Free Interactive Report
UN SDG Partnerships in the US
UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 17, Partnerships for the Goals, emphasizes the need for collaboration between governments, the private sector, and civil society at global, regional, national and local levels in order to achieve the other 16 Global Goals. Investment and support are especially needed in 5 key areas: finance, technology, capacity building, trade, and systemic issues to ensure we achieve the 2030 Agenda.
The US has been the largest aid donor in the world since World War II. Twenty-two government agencies manage foreign assistance from the US, with over 60% managed by The United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, communities around the world have experienced economic, social, and environmental setbacks, especially for poverty rates and unemployment. While these impacts are not equally distributed across countries, many challenges, such as climate change, have a global reach and no country will be able to recover from and prevent future challenges alone. Official Development Assistance (ODA) is government aid specifically promoting and targeting the economic development and welfare of people living in developing countries (development and humanitarian aid). While the US donates the most money, over $30 billion annually (over 20% of total ODA) relative to economic size, the US’ ODA is low, just 0.17%. This ranks the US 24th out of the 30 members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) which oversees ODA spending.
US Official Development Assistance (ODA) Spending*
According to the latest Sustainable Development Report (formerly the SDG Index & Dashboards), the US ranks 35th out of 165 countries on sustainable development progress, and is only on track to meet 3 out of the 17 Global Goals by 2030:
- SDG 6 Clean Water & Sanitation
- SDG 9 Industry, Innovation, & Infrastructure
- SDG 11 Sustainable Cities & Communities
3 goals are currently seeing a decline in progress:
- SDG 10 Reduced Inequalities
- SDG 14 Life Below Water
- SDG 15 Life on Land
The remaining 11 goals have seen little to no change in either direction.
In the US, state and local governments spent approximately $10,000 per capita in 2020 on a range of programs and services that fall under the SDGs, from police and fire protection services to parks and recreation and education. This distribution varies widely across states. You can explore more details by state on the map below, as well as an overview of the more than 23,900 nonprofits organizations that work on addressing related issues in the US. You can also discover 370 products and services in our Tech for Good Directory related to private public partnerships, fundraising, data management and analysis and other key areas of resource mobilization.
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Interactive Report Notes:
* ODA is government aid that specifically promotes and targets the economic development and welfare of people living in developing countries (development and humanitarian aid), and does not include any foreign military aid, aid from private sources, or NGOs.
** Only organizations with a valid website URL are shown in this table.
- US Official Development Assistance (ODA): The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Aid (ODA) by sector and donor 2019.
- State and local government spending: US Census Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finances, and State Population Estimates, 2019.
- World Economic Forum – Coronavirus has exposed the digital divide like never before
- Sustainable Development Report – Executive Summary
- OECD – Insights from the Data for Development Profiles of DAC members
- OECD – Development Finance Data FAQs
- OECD – Development Co-operation Profiles USA
- SDG Tracker – SDG 17
- Global Goals – SDG 17
- UN SDGs – SDG 17
- UN STATS – Goal 17
- OECD – The 0.7% ODA/GNI target – a history
- World Investment Report – Investing In The SDGs
- Brookings Institution – US global leadership through an SDG lens
- International Finance Corporation – Closing the SDG Financing Gap—Trends and Data
- Urban Institute – State and Local Expenditures
- US Census – Annual State and Local Government Finances Summary: 2019
- OECD – Official development assistance – definition and coverage
- UN Principles for Responsible Investment – Macro Opportunities: Driving Growth