The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and SD Strategies & Tools

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the follow-up of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with two important differences: firstly, the SDGs are universal, i.e. applicable to all countries; secondly their sustainability focus is much stronger. In September 2015, the UN General Assemble adopted the SDGs and the process of implementation has started in all countries.

What Sustainable Development Strategies (SDS) look like and what impact they have depends on what those who formulated them believe is the best definition of 'strategy'. Mintzberg described ten schools of thinking about strategy.With regard to sustainable development, the strategy definition is crucial. If strategy is a sustained learning process in dealing with complex issues, an SDS based on this definition might be able to recognise 'wicked' problems. On the other hand, if the starting point is that the world is well-structured, a strategy in the form of a concrete action plan might be the most desirable. Of course, a combination may be the best solution.

On this page we have put together our studies, research and articles on the SDG and SD strategies and other implementation tools.


Keynote at CSR & SDGs conference in Nigeria (2017)

News & Events
Louis gave a keynote speech at the conference “Exploring the relationship between CSR and sustainable development in Africa”, on 20-21 November 2017 in Abuja, Nigeria. It is the 3rd African Conference on Business and Human [...]

SDGs and RIA in Georgia (July/Sept 2017)

Impact Assessment
For German GIZ, Ingeborg contributes to workshops this summer in Georgia on how to integrate the Sustainable Development Goals and Regulatory Impact Assessment.
Governance & Metagovernance

Presentation on policy coherence in Malta (May 2017)

Louis spoke about “Teaching silos to dance for policy coherence” at the 9th European Quality Conference in St. Julian’s (Malta), 15-16 May 2017. Ingeborg participated at the conference.
Implementation of the SDGs

Moderation at SDG SIDS conference in Nassau (Febr 2017)

Louis moderated a session during the Symposium on “Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SAMOA Pathway in Small Island Developing States – SIDS: Equipping Public Institutions and Mobilizing Partnerships”, organised by the Government of the Commonwealth [...]
Governance & Metagovernance

Open SDG Club in Berlin (November 2016)

Ingeborg moderated a session during the Open SDGclub.Berlin conference, organised by the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) (21-23 November 2016).
Governance & Metagovernance

SDGs for Asia & Europe in Stockholm (October 2016)

Ingeborg spoke at a conference organised by the Asia Europe Foundation and the Stockholm Environment Institute, on “SDSs for Asia and Europe: Delivery Options for the 2030 Agenda”, in Stockholm, 19-20 October 2016.
Governance & Metagovernance

Implementing SDG 16 in Bonn (Sept 2016)

Ingeborg spoke at a workshop on “Research meets practitioners: Implementing SDG 16” organised by the German Development Institute (DIE) in Bonn, 26-27 September 2016.

From PPP to ABC Partnerships for the SDGs (2016)

Short article by Louis Meuleman, Jan-Gustav Strandenaes and Ingeborg Niestroy, published online on 11 October 2016 by IISD, claiming that Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) should not be the blueprint model for the new SDG partnerships. We [...]
Governance & Metagovernance

Metagovernance in Kyrgysztan (Nov 2015)

Louis gave a presentation on implementing the Sustainable Development Goals with a metagovernance approach at the regional UN conference on “Effecting synergies between inclusive economic growth, environmental sustainability, gender equality and development for transformational change” [...]
Governance & Metagovernance

SDG Implementation in Korea (Nov 2015)

Ingeborg participated in the Sustainable Development Transition Forum 2015 of the UN Office for Sustainable Development in Incheon, Republic of Korea, 17-19 November 2015.
Governance & Metagovernance

UN SDG Integration Workshop Geneva (Oct 2015)

Ingeborg presented a paper during the UN Capacity Building Workshop on Sustainable Development Integration Tools in Geneva on 14-15 October 2015. Louis chaired one of the sessions.
News & Events

Appointment as Rapporteur EU Expert Group (2015)

Ingeborg was appointed as the rapporteur of a newly established EU Expert on the Rio+20 follow-up and in particular the SDGs. The group will provide advice on the role of innovation, research, science and [...]
Implementation of the SDGs

Sustainable Development Goals Indicators (2014)

Ingeborg co-authored a study with important new contributions to the debate on Sustainable Development Goals, published by the Asia-Europe Forum: SDGs and Indicators for a Small Planet. Download the report here.

SDGs and subnational governments (2014)

Ingeborg authored “Sustainable Development Goals at the Subnational Level: Roles and good practices for subnational governments”, an IISD/SDPlanNet Policy Brief supporting the Post 2015 Agenda discussions at UN level.
Implementation of the SDGs

ESDN in Rome (November 2014)

Louis was keynote speaker at the annual conference of the European Sustainable Development Network on 6-7 November 2014 in Rome. See PPT presentation here.
Implementation of the SDGs

UNOSD in Korea (April 2014) 

Ingeborg presented at the United Nations Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD)-hosted first annual Sustainable Development Transition Forum (SDTF), from 9-11 April 2014 in Incheon, Republic of Korea.
Books & Chapters

(2013) Transgovernance: Advancing Sustainability Governance 

Edited book – Louis Meuleman (Ed.) Heidelberg: Springer Verlag (319 pp). ‘Transgovernance: Advancing Sustainability Governance’, the second publication on transgovernance of the IASS institute in Potsdam, Germany, gives the sustainability governance debate a new context and provides [...]
Governance & Metagovernance

European Union, Governance and Sustainability (2012)

Bitzer, V., Cörvers, R., Glasbergen, P. and Niestroy, I. (eds.)(2012), Open University in the Netherlands, 427 pp. Textbook containing contributions of many leading scholars, introducing the state of thinking on governance and sustainability in the context [...]
Books & Chapters

(2005) Sustaining Sustainability

Authored book – Ingeborg Niestroy. Sustaining Sustainability: A benchmark study on national strategies towards sustainable development and the impact of councils in nine EU member states. This study provides an inside story on the state [...]

The problem with the long-term

Considering the slow pace of societal transitions, SDG implementation should have a strong long-term view. Policies triggering transitions often have a long lead time: the results may be only visible after 5-10 years. This requires [...]