Development cooperation towards the SDGs: The India model - Hindustan Times

Development cooperation towards the SDGs: The India model

ByHindustan Times
May 27, 2023 01:51 PM IST

This article is authored by Malancha Chakrabarty.

The Russia-Ukraine war has dealt a massive blow to a world already battered by the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) appear farther from reach. The current global scenario demands greater international cooperation for development. Yet, development aid is increasingly getting more securitised, and the imperative is for the international community to leverage cooperation during the current decade of action for the SDGs. This paper argues that India’s model of development cooperation can serve as an example of sustainable development cooperation for its many advantages over the approaches of other donors. It recommends that India assume greater global leadership for sustainable development.

To achieve SDGs, world governments must focus on urgent transformative action and evidence-based approaches on a global scale. (Shutterstock)
To achieve SDGs, world governments must focus on urgent transformative action and evidence-based approaches on a global scale. (Shutterstock)

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a huge setback to the global quest for sustainable development. In 2020, for the first time since the SDGs were adopted in 2015, the global average SDG score declined. Analysts attribute the overall drop in the composite SDG score primarily to the increased poverty and unemployment rates during the pandemic. Even high-income countries such as Finland, Sweden, and Denmark—which rank first, second, and third, respectively on the SDG index—are not on-track to achieve all the SDGs. The socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic on low-income countries, and particularly on their most vulnerable populations (such as migrant workers and women), were far more profound because they did not have the fiscal space to finance emergency response measures nor economic recovery plans.

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In February 2021 the Russia-Ukraine war erupted, and quickly dealt a massive blow to the 2030 Agenda. The war is not only causing suffering in terms of deaths and displacement, but is also disrupting global supply chains, in turn resulting in economic disruption. The prices of food, energy, and other essential commodities have soared and the world could face mass hunger and famines as blockades of grain exports have exacerbated hunger in some of the most vulnerable countries in the world.

Amidst the challenges that compound the complexities of the global development agenda, it has become amply clear that no country can achieve the SDGs on their own. The imperative is for greater international cooperation, which had been recognised as early as 2016 as a powerful lever to implement the SDGs. Experts underlined the need to change the old approach to development cooperation—pioneered by United States (US) President Harry Truman in 1949 for post-War reconstruction—towards a more integrated implementation of the SDGs. As Wu Hongbo, chair of the 2016 Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) Preparatory Process, said, “We cannot fulfil the transformative potential of the 2030 Agenda with the old approach to development cooperation. The Agenda demands new ways of working and a change of mind-set from all development cooperation actors.”

This paper can be accessed by clicking here.

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