NWO-WOTRO and the Sustainable Development Goals

Large differences between rich and poor countries are hindering an effective approach in dealing with many global challenges such as poverty, climate change, security and migration, food security, sustainable development and gender inequality. By formulating the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) the United Nations are aiming to solve these global challenges by encouraging an inclusive world with equal opportunities for everyone and specific attention for developing countries.

In September 2015, the member states of the United Nations agreed to do their utmost to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. The Netherlands is one of these member countries. NWO-WOTRO Science for Global Development is one of the signatories - and steering member - of the Dutch SDG Charter.

The SDGs are in line with the European Grand Societal Challenges, one of the three Horizon 2020 pillars. This means that the SDG Route offers academics the chance to be well-prepared in H2020. There are also similarities with the agendas of the International Council on Science (ICSU), of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) and UNESCO. Investing in the SDG Route allows the Netherlands to join in global developments.

Innovative insights and breakthroughs

Global societal challenges are complex in nature and researching these challenges requires close cooperation between various disciplines and parties. Knowledge that is aimed at finding solutions requires a combination of both academic and practical, professional knowledge (co-creation), theoretical support and a clear insight into the specific context in which the solutions can be applied. It is essential to work together with parties in developing countries, because research in this route is aimed at reaching the Sustainable Development Goals in developing countries. What’s more, this creates opportunities for increasing the research capacity in these countries and for building excellent relationships between the Netherlands and these growth economies of the future.

Scholars in the Netherlands can contribute with their unique expertise in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs motivate and inspire researchers because their work can contribute to complex societal challenges, which require interdisciplinary cooperation. Doing research in and with non-Western cultures also offers access to knowledge and data, which would otherwise remain out of reach for Dutch academics. This offers opportunities for new insights and breakthroughs.