To begin, councils need to understand the SDGs and think through how they might be applied in the local area. They then need to map their own high-level plans, policies and strategies against the 17 goals and accompanying targets, making choices about which are more relevant to them. Councils can then choose to adopt SDGs and the targets, or their own local versions of them, and consider amending or redrawing their plans to close any identified gaps.
They may have taken several years to negotiate within the UN, but each SDG amounts to only around a dozen words, so it doesn’t take long for an individual to gain an understanding of the them; that is one reason why they are such a powerful idea. Every SDG also has a small number of accompanying targets, plus one or more indicators for each of these targets, intended to measure progress towards it.