In this international and collaborative research project, we studied and learned from strategic and co-ordinated action toward SD taken at the national level in 19 countries, before and after WSSD.
National Strategies for Sustainable Development: Challenges, Approaches and Innovations in Strategic and Co-ordinated Action (PDF - 541 kb)
The 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development reiterated a call to all countries to "make progress in the formulation and elaboration of national strategies for sustainable development" and also to begin their implementation by 2005. A national sustainable development strategy is not simply a document, but rather it is a continuing and adaptive process of strategic and co-ordinated action.
To assist government officials in realizing this process, this publication builds on current thinking and studies 19 developed and developing countries to identify key challenges faced in relation to the strategic management aspects of national sustainable development strategies including leadership, planning, implementation, monitoring and review, co-ordination, and participation. The innovative approaches and tools observed in the 19 countries studied in relation to these strategic management aspects are featured to create a pragmatic toolbox for government sustainable development managers and policy-makers.
Also featured throughout the publication are interesting examples of strategic and co-ordinated action related to national strategies for Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM)—a 2005 commitment arising from the World Summit on Sustainable Development similar to that for national sustainable development strategies. The similarities identified in process and timing provide a basis for further investigation of the potentials for cross-learning and co-ordination between national strategies for sustainable development and national IWRM strategies.
These 19 country case studies form the knowledge base for the synthesis report. Information in the country case studies was obtained primarily from publicly available sources (e.g., government Internet sites, literature sources) and, where possible, was supplemented through interviews with government officials. The information was up-to-date as of May 2004. Every effort was made to ensure that official national sustainable development focal point contacts had the opportunity to provide feedback on the research, but such contacts were not successful in all cases. These case studies are in an unedited, working paper format.
Please click here (PDF - 214 kb) for a brochure of preliminary findings presented at a UN CSD-12 side event in New York on April 22, 2004.
Darren Swanson – IISD – Research Partner
Jan-Peter Schemmel – GTZ Pilot Project Rioplus, Environmental Policy and Promotion of Strategy Processes for Sustainable Development – Funding Partner
Stratos Inc. – Francois Bregha, Mary Jane Middelkoop, Barbara Sweazey
Environmental Policy Research Centre, Freie Universität of Berlin – Axel Volkery, Klaus Jacob, Simone Klawitter
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ Pilot Project Rioplus, Environmental Policy and Promotion of Strategy Processes for Sustainable Development; commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development – BMZ) – Harald Lossack, Jan-Peter Schemmel
The Government of Canada – Canadian International Development Agency, Department of Foreign Affairs Canada and Environment Canada, Lynn Berthiaume.
IUCN – The World Conservation Union
United Nations Division for Sustainable Development