From Evidence to Action: the role of universities in delivering the UN Global Goals | SIID’s Annual Lecture with Professor Charlotte Watts, Chief Scientific Advisor for the Department for International Development. May 2018.
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are now well established, with specific and ambitious targets to eradicate extreme poverty, protect our envrionment and deliver a more justice society within just 15 years. Built on the understanding that action will be required by governments, the private sector and civil society to achieve this vision, the pathway to success is far from straightforward.
Undoubtedly expertise and evidence will be central to the success of the SDGs, but in so many issues – from climate change to obesity, biodiversity to migration, the response to overwhelming evidence is too often sluggish and incremental. With the SDGs operating across so many different national and supra-national bodies and systems, the ability of evidence and expertise to influence and advise remains mixed.
The UK was at the forefront of negotating the SDGs and aims to be at the forefront of delivering them, at home and aboard. Under DFID’s leadership, the UK could act as a champion for using evidence to inform policymaking in relation to the SDGs, and help foster the individual skills and institutional capacities that this will require, but what would this look like in practice and how can universities help in this important ambition?
To help us navigate this complex landscape, Professor Charlotte Watts, Chief Scientific Adviser of DFID, will offer some insights into how evidence and expertise can be leveraged more effectively, across disciplines and countries, to inform the delivery of the SDGs as well as DFID’s work more broadly.