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,…

Image of a car on a dusty street.

In the world’s poorest countries, cities could be the test for the Sustainable Development Goals

Ahead of a dialogue event on 13 June, STEPS member Gordon McGranahan discusses how the Sustainable Development Goals present challenges and opportunities for urbanisation in the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The UN’s 2030 Agenda presents a dazzling array of Sustainable Development Goals, claims they are integrated and indivisible, and pledges that no one will…

Explainer: Sustainable Development Goals and Least Developed Countries

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could provide an opportunity for radical transformation in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). But with hundreds of targets, attempts to implement the goals could be mired in bureaucracy. Could the SDGs, instead, open up a political space to rethink current patterns of development? Ahead of a dialogue event in London…

Earth Day: are we astronauts or toads?

It’s 50 years since the first image of the Earth from space was beamed back home from Lunar Orbiter 1. It’s hard for us now to imagine, or remember, what it meant back then. For the first time, humans could see a real image of their home as a whole. The picture, and others that…

How do we link research and action for sustainability?

In March, researchers, knowledge brokers and funders gathered in Pretoria, South Africa to share lessons and experiences on how a decade of ESRC-DFID research support has impacted on poverty reduction. The Conference came just a few months after the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  These goals articulate the value of research and capacity…

Is more inclusive urbanisation essential to the 2030 Agenda?

The 2030 Agenda promises Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are “integrated and indivisible” and “leave no-one behind”. Yet goals listed have historically been pursued in ways that bring them into conflict with each other. In a newly released paper in Environment & Urbanization, Daniel Schensul, Gayatri Singh and I argue that inclusive urbanisation is central to bringing…