Achieving the SDGs: SDSN side-events to the 74th Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Photo: John Lavis (photo credit: Sirin Samman)

Representatives from the McMaster Health Forum (a partner of Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Canada) and Monash Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI, host organization for SDSN Australia, New Zealand & Pacific) recently attended a series of events in New York City focused on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These events, organized in conjunction with the 74th Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly, built on the focus around the SDGs and leveraged the attendance of global policymakers and stakeholders. As part of the International Conference on Sustainable Development, the two organizations co-hosted a workshop on September 24 to discuss a new initiative that aims to bring the best available research evidence on what works to achieve the SDGs to policymakers and other decision makers. The event brought together knowledge producers and users from SDSN, policymakers with a focus on achieving the SDGs in their own jurisdictions and internationally, and other stakeholder groups, to discuss how to best harness Social Systems Evidence (SSE) to achieve the SDGs. SSE – the world’s most comprehensive, free access point for evidence about strengthening 20 government sectors and program areas, and achieving the SDGs –  is developed and maintained through a partnership between the Forum and MSDI.

The next day, John Thwaites (MSDI) chaired a plenary session on strengthening the research-policy interface for the SDGs with panellists John Lavis (McMaster Health Forum), Mari Pangestu (Columbia University and Former Minister of Trade of Indonesia), Beth Simone Noveck (The Governance Lab, New York University), and David Smith (University of the West Indies). Watch a recording of the plenary session.

On September 26th, MSDI’s John Thwaites and Peter Bragge and the Forum’s Kaelan Moat presented at the SDSN Leadership Council Meeting to key leaders in the SDG movement including Jeffrey Sachs, Srinath Reddy, and Jan Egeland. They discussed the potential to leverage systematic reviews to achieve the SDGs and highlighted how Social Systems Evidence can help those within the SDSN and beyond.