UCL Grand Challenge of Global Health

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Thinking beyond sectors for sustainable development: a Grand Challenge Initiative


London International Development Centre and University College London joined forces to inform post-2015 goal setting

A collaboration between London International Development Centre (LIDC) and University College London (UCL) explored interactions between different areas of post-Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) development goal setting. A cross-disciplinary group of researchers from six institutions across London worked together to examine ways of shaping the goal-setting process through adopting a cross-sectoral approach in order to create positive synergies for development.

The project resulted in a unique cross-disciplinary publication and a series of policy briefs that can provide a useful tool to direct policy-makers in making future development goals a reality.

You can download the book: Thinking Beyond Sectors for Sustainable Development.

Recent discussions on future sustainable development goals post 2015 have revealed a number of challenges. In particular, there is a need to understand how the different goals interact, and what consequences they will bring for broader development outcomes.

In order to gain a better understanding of these complex interactions, LIDC and UCL brought together a cross-disciplinary expert group for each area of goal setting: agriculture and food; biodiversity and ecosystems; climate and climate change; education, information and knowledge; health; cities; and energy. The expert groups summarised progress in these areas and provided a commentary on how targets are likely to be affected by global trends. They also examined ways in which targets might affect other areas of goal setting and development outcomes.

The team included experts from UCL and Bloomsbury Colleges: Birkbeck, Institute of Education (IOE), London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), SOAS, and the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), brought together by LIDC and drawing on its extensive experience in interdisciplinary, policy-relevant research.

This project is a continuation of LIDC’s long engagement in the MDG process. In 2010, LIDC led a group of researchers from Bloomsbury Colleges to produce a report published by the Lancet ‘The Millennium Development Goals: a cross-sectoral analysis and principles for goal setting after 2015’.

In 2015 LIDC and UCL authors contributed to Governing the UN Sustainable Development Goals: interactions, infrastructures, and institutions, published in The Lancet. 

Page last modified on 21 jul 16 14:38