SDG Observatory

Goal 1: No Poverty

End poverty in all its forms everywhere.


No Poverty Globally

The first Sustainable Development Goal addresses a pervasive issue that will require comprehensive solutions. The goal, to end poverty in all its forms everywhere, recognizes that poverty looks different in different areas of the world. Currently, an estimated 10% of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty, without the ability to fulfill basic needs. Poverty is not unique to employment status; across the world, 8% of employed workers are still living in extreme poverty. This affects children disproportionately, with 20% of children living in extreme poverty.

The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated poverty on the global scale, making millions of people lose their jobs and pushing an estimated 8% of the population into poverty. In responding to the pandemic, developing countries are most at risk of struggling from both a continued health and socioeconomic crisis. In order to achieve No Poverty by 2030, the targets for SDG 1 [Sustainable Development Goal 1] include reducing poverty, implementing social protection systems, and reducing the vulnerability of poorer groups to economic shocks.


No Poverty Locally

According to a recent report from the Center of Public Policy Priorities, one in five Dallas children lives in poverty. Additionally, 50,000 of those living in Dallas meet the definition of living in extreme poverty. These numbers affect vulnerable populations disproportionately, with single mothers twice as likely to live below the poverty line and poverty affecting racial minorities to a higher extent.

Read more about the impact historical redlining has had on Dallas poverty lines.



Alternative Spring Break, Texas for Global Poverty

SDG 2: Zero Hunger
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Alternative Spring Break (ASB [Alternative Spring Break] ) is an immersive week of hands-on service, leadership-building and relationship-building that is supplemented with education and reflection. Each ASB [Alternative Spring Break] experience specializes on a particular social issue such as environmental conservation, disaster relief, affordable housing, education, etc. Volunteer teams are matched up with a non-profit agency that provides housing, orientation, training, and then engages the participants in around 40 hours of volunteer service over the course of a week. Prior to departure, ASB [Alternative Spring Break] participants take part in team activities and meetings to get to know each other and learn about the community partners they will be working with. Participation culminates in a reflection reception in April where teams reunite and share ASB [Alternative Spring Break] experiences, as well as share ways for continued civic engagement and community outreach. The goal of ASB [Alternative Spring Break] is to cultivate a sense of social responsibility in student participants, assist them to develop leadership skills, and inspire them to take action to influence positive change in their communities and throughout the world. The experiences are designed to challenge students to think critically about the issues facing the communities they are serving and learning alongside. Being immersed in diverse environments enables them to experience, discuss, and understand social issues in a more personal way than simply hearing about them in the news and discussing them in class. One recent ASB [Alternative Spring Break] project addressed Global Poverty. Located in Elm Mott, Texas, students paired with World Hunger Relief, Inc. to alleviate global hunger. Alternative Spring Break provides students with hands-on experiences finding solutions to address the Sustainable Development Goals.


Academic Curriculum to Support No Poverty

SDG 4: Quality Education
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

The course Economics for Public Policy introduces graduate students to the use of economic methods of the analysis of public policy. The primary theoretical framework for the course is microeconomics, but the course may include macroeconomics at the discretion of the instructor. A variety of public policy topics are covered including education, employment and the labor market, taxes and redistribution, access to health care, poverty and inequality, and public assistance programs. Undergraduate students also have the opportunity to learn about No Poverty in an economic context. In Economics of Poverty and Inequality, students examine the economic causes and consequences of poverty and inequality. Topics include US welfare policy and transfer programs. Through both of these courses, UT Dallas prepares students to find economic solutions for global poverty.


Living Wage at UT Dallas

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
A group of people seen from above, assembled on the North Mall chessboard to for the UTD monogram.

Photo Source: UT Dallas Human Resources - Careers

At UT Dallas, our 2019 AASHEAssociation of Advancement in Higher Education report reflected that 91.45% of employees receive a living wage. Our University did not report data regarding a student living wage. These calculations are based on the Employee Compensation guidance from the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. The University of Texas at Dallas has also released a Policy Statement regarding Pay Administration to ensure the longevity of fair working standards and wages. This policy includes hours of work, overtime compensation, holidays, hazardous duty pay, and Fair Labor Standards. MITMassachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a Living Wage Calculator to assist employers in determining the cost of living and resulting living wage in a certain area.


Research Spotlight: Child Poverty Action Lab

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Four men standing together: Chung-Min (Jack) Chen, Ron Bose, Alan Cohen and Robert Mundinger.

From left: Chung-Min (Jack) Chen, Ron Bose, Alan Cohen and Robert Mundinger; Photo Source: JSOM

Graduate students from the Naveen Jindal School of Management led a data analytics project for the Child Poverty Action Lab in 2019. The students partnered with Alan Cohen, Executive Director of the Child Poverty Action Lab, and Robert Mundinger, who runs Their research focused on accessibility to public transportation to jobs that pay a living wage. They found that 35% of jobs with living wages in Dallas are accessible via public transportation within 30 minutes, and 69% within one hour. As a result of their research, the students recommended increased accessibility to ride-share and electric scooter options in lower income communities. The project is just one example of extensive student involvement in research at UT Dallas to benefit social action causes.

Read more about the project.


Academic Bridge Program

SDG 4: Quality Education

One successful way to reduce poverty globally is through education. The Academic Bridge Program (ABP [Academic Bridge Program] ) at UT Dallas is a highly successful initiative that recruits and graduates primarily underrepresented minority students from area high schools who do not meet normal UT Dallas admission standards but who do show a passion for success in college. The program provides advising, mentoring, and tutoring to students making the transition from high school to college. ABP [Academic Bridge Program] has a history of success at UT Dallas. It is estimated that 90% of students return as sophomores, 70% graduate with a bachelor’s degree, and 30% eventually go on to pursue a graduate degree.

Read more about the Academic Bridge Program.


Goals / Future Work

Expand education regarding the connection between poverty and environmental issues


Other Work We Do

The programs highlighted here are just one piece of the work we do on campus to reduce poverty. View the full dataset (PDF [Portable Document Format File] ), guided by the Association of Advancement in Higher Education (AASHEAssociation of Advancement in Higher Education)’s Sustainable Development Goal translation guide.


Learn More

  • Take free online educational courses about No Poverty from SDG Academy
  • Learn more about the targets and indicators at the UN Global Goals website