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Source: Small Island Developing States

September 2019: In a briefing note, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) has assessed the readiness of 159 countries to leave no one behind (LNOB), using its 2019 LNOB index. The 159 countries include 87 countries that presented their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) in 2017 and 2018, and 72 countries that presented or will present their VNRs in 2019 and 2020.

Resource challenges beset readiness aspects, not only outcomes, of the 2030 Agenda.

The 159 countries assessed include 24 low-income countries, 41 lower middle-income countries, 45 upper- middle-income countries, and 49 high-income countries. They were evaluated using three thematic components of the 2019 LNOB index, namely:

  • Data – to assesses whether countries are undertaking the surveys necessary to identify those at high risk of being left behind;
  • Policy – to assess whether countries have key policies in place to address the needs of those at risk of being left behind (such as women’s access to land, anti-discrimination labor laws and universal access to health); and
  • Finance – to determine whether governments invest adequately in education, health and social protection, which are three sectors key to supporting those at high risk of being left behind.

The note, written by Soumya Chattopadhyay and Stephanie Manea, finds that 81 countries are ready to meet their LNOB commitment, 54 are partially ready and 12 are not ready. In addition, data are insufficient for assessing 12 countries.

The authors also find that most high- and upper-middle-income countries have already achieved “ready” status, but lower-middle- and low-income countries are lagging behind. They argue that this highlights a resource challenge that besets both readiness and outcome aspects of the 2030 Agenda.

The note also concludes that:

  • The readiness status of 12 countries has worsened, compared to ODI’s 2018 LNOB assessment, while only six have improved;
  • On the data, policy and finance components measured, 102 countries are data-ready, while only 47 countries are ready in the policy dimension, and 45 in the finance dimension; and
  • Following the 2018 index, most improvements are seen in the data dimension, and reflect an increase in the availability of household survey data.

Before the release of the 2019 edition of the index, the 2018 version and an accompanying briefing note were launched in the margins of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in July 2019. The 2018 Index built on an inaugural Index issued in 2017. [Publication: Leave No One Behind Index 2019]

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