What is it?
The actionable tool is a resource for development practitioners to provide real-world and practical actions to ensure the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through sustainable and inclusive projects. The tool currently aims to look at two project types: infrastructure and procurement.
The tool was developed to showcase the influence of infrastructure on the SDG targets that relate to various cross-cutting themes in development. The tool informs the users of the actions that can be undertaken while implementing infrastructure projects to support the achievement of specific SDG targets. Further, the recommended list of actions and activities differ with respect to the infrastructure sector, as well as what can be done during the different stages of the project lifecycle: planning, delivery and management.
The tool will be developed to showcase the influence that procurement has on supporting the achievement of the SDG targets that relate to various cross-cutting themes in development. The tools informs the users of the actions that can be undertaken while carrying out procurement to support the achievement of specific SDG targets. Further, the recommended list of actions and requirements will differ with respect to the goods and services, as well as the type of procurement process being completed.
The Actionable tool has four main objectives:
- To provide explanations of the range and magnitude of influence that infrastructure and procurement projects can have on the different targets of the SDGs;
- To provide a range of project practitioners with recommended actions through the infrastructure project and procurement cycle to ensure that these support the achievement of all SDG targets related to a determined theme.
- To inform the international community on the relation that exists between critical development themes, such as women’s empowerment, environmental protection, and disaster risk reduction, and the targets of the SDGs.
- To provide a platform for knowledge sharing with case studies and good practices in project development to support the achievement of the SDGs as part of the Agenda 2030.
ActionABLE was developed by UNOPS and the University of Oxford-led Infrastructure Transition Research Consortium (ITRC). It is initially based on the published report ‘Infrastructure: Underpinning Sustainable Development’ as part of an ongoing collaborative partnership. The report presents explanations and examples for how infrastructure can influence the 92% of the 169 targets across all 17 SDGs. More specifically, the report found that networked infrastructure (water, waste, energy, digital communications and transport infrastructure) influences 72 percent of SDG targets, while non-networked infrastructure (buildings and facilities) influences 81 percent of targets – reinforcing the pivotal role that infrastructure will play towards attaining the SDGs, and raising awareness of the importance of infrastructure across all dimensions of development. The tool draws on the findings on the report to give practical recommendations for the infrastructure project developers and other practitioners.
The success of the report and the development of the tool for infrastructure type projects led UNOPS to consider how other project types can support the achievement of the SDG targets. The first additional project type that UNOPS considered to include in sustainable are procurement type projects. This is due to the fact that the process of purchasing goods and services occurs in just about everything and therefore has a huge potential to influence the SDGs if sustainable actions are completed throughout the procurement process.