Photo collage of report pages

At the end of 2023, the SDG 16 Data Initiative published a new report that finds critical shortcomings on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16. A ‘Bold New Agenda’ is Falling Short: The Perils and Promises of SDG 16 brings together analyses from various organizations to offer insights into the current state of play for eight of the official SDG 16 targets and recommendations for policymakers seeking to drive progress on this important goal.  

SDG 16 seeks to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.” 

The World Justice Project (WJP) contributed a chapter on SDG Target 16.3, which seeks to advance the rule of law and access to justice. While official data on Target 16.3 is relatively limited, that which exists suggests a lack of progress and the likelihood of most countries failing to fulfill this important part of the 2030 Agenda on time. Leveraging findings from WJP’s access to justice research, the chapter demonstrates how civil society data can supplement official data and provide novel insights. For example, while only five countries and territories report data on the use of formal and informal dispute resolution mechanisms as outlined in SDG Indicator 16.3.3 in the SDG Database, WJP has estimated what proportion of the people could resolve disputes in 62 countries.  

Despite the current lack of progress, it is not too late to correct course. Leaders seeking to advance progress on SDG Target 16.3 should focus on improving data availability and investing in sustainable, effective interventions. Further, engaging with civil society actors and broadening the conversation on Target 16.3 will facilitate progress on people-centered justice

Read the report here

 

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Otomí spiritual leader Lucina Hernández Reyes leads a walk in a forest with community leaders in San Miguel Almaya, Capulhuac

As part of a multidimensional project funded by the Canadian Embassy in Mexico, WJP has produced a new report that seeks to increase the visibility of Indigenous mediation programs. It comes as a growing number of governments, donors, and communities are embracing a paradigm shift to people-centered justice. That global movement prioritizes identifying people’s legal needs and fostering accessible solutions to address them, rather than primarily investing in established institutions that are missing the mark. 

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WJP Executive Director Elizabeth Andersen speaking at the National Judicial College's March conference

Authoritarianism and weakened justice systems continue to erode the rule of law globally–but not universally. Taking cues from the communities resisting these trends can pave the road forward, according to the World Justice Project (WJP) Executive Director Elizabeth Andersen. On March 13, Andersen addressed judicial, legal, and academic leaders at the National Judicial Conference’s symposium on “Democracy’s Last Line of Defense: Preserving an Independent Judiciary.”     

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