The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Bringing Agenda 2030 to life: implementing SDGs at national level

15 January 2020, 5:30 pm–7:30 pm

Bringing Agenda 2030 to life

Learning from participatory processes in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Kenya

Event Information

Open to



Dr Andrea Rigon


Sir Ambrose Fleming Lecture Theatre G06
Roberts Building

This Dialogue in Development event will, in part, explore learning generated from the reports produced through the project Bringing Agenda 2030 to life funded by CAFOD in four African countries. The reports present the results of a participatory learning process in four African countries to localise at national level the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.  The report focuses on the Agenda’s transformative principles. Through a bottom-up approach, it identifies existing positive examples of sustainable development in order to ground a dialogue between different stakeholders on how to achieve sustainable development in practice in each country. The process is based on participatory learning, through a collective reflection, and learning from working approaches that can be adapted to other contexts.

2015 marked a huge shift in development thinking, as the global focus moved on from the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their 169 targets.  This shift represented many years of collective thinking and inclusive conversations within the international community about the priorities of international development.  It resulted in an ambitious agenda with an aspirational preamble and declaration: ‘Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’.

This report, and the research behind it, seeks to bring that ambitious agenda to life.  It aims to move beyond attention solely to individual goals and targets and to look more closely at the transformative principles that cut across the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

Governments often struggle to recognise the existing valuable work that takes place in the country which contributes towards the Agenda 2030.  Usually local consultation processes start from a discussion of needs to identify new interventions.  While this is important, we have decided to work in a different way by focusing on what the principles of Agenda 2030 meant to people from different sectors and what examples of good initiatives they had seen.  This process co-produces knowledge and works well in contexts where a constructive relationship with government and amongst different sectors of society is possible.  The process does not substitute Government’s own process to build national development plans but can complement or assess such plans.  This type of participatory process also allows non-policy experts to contribute to shape the implementation of policy agendas.

Drinks will follow.


Graham Gordon, Head of Policy, CAFOD

Diego Martinez-Schütt, Policy Analyst on SDGs, CAFOD

Dr Charley Nussey, Research Consultant, DPU

Dr Andrea Rigon, Associate Professor, DPU

Accessibility guide here (link)