Recap: Measuring impact using the Sustainable Development Goals framework

Graphic showing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals
There are 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Learn more at
On Wednesday, March 24, Project Cities Program Manager Steve Russell was joined by Dr. Gregory Broberg, community partners Tracie Hlavinka (Town of Clarkdale) and Jay Davies (City of Peoria), and EPIC-N Program Manager Marshall Curry to present at ASU’s Social Embeddedness Network Conference. The conference brings together various university faculty, staff, students, and community partners to present on their work in community engagement and public services. Steve Russell kicked off the presentation by introducing Project Cities’ effort to measure its student projects contributions to the SDGs, by measuring the project impact to see the programs contributions to the SDGs. All projects support SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, and SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals. The program’s efforts to track SDGs are still fairly basic Greg Broberg presented a student reflection module he developed, as a component of his COVID community needs project with Peoria in fall 2020. As part of this project, students from Greg’s JUS 385 Justice and Everyday Life interviewed Peoria’s community entities and residents to identify met and unmet needs during COVID. With a focus on four core areas, including food, health care, housing, and employment, students also connected their finding to SDGs. Largely, the students were able to connect their findings to SDG’s 1 No Poverty, SDG 2 Zero Hunger, SDG 3 Good Health and Well-being, and SDG 10 Reduced Inequalities. EPIC-N Program Manager, Marshall Curry, next discussed mechanisms for measuring and reporting on SDG impacts at the national level. Across the EPIC-N program, student projects have primarily addressed SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, followed by SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being, and SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitization. Marshall introduced a number of bigger picture coalitions and efforts, such as the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Jay Davies from the City of Peoria and Tracie Hlavinka from the Town of Clarkdale presented on their teams’ respective efforts in sustainability planning, and their own pursuit of SDG-related initiatives. Both communities have made considerable efforts to address various sustainability challenges, though the efforts had not previously utilized the SDG framework. In their work with ASU Project Cities, 27 student projects over the years have largely addressed SDGs 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth.   Thank you to our esteemed co-presenters, and to the hosts of ASU's Social Embeddedness Conference! You can watch the whole presentation and other conference recordings to learn more about PC’s work with the SDGs, and deeper insights from our community partners. You can watch the recording HERE or check out the ASU Social Embeddedness Youtube channel for more presentations from the conference.   Project Cities is a member of the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities Network (EPIC-N) and is administered by ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory and the Sustainable Cities Network. Stay up to date with Project Cities and the Sustainable Cities Network by following us on social media or subscribing to our newsletter.