Ensuring universal access to economic resources and basic services is the first SDG included in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Building a better future for our planet and people, the 2030 Agenda led the 193 Member States of United Nations – UN to come together and adopt innovative public policies for transforming our cities, our habits and our global agenda. Included in this plan of action, its 17 Sustainable Development Goals reveal how challenging the mission is by exposing serious and long-standing universal problems.
This is what the first of them shows us, the ODS 1: Poverty Eradication. To extinguish poverty in all its different forms and dimensions, the goal turns its attention to social inequalities and deprivation of rights. More than just a lack of income, poverty involves hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education, social exclusion and the absence of basic services. Fighting it is, with no doubt, one of the most urgent actions to ensure sustainable livelihoods.
ODS 1 determines five specific goals to be achieved by 2030, but it seems that we are far away from reaching the target. Although the numbers show that the extreme poverty is being reduced worldwide, the rate at which it occurs is declining each year. According to a recent study released by the UN, this slowdown was felt mainly in the early 2000s: in the 1990s, the reduction was 36%; in 2010, 16%; and in 2018, only 8.6%.
Nowadays, more than 700 million people – equivalent to 10% of the world’s population – live in extreme poverty, meaning that they live with less than $ 1.90 a day. If the speed in which we eradicate the situation is maintained, researches show us that we will still have 6% of the world’s population living with difficulties by 2030. Other numbers released by the UN show that the results are even worse when data such as gender, range age and location:
- Poverty affects children disproportionately. One out of five children live in extreme poverty;
- Globally, there are 122 women aged 25 to 34 living in extreme poverty for every 100 men of the same age group;
- Most people living in extreme poverty are in sub-Saharan Africa;
- As of 2018, 55% of the world’s population have no access to social protection.
In Brazil, researches shows even more alarming results: the number of people in situations of extreme poverty has increased, indicating that the country is going against the agreements signed for Agenda 2030. Data released by IBGE indicate that 13.5 million Brazilians live with a monthly income below R$145,00. The number, the worst in seven years, is equivalent to the total population of nations such as Bolivia, Belgium, Cuba, Greece and Portugal.
As a result, social inequality in Brazil has also reached alarming rates. In the study Escalada da Desigualdade, researchers from Fundação Getúlio Vargas – FGV pointed out that, since 2014, the poorest half of the country has seen their income decrease by 17.1%, while the wealthiest 10% had their income increased by 2.55 %. Among the richest 1%, the growth was 10.11%.
The worrying scenario shows the urgency for real and effective actions. Although the SDGs do not indicate specific solutions or strategies to be implemented, today we see startups, private society organizations and institutions striving to create smart technologies and initiatives that improve our life quality, de-bureaucratize public agendas and make public services more efficient and economic – exactly what characterizes a Smart City.
Bright Cities is doing its part and is committed in helping cities to achieve their 2030 Agenda goals. When diagnosing a city, its platform uses a series of indicators aligned with the SDGs to obtain data on urban services and to evaluate their performances. From this, it is possible to identify among areas such as environment, governance, technology and helth which actions need to be improved and which ones present satisfactory results for the Goals.
Many indicators aligned with Sustainable Development Goal 1: No poverty are part of Bright Cities platform. We listed some oh them to tell why they are an important tool for identifying, assessing, and guiding cities toward the SDGs:
- Indicator “Percentage of city population living in poverty”: the indicator collects key-information for governments and municipalities to understand the scale of the challenge and to create action strategies aimed at all goals of SDG 1, including 1.3:” Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable“.
- Indicator “Percentage of city population living in slums”:the indicator analyzes the number of people living in irregular conditions and guides cities towards the SDG target 1.5: “By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters“.
- Indicator “Municipal Human Development Index”: by measuring the degree of economic development and the quality of life offered to the population, the indicator presents relevant results for the achievement of goal 1.a of SDG 1: “Ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, in order to provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions “.
From the indicators’ results Bright Cities can guide cities to adopt some of the smart solutions available in its database and encourage concrete actions to improve different urban contexts. An exemple of this is Troca, a startup that connects homeless people and in vulnerability to employment and income opportunities. The initiative is proof that, by making the best use of technology, cities and countries can transform the lives of those most in need. Follow our News Platform, where we’ll fully explain all the 17 goals and which smart solutions exist for each of them!