Next to the nexus thinking, many professionals believe that the SDGs will require systemic thinking that reduces the complexity by focusing on one step (sector, target, goal) at the time. New America, Greenhouse and OECD conducted a survey amongst 85 experts from think thanks, governments and private institutions, the WB, OECD, universities and foundations as well as CSOs to find out the best sequence of implementing the SDGs. The experts were provided with 117 targets to put in order and prioritise in an effort to fulfil all the SDGs. The experts ranked targets like promote rule of law and access to justice and eliminate the most extreme poverty ahead of all other listed targets. The next couple of targets that were prioritized were access to affordable health care, ensure women’s rights to economic opportunities and government accountability.
Overall the highest priorities focus on rights and governance and basic conditions of life, while environmental targets are only to be found lower on the priority list. The surveyed stakeholders have also prioritised targets focusing on individuals over institutions and rather urgent targets over long-term processes.