A Global Innovation Exchange (GIE) has been created. This is a platform for innovators, funders and experts to connect and share relevant information. This includes connecting with complementary initiatives both online and off. It’s about linking global resources, ease of access, reduced duplication and rapidly deploying the most successful innovations.
Aligned with this, is the South African Sustainable Development Knowledge Hub. It’s in the process of being developed and aims to connect development actors with research and innovations around the SDGs and other African development goals.
Moving from the MDGs to the SDGs: According to the UNDP’s Lindiwe Dhlamini in ‘Integrating agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into regional and national development plans and strategies’, there are 3 fundamental differences between the MDGs and the SDGs:
· The SDGs “include all three dimensions of sustainable development – social, economic and environmental”.
· “The SDGs are complex and integrated, with the integrated approach implying the need to manage trade-offs and maximise synergies across targets.”
· “The SDGs should benefit all – eradicating poverty and reducing inequalities. The promotion and use of disaggregated data cannot be emphasised enough.”
There is a need “to go beyond silos and take an integrated approach to development interventions”. Dhlamini notes that the MDG question focused on which goals lagged and the gaps. The SDGs question is: “What are the actions that will take us forward more quickly across a broader range of interlinked goals?”
The importance of partnerships for the goals (SDG 17): The CSIR’s Dr Lorren Haywood explained that SDG 17 is critical for achieving the other SDGs. However, it is often ranked as the lowest priority. She is part of a team conducting research around collaboration. The ultimate aim is to devise a trans-disciplinary evidence-based approach for establishing and implementing partnership relationships.
The CSIR’s research to date shows five key clusters of actors needed to achieve the SDGs – United Nations (governance and support from an international perspective), government (enabling and monitoring environment), business (implementation), research and development (knowledge, technologies and innovation), and civil society (advocacy and awareness).
Currently there is a lack of partnerships and cooperation between clusters. This is specifically within government (ie between national, provincial and local levels), and between government, the private sector and civil society.
Communication, coordination, collaboration and funding are imperative. It’s clear that there needs to be a lot more communication around the SDGs, aligned funding mechanisms, and coordinating activities (from explanations on monitoring and evaluation to reporting frameworks). There also needs to be a great deal more collaboration around common goals. A centralised facilitation agency was proposed.
The research institutions play a crucial role in achieving the SDGs and NDP. The state’s budget allocation to such institutions should not continually be cut, but rather increased.
Video clips with the full presentations and discussion can be found on the NSTF web site. The NSTF will be reporting back on the SET community’s engagement with the SDGs. Please send information to email@example.com
Spokesperson: Ms Jansie Niehaus (Executive Director: NSTF)