Policy Innovations for Transformative Change: Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

United Nation Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)

Year: 2016

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals are a global commitment to “transforming our world” and eradicating poverty in all its forms everywhere. The challenge now is to put this vision into action.

Policy Innovations for Transformative Change, the United Nation Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) 2016 Flagship Report, Policy Innovations for Transformative Change, helps unpack the complexities of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda in a unique way: by focusing on the innovations and pathways to policy change, and analysing which policies and practices will lead to social, economic and ecological justice.

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Research presented in Policy Innovations for Transformative Change, shows that:

  • breaking the vicious circle that produces poverty, inequality and environmental destruction requires transformative change that directly attacks the root causes of these problems instead of the symptoms;
  • transformative change can be driven by innovative policies that overcome palliative and “silo” approaches, and promote an “eco-social” turn in development thinking and practice;
  • innovative policies, which are informed by solid evidence and grounded in normative values such as social justice and sustainability, need to be forged through inclusive political processes, new forms of partnership, multilevel governance reforms and increased state capacity.

Drawing on numerous policy innovations from the South, the report goes beyond buzzwords and brings to the development community a definition of transformation which can be used as a benchmark for policy making toward the 2030 Agenda, intended to “leave no one behind”. Bringing together five years of UNRISD research across six areas—social policy, care policy, social and solidarity economy, eco-social policy, domestic resource mobilization, and politics and governance—the report explores what transformative change really means for societies and individuals. It provides guidance on how to turn the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs into concrete actions that:

  • go beyond palliative approaches to substantively and sustainably address the root causes of poverty, inequality and environmental destruction;
  • are integrated, innovative and policy-driven, and demonstrate an eco-social turn in discourse and practice;
  • are informed by inclusive, multi-level partnerships; and
  • are grounded in evidence and normative values such as social justice and sustainability.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Understanding Transformation for Sustainable Development

1. Introduction
2. The Social Turn, Innovations and Transformative Change
3. Crises and Opportunities: The Context for Implementation
4. Transformative Change and the 2030 Agenda in a Shifting Global Context:
Chapter 2: New Trends and Innovations in Social Policy
1. Introduction
2. The Social Turn since the 1990s
3. New Directions and Innovations
4. Conclusions and Policy Implications
Chapter 3: Care Policies: Realizing their Transformative Potential
1. Introduction
2. Care Policies
3. Policy Innovations and Transformative Outcomes: Seeing Better Options with a “Care Lens”
4. Building Transformative Care Agendas
5. Pathways to Transformative Care Policies
6. Realizing the Transformative Potential of Care Policies
Chapter 4: Promoting Social and Solidarity Economy through Public Policy
1. Introduction
2. The Rise of SSE and its Role in Development
3. Public Policy for SSE
4. SSE and Transformative Change
5. Moving Forward
Chapter 5: Sustainable Development in Times of Climate Change
1. Introduction
2. The Sustainability Turn
3. Bringing “the Social” into Green Economy Approaches
4. Promoting Transformative Change through Eco-Social Policies
5. Toward Eco-Social Policies: Implications for Policy
Chapter 6: Mobilizing Domestic Resources for Sustainable Development:
1. Introduction
2. Sustainable Development Finance and the Role of Resource Bargains
3. The Politics of Mobilizing Public Domestic Resources
4. Toward a Progressive Fiscal Compact: Resource Mobilization and Transformative Social Change
5. The Way Forward: Implications for Policy
Chapter 7: Driving the Eco-Social Turn: Governance and Politics
1. Introduction
2. Multi-Level Governance and the Coherence Challenge
3. Social Innovations for Transformative Change
4. Concluding Remarks
Chapter 8: The Way Forward: Pathways toward Transformative Change
1. Which Innovations Drive Transformative Change?
2. An Agenda for Action
List of Boxes, Figures and Tables