The 17 SDGs and 169 targets set out in the 2030 Agenda set the direction for countries around the world to work on sustainable development from 2015 to 2030. After more than four years, various countries have made a series of breakthroughs. However, recent reports indicate that, based on current progress, there is no guarantee that all goals will be achieved by 2030, and that more in-depth and rapid measures will be needed to advance the implementation of SDGs.

Faced with the above difficulties and challenges, people have explored countermeasures from multiple perspectives. However, due to the scale effect, a single country’s plan may have a negative external impact on other countries. To overcome this, a new article by Bojie Fu and his research group from the Beijing Normal University, China, now proposes a systems approach, Classification-Coordination-Collaboration (3C), to promote the overall realization of SDGs.

Among the 3C constituents, classification refers to the assignment of objects to groups by considering their properties, grades, or other characteristics. This process can lay foundation for relational analysis, comparison and the joint management of objects. Coordination is a top-down management process. In SDG-oriented management, the purpose of coordination is not only to integrate the various components, but also to synchronize the functions of the various departments in order to achieve the SDGs with minimal effort. Finally, compared to coordination, collaboration is a bottom-up, as well as a top-down process; it can spontaneously occur through the initiatives of different individuals or organizations.

In this approach, each constituent interacts with one another. For example, the classification requires multi-stakeholders’ coordination and collaboration, and classification can also enhance coordination and promote more efficient collaboration.


See the article:

Fu B, Zhang J, Wang S, Zhao W, 2020. Classification-coordination-collaboration: A systems approach for advancing sustainable development goals. National Science Review, doi: 10.1093/nsr/nwaa048

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