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Localisation of the Sustainable Development Goals in an emerging nation

Ameeta Jain, Jerry Courvisanos and Nava Subramaniam

Public Administration & Development, 2021, vol. 41, issue 5, 231-243

Abstract: The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), agreed to by all member countries of the United Nations, require urgent action on the world's most pressing problems. Success requires bottom‐up participation of local stakeholders. This case study of Timor‐Leste—a fledgling, fossil fuel‐supported economy—maps the awareness and commitment of grassroots stakeholders to the SDGs and the roadblocks to localisation. Guiding this paper is Habermas’ view of societal evolution and communicative action, which aids analysing the socio‐political and structural dynamics affecting SDGs localisation in a developing nation. This study reveals stakeholder inability to articulate a clear vision for the SDGs, lack of human capital and funds, a weak public‐administrative system, strong socio‐political nuances, and poor governance infrastructure to support multi‐stakeholder relationships. This paper provides insights for developing a more nuanced and robust public intervention to support local stakeholders that will enable knowledge, cultural and communication transformations required for successful SDGs localisation.

Date: 2021
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