SD Resource Book

The 2016 adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations and its agencies, and by many international organizations and national government agencies has emerged as an important step in helping provide direction to development efforts globally, including those by many NGOs and civil society organizations. However, we continue to lack reliable knowledge – both generalizable and place and period specific knowledge– about the instruments and interventions that can help the world achieve the SDGs by 2030. Our project seeks to address these knowledge gaps.

There is a long history of efforts, analyses, and writings related to each of the 17th SDGs – in many cases preceding the adoption of the SDGs, that can help guide future SDG related interventions and efforts. Published in peer-reviewed journals and in reports by implementing organizations and think tanks. Unfortunately, such knowledge is diffuse, difficult to access, and requires analysis and synthesis to be more useful. Our goal is to create a Sustainability and Development Resource Book that will collate, analyze, and synthesize the best available evidence and disseminate it freely. We aim to do so in partnership with a number of sustainability and development organizations whose mission is also to help the world achieve the SDGs.

We view the proposed SD Resource Book as a periodic publication that initially brings together the findings of research related to SDGs over the past two decades and is first published in 2020, and is then updated every five years so as to remain current. The proposed resource book is similar thus to the efforts to synthesize knowledge about climate change or about ecosystem services – it is different in that it seeks to synthesize actionable knowledge about specific types of interventions and instruments through which to achieve the SDGs at different scales. Each chapter of the resource book will focus on one of the 17 SDGs, highlighting both what we know about how to achieve the SDG in question and at what cost, and the areas where current knowledge is lacking.

The SD Resource Book will ultimately be organized as 19 chapters, with one chapter dedicated to each of the SDGs and an introductory and concluding chapter as its bookends. The completed SD Resource Book will be of interest to a vast audience of professionals and researchers as also government and non-government agencies.

For further details please contact Zhenci Xu, Post Doctoral Research Fellow, SEAS