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From Count-ability to Accountability: An Overview

Discussion paper, 38 pages
G04354
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An integrated approach, a transformative and universal agenda, and multiple players: the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) imply many changes, including the need for new and more effective approaches to accountability.

Accountability is politically sensitive, and intergovernmental debates tend to focus on the issue of data-gathering and review and monitoring. Both are absolutely crucial: transparency and regular reviews are needed to assess progress. But they are not enough: accountability is needed to discuss how to act on (lack of) progress.

In an increasingly interdependent world, the transboundary impacts of domestic policies will require more collective action and collaborative transparency. The SDGs can’t be achieved in isolation, connected as we are through trade, global supply chains, transboundary freshwater resources, monetary policies, foreign direct investment and illegal capital flight, IT and social media, communicable diseases and climate change.

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G04354