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.


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Sustainable Development Transition Forum, Korea

Implementation of the SDGs
Ingeborg and Louis are both invited speakers at the 2018 Sustainable Development Transition Forum in Incheon, Republic of Korea, on 29-31 October 2018. The Forum is an annual discussion organised by the United Nations Office for Sustainable [...]
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SD research agenda in Kassel

News & Events
On 19th September 2018, Louis spoke at the Agenda conference ‘Social-ecologic sustainability research’  in Kassel, Germany, about policy coherence for sustainable development. The conference was organised by the German Ministry of Science and Education.   [...]

First reviews of “Metagovernance for Sustainability”

“This is both a theoretical masterpiece and practical handbook” (Bob Jessop). “This is a ‘metabook’ which will inspire and guide all those responsible for and studying the SDGs” (Geert Bouckaert). “This book will become the core text in this area” (Paul Jackson). “This book is an important read for every practitioner from developing and developed countries alike” (Geraldine J Fraser-Moleketi). “A book that is a must for those who strive for enhanced professionalism in governance for sustainable development” (Roel in ‘t Veld). “What makes this book a must-read is the emphasis on how to get to differentiated governance for the SDGs” (Guenther Bachmann). […]

Implementation of the SDGs

Principles for effective governance

Louis co-authored a Guest article with an overview of 11 useful principles for the SDGs with examples of concrete strategies. Compiled by the Committee of Experts on Public Administration in April 2018 and Endorsed by [...]
News & Events

Results Peer Review of SDS Hessen (2018)

As a member of the Peer Review team of the Sustainable Development Strategy of the German region of Hessen, Ingeborg and colleagues presented their final results to the Hessian Minister of the Environment Priska Hinz. [...]
Implementation of the SDGs

VNR-LAB in New York

On 17th July 2018, Louis was discussant at one of the new VNR (Voluntary National Review) LABs organised by UN DESA during the High Level Political Forum 2018 in New York. Through a video connection [...]
Implementation of the SDGs

UN Public Service Forum 2018 in Marrakech

On 21 June 2018, Louis chaired two sessions and gave a presentation at the UN Public Service Forum 2018 in Marrakech, Morocco (21-23 June 2018). Ingeborg was an invited participant.
News & Events

SDGs, Climate and the Future of Europe (Milan)

On 31 May 2018, Inge co-moderated a panel, together with Peter Schmidt, the new President of the EESC’s Sustainable Development Observatory, at the conference “SDGs, Climate and the Future of Europe” which is hosted by ASviS, [...]
News & Events

Civil Society Indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals

Inge spoke on a panel on 28 May in the hearing “Civil Society Indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals” of the EESC’s Sustainable Development Observatory (SDO).
Publication list Louis Meuleman

Input CEPA to the HLPF 2018: principles & coherence

On 2 May 2018, the UN Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) of which Louis is currently vice-chair,  submitted its contribution to the 2018 High Level political Forum (HLPF) on the SDGs. This contribution [...]

Expert for the EESC opinion on SDG mapping

Ingeborg was expert for the opinion of the Sustainable Development Observatory (SDO) of the EU’s Economic and Social Committee (EESC), “Sustainable Development: A Mapping of the EU’s internal and external policies (NAT/693)“, adopted in September [...]

SDG Watch Europe

Since 2016, Ingeborg has been engaged as volunteer in SDG Watch Europe, the EU-level, cross-sectoral alliance of NGOs from development, environment, social human rights and other ‘sectors’. She is facilitator of Strand 2 MONITORING , [...]
News & Events

Vice-chair of CEPA

[April 2018] At the 17th session of the UN Committee of Experts on Public Administration at the UN HQ in New York, Louis was elected as one of the three vice chairs for this session [...]
Implementation of the SDGs

17th Session of CEPA in New York

[April 2018] From 23-27 April 2018, Louis participated as member at the 17th annual session of the UN Committee of Experts on Public Administration in New York and present his paper on ‘Promoting policy and institutional coherence [...]
News & Events

SDG implementation in 6 Western Balkan countries

Ingeborg was researcher in a study conducted end of 2017 by the UN Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), commissioned by UNDP and UNECE, on SDG implementation in six Western Balkan countries. The study was [...]
News & Events

Keynote at CSR & SDGs conference in Nigeria

[Nov 2017] 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 [...]
Impact Assessment

SDGs and RIA in Georgia (July-Nov 2017)

[July 2017] Ingeborg is working for a project of the GIZ in Georgia on integrating Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals in Regulatory Impact Assessment. She is conducting workshops for public servants and academia, [...]
Implementation of the SDGs

Keynote speech at SDG conference in Vienna

[June 2017] Ingeborg was keynote speaker at the conference “How we can achieve the SDGs? – The way to sustainability”, which took place on 1st June in Vienna. The event was a contribution to the [...]
Governance & Metagovernance

Presentation at European quality conference 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.