AD67: Where to start? Aligning Sustainable Development Goals with citizen priorities

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African priorities
Thomas Bentley, Markus Olapade, Pauline Wambua, and Nora Charron

On 1 January 2016, the United Nations’ new development agenda will take effect. Titled “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” it extends and supplements the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at addressing social, economic, and environmental challenges facing citizens around the globe. The SDGs set high targets on a very broad range of issues: ending poverty, achieving food security, ensuring healthy lives, high-quality education, gender equality, sustainable water management, and affordable and reliable energy, among others – 17 goals in all, supported by 169 targets (UN, 2015).

Where to start? What to prioritize, amidst so many needs and ambitions? The UN notes that implementation will require “the participation of all countries, all stakeholders and all people,” taking into account “different national realities, capacities, and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities” (UN, 2015, pp. 2-3).

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