In 2015, the United Nations (UN) passed a resolution establishing 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the intent of creating a more sustainable world by 2030. Since the SDG targets and indicators were developed for nation-states, many are not directly applicable at the local scale, especially in the U.S. Organizations that have attempted to localize the SDGs to the U.S. context have run into challenges common to open data initiatives in the U.S., including the limitations of using only nationally available datasets and adapting international standards that include critical issues in developing nations that have generally been addressed in the U.S. (for example, access to water, sanitation, education for girls, etc).

To address these limitations, organizations that are looking to apply the SDGs to U.S. cities and counties could consider using the 500+ evaluation measures contained in the STAR Community Rating System (STAR) to track progress towards the SDG goal areas. The 17 SDGs offer an existing high-level framework that aligns closely with the 7 goals and 45 objectives in the STAR framework.

To support organizations and communities that are interested in using STAR evaluation measures to track progress towards the SDGs, STAR Communities has reviewed all 108 quantitative outcome measures (plus Innovation & Process) in the rating system and mapped them to the 17 SDG goal areas. Download the white paper.

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STAR Communities

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