6 September 2018
Australia’s SDG Portal Targets Transformative Change
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
story highlights

Australia’s SDG platform, ‘Transforming Australia,’ monitors progress towards the 2030 Agenda by tracking nationally defined indicators.

Transforming Australia groups multiple SDG themes and targets around key development policies to highlight the interconnected nature of the SDGs.

SDG 3 (good health and well-being) is one of the areas where Australia is experiencing the most progress, as 11 of the 14 indicators monitored are considered on track.

July 2018: Australia has launched an online SDGs platform to track national progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The site titled, ‘Transforming Australia,’ houses a collection of data with an emphasis on the Goals and indicators most relevant to Australia.

Transforming Australia was developed by the National Sustainable Development Council, a body of experts from Australia’s government, businesses, research community and civil society.

Of the 230 official SDG indicators, Transforming Australia focuses on 144 national identified priority indicators across all 17 SDGs. These priority indicators were selected by considering national priorities and circumstances, as well as the availability and quality of existing data.

Selected indicators are reported on using one of three measures: official SDG indicators, alternative SDG indicators, or complementary indicators. Official SDG indicators are used when Australia has existing data for a specific indicator. In instances where the appropriate data does not exist, Australia either develops an alternative indicator using a similar dataset, or creates a complementary indicator to serve as a proxy. The inclusion of alternative and complementary indicators provides a unique means for Australia to tailor progress towards the 2030 Agenda to a local context. The portal attempts to report on a balance of the official SDG indicators, alternative SDG indicators and complementary indicators.

Indicators are tracked as: on track; needing improvement; needing a breakthrough; off track; or not assessed based on its annual percent change. Australia is currently “on track” to achieving 46 indicators. SDG 3 (good health and well-being) is one of the areas where Australia is experiencing the most progress, as 11 of the 14 indicators monitored are considered on track. However, across all the SDGs, 32 indicators are “in need of improvement,” 24 indicators are “in need of a breakthrough” and 32 indicators are “off track.”

In additional to clicking on SDG icons to view related data, users can also explore data through nationally identified themes, which highlight topics related to Australia’s larger development goals, the portal notes. The themes include ‘Ready for the Future?’, ‘A Changing Economy’, and ‘How is Australia Going?’. When a theme is selected the platform groups SDG targets and indicators related to the theme. This functionally helps users understand not only how progress towards the SDGs is interconnected, but also how the SDGs are closely related to local development priorities.

Transforming Australia, along with Australia’s SDGs website and its 2018 VNR report together make up the reporting package, to date, of the country’s action on the SDGs. [Australia delivers VNR holds senate inquiry on SDG implementation] [SDG Knowledge Hub sources]

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