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UNRISD Report Addresses Policy Innovations for Sustainable Development (03/11/2016)

Transformative Change: Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’.The publication draws on policy innovations from the South, analyzes which policies and practices can lead to social, economic and ecological justice, and explores what transformative change means for societies and individuals.

It suggests six guidelines for action towards transformative change. They include:

  1. re-embedding markets in social and ecological norms by making policies and building institutions that make the economy work for society and respect planetary boundaries;
  2. reversing the existing normative hierarchy to position social and environmental priorities above economic ones, and designing integrated social, environmental and economic policies to maximize synergies and coherence;
  3. promoting and enabling meaningful political participation and empowerment through inclusive and transparent political processes, access to information and assets, and governance reforms at the national and international levels;
  4. designing policies and institutional frameworks according to universal principles, human rights and social justice;
  5. using an eco-social lens to design measures that reduce resource use, halt environmental destruction and combat climate change; 
  6. investing in research on innovative ways to design, implement and evaluate transformative policies for sustainable development.

The report also outlines ways through which stakeholders, such as the private sector, civil society organizations, social movements and international organizations can influence, monitor, evaluate and complement actions taken by policy makers at the national, regional and global levels.

These include:

  • incorporating an eco-social rationale in decisions and actions;
  • holding to account employers, multinational corporations, financial institutions and governments;
  • advocating for equal distribution of voice and resources within partnerships;
  • guarding against the skewed distribution of risks, costs and benefits in ways that favor private interests;
  • actively seeking new and innovative partnership opportunities; and
  • ensuring that vulnerable groups and agents of transformative change can effectively influence decision-making processes.(Source IISD)