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Sustainable Development Goals

What are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of global ambitions agreed on by all United Nations (UN) Member States in 2015 as part of the UN’s 2030 Agenda.

These 17 goals guide national efforts to end poverty, reduce inequality, provide healthcare and education to all, tackle climate change, and much more. In sum, they should lead us to a better world!

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Why is anti-corruption important for SDGs?

Corruption’s discriminatory nature means that the poor and marginalised are disproportionately affected by the way corruption restricts economic growth, increases inequality and skews resource distribution.

With effective anti-corruption mechanisms, societies around the world can reduce poverty and reap the rewards of healthy, safe and educated citizens. Crucially, fighting corruption can ensure the success of the “leave no-one behind” principle embedded at the heart of the 2030 Agenda.

The good news is that within the Agenda 2030, specific targets related to anti-corruption are included under Goal 16: “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.” To live up to the commitments made in 2015, governments around the world must fully implement the targets under SDG 16.

What are we doing about it?

Transparency International developed a tool that allows civil society groups to monitor the progress (or lack thereof) made under SDG 16 at national level. We have used this tool in more than 40 countries to hold governments to account for their performance in tackling corruption. We therefore now possess a wealth of information on the state of anti-corruption efforts worldwide and not surprisingly, we note there are some major shortcomings in many jurisdictions with regards to political integrity and dirty money.

Additionally, we have also pioneered an innovative approach to monitor corruption’s impact across the SDG framework. Based on a resource guide and an e-learning course we have developed, TI is piloting national indicator dashboards to track, prioritise and tackle corruption risks in specific SDG sectors. This involves conducting sectoral risk assessments, identifying suitable anti-corruption measures for the most critical risks, and developing framework, progress and impact indicators to assess how corruption affects SDG implementation in areas such as poverty reduction (SDG 1), health (SDG 3) and education (SDG 4).

Finally, we have noticed that little research has been done around the distortionary effect corruption can have on the mobilisation of funds needed to meet the SDG targets, especially in areas such as domestic revenue mobilisation and development finance. For this reason, we conduct research on these topics, and recently published a working paper on corruption in blended finance.


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Largely purple report cover showing an illustration of a map of the world with a range of corruption and justice imagery, from a politician bribing Lady Justice to a victim falling into the arms of police officers.

Corruption Perceptions Index 2023

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The Corruption Perceptions Index scores 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business people.

Report cover with a map of the world, banknotes changing hands and a pen in chains.

Corruption Perceptions Index 2021

Publication •

The Corruption Perceptions Index scores 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business people.

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