Measuring Goal 16


Peace has been included as a goal on the draft development agenda known as the Sustainable Development Goals. This is a significant milestone for all individuals and organisations working in the pursuit of more peaceful societies, as countries will become accountable for their efforts towards creating and maintaining peace for all citizens.

About the sustainable development goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an ambitious replacement of the Millennium Development Goals and will provide a framework for development in 193 countries. There are 17 goals in total that fit into six broad objectives:

  1. Dignity: end poverty and fight inequality
  2. People: ensure healthy lives, knowledge and the inclusion of women and children
  3. Planet: protect our ecosystem for all societies and our children
  4. Partnership: catalyse global solidarity for sustainable development
  5. Justice: promote safe and peaceful societies, and strong institutions
  6. Prosperity: grow a strong, inclusive and transformative economy

About Goal 16 – a goal for peace

Goal 16 aims to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”.

The inclusion of peace as a priority on the post-2015 development agenda is an important step forward, as we have seen conflict and violence undermine all development objectives. If we look at the past 15 years of development, we can see that countries suffering from violence and insecurity failed to reach the MDGs.

The inclusion goal 16 is a large step forward in recognising the importance of peace, conflict and violence to the traditional development agenda of poverty alleviation

Importantly, the targets in Goal 16 aim to deliver improvements for both negative peace (the absence of violence or the fear of violence) and positive peace (the attitudes, structures and institutions that underpin peaceful societies). Positive peace targets focus on prevention and drivers of negative peace, such as incidence of corruption or government capabilities to provide access to basic services.

The current draft Goal 16 includes 12 specific targets ranging from a reduction in violence to the strengthening of inclusive institutions. You can see an outline of each target on pages 6-7 of the Measuring Goal 16 Report by the Institute for Economics and Peace.

The importance of metrics for Goal 16

While the Sustainable Development Goals provide a framework for development at a global scale, equally important is the development and provision of metrics in order to track the progress made towards these objectives.

Data are the lifeblood of decision-making and the raw material for accountability. Without high-quality data providing the right information on the right things at the right time; designing, monitoring and evaluating effective policies becomes almost impossible.

Measuring Goal 16, a report recently released by the Institute for Economics and Peace, provides a review of the existing data and indicators to track how countries will fare in attaining this goal. The report analyses each indicator of goal 16 against a set of basic criteria to ensure metrics are applicable, accessible and inclusive. See the full criteria on page 3 of the report. 

Learn more about peace and the post 2015 development agenda: Measuring Goal 16

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