The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent the world’s most ambitious plan to promote the sustainable development of our people and planet—and are fully aligned with the World Bank Group’s twin goals to end extreme poverty and build shared prosperity in a sustainable manner.

Achieving the SDGs by 2030 will require more and better financing, a renewed focus on implementation to improve the lives of those hardest to reach, and significant improvements in data collection and analysis.

The World Bank Group’s country-led processes have shown us that countries have a strong desire to meet the objectives of the 2030 Agenda, and as a result, our support for this work continues to grow. The professionals in our sectoral global practices already possess deep knowledge of and experience in regard to all 17 of the SDGs.

That expertise is reflected in this Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals 2018, which presents a visual guide to key trends and the issues that surround them. It aims to help us better understand progress on the SDGs and to aid policy makers engaging with them in their everyday work.

This Atlas would not be possible without the efforts of statisticians and data scientists working in national and international agencies around the world. By quantifying our work, they help shape development interventions and approaches so that we can all make better decisions about our lives and the resources we manage.

The Atlas draws on the World Bank Group’s World Development Indicators, a database of more than 1,400 indicators for more than 220 economies, many going back over 50 years. It also explores new data from scientists and researchers where standards for measuring SDG targets are still being developed.

Data are critical for decision making and accountability. While analysis of big data is commonplace in the private sector, similar techniques can be adopted by development professionals to gain real-time insights into people’s well-being and to better target aid interventions for vulnerable groups.

Ultimately, the purpose of managing data in this way is to produce measurable results—improved resilience to economic, environmental, and humanitarian shocks; more jobs and opportunities; and improved education, health, nutrition, and gender equality—while leaving no one behind.

The SDGs have energized our efforts to work with partners to reach these ambitious targets—and this Atlas provides the type of knowledge we need to most efficiently direct our efforts to achieve them.

Mahmoud Mohieldin
Senior Vice President
World Bank Group