A Guide to SDG Interactions

Countries around the world are faced with a significant challenge: How can they reach the 17 SDGs and 169 targets by 2030. The SDGs range in diverse issues including gender equity, sustainable cities, access to clean water, and good governance. The agenda to achieve all is ambitious. If we are to achieve these goals, we need a blueprint to navigate the often conflicting agendas and synergies. 

Thus, this report explores the nature of interlinkages between the SDGs. The report proposes a seven-point scale to quantify synergies and conflicts.  The report includes detailed analysis of four SDGs and their interactions with other goals, placing each goal on a scale ranging from +3 to -3.  The scale measures if a goal or target is reinforcing of others (+3 is very reinforcing) or when goals and targets conflict with each other (-3 being very conflicting). A score of 0 indicates neutral interaction.

Four SDGs and their interactions:

  • SDG2: Zero Hunger
  • SDG3: Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG7: Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG14: Life below Water


"A key objective of the scoring approach described here is to stimulate more science-policy dialogue on the importance of interactions, to provide a starting point for policy-makers and other stakeholders to set their priorities and implementation strategies, and to engage the policy community in further knowledge developments in this field." - A guide to SDG interactions: From science to implementation