Round icon with colours representing the Sustainable Development Goals

How can the Sustainable Development Goals be transformative?

The theme of this year’s High-level Political Forum on sustainable development is “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies.” The HLPF meets every year to review progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. This year’s event runs from 9-18 July, with a ministerial meeting on 16-18 July. The Sustainable Development Goals aim to be transformative: they focus…

A colourful chart showing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals

Democratizing public health and urban sustainability: how can nexus framings be useful?

By Saurabh Arora (SPRU, University of Sussex, UK) and Leandro Giatti (SPH, USP, Brazil) Public health and urban sustainability are inextricably linked. The World Health Organization (WHO) has emphasized this, drawing attention to the critical interdependence of the UN’s third Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) – ‘good health and well-being’ – with ‘sustainable cities and communities’ and…

Outdoor exhibition with prototype pedal tractor and solar panels

Forking the SDGs: How prototypes could transform the new global goals

Sustainable alternatives often come about through prototypes, from DIY electronics repair to ecohousing, agricultural tools to digital knowledge platforms. Prototypes are often small (at least to begin with) and local, but they can yield surprising results – sometimes becoming mainstream technologies like wind turbines, or ways of doing things like car clubs. This makes prototypes…

Food market in Madagascar

The global food system still benefits the rich at the expense of the poor

Ramen noodles in Sweden, wheat bread in Tanzania and Chilean wines in China. The cross-Atlantic transit of the potato and the tomato from the Andes to Europe, and back again as French fries and pasta sauce. We think of the world as globalised and sophisticated in its food tastes, and our palettes as curious and…

How are the LDCs defining a new sustainable development agenda?

In June 2016, the Least Developed Countries Independent Expert Group, the International Institute for Environment and Development and the STEPS Centre hosted a dialogue for Least Developed Country (LDC) experts to discuss how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could help to define a new agenda for development. Our colleagues at IIED interviewed participants at the meeting…

Why Britain’s decision to leave the EU is bad news for Africa

The fallout from the UK referendum that ended in victory for those wanting the country to exit from the European Union (EU) is still reverberating around the world. But what does it mean for Africa? The decision will fundamentally affect the continent’s relationship with Britain. It will have an impact on trade, aid and diplomacy….

Solar training in a village in Bangladesh

5 Challenges for least developed countries in the post-2015 era

2016 has been a big year for international agreements on development. New Sustainable Development Goals and targets were agreed. The Paris Agreement, the strongest statement for some time on climate change action, was signed. But if the aspirations in them are to be fulfilled, hard work is needed. This hard work should benefit the poorest…

Engineers working on solar technology

How can African countries really provide sustainable energy for poor people?

Last month, delegates drawn from across the world gathered at the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi for the second session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) to discuss the theme ‘Delivering on the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’. I was privileged to be a panelist at a side event on ‘Sustainable…

Painting a new picture of development

Can the Sustainable Development Goals trigger a new approach to development in the world’s Least Developed Countries? On Monday, Least Developed Country experts from around the world gathered in London for a dialogue event to discuss how the world’s poorest countries relate to the new global goals. Organised by the Least Developed Countries Independent Expert…

How the Sustainable Development Goals create a political space to reimagine development

When the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were agreed last September, there was much expectation about how they could help get sustainability back on the development agenda, and push the international community to develop new approaches to development. A declaration, covering both north and south, sought to identify a new era for development that was universal,…