Attended by more than 50 participants across the world, Katja and Gabriele presented the UNRISD’s 2016 Flagship Report which was written one year after the implementation of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. They explained that they saw the need to deepen understanding of what transformation towards Agenda 2030 really means, how the agenda is situated in the global debates, and what examples and case studies can be gathered that provide practical lessons to everyone. See the full webinar here.
The Report presented three key lessons to achieve transformative change. First, combating poverty, inequality, and environmental destruction requires attacking the root causes instead of addressing only the symptoms of the problems. Not tackling the structural causes and drivers of these issues caused some solutions to fail in the past. Second, transformative change can be propelled by innovative policies that overcome palliative and “silo” approaches and promote an “eco-social” turn in development thinking and practice. Lastly, certain conditions must exist for innovations to be transformative such as: being grounded in universal and rights-based policy approaches; promoting policy integration and policy coherence without subordinating eco-social objectives to growth and profit maximization; changing markets so they work for society and the environment; and leading to empowerment and accountable and effective institutions.
To go beyond the abstract, Katja and Gabriele provided examples from India, where the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme provides 100 days of employment to a large number of rural households that participate in public works around soil protection, promoting productivity in the rural areas, and building environmentally friendly infrastructure. In Brazil, the successful cash transfer program now includes rewarding sustainable use of resources, while in Uruguay, women groups pushed for care policies that make care approaches and policies work better both for those who receive care as well as those who provide care. This social policy was combined with tax system reforms that make it equitable, as well as fiscal reforms that expand public services.
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