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The Role of Forecasting Studies in the UN Sustainable Development Goals Agenda
Analysis and Forecasting. IMEMO Journal

The Role of Forecasting Studies in the UN Sustainable Development Goals Agenda

DOI: 10.20542/afij-2019-2-12-22
© 2019  E. Kharitonova
Received 07.12.2019
Elena M. KHARITONOVA (ekharit@imemo.ru),
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation.
 
Acknowledgements. The article was prepared at IMEMO within the project of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research No 19-011-31625 “The Main Trends and Risks of Global Political Development: Methodology and Methods of Forecasting Studies”.

The article is devoted to the role of forecasting studies in the planning, monitoring and achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and specific targets, put together in the UN General Assembly resolution “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

Forecasting and exploring potential development scenarios have been used as a basis for the SDGs development; as an instrument for strategic planning and providing recommendations to national governments; and also as a communication tool, aimed at attracting public attention to potential risks and mobilizing resources and funding. The author also focuses on the enhancement of the system of indicators used for monitoring progress in reaching SDGs and the influence that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and later SDSs are having on the development of tools and methodology for monitoring and forecasting.

Violent conflicts remain one of the most critical obstacles in moving towards SDGs, not only causing human deaths and suffering, but also ruining health and education facilities, economies and infrastructure and reversing development trends. Conflicts also are difficult to forecast, though different initiatives aimed and predicting, and ultimately preventing violent conflicts are being developed. Because of violence, data for monitoring and forecasting becomes either difficult to access or not available at all. This creates a risk of overlooking the needs of people affected by conflict due to the lack of reliable data. The article also examines an initiative aimed at forecasting long-term effects of violent conflict on development.

There are different dimensions in terms of forecasting initiatives connected to the SDGs. The goals and respective targets themselves are based on the analysis of current trends and identifying possible scenarios of development by 2030. Both optimistic and pessimistic forecasts are used for communication with general public and national governments. Data from different countries can be used for identifying good practices and projecting similar trends on other regions. At the same time, the scale of activities connected to SDGs allows to enhance and streamline collection of data globally, thus providing a basis for future forecasting efforts.  

 

About the author:

Elena M. Kharitonova, Cand. Sci. (Polit.), Senior Researcher, Sector of International Organizations and Global Political Governance, Department of International Political Problems.

For citation:

Kharitonova E. The Role of Forecasting Studies in the UN Sustainable Development Goals Agenda. Analysis & Forecasting. Journal of IMEMO, 2019, no 2, pp. 12-22. https://doi.org/10.20542/afij-2019-2-12-22

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