Sognsveien 68 (map)
Three years have elapsed since the introduction of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on the world stage. This summer, I interacted with UN and World Bank officials, country representatives, academics, civil society organizations and numerous think tanks. My goal was to better understand the current status of policymaking and implementation of the SDGs at global, national and local levels. Here is a brief overview of what I found.
Has the 2030 Agenda really changed the way politics work? And, how do concepts change practices?
Whenever the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are discussed, we usually hear the same refrain: this is a new way of thinking about development! The language of donors and recipients is passé; we are all developing countries now; we are all in the same boat; this is a universal approach to development, and so on. Although rhetorically effective, these expressions beg the question of whether the change is primarily an ideational revision, or whether it is actually changing politics. To put it more bluntly: Is the 2030 Agenda mainly changing semantics, or is it changing practice?
A persistent complaint among many developing country leaders is the poor state of their roads and how the international community appears reluctant to invest in infrastructure development. China has the solution, or so it claims. Launched in 2013, the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, estimated to cost over $5 trillion, aims at global investments in transportation, infrastructure, telecommunications, logistics, energy, and oil and gas. But will it help promote the SDGs? And is it all win-win?
There is now growing attention among numerous stakeholders on the resources and types of policies required to best promote and achieve the SDGs. However, it is not always clear what various stakeholders understand by the term “success”.
What has been the impact of the SDGs on policy formulation in Malawi, and what are the linkages between aid, taxation and private investments in securing funding for their implementation?
This project aims at strengthening the role of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Chinese companies in alignment with the global SDG agenda.
According to my research, these are the main causes of persistence of poverty.