The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are presented as highly connected: an ‘interrelated’ and ‘indivisible’ agenda with a need for policy coherence for implementation. We analyse the relationships among the goals using formal systems analysis and find that the connections between goals are uneven, with a failure to integrate gender equality, peace and governance concerns. This incoherence may undermine policy initiatives aimed at developing approaches to implement the SDGs.
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The data and code that support the findings of this study are available in the Supplementary Information.
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G.B.S. acknowledges the support of E. J. Stewart and R. I. Stewart, as well as the Modelling Evidence and Policy research group.
The authors declare no competing interests.
Publisher’s note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
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McGowan, P.J.K., Stewart, G.B., Long, G. et al. An imperfect vision of indivisibility in the Sustainable Development Goals. Nat Sustain 2, 43–45 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-018-0190-1
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