"Governance is recognised as the means to a broader end; it is an essential lever of the systemic transformations needed to achieve all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)," notes the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) 2019. The forthcoming GSDR 2023 takes this statement even further, focusing on integrative, adaptive and inclusive governance approaches as levers for Recover Forward and the necessary transformation towards sustainability. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the resilience of governance systems and public sector institutions as well as their ability to adapt, function, and innovate, but it has also exposed underlying vulnerabilities.
The 2030 Agenda constitutes a compass for Recover Forward. Implementing the 2030 Agenda requires solid sustainable development governance as a foundation for the necessary transformation. To this end, the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Recover Forward needs to be strategically anchored at the national government level. The Sustainable Development Goal targets and indicators need to be embedded in the respective national plans and budgets. Governments should prioritise policy coherence, to overcome sectoral silos and to align existing rules and regulations towards achieving the goals that are interlinked across sectors. Governments are required to use integrative, adaptive, informed and inclusive governance approaches with adequate capacities and abilities, including smart policy mixes.
The cornerstone for sustainable development governance consists of effective, transparent, accessible and inclusive institutions. While there are no one-size-fits-all solutions and no “silver bullets”, governance approaches need to be diverse, tailored, innovative and adaptive, using science and data to support decision-making.
The following topics provide entry points for sustainable development governance in line with Recover Forward: