Sussex Sustainability Research Programme

Making evaluations relevant for assessing interactions among the Sustainable Development Goals

Date: 21st June 2018

Location: IDS 221

Key note speaker: Rob van den Berg, Visiting Fellow in IDS

Chair: Joseph Alcamo, Director, Sussex Sustainability Research Programme

The global development community is going through two major paradigm shifts: from the narrowly focused Millennium Development Goals to the comprehensive ambitions of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and from a donor-centric approach in evaluation to country evaluation systems that will focus on generating evidence on progress towards the SDGs. These paradigm shifts have inspired a consultative process in the global development evaluation community on rethinking evaluation criteria and approaches. This consultative process is now coming to IDS and the University of Sussex through CDI and the Sussex Sustainability Research Programme (SSRP).

The SDGs and the targets that underpin them are an ‘integrated and indivisible’ set of global priorities that are fundamentally interdependent, calling for coherence and an understanding of interactions between goals. Interactions among the goals can be positive, negative or neutral across multiple special and temporal scales. Governments and businesses have an obligation to report national progress towards the goals.

The roundtable examined questions such as:
• Does the current evaluation framework have the capacity to reflect the universality and indivisible nature of the 2030 agenda?
• How do and should project level impacts feed into national metrics; and how is that assessed globally?
• What needs to happen to the existing (national?) evaluation frameworks to take into account interactions among the SDGs?
• Where projects focus on one or a few aspects of the SDG agenda, how can we also measure their (unintended/negative) impacts on the other SDGs/targets?

After an introduction by Rob D. van den Berg, UoS and IDS staff related with the SSRP will addressed these questions from their perspectives in a round-table discussion. Rob D. van den Berg is visiting fellow at CDI and directly involved in the global consultations as President of the International Development Evaluation Association (IDEAS). He will present the state of the discussion around evaluation criteria in June 2018 and engage with participants on suggestions and comments that can be taken up in the consultative process.

Presentation slides: Rob van den Berg presentation [PDF 1.53MB]

Audio of roundtable: