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change for a sustainable future

Post-2015 update - 21 Dec

What role for trade and investment in Agenda2030? photo:McKay Savage via flickr.com, creative commons licence


·         UNDP: 2015 Human Development Report: Work for Human Development. This year’s HDR is available as an interactive web version. The PDF report can be downloaded here. The report explores how work can enhance human development, taking a broad view to include voluntary and creative work, going beyond jobs. It notes that forced labor and other forms of work can damage human development, and that without proper policies in place, work’s unequal opportunities and rewards can be divisive. A press release from the launch ceremony in Addis Ababa is available here.

·         SDSN: Getting Started with the Sustainable Development Goals: A guide for stakeholders. This preliminary guide aims to help stakeholders understand the SDG agenda, to start an inclusive dialogue on implementation and prepare SDG-based national development strategies. It draws upon lessons from the MDGs and proposes guiding principles, reflecting on the universality of the agenda by recognizing countries’ unique starting points and development contexts.

·         UNEP: The UNEP Environment and Trade Hub: Using trade and investment as vehicles for achieving the SDGs. This concept note outlines UNEP’s new demand-driven mechanism, which offers capacity building and related policy advice on sustainable trade and investment, intended to accelerate SDG delivery. The Hub was formally launched at the World Trade Organization's (WTO) 10th Ministerial Conference in Nairobi. A press release on UNEP News Centre is available here.

·         Nannette Lindenberg and Caroline Pöll (DIE): Financing global development: Is impact investing an investment model with potential or just blowing smoke? This briefing paper outlines the role of impact investments in financial social and environmental service delivery. It describes innovative instruments such as social impact bonds (SIBs) and development impact bonds (DIBs), but notes that they are still largely unproven and face challenges such as limited transferability and high transaction costs. Supporting their further development would entail data and information sharing, additional research, common definitions and measurement systems among other actions.

·         Ingo Bordon and Birgit Schmitz (DIE): Financial stability as a precondition for the financing of sustainable development in emerging and developing countries. This briefing paper discusses the role of financial stability in sustainable development, as the authors note that the Financing for Development outcome was weak in this area. The paper asks whether new sources of finance will alter the financial structure of developing economies, which may impact on these economies' ability to withstand systemic shocks. The authors call for taking risks to financial stability into account when financing investments to achieve the SDGs.

·         UNCTAD: Enhancing the Contribution of Export Processing Zones to the Sustainable Development Goals - An analysis of 100 EPZs and a Framework for Sustainable Economic Zones. This exploratory report suggests that changes taking place in the global market mean that Export Processing Zones (EPZs), and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) more generally, can be restructured as centers of excellence for sustainable development. It argues that EPZs face strategic challenges, but that lessons learned from these "Sustainable Economic Zones" could be applied and scaled up by developing country governments at a regional and national level.

·         Development Initiatives: The Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation’s Contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This paper explores the GPEDC’s potential role in relation to the 2030 Agenda and offers some preliminary conclusions to stimulate discussion at the 2nd Busan Global Partnership Forum, which was held 23-24 November 2015 in Korea. The paper confirms that the GPEDC’s vision is central to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, which could provide a basis for the GPEDC to make a unique contribution to the 2030 Agenda. A write-up of the forum by IISD is available here.

·         Development Initiatives: The Role of the Private Sector in Development Effectiveness: Common Components for Success in Future Partnerships. This paper reviews evidence and case studies to provide a synthesis of lessons learned from country-level experiences on practical features of successful public-private partnerships. It argues that successful partnerships for effective development and associated dialogue processes are diverse, organic and often context-specific, reviewing several key action areas: inclusive dialogue; consultation and collective action; sustainability; transparency; and accountability for results. 

·         International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI): Annual Report 2015. This report provides an update on IATI’s progress against its three key objectives: to encourage more organisations to publish to the IATI Standard; to improve the quality of the data published, and to increase the use of IATI data, especially at country level. A write-up by IISD is available here.



