How can we ensure that partnerships are transformative?

Addressing multiple SDGs: The relevance of multisectoral approaches for sustainable development

Basement Room A-122 September 7, 2017 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

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Karin Gross, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation


The new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development brings our greatest concerns on stage: the conservation of a healthy environment and natural resources, healthy lives and wellbeing for everyone, peace and freedom, economic development and growth, etc. It covers the economic, environmental and social pillars of sustainable development with a strong focus on equity. Hence, the new agenda acknowledges that today’s world is a complex system where no problem stands on its own, but is closely interlinked with many others. This highlights the need for solutions across sectors and disciplines. Integrated approaches such as “whole-of-government” and “whole-of-society” approaches have therefore gained in importance. For example, the “Health in All Policies” approach is increasingly being implemented as a governmental strategy to implement multisectoral action for health across government levels and to increase policy coherence. This requires new ways of communication, partnerships and governance not only at the government level, but also for civil society, the private sector and the research community. In order to shed light on the required changes and the challenges related to the implementation of multisectoral approaches we would like to encourage contributions from researchers, policymakers and societal partners on their experiences with action across sectors. We particularly welcome examples of multisectoral collaborations including health, income generation and access to employment, food security, land, and water.

We would like to encourage reflections and discussions along the following questions:

How can we develop common goals and address multiple SDGs when business as usual is working in “silo” with each one striving to achieve their own goals? How do we identify mutually beneficial outcomes in a way that encourages other sectors to work in collaboration? And how do we identify the relevant partners for multisectoral action? How can a truly collaborative partnership be developed, acknowledging the power dynamics of relationships and given that sectors are in competition for resources? What are the drivers and challenges of multisectoral collaborations?