Bangladesh has ranked 109th on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Index 2020, ahead of India (117th), Pakistan (134th), and Afghanistan (139th) in South Asia.
Other South Asian countries Bhutan (80th), Maldives (91st), Sri Lanka (94th), and Nepal (96th) have ranked above Bangladesh on the SDG Index.
In South Asia, the country ranked fifth with a score of 63.5 out of 100.
The Sustainable Development Report (SDR) 2020, including the SDG Index and Dashboards, which was released on June 30, is a complement to the official SDG indicators and the voluntary national reviews published by Cambridge University Press.
The SDG dashboard highlighted that Bangladesh faces major challenges in reaching seven sustainable development goals out of seventeen, which are SDG: 2, 3, 6, 9, 11, 16, and 17.
Also, there are six significant challenges facing the country with the goal of sustainable development.
However, the SDG dashboard indicates Bangladesh has achieved SDG 12 and 13.
Last year, Bangladesh ranked 116th out of 162 countries with a score of 60.9. Overall, the country improved its ranking and score in the 2020 edition of the report.
However, this improvement is very narrow, as the country is reported on track for only four SDG goals and moderately increasing towards the six goals.
Sadly, the country is stagnant in its position for three goals and decreasing its position from the two goals. There is no data about two of the goals.
On a surprising note, Vietnam – only four years younger than Bangladesh and the country's top RMG competitor – has ranked 49th in the 2020 index, 60 spots ahead.
SDGs during the pandemic
Some may not consider pursuing achieving the SDGs during a global pandemic. However, Director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and first author of the report, Jeffrey D. Sachs sees this another way.
He said, "The Sustainable Development Goals are needed more than ever. Their bedrock principles of social inclusion, universal access to public services, and global cooperation are the guideposts for fighting Covid-19 as well as for the investment-led recovery the world should adopt to overcome the economic crisis caused by the pandemic."
The report also published a spillover index, which indicates transboundary impacts generated by one country on others.
Bangladesh ranked 23rd with a 99.4 score on the Spillover Index, indicating the country has a significantly less negative impact on other countries in achieving their SDG goals.
Globally, Sweden replaced Denmark in the top position. Denmark ranked second – followed by Finland, France and Germany.
The Central African Republic, South Sudan and Chad are the bottom three countries.