Advancing sustainable development through research

Article, 09.11.2016

Research and innovation are important factors in reducing poverty and global risks. In collaboration with the Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries, the SDC held a second research fair on 9 November in Bern. The 2016 Research Fair was an opportunity for exchange between science, policy, and practice on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Visitors to the Research Fair walking around and talking to each other at the various stands.
The Research Fair is an opportunity for learning and exchange open to the general public. © Swiss Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries

How can research help achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that the international community has set itself? How can we establish appropriate partnerships? What dilemmas do actors face in implementing the goals? What approaches are best suited to alleviate social, environmental and economic needs? How can we measure progress on the 2030 Agenda? 

These were the questions that occupied researchers from Swiss institutions and state and non-state development stakeholders at this year's Research Fair held at the SDC's building in Bern on 9 November. Visitors then had the opportunity to browse the stands presenting 15 research topics, from innovation platforms to rapid response during crises, addressing issues such as water, food security, language and urbanisation.

"To deal with the complex challenges facing the global development agenda we will need to embrace new ways of thinking and working. And the research community has much to contribute in that regard", said SDC director general Manuel Sager. "Connecting science and policy at all levels will be crucial if we want to succeed in achieving the SDGs," he added. "At the national level, too, we will need to devise policy options that address the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development".

17 Sustainable Development Goals

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are the cornerstone of the 2030 Agenda. They combine eliminating poverty with sustainable development in a shared agenda for the first time. Each goal must be achieved by all UN member states by 2030. Switzerland is also expected to achieve these goals at the national level.

17 Sustainable Development Goals