Developing analytical tools to understand SDG synergies and tradeoffs

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) herald a new phase for international development and cooperation. Central to the SDGs’ logic and ethos is that the Goals are interrelated. Understanding the interdependencies among the SDGs and balancing synergies and trade-offs is central to policy-design and implementation. This project will develop an analytical framework to understand interlinkages among SDGs and inform optimal resource allocation.

I will focus on data linked to SDGs 1 [Poverty], 2 [Food Security], 3 [Health] and 15 [Terrestrial Environments]. Using Peru as case-study country, to answer the following research questions: what are the poverty, food security, health and environmental conservation outcomes of policies and interventions designed to address these four SDG challenges?  How are these different outcomes related and under what conditions are these outcomes synergistic or antagonistic? And, what is the optimal allocation of policy efforts to maximize SDG synergies?

Cooperation, coordination and policy-coherence have been enshrined under SDG 17 [Partnership for the Goals], yet policy-makers and practitioners often operate in silos, with little overlap between government departments and ministries. Conceptual frameworks to navigate linkages between different SDGs are nascent, and we still lack essential analytical tools to understand and evaluate synergies and tradeoffs between different Goals.  The project will use state-of-the-art economic theory and statistical tools to address this knowledge gap and contribute to transparent and evidence-based policy making in the Global South.


Professor Aki Tsuchiya

ScHARR and the Department of Economics