Improving the Sustainable Development Goals

Improving the Sustainable Development Goals : Strategies and the Governance Challenge

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Description

Improving the Sustainable Development Goals evaluates the Global Goals (Agenda 2030) by looking at their design and how they relate to theories of economic development. Adopted unanimously by the member states of the United Nations (UN) in 2015, the goals are remarkable for the global commitment on a set of targets to reach by 2030, but also for the lack of a strategy of implementation. The choice of appropriate action is handed over to individual governments, some of which are limited by their lack of resources.


This book explores how implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) can be developed, especially in developing countries. The content, strengths and weaknesses of the SDGs are critically examined, alongside their relationship to ongoing academic research. The authors also investigate the actions of governments over the past three years by looking at the national strategies they have presented at annual meetings of the UN High-Level Political Forum.


Improving the Sustainable Development Goals takes a critical but constructive approach, pointing out risks as well as possible remedies. The SDGs are seen as an opportunity for a global conversation on what works in solving some fundamental problems relating to poverty and environmental degradation. With the inclusion of a chapter by Tobias Ogweno, former member of the Kenya's UN mission, this book will appeal to all those who are interested in policy analysis with a focus on development issues.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 132 pages
  • 138 x 216 x 9.65mm | 363g
  • ROUTLEDGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 14 Tables, black and white
  • 0367142104
  • 9780367142100

Table of contents

Preface


Introduction


Overview


Chapter 1: Global goals in search of strategies


A global agreement...


Eradication of poverty in reach


Environmental urgency


Ambitious and flexible goals


...to achieve sustainable development...


A political compromise


Contested issues


...through seventeen goals...


Economic issues


Social issues


Environmental issues


Cross-cutting issues


...without an explicit strategy...


Weak on strategies for implementation


How flexible are the goals?


Weak on compliance


...and in an unclear relation to other global policies...


...but still an example of the art of the possible


References


Chapter 2: A research gap on strategies and implementation


Focus on the implementation of the SDGs


Forward-looking


Connecting policy to research


Africa and developing countries


Questions for the investigation


Are the goals intended to be taken seriously?


Problems with the existing literature


Sustainable development


Theoretical perspectives


Empirical perspectives


Poverty reduction


References


Chapter 3: Refocus from the goals to learning over time


Policy by goals


The role of goals


New Public Management


Another interpretation: A learning policy


Rationalism vs realism


A learning subject


The importance of a program theory, a strategy


Hidden assumptions


A theory of change for sustainable development


Methods and material


References


Chapter 4: An inherent strategy in the goals


The economic dimension


Goal 1: No poverty


Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth


Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure


Goal 10: Reduced inequalities


Summary


The social dimension


Goal 2: Zero hunger


Goal 3: Good health and well-being


Goal 4: Quality education


Goal 5: Gender equality


Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation


Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy


Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities


Summary


The environmental dimension


Goal 12: Responsible production and consumption


Goal 13: Climate action


Goal 14: Life below water


Goal 15: Life on land


Summary


Cross-cutting issues


Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions


Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals


Summary


How can we understand the goals as a strategy?


The general strategy


The environmental goals


The social goals


The economic goal


The governance goals


References


Chapter 5. Alternative strategies for Sustainable Development


How can we think about drivers and barriers for sustainable development?


Four questions


Three stylized perspectives


Political debates


Drivers for economic development


Modernization theory vs Dependency theory


Developmental states and global value chains


Drivers for social development


Normative issues


Three perspectives


Drivers for environmental development/protection


Two relationships


Three perspectives


Drivers for the development of governance/state capacity


Failed states


Summary and implications for developing countries


References


Chapter 6: The governance challenge


Good governance as the key to successful implementation of the SDGs


Good governance


Disagreements


Critical perspectives


Developmental neopatrimonialism


Questions


The evidence


Differing methods


Two rival theories


Are the strategies feasible?


Problems with Good Governance


A value-conflict


Conclusions


References


Chapter 7: National strategies of implementation (by Tobias Ogweno)


What is new with the SDGs?


The context of the SDGs


The Voluntary National Reviews


National strategies: different approaches, same destiny


Stakeholder engagement


Integrated governance


Legitimate, innovative and flexible governance


National development plans


Managing the tensions


Citizen engagement with the goals


References


Chapter 8: Conclusions of the study


Summary


Conclusions


The future


References
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Review quote

"This book explores the formulation and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals; this type of analysis is critical to make progress on sustainable development. The authors apply a forward-looking perspective to discuss drivers and barriers for achieving the goals, adding to the multifaceted debate surrounding societal efforts to enhance sustainability."
Henrik Selin, Frederick S Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University
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About Lars Niklasson

Lars Niklasson is a researcher at the Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies (SIEPS), and a professor of political science at Linkoeping University, Sweden. His research interest is European Union (EU)-Africa relations and the global leadership role of the EU. He has taught international political economy and comparative politics, with a focus on global challenges and governance. Niklasson has been a visiting teacher at the University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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