There is no doubt that the public sector has been tasked to lead the way with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) throughout all spheres of government and thereby co-opt the private sector, NGOs, CBOs, etc. to make significant contributions. However, it is not always easy to realise, especially if the public sector is not well versed in sustainable development. Consequently, the private sector then also fails to adopt sustainable development principles, which can set a whole country backwards. The performance of the SDGs among many countries is currently far behind where it should be in order to urgently mitigate the ravages of climate change whilst addressing development needs that are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.
Given the wealth of knowledge within Gaia Education regarding sustainable development, how can this knowledge base be leveraged within the public sector? How can the public sector lead the charge by example through policy, strategy and regulations in the implementation of public sector projects?
The opportunity to apply the Gaia Education knowledge base was realised in my tenure as a Technical Assistant (TA) for a Provincial Treasury in South Africa. The opportunity arose when I was co-opted by National Treasury, among other stakeholders, to contribute to the update of the Toolkit for the Infrastructure Delivery Management System (IDMS). My role was to support the Provincial Treasury with its IDMS charter in the establishment of institutional governance systems, embedding best practice models, capacity building, training and mentoring; and monitoring, evaluating and reporting. But the IDMS was silent about sustainable development.
This webinar presents how the Gaia Education knowledge base can be infused within typical public sector infrastructure delivery systems in the drive towards sustainable or regenerative development in order to give weight to the achievement of the SDGs. The lessons learned from this experience can demonstrate the following key learning outcomes for similar approaches elsewhere:
- Understand the critical relationship between an institutional governance system and its counterpart performance management system, so that the SDGs and their related sustainability targets can be monitored and evaluated;
- Understand the whole systems thinking approach for portfolio, programme and project management processes through the lens of the project cycle;
- Appreciate how sustainable and regenerative development can be achieved through the application of Ecological Economics or the Four Capitals comprising the Natural, Built, Human and Social Capitals.
Ezio Gori is a project management and sustainable development consultant with some 30-year experience in the development field. He facilitates the Ecological dimension of Gaia Education’s Design for Sustainability online course since 2012. Discover Ezio’s profile