How can research project impact be meaningfully related to the SDGs and their indicators?
Frequently, a project’s contribution to the SDGs is summarised as a tick-box exercise. This means that much of the project team’s contextual knowledge and assumptions about causal links remain implicit. This in turn risks reducing the ability to maximise the potential for a robust case for support and could also lead to much impact being lost in the translation between the global goals, expected project outcomes and contextual determinants of development impact.
There is an MS Team Space for the SDGs at Warwick. Staff and students at Warwick can access the space directly using this link.
Six Transformations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals
Jeffrey D. Sachs1, Guido Schmidt-Traub, Mariana Mazzucato, Dirk Messner, Nebojsa Nakicenovic and Johan Rockström
Nature Sustainability, September 2019 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-019-0352-9
This is a widely cited article that presents a way of approaching the complexity of the SDGs by breaking them down in to six transformations that it describes as the modular building blocks for sustainability. The changes to social, economic and political activity, it suggests, will transform the use of resources, contributing towards the SDGs. There is a really useful section on implementation, and we were pleased to see a focus on stakeholder engagement and co-design.
In September 2020, Warwick launched its first report in to the Sustainable Development Goals. The report was a first milestone in a commitment to promote further engagement from the academic community and invite a broad and inclusive range of stakeholders to start a conversation about sustainable development. In November 2021, Warwick's SDG Advisory Group launched its second report on Warwick's contribution to the SDGs. The report highlighted that there was already a lot of excellent research at Warwick which addresses specific individual SDGs but that it was harder to identify research projects that explicitly targeted multiple, interconnected goals. The second report was an attempt to provide some inspiring examples of work which broadly adopts a nexus thinking approach.