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State of the Region 2020 Full Report

Outcomes by Sustainable Development Goals

The WMCA is committed to pursuing and defining success in social, environmental and economic terms that feel real to citizens and bring benefits to all who live and work here. These principles are the basis of the delivery of WMCA and its partners. These indicators can be used as outcome measures by partners, the WMCA uses them within its annual planning process, the performance management framework and to create a regional Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) index which would be used to assess the progress level of West Midlands SDGs actions.  The SDGs are not a regulatory framework, but a new global governance method which uses a simple three-layered structure 

  • 17 global goals, which represent the vision for the ideal sustainable world; 
  • 169 global targets, which set out quantitative and qualitative objectives to reach the goals; and 
  • 232 global indicators, which review the progress of SDGs actions against global targets. 

Sustainable development is the “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (WCED, 1987: 43). The term first emerged in the early 1980s with the rise of the modern environmentalism, and in 1983, it was placed in the global agenda by the report called “Our Common Future”.

SDGs takes a more universal and comprehensive approach to promote social, environmental, and economic sustainability in all countries. With the "Leave no one behind" philosophy, the SDGs give a sense of ownership to everyone including national governments of both the "Global North" and the "Global South", as well as local authorities, private organisations, and individual citizens. The important thing to remember is all countries are still “developing countries” in terms of sustainable development, and therefore we all need to take actions. A particularly significant contribution is needed from local authorities because they are the closest organisations to citizens’ lives and are likely to be able to come up with realistic and effective policies which respond to the unique local socio-economic characteristics of each area. It is even suggested that about 65% of the global targets will not be reached if local authorities are not fully engaged. 

The State of the Region 2020 metrics were developed following a workshop with regional partners using the best available data to monitor the seventeen SDGs but to note these indicators are pre-Covid-19. The SDGs are a call for universal action to end poverty, protect the environment and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. The key metrics also incorporate the importance not only of growth and productivity improvements, but also the contribution of vibrant communities and resilient citizens in creating economic success and places that people want to live and work in.