Measuring Up 2.0


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Supported by:

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In 2015, the UK Government joined every other country in the world and committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Goals provide a holistic framework to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities, combat catastrophic climate change, and protect our natural environment by 2030. Yet with just seven years to go, and already halfway through the 2030 Agenda, the UK is far from achieving the Goals. This year, the UN Global Compact Network UK will be Measuring Up the UK’s performance against each of the 17 SDGs and their 169 targets to understand how and where the Government, and other organisations, should focus efforts for the remainder of the Decade of Action.

What’s happened so far

In 2018, UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD)[1] coordinated Measuring Up which reviewed for the first time how the UK was performing against the SDG Targets, the wider policy context, and the historical trends that affect us achieving the Goals. UKSSD mobilised a community of stakeholders to deliver the comprehensive assessment of the UK's performance and recommendations for action, which was widely recognised to be superior to the UK Government’s Voluntary National Review that came out the following year.

However, in the three years since the Voluntary National Review little has changed, and progress on the SDGs has stalled and even reversed in some areas of the country. There is an urgent need for the Government to demonstrate top-level political leadership if the UK is to realise these Goals by 2030.

Measuring Up 2.0

It’s time to “Measure Up” again. The success of the first Measuring Up report was the result of an open, transparent, and inclusive process where a wide range of stakeholders had opportunities to engage. The UN Global Compact Network UK will be replicating this approach by engaging hundreds of stakeholders to produce an updated report four years on.

Measuring Up 2.0 will:

  • Mobilise a diverse group of stakeholders to illuminate the opportunities and challenges that lie in delivering the Goals
  • Establish key pathways and actionable plans for all stakeholders, including the UK Government, to work together to achieve the SDGs
  • Call on the UK Government to uphold its commitments from the first Voluntary National Review, identify responsibilities within the Cabinet Office to coordinate and lead on this Agenda, and commit to producing a second Voluntary National Review.

The publication will be launched in September. Sign up to our SDG Advocacy mailing list to receive updates on the report.

Get involved

We’re looking for volunteers from business, civil society, and academia, to take part in a stakeholder review of our initial research and test it for robustness ahead of the final publication. Share your views here. Sign up to our SDG Advocacy mailing list to get involved, or email Jessica Lobo, Global Goals Programme Manager, for more information.

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With thanks to:

Our researchers:
Dr Graham Long and his colleagues at Newcastle University, and Dr Kate Roll and her colleagues at Sustainable Development Solutions Network UK (SDSN UK), hosted by UCL IIPP.

Our chapter leads:
Arden University
Bristol City Council
Cardiff University Water Research Institute,
Dwr Cymru Welsh Water
Glasgow Caledonian University
Marine Conservation Society
National Alliance of Women’s Organisations (NAWO)
Newcastle University
Queen’s University Belfast
UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose
University of Bristol
University of Sussex
University of the West of England

Measuring Up is kindly sponsored by Shoosmiths and SSE.

 [1] In 2020 UKSSD handed over the mission of their network to the UN Global Compact Network UK to build on our collective SDG advocacy work.  More information about UKSSD can be found online: