IRF2015 Briefing Notes Proposes Eight Transformational Shifts

12 March 2013: The Independent Research Forum on a Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda (IRF2015) has published a briefing note proposing approaches and principles for integrating economic, environmental and social sustainability and equity in the post-2015 agenda. The note stresses the intertwined nature of democratic governance, economic progress, environmental sustainability, human well-being and social equity.

“Post-2015: Framing a New Approach to Sustainable Development” identifies eight shifts in development approaches that are needed to achieve sustainable development based on four foundations: economic progress; equitable prosperity and opportunity; healthy, productive ecosystems; and stakeholder engagement and collaboration. The eight transformative shifts are from: development assistance to a universal global compact; top-down decision-making to multi-stakeholder decision-making processes; growth models that increase inequalities and risks to models that reduce them; shareholder value business models to stakeholder value business models; meeting easy development targets to tackling systemic barriers to progress; damage control to investing in resilience; concepts and testing to scaled up interventions; and multiple discrete actions to cross-scale coordination. The note recognizes the post-2015 process as an opportunity to define and begin such a transformation.

The note proposes recommendations for framing the post-2015 agenda to reflect a multi-dimensional approach to sustainable development. It argues goals and targets should clearly define actor and country responsibilities. It recommends the process be inclusive and knowledge-based, and balance expertise from businesses, communities, NGOs and science with equitable political engagement. It argues for integrated, objective-oriented and solution-focused goals in which progress on one goal supports and reinforces progress on other goals. The note further recommends the process be: forward-looking; adaptable to different contexts, reflecting geographic specificities and multiple scales of action; and long-term to ensure lasting impact.

The note is the first in a series that will examine post-2015 goals and strategies. Future notes are expected to examine how to address the economic, environmental and social dimensions of agriculture and food security, energy security, water and urbanization issues.

IRF2015 is a grouping of international and regional research and knowledge organizations that work on sustainable development. [Publication: Post-2015: Framing a New Approach to Sustainable Development]