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Day Zero Bergen: An assessment of the political impact of the SDGs

Event start: February 7th 2023, 13:30 - 15:00 CET

Event description

The aim of this event is to highlight key findings from the SDG Impact Assessment involving 61 researchers from around the world that studied the political impact of the SDGs. Our study has been published with Cambridge University Press in mid-2022 and features the first social scientific meta-analysis of the SDGs since their adoption in 2015. The assessment finds that the effects of the SDGs are so far mainly present in the political discourse, while we do not see any substantial effects on the (re-)allocation of resources by governments. The assessment moreover points to a lack of incentive structures that guide public and private funding towards sustainable pathways. In a nutshell, the SDG Impact Assessment suggests that the SDGs are not (yet) leading to fundamental and transformational changes and that the voluntary nature of the 2030 Agenda makes it easy for actors to implement the SDGs in a way that benefits their self-interests.

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Building upon the findings from the six assessment dimensions (global governance; implementation at multiple levels; interlinkages, integration and coherence; inclusiveness; planetary integrity; and methods for analysing steering effect), we adopt a forward-looking perspective and provide policy recommendations on how to accelerate the political and societal transformation towards sustainable development. The event should be of interest to researchers and policy-makers concerned with the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.


Thomas Hickmann and Carole-Anne Sénit (co-editors of the book)

Yixian Sun (contributing author)

Assessment website

Project website


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