Defining the development research link
Creating an interface between academic research and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was the focus of a conference co-hosted last week in Windhoek by the University of Namibia and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The conference is an annual event of UNAM’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences to expose research activities to the generation of new ideas for continued research output. The conference showcased how research in Humanities and Social Sciences contribute to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Hon. Dr. Peya Mushelenga, officially opened the 8th Annual Research Conference conducted under the theme: Directing Research towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In 2010, UNAM’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences a prioritised research agenda supporting national development policies like Vision 2030, the 4th National Development Plan, the UN SDGs and lately, the new Harambee Prosperity Plan.
In September 2015, UN member states adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each of the 17 goals has specific targets to be achieved by 2030. This agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity.
In her remarks the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative to Namibia, Ms. Kiki Gbeho stressed that governments are expected to be a critical partner in the implementation of SDGs to fast-track the achievement of the targets and s to reduce or eliminate the existing regional disparities in development. “When it comes to academia, engagement in the implementation of the SDGs will be critical to ensure that we are generating a cohort of graduates able to solve development challenges; that are employable; and possess skills that make them productive members of society,” Gbeho said.