Policy Report
Topics: Region/Country: Language:
English

Integrated Approaches for Sustainable Development Goals Planning: The Case of Goal 6 on Water and Sanitation

Author: 
UNESCAP
2017-05

Since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2016, scientist have been studying its “indivisible whole” nature, with the objectives to propose viable methods and tools for integrated planning of the implementation of the 17 SDGs. Furthermore, their 169 targets were developed through an inclusive and comprehensive process that considered diverse sector-based specializations and perspectives. As such the 17 SDGs and their targets are closely interlinked and require innovative and unconventional policy approaches, such as those focusing on the intersections (meeting points), interlinkages and complex causal relationships, which require multidisciplinary methods for developing implementation strategies to achieve the complex but aspirational 2030 Agenda. This publication highlights how the systems thinking approach applied by ESCAP complements tools created by experts as the most comprehensive method to develop strategies and plans for the integrated and holistic implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. This short overview of the analytical framework developed by ESCAP describes how the many inter-linkages and relationships were analysed (in three selected country case studies) using the systems thinking approach of causal loop interactions combined with the theory of leverage points to identify effective and impactful interventions at the policy level.
This comprehensive methodology developed will assist policymakers in:
• reviewing existing institutional architecture and mandates to determine their relationship with the 17 SDGs;
• assessing the impacts of policies and identifying effective policy interventions (leverage points) for impactful investment and use of scarce resources; and
• stakeholder mapping and engagement in collectively developing the aspirational qualitative vision for societal change.

The systems thinking approach applied beyond the integration of SDG 6 on water and sanitation has proven particularly conducive to strengthening and enhancing the capacity of policymakers for adaptive governance to better address the complex challenges of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. In conclusion, the application of the analytical framework identified needs for capacity development and technical assistance and generated a request for support from ESCAP and other United Nations agencies that were voiced at the national workshops and the regional seminar, including:
• Strengthening capacities for data collection and for improving existing data sources to generate data sets comparable at the regional and global levels.
• Developing capacities for both quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis for design of integrated policies.
• Enhancing capacity for setting up national SDG implementation monitoring and evaluation processes and in an integrated manner.
• Capacity development support at the provincial and city levels, with training materials translated into the local languages.
• Developing skills and mechanisms for the successful involvement of a wide range of stakeholders to ensure coordinated and concerted action at the national, regional and global levels.
The systems thinking approach applied beyond the integration of SDG 6 on water and sanitation has proven particularly conducive to strengthening and enhancing the capacity of policymakers for adaptive governance to better address the complex challenges of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.
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Related Website: (Bangkok, Thailand) ISBN/ISSN:
978-92-1-060923-4