The critical role of effective, accountable and inclusive institutions in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals



In our latest FDSD Provocation, Cat Tully argues that two elements of SDG 16: “responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making” as well as “effective, accountable and inclusive institutions” are essential for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

She believes that these elements of Goal 16 are “truly transformative, not least because of the failures of top-down, command-and-control approaches to complex global challenges” which require the coordination potential and legitimacy of government “to inspire, liberate and harness the ideas and human assets that citizens need to solve their own problems”.

Cat worries that one option is that governments might shirk this opportunity to “break open public policymaking” and hide behind technocratic tick-boxes. She sets out, however, a range of activities that are necessary to make sure that this does not happen but rather is able “to finally transform and re-energise the relationship between citizens and our state”.

Image: UN Photo/Cia Pak

One Comment

Robert Seddon

The idea of ‘system stewardship’ sounds interesting (stewardship being familiar to me from archaeological/heritage ethics, among other places), but I wonder how easily it does go with perceptions of ‘the speed and magnitude of change and volatility’ and ‘climate crises facing humanity’. I’m thinking that e.g. people don’t regard firefighters as stewards of the buildings that are on fire.


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