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SEI brief

Understanding the interactions of Sustainable Development Goals in Sri Lanka

This SEI brief summarizes key findings from a government-led, systemic review for Sri Lanka on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The review analysed interactions of key targets to support better policymaking and more coherent implementation of specific goals.

Linn Järnberg / Published on 5 May 2021
Download  Read the brief / PDF / 836 KB

Järnberg, L. (2021). Understanding the Interactions of Sustainable Development Goals in Sri Lanka. SEI Policy Brief. Stockholm Environment Institute.

A worker picks tea in the highlands of Sri Lanka, which is among the world’s top tea producers. Photo: Tuul & Bruno Morandi / Getty Images.

This brief highlights the main findings from a national-level, government-led report for Sri Lanka analysing the interactions of specific targets that are part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that underlie the 2030 Agenda. The analysis used (SDGs) used SEI’s SDG Synergies approach. The report concludes that the pursuit of the targets analysed is synergistic. The findings show that there are far more synergies than trade-offs among the 36 targets analysed. Making progress on one target generally promots progress on other targets, too.

The report finds that the largest potential to accelerate achievement of the full set of analysed targets stems from three specific targets: strengthening policy coherence, reducing corruption, and enhancing climate change capacity.

The synergies are fewest for two targets: improving access to drinking water, and expanding decent housing. However, trade-offs can be mitigated through mindful implementation, and finding was to address these trade-offs will likely be of great value.

The analysis emphasizes that progress will likely require collaborative arrangements beyond siloed or sector-based approaches.

The brief and the report were created through a collaborative process between the government of Sri Lanka, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Sri Lanka, the UNDP Regional Hub for the Asia Pacific, the Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA), and Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI). The processes that underpin the findings of the report involved stakeholders representing academia, the public sector, civil society, and UN agencies in Sri Lanka. SEI contributed methodological expertise, and SEI authors wrote the report using the information from all project partners and participants.

The work was financially supported by UNDP under the contract “Understanding SDG Interactions to Strengthen Vertical Policy Coherence and to Support Prioritization and Sequencing Country Level Pilot and ‘Tool Development’”.


Read the brief / PDF / 836 KB

SEI author

Linn Järnberg
Linn Järnberg

Research Fellow

SEI Headquarters

Topics and subtopics
Governance : Sustainable Development Goals
Related centres
SEI Headquarters
Sri Lanka

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