Supporting implementation of the 2030 Agenda

SEI SDG tools 350xImage credit: VoodooDot via Shutterstock

A focus of SEI’s work on the 2030 Agenda has been how to integrate the agenda into policy and action.


IRF regional retreats

In 2017 the Independent Research Forum began a new series of regional retreats, where policy-makers can share experiences, ideas and successes in SDG implementation. SEI co-organized the second of these, in Bogotá, Colombia. Read more.

Working with African parliamentarians

In June 2017 SEI joined GLOBE International and the Global Challenges Foundation to host the first Science-Policy Dialogue in Nairobi, bringing together parliamentarians and scientists to discuss the 2030 Agenda. Read more.

Nordic cooperation

SEI and the Gaia Consultancy delivered recommendations on a regional Agenda 2030 programme under the Nordic Cooperation. In September 2017, the Ministers for Nordic Cooperation adopted  Generation 2030 – Nordic Programme of Implementation of Agenda 2030.

Sri Lanka

In late 2017 SEI and the UNDP will begin a pilot project working with the Government of Sri Lanka to understand how the SDG goals and targets interact in the national context, and use these insights to build an effective national implementation strategy. Read more.


The 2015 SEI Working Paper Sustainable Development Goals for Sweden: Insights on Setting a National Agenda reports on an attempt to identify which SDGs and targets are relevant and important to Sweden’s domestic setting, and how they could be turned into a national action agenda. The paper outlines proposed methods for this kind of national interpretation and insights on the diverse challenges in such a process. It highlights the urgent need for an in-depth government-led process to define national priorities and targets.

SEI Sweden Agenda 2030 timeline

Timeline: Sweden's involvement in the post-2015 process and preparations for implementing the 2030 Agenda. Prepared by SEI.

In September 2015, on the opening day of the UN Summit that adopted the 2030 Agenda , SEI hosted a seminar, “Bringing Home the Global Goals: How do the SDGs affect Sweden?”, to launch the report. Read more.

Insights from SEI's work in Sweden fed into a blogpost on IISD's Sustainable Development Policy and Practice, "Translating the SDGs to high-income countries", published in March 2016.

In 2018, SEI and the Swedish Research Council Formas will carry out a major review of knowledge gaps and research needs for achieving the SDGs in Sweden. The project will also look at how research policy can further promote Agenda 2030.


Also in late 2014, SEI and IRF2015 partner the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) carried out a study in Zambia looking at how well aligned the country's current policies and programmes in the area of food security and agricultural development match up with the global and regional ambitions for the SDGs. The study also looked at the coherence between global, African, southern African and national priorities for post-2015 development in this area, to spur national and regional policy-makers into making sure their priorities are reflected in the global negotiations. Read the study report and an IRF2015 blog on the study.

European Union

A member of the independent Expert Group “Follow-up to Rio+20, notably the SDGs” created by the European Commission, SEI's Måns Nilsson was co-author on the Expert Group's 2015 report on The Role of Science, Technology and Innovation Policies to Foster the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report aims to be “a reference framework for EU research and innovation policy to be the engine of a transformative agenda built around universally applicable sustainability goals”. In November 2014, SEI jointly organized a seminar with the European Representation in Sweden, "What Could the SDGs Mean for Sweden and Europe?", with a special focus on sustainable production and consumption. Watch video of the full seminar (external link).

Swedish steel industry

Since 2015 SEI has been cooperating with the Swedish steel industry to help realize the industry's vision that all vision that all Swedish steel production should contribute net societal benefits by 2050. SEI and the Swedish Steel Producers' Association (Jernkontoret) are now developing a "societal value compass" for the industry, combining social capital theory with analysis of how the industry can contribute to reaching the SDGs. Read more.

Policy coherence and integration

Responding to the interactions between policy areas is key to implementing the 2030 Agenda. SEI experts have been examining the implications of this "integrated" agenda. During the SDGs drafting process advocated for applying a Nexus approach. In 2016 SEI has acted as a thought leader on these issues, presenting evidence and arguments at the UN ECOSOC and at the OECD and others. Read more on SEI's work on understanding interactions between the SDGs.

Follow-up and review

A paper by Åsa Persson, Nina Weitz and Måns Nilsson in the Review of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law assesses the planned review and follow-up arrangements for the SDGs and examines how to improve the chances that internationally and nationally defined targets lead to genuine change.


Also read: SDG delivery in Asia: SEI’s role in advancing science and policy to support decision-making.


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