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 8% of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty, without the ability to fulfill basic needs. The international Poverty Line is defined by the UN and World Bank as living on less than $2.15 a day, with 60% of all extreme poverty being found in sub-Saharan Africa.

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 three 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 37% of single parents living 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

Academic Curriculum to Support No Poverty: Undergraduate course Economics of Poverty and Inequality examines poverty and inequality’s economic causes and consequences. Topics include U.S. welfare policy and transfer programs.

  • Undergraduate students in the Health and Social Policy course examine the history and complexities of the American healthcare system and social welfare provision. Additionally, a particular emphasis is placed on the U.S., exploring healthcare and social welfare in a public policy framework.
  • The graduate Domestic Social Policy course introduces governmental and non-governmental programs, policies, and institutions dealing with those who cannot function self-sufficiently within the American market economy, including low-income families, the elderly, the unemployed, and people with disabilities. Here, students analyze how social policy in the United States reflects the political economy, culture, and social and demographic trends


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 2023 AASHEAssociation of Advancement in Higher Education report reflected that 63% 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.


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


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