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.


Contribution of CEI to UN Agenda 2030 and its implementation in CEI Member States

In the framework of the 5th anniversary of the adoption of Agenda 2030, the Central European Initiative, a collaboration of 17 countries, launched the report “Contribution of CEI to UN Agenda 2030 and its implementation in CEI Member States”, made by a Public Strategy for Sustainable Development team with Ingeborg Niestroy (lead), Sally Nicholson and Gaetane Charlier, in cooperation with the CEI-Executive Secretariat. […]

Short reads on sustainability challenges

Here are all seven 2-page articles on SDG-related challenges which we published online as guest articles at during the last years, put together in easily readable downloads: Why we need ‘real-time’ multi-level governance for [...]

What makes effective governance?

How does one know when countries have implemented good governance? Although a cornerstone of all developmental efforts and the sine qua non of sustainability, governance is often nebulous. As a concept, it is hard to [...]

Contribution to 2019 HLPF

UN CEPA submitted a contribution to the July 2019 High-level Political Forum in the SDGs, stating among others that public institutions are not ready to curb the trend of disempowerment, and that we need to [...]

CEPA Discusses Institutional Aspects of SDG 16

By Natalie Risse/IISD — On 8-9 April, CEPA participants discussed the institutional aspects of SDG 16, namely on effectiveness, accountability and inclusiveness, which are the key components of the “Principles of effective governance for sustainable [...]

UN CEPA session New York 8-12 April

The annual session of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) took place from 8-12 April at the UN Head Quarters in New York. As CEPA member and member of the Bureau (currently Rapporteur), Louis is involved in programming, preparing and chairing sessions. […]

Club of Rome EU-Chapter

The Club of Rome EU-Chapter organised on 7 November in Brussels a ‘Conversation Table’ with an introduction by Louis on his book ‘Metagovernance for Sustainability’.

Sustainable Development Transition Forum, Korea

Ingeborg discussing with Jan-Gustav Strandenaes (a.o. associate of ps4sd) and UN’s Jean D’ Aragon, with Louis at the back, at the 2018 Sustainable Development Transition Forum in Incheon, Republic of Korea, on 29-31 October 2018. The Forum [...]

SD research agenda in Kassel

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). […]

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 [...]

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. [...]

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 [...]

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.

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, [...]

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).

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 , [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

SDGs and RIA in Georgia (July-Nov 2017)

[July 2017] Ingeborg Niestroy has worked at a project of the GIZ in Georgia on integrating Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals in Regulatory Impact Assessment. She conducted workshops for public servants and academia, [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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.

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.