Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

Achieving the ambitious targets of the 2030 Agenda requires a revitalized and enhanced global partnership that brings together Governments, civil society, the private sector, the United Nations system and other actors, mobilizing all available resources. Meeting implementation targets, including the raising of necessary funds, is key to realizing the Agenda, as is the full implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. Increasing support to developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States, is fundamental to equitable progress for all.

Official development assistance has continued to grow, though aid to the poorest countries has stagnated

In 2015, official development assistance (ODA) from member countries of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) totalled 131.6 billion US dollars. Taking into account inflation and the rise in the value of the dollar in 2015, this was 6.9 per cent higher in real terms than in 2014, and represented the highest level ever reached. Total ODA from DAC countries as a share of their gross national income (GNI) was 0.30 per cent, on par with 2014. Most of the increase was due to higher expenditures for refugee costs. However, even if those costs are excluded, ODA still rose by 1.7 per cent. In 2015, seven countries met the United Nations target for ODA of 0.7 per cent of GNI: Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

Net official development assistance from OECD-DAC countries (billions of constant 2014 US dollars) and as a proportion of donors’ gross national income (percentage), 2000-2015
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Debt service burdens declined substantially from 2000 to 2012

The ratio of external debt service to exports was below 6 per cent for almost all developing regions in 2012, which represents a substantial ecline from comparable ratios in 2000. Increased export earnings, enhanced debt management and attractive borrowing conditions in international markets contributed to this improvement. However, for the poorest countries, the most important contributing factor was outright debt relief: 36 of the 39 countries eligible for the Heavily Indebted Poor Country Initiative completed the process and received debt relief of around 136 billion US dollars from official creditors.

Debt service as a proportion of total exports of goods and services, 2000 and 2012 (percentage)

High-speed Internet remains out of reach for the vast majority of people living in the least developed countries

Fixed-broadband connections remain largely unaffordable and unavailable across large swathes of the population in developing regions, highlighting the vast digital divide in access to high-speed, high-capacity Internet services. In 2015, fixed-broadband penetration reached 29 per cent of the population in developed regions, but only 7.1 per cent in developing regions and 0.5 per cent in the least developed countries. Furthermore, while speeds of over 10 megabits per second were common in developed regions, connections in most developing regions did not exceed 2 megabits per second. Similarly, while Internet access has grown substantially over the last decade, only one-third of the population in developing countries and 1 in 10 people in LDCs were online in 2015, compared with about 80 per cent of the population in developed countries. There is also an important gender digital divide: globally, the Internet user penetration rate was about 11 per cent lower for women than for men.

Fixed-broadband internet subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, 2010 and 2015

Developing countries’ share of global exports has increased substantially, but the share of LDC exports remains small

The share of merchandise exports from the least developed countries in global merchandise exports nearly doubled over the period 2000-2014. Still, it represented only a small fraction of global exports in 2014, at 1.1 per cent. For developing regions more generally, erchandise exports grew by nearly 40 per cent and amounted to almost 45 per cent of global exports in 2014. In comparison, service exports from developing regions lagged behind, accounting for about 30 per cent of total exports. The key driver of export growth during this period was a massive rise in the price of fuel, ores and metals, reflecting a high demand in developing countries, notably China.

Share of global merchandise and service exports for developing regions and the least developed countries, 2000-2014 (percentage)

While tariffs on agricultural products from least developed countries have declined, those on clothing and textiles remain high

Average tariffs imposed by developed countries on imports from least developed countries declined steadily for all product groups until 2005. After that year, the average tariff for agricultural products continued to decline, reaching less than 1 per cent in 2014. Tariff rates are still high for clothing and textiles exports from least developed countries due to the exclusion of some large Asian exporters from certain preferential tariffs.

Average tariffs levied by developed countries on key products exported by the least developed countries, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2014 (percentage)

National statistical plans need to be updated in many countries

A national statistical plan is key to strengthening a nation's statistical system. The requirements of the MDG indicators have gone a long way towards fostering stronger national statistical plans and systems. The number of countries with a national statistical plan increased in some regions and country groups between 2010 and 2015, including the least developed countries and landlocked developing countries. However, many are still without a plan. The overall number of small island developing States with a statistical plan actually declined from nine to seven over this period, as the time period for some existing plans expired.

Number of countries with a national statistical plan 2010 and 2015

In 2013, least developed countries received more than 80 per cent of ODA targeted for capacity-building in statistics

Financial support to build national capacity in statistics amounted to 325 million US dollars in 2013 compared with 379 million US dollars in 2010, a decline of 14 per cent. However, assistance to the least developed countries tripled during this period, reaching 265 million US dollars. This means that 82 per cent of all financial support for statistical capacity-building went to the least developed countries in 2013. South-Eastern Asia, Western Asia and sub-Saharan Africa were the biggest beneficiaries of this shift in funding priorities. Despite a growing awareness of the importance of statistics for evidence-based policy-making and development, the share of ODA dedicated to statistics hovered at around 0.3 per cent between 2010 and 2013.

Total official development assistance dedicated to statistical capacity-building activities in developing regions, 2010 and 2013 (millions of US dollars)

Population and housing censuses are still not conducted in all countries

Population and housing censuses are an important source of disaggregated data needed to formulate, implement and monitor development policies. During the 10-year period from 2006 to 2015, 96 per cent of countries in developed regions conducted at least one population and housing census. The share in developing regions as a whole was 88 per cent, dropping to 67 per cent and 69 per cent, respectively, in Southern Asia and Western Asia.

Proportion of countries that conducted at least one population and housing census over the period 2006−2015 (percentage)

Death registration, a crucial source of data on health related sustainable development indicators, remains far from universal

Over the period 2010−2014, death registration data were available for 145 out of 230 countries and territories. Of these, 128 had data that were at least 75 per cent complete. Death registration coverage is lowest in Africa and Asia. Information on deaths, especially when it is complete and disaggregated, is key to producing a number of basic health statistics and indicators.

Number of countries with death registration data that are at least 75 per cent complete, 2010−2014