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Policy Innovations for Transformative Change

Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

image of Policy Innovations for Transformative Change

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals are a global commitment to “transforming our world” and eradicating poverty in all its forms everywhere. The challenge now is to put this vision into action. Policy Innovations for Transformative Change, the UNRISD 2016 Flagship Report, helps unpack the complexities of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda in a unique way: by focusing on the innovations and pathways to policy change, and analysing which policies and practices will lead to social, economic and ecological justice. Drawing on numerous policy innovations from the South, the report goes beyond buzzwords and brings to the development community a definition of transformation which can be used as a benchmark for policy making toward the 2030 Agenda, intended to “leave no one behind”. Bringing together five years of UNRISD research across six areas—social policy, care policy, social and solidarity economy, eco-social policy, domestic resource mobilization, and politics and governance—the report explores what transformative change really means for societies and individuals.

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Driving the eco-social turn: Governance and politics

Transformative change at the national level must be complemented by similar change processes at regional and global levels. But major imbalances— or policy incoherence—are evident in global governance regimes. These tend to facilitate trade, finance and private investment, and subordinate or challenge goals related to social and environmental protection and decent work. Achieving greater policy coherence in global governance is not simply about improved coordination: it is fundamentally a political process. Within that process the voice and influence of less powerful stakeholders, vulnerable groups and poorer developing countries need to be enhanced. Responses to the call in the 2030 Agenda for a global partnership must go beyond current approaches to public-private partnerships and participation. Social innovations associated with networking, transnational activism and multistakeholder regulation of business that allow civil society organizations and groups to organize, mobilize and participate to greater effect are important in this regard.

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