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UK progress on the Sustainable Development Goals inquiry launched

3 December 2018

The International Development Committee is holding an inquiry into UK progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 


The International Development Committee is launching an inquiry on UK progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs or ‘Global Goals') were adopted by 193 UN Member States, including the UK, in September 2015. The successor to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), their adoption marked a commitment by all signatory nations to achieve a transformational development agenda by 2030. Unlike the MDGs, the SDGs are universal and applicable to all countries, not just developing nations. The UK has committed to achieving the Goals domestically, as well as supporting other countries to achieve them overseas.

UK Government progress 

In July 2019 the UK Government (HMG) will present its Voluntary National Review to the UN, detailing the progress it has made towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) since their adoption in September 2015. In advance of this, the International Development Committee is launching an inquiry to explore how far the Department for International Development (DFID) and HMG have advanced the agenda overseas since the publication of the predecessor Committee's 2016 report on ‘UK implementation of the SDGs'.

This inquiry will aim to complement the Environmental Audit Committee's scrutiny of domestic implementation: ‘Sustainable Development Goals in the UK Follow Up'.

Scope of the inquiry

The International Development Committee invites written submissions on the Government's progress on the SDGs, and is particularly interested in the following:

DFID's role in leading UK implementation of the SDGs

  • Should DFID remain the lead department on UK implementation of the SDGs? Has its leadership been effective to date? What challenges does the Department face?

The UK's Voluntary National Review (VNR) 

  • Is the process for developing the UK's Voluntary National Review (VNR) consultative and inclusive enough?
  • Has there been effective cooperation across Government?
  • How could the process be improved?
  • What should the UK's VNR look like and what information should it include? Why is the presentation of the VNR to the UN a significant moment for the UK Government?

Supporting the achievement of the SDGs overseas

  • How effective have DFID and HMG been in supporting the achievement of the SDGs overseas? The Committee is particularly interested in the focus Goals for High Level Political Forum (HLPF) 2019: SDG 4 (quality education); SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth); SDG 10 (reduced inequalities); SDG 13 (climate action); SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions); SDG 17 (partnerships for the Goals) 
  • How is DFID supporting the achievement of the Goals through its partnerships with:
    o Civil society organisations?
    o Multilateral organisations?
    o Private sector organisations, including contractors?
  • Is DFID effectively aligning its in-country work with the SDGs? To what extent is it harmonising its work with recipient governments' own SDGs priorities?
  • Are DFID's accountability mechanisms sufficient to track its contribution to the SDGs?
  • How coherent is the UK Government's approach to achieving the SDGs overseas?
  • Are there areas where the UK Government is hampering the efforts of other countries to achieve the SDGs?

Written submissions

The deadline for written submissions is Friday 1 February 2019. The Committee values diversity and seeks to ensure this where possible. We encourage members of under-represented groups to submit written evidence.

The Committee considers requests for reasonable adjustments to its usual arrangements for taking evidence and publishing material, to enhance access. Please contact or telephone 0207 219 1223.

Written evidence submitted should:

Have a one page summary at the front
Be no longer than 3000 words in length
Have numbered paragraphs
Avoid the use of colour or expensive-to-print material

Further information

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