Frequently Asked Questions

This is one of the most frequently asked questions from people who care about the underlying principles of the SDGs and want to become a part of positive change towards a more sustainable world.

While the scale and aspirations of the Sustainable Development Goals can feel intimidatingly large, it is still possible to do good work and advance the SDGs as an individual. Achieving these goals would be an impossible task if left to just one body, such as governement. For this reason, collaboration is not only an effective tool; it is also vital to our performance as a nation.

1.) Step One: Familiarise Yourself with the SDGs

The first step is to familiarise yourself with the ideas and language used to discuss the SDGs.
Information pertinent to understanding the fundamentals of the SDGs can be found on our website. For an introduction to the Sustianable Development Goals, you may access ‘What are the SDGs?‘. It is not integral to basic understanding, but more extensive information on the topic is available [below]:

2.) Step Two: Adopt a Subset of Goals

Once you have a broad understanding of the goals, select a small number of them that you are most passionate about. Narrowing your field of vision to a subset of the Goals (2-4) allows you to become more effective at taking action and staying informed on your areas of passion.

If you are more experienced with the subject and care a great deal about all of the goals and their achievement, it is recommended that you “adopt” Goal 17: Partnership for the realisation of the goals as one of your focuses.

3.) Step Three: Consider the World through this Lense

Apply your perspective and knowledge gained from this subset of goals to your own life:
What practices can you discuss and uphold in your private or working life to make your passions relevant and impactful? – This is among the most important things to consider if you’re wanting to make a difference. The first step towards making a positive change is to look at possible changes within your own sphere of influence. This can be simple tasks, or larger projects.

Some examples may be…

There are an endless number of suggestions for those looking to impact sustainable change.
Explore stories, events, and ideas to grow your passion and work with others to achieve our goals. – (UNESCAP SDG Helpdesk)

At the end of 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were born, substituting for the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). Eight areas [MDGs] were expanded and refined to 17

  1. Poverty; 
  2. Hunger;
  3. Health and well-being;
  4. Education;
  5. Gender equality,
  6. Water and sanitation;
  7. Clean energy;
  8. Decent work and economic growth;
  9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure;
  10. Reduced inequality;
  11. Sustainable cities and communities;
  12. Responsible consumption and production;
  13. Climate action;
  14. Life below water;
  15. Life on land;
  16. Justice and strong institutions; and
  17. Partnerships for the realisation of the goals.

They agreed to achieve the SDGs over the coming 15 years. New Zealand is one of the many countries who made a commitment to implement the SDGs at home, and support the UN in achieving the SDGs in other parts of the world.

Read the complete answer to this question.

It is more accurate to say that the Living Standards Framework (LSF) is a part of the Sustainable Development Goals, rather than the reverse.

The LSF is NZ Treasury’s tool for measuring ”wellbeing” standards associated with human, social, natural, and financial/physical capitals for the country. As with certain SDG indicators, these have been measured using available OECD data. There also exists a ‘Wellbeing Budget‘ allocated to raising the living standards within New Zealand.

While the LSF measures some areas of relevance to the SDGs and uses OECD data sets, it does not encompass sustainability on the same scale as the SDGs.

The website and visualisation tools are a public good contribution by the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington and is thereby a product of the academic sector.

This project is an independent body with oversight from stakeholders across various sectors. This resource’s target audience is New Zealand at large, in line with the School’s Critic and Conscience role as an academic institution. It also reflects the University’s commitment to Sustainability as one of its distinctive research and teaching themes.

Read the full project description for additional background.

Data used to produce our data visualisation model comes from StatsNZ and OECD datasets. Data sources for each measure can be found in the respective goal/indicator descriptions of the tool itself.

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If you are a researcher or specialist and would like to contribute knowledge in the form of a blog or webinar, please contact:
Maria DaRocha or Girol Karacaoglu

Still Unsure?

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