What Works: Bridging research and policy on sustainable development

Welcome to the annual Oslo SDG conference!

Save the date conference poster

Four years have elapsed since the introduction of the 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on the world stage. In July 2019, several thousand delegates – government officials, civil society organizations and academics – attended the 2019 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) at UN headquarters in New York with the overall aim of discussing “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”. An overall conclusion at the 2019 HLPF, as in previous years, was that the pace of action on achieving the SDGs is slow and that a sense of urgency was needed if the SDGs were to be achieved by the 2030 deadline. Accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda is also at the core of the SDG summit organized at UN Headquarters in September 2019. But not all is doom and gloom. At this conference, we wish to bridge the gap between research and policy and better understand what is working, where, how and why.

 

Our aim is to go beyond the usual rhetoric and engage with political and business leaders as well as academics and activists in an effort to nuance the discourse on political commitment, financing and implementation of the SDGs. What is the state of policymaking on the SDGs, and how best can we achieve policy coherence across sectors? While businesses in many countries appear to have embraced specific SDGs, there are growing concerns that integrating development and environmental goals may not be as mutually supportive in practice as is often claimed. The sessions on day 1 will highlight the role of governance (SDG 16) for greater integration between the 17 goals as well as three thematic sessions – on energy, food and health – aimed at disseminating recent and cutting edge research findings on specific SDGs to a wider audience and engaging in a discussion on how best to achieve policy coherence. Each of these thematic sessions will begin with a brief introductory overview of the issues before the moderator engages in a discussion with a panel of experts and stakeholders.

 

On day 2, we will focus on the role and impact of research on policy formulation and implementation. How can research findings be made more attractive for the attention of policymakers? And how, and to what extent, does scientific evidence shape and influence political decision-making on climate and development policy, which in turn changes social behaviour and attitudes? Are there good and illustrative examples of how research is shaping policymaking on sustainable development in Norway and abroad? The final session of the conference will highlight the challenges and opportunities for improved research communication on sustainable development.

Programme

Monday, 14 October


Session 1: Achieving the SDGs: The Role of Politics and Finance 

09:00-09:15: Welcome

Prof. Åse Gornitzka, Vice-Rector, University of Oslo


09:15-10:15: Political commitment for the SDGs

Opening remarks by Ola Elvestuen, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway and President of the fifth United Nations Environment Assembly

Camilla Brückner, Director, UNDP Nordic Office

Malcolm Langford, Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Oslo

Kathrine Sund-Henriksen, Director, The Norwegian Forum for Development and Environment

Moderator: Dan Banik, Professor and Director of the Oslo SDG Initiative, University of Oslo


10.15 - 10.20: Break


10:20-11:15: Financing the SDGs

Johan Andresen, Owner and Chairman of Ferd and Chair of the Council of Ethics for the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global

Linda Haltbrekken, Director of Corporate Partnerships, Plan Norge

Bjørn K. Haugland, CEO, Skift 

Jon Lomøy, Director General, Norad

Mari Sundli Tveit, Policy Director, Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise 

Moderator: Dan Banik, Professor and Director of the Oslo SDG Initiative, University of Oslo


11:15-11:30: Break


11:30-12:20: Governance for SDG integration: SDG 16 as an enabler

Julia Kercher, Senior Expert, UNDP Oslo Governance Centre

Ingrid Rostad, Adviser, Norwegian Forum for Development and Environment

Guro Slettemark, Secretary General, Transparency International Norway

Moderator: Inge Herman Rydland, Special Envoy for the 2030 Agenda, Ministry of Foreign Affairs 


12:20-13:00: Lunch


Session 2: Thematic Panels

 

13:00-14:00: The role of energy and infrastructure in reaching social, environmental and economic development

Opening remarks by Gavin Bridge, Professor, Department of Geography, Durham University

Arve Hansen, Post-doctoral Fellow, Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo

Hanna Havnevik, Professor, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo

Karina Standal, Senior Researcher, CICERO

Kacper Szulecki, Researcher, Department of Political Science, University of Oslo

Moderator: Tanja Winther, Professor, Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo


14:00-14:10: Break


14:10-15:10: Agriculture, food security and SDG 2

Michael Chasukwa, Head of Department, Department of Political and Administrative Studies, University of Malawi 

Per Fredrik I. Pharo, Editor and Lead Author, Food and Land Use Coalition Global Consultation Report

Astrid Tveterås, Senior Adviser, Section for Environment and Food Security, Norad

Jan Thomas Ødegård, Director, The Development Fund 

Moderator: Ruth Haug, Professor, Noragric, Norwegian University of Life Sciences


15:10-15:20: Break


15:20-16:20: What works in global health?

Opening remarks by Katerini Storeng, Associate Professor, Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo

Kjersti Koffeld, Senior Advocacy Advisor, Save the Children Norway

Hassan Njie, PhD candidate, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo 

Ingvar Olsen, Policy Director, Global Health Section, Norad

Moderator: Antoine de Bengy Puyvallée, PhD candidate, Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo


16:20-16:30: Closing remarks

 

16:30: Refreshments

Tuesday, 15 October


Session 3: Knowledge for Sustainable Development

09:00-09:15: Welcome

Tale Kvalvaag, Director, the Knowledge Bank, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) 


09:15-10:00: The role and impact of research on policy 

Short presentations followed by a discussion

  • Tax for Development 
  • Capacity building in law faculties in Kenya, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe (NORHED)
    • Anne Hellum, Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Oslo
  • Bioenergy in Ethiopia (EnPe)
    • Trine Hvoslef-Eide, Professor, Faculty of Biosciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Panel discussion

10:00-10:55: Ensuring the uptake of research findings in policy formulation and praxis

Svein Bæra, Policy Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

Kristin Danielsen, Executive Director, Research Council of Norway

Happy Kayuni, Professor, Department of Political and Administrative Studies, University of Malawi

Charlotte Nakakaawa Jjunju, Senior Adviser, EnPe Secretariate, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Toril-Iren Pedersen, Senior Adviser, Tax for Development, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD)

Moderator: Nikolai Hegertun, PhD candidate, Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo


10:55-11:05: Break


11:05-12:00: Producing research or posturing researchers? Challenges with research communication on sustainable development

Svein Bæra, Policy Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

Dag Olav Hessen, Professor, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Thina Saltvedt, Senior Advisor, Group Sustainable Finance, Nordea

Moderator: Benedicte Bull, Professor, Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo


12:00: End of conference followed by lunch


Published Sep. 16, 2019 9:06 AM - Last modified Oct. 15, 2019 3:31 PM