As the global development community begins to implement the new Sustainable Development Goals, many look to the promise of integrated development approaches as a means to provide effective solutions to complex, multifaceted development challenges.
Unfortunately, there is not yet a strong evidence base to guide how best to link the design, delivery and evaluation of programs across disciplines and sectors to produce an amplified, lasting impact on people's lives. There are, however, long-term multi-sectoral initiatives which demonstrate how the process might be operationalized effectively. Here are insights from the field into some of these examples.
As the Millennium Development Goals come to a close at the end of the year, many in the global development community say that historic top-down development approaches have missed the mark and need a big overhaul. Technical interventions are often created and delivered without adequate attention to linkages among the root causes of poverty, some say.
“The current infrastructure, from how projects are funded to how they’re carried out, has not evolved much in 40 years and remains incredibly siloed,” said Greg Beck, director of integrated development at FHI 360. “We need a paradigm shift in the global development architecture that supports a more integrated, people-centered approach.”
Organizations like FHI 360 have acknowledged that working in silos isn’t a successful development strategy in many situations. When it comes to achieving the closely connected sustainable development goals, they believe an integrated approach may hold the key for success. And, many are calling for building more evidence around the approach.
In response to the groundswell of pledges from multinational corporations, the Forests Dialogue launched its first of a series of field dialogues on understanding “deforestation-free” commitments on April 29 in Riau Province, Sumatra, Indonesia. The event, co-convened by the Indonesian Business Council for Sustainable Development (IBCSD), brought Indonesian communities, indigenous tribes, NGOs, companies and government representatives together with international organizations to discuss the many challenges and solutions to implementation.
Leading companies such as Veolia, DSM and SAB Miller are beginning to shift from the traditional linear “take, make, dispose” business model to a more regenerative circular economy framework. This transformation employs a systems level approach and intentional strategy to design waste out of the system and to manage materials for longer circulation and greater re-usability as pictured.
The goal is to generate more value and economic opportunity with less material and energy consumption.
Value from the circular economy is generated using four principles: the Power of the Inner Circle; the Power of Circling Longer; the Power of Cascaded Use; and the Power of Pure Material.
Leading companies like USGBC members Veolia, Philips and Cisco are shifting from the traditional linear “take, make, dispose” business model to a more regenerative circular economy framework. This transformation employs a systems level approach and intentional strategy to design waste out of the system and to manage materials for longer circulation and greater re-usability. The goal is to generate more value and economic opportunity with less material and energy consumption.
Value from the circular economy is generated using four principles:
It’s 2030. You are the CSO of a multinational consumer packaged goods company. In this era, technology has essentially taken out the middle-man and now people get everything from shoes to shampoo to sugar from distributed, self-organized networks. Goods are rapidly made and disposed of, 3-D printing is ubiquitous and consumers seek products that are highly customized to their tastes. In this new age, how will you help your company create a business model that delivers products and services with a net positive societal and environmental impact?
The NY Declarations on Forests (PDF) and the recent flurry of corporate deforestation-free commitments could reverse alarming trends in large-scale forest conversion driven by agricultural commodities. In the words of WRI’s Global Director of Forests, Nigel Sizer, “There are extraordinarily powerful players paying attention to this issue now; let’s be sure to build on the momentum.” But while the commitments send a strong signal to the marketplace and to governments that we need dramatic changes in how commodities are produced, the devil — as always — is in the details.
Does “deforestation-free” mean the same thing to a small-holder farmer in Indonesia as to the head of procurement in a U.S.-based multinational corporation or to the government of a forest-rich developing country? How might policies set by international organizations engage local stakeholders in customized solutions? What are the key performance indicators, and how will these be verified?
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