Local, national, global: Evaluative evidence of scaling up the SDGs

Authors: Juha Uitto*, Global Environment Facility, Indran Naidoo*, United Nations Development Programme
Topics: Applied Geography, Development, Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: sustainable development, evaluation, environment, international development
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 4:30 PM / 6:10 PM
Room: Jackson, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are intended to provide guidance to all countries in reaching development that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. While the SDGs are global, the actions must take place at various scales, including local, national and beyond. Many national and international development agencies face the issue of scaling up successful local level initiatives to a larger geographic scale. Climate change, loss of biodiversity and other global environmental problems manifest themselves at the local level, with disproportionate impacts on the poorest and most vulnerable groups, many of whom are women. At the same time, locally-evolved solutions to tackle these problems are often scalable. The role of evaluation is critical in analyzing performance of policies, strategies, and programs, and to generate lessons about what works, for whom and under what circumstances to facilitate broader adoption. In this paper we draw upon an evaluation of the Global Environment Facility/UNDP Small Grants Program (SGP) that works at the local scale to help communities address global environmental issues while improving their livelihoods and reducing vulnerability. The evaluation found that broader adoption occurs, particularly in the form of replication and scaling-up, and at a local scale, despite a lack of explicit strategy thereto. The evaluation assessed various models of broader adoption in the program and the specific consequences, both intended and unintended, pertaining to the official SGP upgrading policy.

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