDGs) at the UN this week are ready to meet the central commitment of 'leaving no-one behind', experts at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) have warned.

As governments prepare to present their National Voluntary Reviews at the High-level Political Forum in New York, ODI researchers have analysed whether they have the data, policy and finance in place to be able to meet the fundamental principle behind the goals.

The 'leave no one behind' index finds that of those 44 countries, 25 are ready overall, while 18 are only partially ready. Data was unavailable for one country.

Countries in Latin America appear to be doing particularly well, with Panama fulfilling all three indicators while Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru and Uruguay fulfilling two each.

Author Romilly Greenhill, senior research fellow at ODI, said: 'While it’s promising to see more than half of the countries presenting at the UN are ready to meet their commitment to "leave no one behind", it is a cause for concern that others are not yet there.

'These ambitious goals will not be met if the poorest and most marginalised people continue to be left behind and so it is vital that all countries have the necessary information, policy and financing in place to be able to reach those that are furthest behind.

'This analysis shows where improvements need to be made. It is now imperative that governments, donors and the international community work together to make sure this happens.'

The index measures governments’ readiness in three areas:

  • Data: have household surveys been conducted recently?
  • Policy: do countries have some of the core policies in place: are health services free at the point of access; are there anti-discrimination policies in employment; and can women own land?
  • Finance: do governments meet agreed spending targets in health, education and social protection?


Notes to editors

  • The High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development is taking place at the UN headquarters in New York from Monday, 10 July, to Wednesday, 19 July 2017
  • 44 governments will be presenting their Voluntary National Reviews at the HLPF from Monday, 17 July to Wednesday, 19 July

For more information or to arrange an interview with Romilly Greenhill please contact James Rush on [email protected] or +44 (0)7808 791265