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Learn About Us: How We Support the SDGs

How the Social Progress Index can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an ambitious commitment by the world’s leaders to improve the wellbeing of all people and ensure environmental sustainability by 2030. The Social Progress Index (SPI) captures outcomes related to all 17 SDGs in a simple but rigorous framework, making the implementation of the SDGs a tangible reality for social innovators all over the world.

Watch the TED talk “Progress Against the Sustainable Development Goals” by the Social Progress Imperative CEO Michael Green to learn how the world is progressing three years into the SDGs *

SPI offers a practical way for policymakers to track and report on progress towards the SDGs in a consistent manner, particularly for governments conducting their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). And the SPI framework has been successfully adapted in countries, cities and communities of every size thanks to its ability to incorporate locally-relevant data into each index. This flexibility means the index can be used to localize implementation of the SDGs at a more granular level, where change can happen quickest but formal SDG indicators often unavailable or unreliable.

With barely a third of the SDG indicators currently measured in a rigorous manner for a majority of countries, the Social Progress Index addresses a core measurement challenge. The index uses 51 indicators drawn from official UN data but also from globally respected research institutions and polling organizations to provide a comprehensive estimate of SDG performance even where the formal indicators do not exist.



Unlike the SDGs, which provide a siloed view of progress, the Social Progress Index aggregates data across 12 core areas to create a single social progress score, providing a quick but thorough snapshot of overall progress toward the goals. And its focus on measuring outcomes not inputs appropriately prioritizes the progress a community has made towards the goal, rather than effort expended.

To promote the adoption and use of the Social Progress Index tool for SDG monitoring, the Social Progress Imperative created an informal group of UN Member States. This group is comprised of countries that are already using or considering using the Social Progress Index as an SDG monitoring and reporting tool, including Paraguay and Costa Rica.

Contact Frank Murillo at fmurillo [at] to learn more about these applications and opportunities. And see the resources below for more information on how the Social Progress Index is being used to advance SDG monitoring and implementation efforts.

Watch the 2015 TED talk “How We Can Make the World a Better Place by 2030” by the Social Progress Imperative CEO Michael Green

Read about the Social Progress Imperative’s involvement at the High-Level Political Forum and T20 summit.

Read the Methodology note on 2030 SPI projections used in the TED talk “Progress Against the Sustainable Development Goals” *

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