Assessing COVID-19 impact on the Sustainable Development Goals

Author: UNDP

UNDP’s flagship study, conducted with the Pardee Center for International Futures at the University of Denver, assesses the impact of three different COVID-19 scenarios on the SDGs, capturing the multidimensional effects of the pandemic over the next decades. The findings show that while COVID-19 can lead to severe long-term impacts, a set of ambitious but feasible integrated ‘SDG investments’ can help the world exceed the development trajectory we were on before the pandemic, even when taking COVID impact into account.

The analysis also includes a special focus on debt-burdened countries, where the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted repayment capacity due to increased crisis spending to support essential sectors like health, education and social safety nets. 

By using scenario modeling, the study shows how governments can make choices today that have the greatest potential to boost progress in the future, within planetary boundaries. This type of analysis can empower governments to turn COVID-19 from a short-term crisis into an opportunity for transformation towards sustainable development in the long-term.

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