TWEET THIS

We must take a holistic look at SDGs to create positive synergies rather than negative tradeoffs
Country ownership is critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals
Meeting the SDGs requires realistic national medium and long-term targets and programs.

The international community will need to take a holistic look at the SDGs to ensure we achieve them in ways that create positive synergies rather than negative tradeoffs. This is a challenging task, not just for the number of targets, but also because some of them necessitate thoughtful decisions to make the right tradeoffs.

When the global development community gathers this week for the UN General Assembly, they will have their hands full as they try to get through an extremely ambitious agenda. Over the course of the week, world leaders will cover a range of topics, including advancing sustained economic growth and sustainable development; a special focus on Africa; maintaining international peace and security; promotion of human rights; drug control, crime prevention and combating international terrorism.

Alongside the formal agenda, organizers are hosting a series of special week-long events to draw attention to the sustainable development goals and the fight against Climate Change.

Watching the buzz leading in to these meetings, it’s been striking to hear strong voices advocating for one issue or another. Take, for example, the debate over which SDG is most important or what targets to track and measure. Should we prioritize poverty eradication over gender equality? Or susatainable energy and climate change over quality education and clean water for all? The reality, as many renowned development experts and evaluators have pointed out is that the international community will need to take a holistic look at the SDGs to ensure was achieve them in ways that create positive synergies rather than negative tradeoffs. This is a challenging task, not just for the number of targets, but also because some of them necessitate thoughtful decisions to make the right tradeoffs.

As independent evaluators, we often run into the same issues when evaluating the World Bank Group’s operations. Like the United Nations and the rest of the development community, the WBG's mandate spans many, if not all, of the Sustainable Development Goals.

So what have we have learned from evaluating the World Bank Group’s work that might be relevant for the SDGs? In a synthesis paper, Transforming Our World - Aiming to Sustain Development,  prepared at the time the SDGs were launched, we reflected on the lessons learned from the earlier Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the opportunities of the future. Among the many lessons we identified, I would like to highlight three.

  1. The importance of building country ownership
  2. Creating an environment where countries can learn from each other and tap into the best advice and solutions available globally.
  3. The need to develop the right instruments as well as realistic national medium and long-term targets and programs. This includes balancing the constructive tensions between national and sector priorities, institutional capacity building and strong partnerships at all levels.

Interested in digging deeper? Below are some of our recent evaluations relating to the different SDGs.

sdg_1.png
SDG 1. No Poverty


Supporting Transformational Change for Poverty Reduction and Shared Prosperity


World Bank Group Engagement in Small States


World Bank Group Engagement in Resource-Rich Developing Countries: The Cases of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Zambia


The Poverty Focus of Country Programs


World Bank Group Assistance to Low-Income Fragile and Conflict-Affected States

 

sdg_2.png
SDG 2. Zero Hunger


The World Bank Group and the Global Food Crisis


Lessons from Land Administration Projects: A Review of Project Performance Assessments


Impact Evaluations in Agriculture


Growth and Productivity in Agriculture and Agribusiness

 

sdg_3.png
SDG 3. Good Health and Well-being


World Bank Group Support to Health Financing


Later Impacts of Early Childhood Interventions: A systematic Review


Delivering the Millennium Development Goals to Reduce Maternal and Child Mortality


Improving Effectiveness and Outcomes for the Poor in Health, Nutrition, and Population


World Bank Support to Early Childhood Development

sdg_4.png
SDG 4. Quality Education

 

World Bank Support to Education Since 2001


Accelerating Growth Skills and Knowledge – An evaluation of the World Bank Group’s support for Higher Education

 

sdg_5.png
SDG 5. Gender Equality

 

Women’s Empowerment in Rural Community-Driven Development Projects


Social Safety Nets and Gender: Learning from Impact Evaluations and World Bank Projects

sdg_6.png
SDG 6. Clean Water and Sanitation


Global Program Review: Global Water Partnership

 

sdg_7.png
SDG 7. Affordable and Clean Energy
 

World Bank Group Support to Electricity Access


World Bank Group Engagement in Resource-Rich Development Countries: The Cases of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Zambia

 

sdg_8.png
SDG 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth

 

Industry Competitiveness and Jobs


The Big Business of Small Enterprises – An Evaluation of World Bank Group Support to SMEs


Investment Climate Reforms



sdg_9.png
SDG 9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

 

Capturing Technology for Development


Using Knowledge for Better Development Results


World Bank Group Support for Innovation and Entrepreneurship



sdg_10.png
SDG 10. Reduced Inequalities

 

The Poverty Focus of Country Programs


World Bank Group Assistance to Low-Income Fragile and Conflict-Affected States



sdg_11.png
SDG 11. Sustainable Cities
and Communities

 

Mobile Metropolises – An IEG Evaluation of the World Bank Group’s Support for Urban Transport (coming soon)


Improving Urban Transport: 5 Lessons from Senegal



sdg_12.png
SDG 12. Responsible Consumption
and Production

Supporting Transformational Change for Poverty Reduction and Shared Prosperity


World Bank Group Engagement in Small States

sdg_13.png
SDG 13. Climate Action


Climate Change and the World Bank Group: Win-Win Energy Policy Reforms - Phase I


Challenge of Low-Carbon Development: Climate Change and World Bank Group - Phase II


Lessons from Environmental Policy Lending



sdg_14.png
SDG 14. Life Below Water

 

Project Performance Assessment Report - Senegal: Integrated Marine and Coastal Resources Management Project and Sustainable Management of Fish Resources Project


sdg_15.png
SDG 15. Life on Land

 

Growth and Productivity in Agriculture and Agribusiness


Managing Forest Resources for Sustainable Development


Global Program Review: Forest Carbon Partnership

 

sdg_16.png
SDG 16. Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions


World Bank Group Engagement in Small States


World Bank Group Engagement in Situations of Fragility, Conflict, and Violence


World Bank Group Assistance to Low-Income Fragile and Conflict-Affected States


World Bank Country-Level Engagement on Governance and Anticorruption



sdg_17.png
SDG 17. Partnerships for
the Goals

 

Global Program Review: The World Bank's Partnership with the GAVI Alliance


Global Program Review: The Global Fund to Fight AIDs, Tuberculosis and Malaria


Global Program Review: Global Water Partnership


Global Program Review: Forest Carbon Partnership


The World Bank Group’s Partnership with the Global Environment Facility


Public-Private Partnerships


Public-Private Partnerships in Health

Add new comment

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.