The SDGs and Scotland: a discussion paper and initial analysis (including alignment with National Performance Framework)

Year of publication
Dr Graham Long

This report analyses how Scotland appears through the lens of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), assessing aspects of the alignment between Scotland’s data gathering and governance and the SDG targets and indicators, and of the relevance of these global goals for the specific Scottish context.

The report offers findings (1) on data availability, performance, and to a lesser extent, delivery mechanisms, goal-by-goal and target-by-target in Scotland; (2) on alignment between the National Performance Framework (NPF) – as a key vehicle for delivery of the SDGs in Scotland – and the SDGs; and (3) on Scotland’s international action in light of the SDGs.

Overall, roughly half of the National Outcome indicators had SDG indicators that were closely aligned or relevant (green or yellow). We found that 15 out of the 81 (19%) National Outcome indicators had a closely aligned (green) SDG indicator. 29 of out of the 81 NPF indicators (36%) had relevant (yellow) SDG indicators; 2 of these also had green level indicators.
However, a number of gaps between SDGs and NPF exist, which should prompt discussions around whether there should be alignments or not given their different focus. If alignment is desirable this analysis could suggest areas where the SDGs could usefully guide such ambition and action.

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