Statistical Assessment of the SDGs in the LDCs and other Vulnerable Countries

This document provides a statistical comparison of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and their main targets in the least developed countries, other vulnerable countries and other developing countries. It is based on the list of SDGs adopted in September 2015 during the 70th session of the UN General Assembly (United Nations, 2015).Although the new post-2015 agenda will be universal, the wide range of countries now covered means there may be a need to tailor the agenda to the specific features of individual, and particularly vulnerable, countries. Part of the response will therefore involve identifying each country’s specific features in relation to the different goals and targets proposed. This document thus compares the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) with either non-LDC developing countries or Middle-Income Countries (MICs), depending on the availability of data. This work is a continuation of Ferdi’s P77 working document (Boussichas, Coudert, & Gillot, Atteindre les OMD dans les PMA et autres pays vulnérables : Où en sommes-nous? - Reaching MDGs in LDCs and other vulnerable countries : Where do we stand? , 2013), which gives a factual assessment of each Millennium Development Goal (MDG) in categories of vulnerable countries and compares the results with other non-LDC developing countries.As with the MDG assessment, it would appear that vulnerable countries, and in particular LDCs, are generally lagging significantly behind in terms of the goals and targets of the post-2015 agenda. The concern that broadening the development agenda to include sustainable development would, in the future, dilute the priority thus far given to these countries is not, however, backed up by the statistics given that the sustainable development needs of vulnerable countries appear to be generally greater than those of other country categories.In order to take baseline country data into account when evaluating progress, wherever possible and relevant this work has included a non-linear evaluation of the progress made in these possible future goals since 2000. Although education and health still remain at lower levels in LDCs, it can thus be seen that these countries have performed comparatively better than other developing countries (DCs). The same observation can be made in relation to the use of alternative and renewable energies. In contrast, LDC progress has been disappointing in terms of poverty reduction and malnutrition when compared to the performance of other DCs.These results demonstrate two things: 1/ The MDG approach would appear to have enabled LDCs to catch up some (but only some) of their delay in terms of human capital. This encouraging observation makes a good case for continuing to differentiate between these and other countries, particularly in terms of the specific efforts being made by the international community in their regard; 2/ As LDCs are nonetheless performing particularly poorly in relation to poverty and malnutrition, it is important to focus on the whole range of factors that may be contributing to this. A number of these issues are precisely the new themes being picked up in the post-2015 agenda and for which LDCs are generally showing significant delays.In order to replicate the LDCs’ relatively good human capital performance in other areas of development, vulnerable countries must continue to receive specific support from the international community.

Boussichas, M., Nossek, V. "Etat des lieux statistique des Objectifs du Développement Durable (ODD) dans les PMA et les autres pays vulnérables", Ferdi working paper P114, October 2014 - English version "Statistical Assessment of SDGs in LDCs and other Vulnerable Countries", Ferdi working paper P114, October 2015