·         Big Data and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This event organized by UN ESCAP was held 14-15 December 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand, developed a shared understanding on the challenges, opportunities and current state-of-play of Big Data for sustainable development policy; determined areas of mutual interest; and identifies creative-solutions and strategic directions for action using Big Data to support implementation, follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda.

·         World Summit on the Information Society Review (WSIS+10). This meeting held 15-16 December 2015 at UN headquarters in New York conducted a ten-year review of the WSIS. It addressed issues of WSIS implementation, gaps and challenges. The outcome document is available in the above link.

·         Tenth WTO Ministerial Conference. The WTO's 10th Ministerial Conference was held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 15-18 December 2015. Among other initiatives, UNEP’s Environment and Trade Hub was launched (see reports section above). IISD highlights are available here.



·         IRF2015. "A zero poverty, zero emissions agenda."

·         Ina Porras on IIED’s blog. "Finding solutions for less poverty and better ecosystems."

·         Vikki Spruill on the Council on Foundations’ blog. "Addressing inequality amid plenty – the SDGs and the United States."

·         Thomas Wheeler on Saferworld’s blog. "Emerging themes on the 2030 Agenda in fragile states."

·         Alvin Leong (Pace University) in Outreach Magazine. "Connecting the dots between the UNFCCC and the SDGs."

·         Simon Maxwell on his blog. "Climate change: time for development (studies) to lead the charge."

·         Gabriella Romano with Jeremy Oppenheim on The Climate Group. "Post 2015 is a climate and sustainable development agenda: Jeremy Oppenheim."

·         Felix Dodds (UNC / Tellus Institute) on his blog. "Again UNGA 5th committee is defunding Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda."

·         Alex Cobham (Tax Justice Network) on post2015.org. "Measuring illicit flows in the SDGs."

·         UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). "Direct access to climate finance accelerates the SDGs, whilst securing the environment for our descendants."

·         Cory Searcy, Darren Swanson, Livia Bizikova on IISD. "Why Private Sector Reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals is Important."

·         Karen Newman and Jeanne Finestone in the Guardian. "New report highlights how business can support sustainable development goals."

·         Barbara Grady on GreenBiz. "Novozymes: Integrating the world's climate goals into a business plan."

·         Edward Kayiwa on New Vision (Uganda). "EU calls for private sector involvement in achieving SDGs."

·         Jem Bendell on the World Economic Forum’s blog. "Could enterprise zones help us achieve the Global Goals?"

·         Greg Navarro (Navarro Amper & Co / Deloitte) in the Manila Times. "Growth not enough to realize UN global goals."

·         Dean Karlan (Innovations for Poverty Action; Yale University) on the Council on Foreign Relations’ Development Channel. "Will Setting Goals End Hunger? What’s Next for the SDGs…."

·         Duncan Green on Oxfam’s From Poverty to Power blog. "Will the Sustainable Development Goals make a difference on the ground? Lessons from a 5 country case study on the MDGs."

·         David de Ferranti (Results for Development Institute) in the Huffington Post. "In the complex and brave new world of the SDGs, we still have unfinished business on the basics of mother and child health."

·         Mayra Buvinic and Megan O'Donnell on CGDev’s blog. "Here’s How to Really Leave No One Behind: Improve Data Collection on Women and Girls."

·         Valentina Ieri in IPS News. "UN’s Post-2015 Development Agenda Will “Leave No One Behind”."

·         International Chamber of Commerce. "WSIS+10: Advance SDGs and secure a vibrant digital economy in Africa."

·         IISD News. "IOM Highlights Migrants in Cities, Links to SDG 11."


This digest is compiled by WRI, a member of IRF2015 — a collaboration of 10 international research institutions providing critical thinking, integrated analysis and awareness raising for a post-2015 development agenda.

If you have suggested items for the digest, questions or comments, please e-mail Adam Fishman (afishman@wri.org). To subscribe to this weekly digest, along with other WRI newsletters, please visit this sign-up page on WRI’s website.