Cambridge-Africa

South Africa: New book on SDGs calls for closer research-policy link

14 September 2018

A government policy-maker needs to find a solution to a water sanitation problem. Simple, tap into the latest research. Problem solved. If only. A new book addresses the frequent disconnect between research producers and policy-makers – a disconnect in urgent need of a solution if the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are to be achieved.

In 2015, under what is now known as Agenda 2030, member countries of the United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at ending poverty and promoting prosperity and well-being for all.

These SDGs cover social and economic development issues including poverty, hunger, health, education, environment and social justice. While the goals are broad – for example, Goal One is “End poverty in all its forms everywhere” – each comes with a separate list of achievable targets. Achieve all 169 and the goals will become reality.

Universities are key players in this global endeavour as they are the main producers of research with direct application to the successful implementation of SDGs. But success is dependent on that research being accessed and utilised by government policy-makers.

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