NT underperforms on social progress, making slow progress to achieving SDGs - new research

The Northern Territory is underperforming across the board in terms of social progress compared to other Australian jurisdictions, according to the Centre for Social Impact’s (CSI) Australian Social Progress Index (ASPI), as discussed in a webinar today.

The webinar also discussed how the Northern Territory is faring in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), using the ASPI tool as a proxy measure.

Key findings:

  • Compared to its economic peers (based on GSP per Capita - WA, ACT, NSW, QLD), NT is generally performing worse than expected on overall social progress. However, it is performing high in terms of gender employment, minimising the gender pay gap and volunteering
  • The Territory is performing within the expected margins for Environmental Quality, and is performing better than expected in Inclusiveness
  • Notably, there was no additional Territory government spending dedicated to Nutrition and Basic Medical Care or Shelter despite these vulnerabilities in the NT, particularly in remote Aboriginal communities who would have been at high risk if COVID19 broke out
  • As basic human needs are an area of underperformance for the NT, compared to its economic peers, the lack of specific policy response to nutrition and basic medical care, water and sanitation, and shelter expose significant vulnerabilities for the NT

ASPI researchers and webinar presenters:

  • Dr Megan Weier: Research Fellow & ASPI Lead Researcher, Centre for Social Impact UNSW
  • Isabella Saunders: Research Assistant, Centre for Social Impact UNSW