Abstract for: Policy Coherence and Integration to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

The paper presents structure and simulations of a version of the Millennium Institute’s system dynamics based model Threshold 21 that is designed and modified to track progress on targets related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The aim is to study the expected effects of investments in solar panels in Tanzania on the development of life expectancy (SDG 3), years of schooling (SDG 4) and electricity access (SDG 7), for the years 2016 to 2030. The study suggests that large investments in solar panels affect the progress on life expectancy, years of schooling and electricity access. Furthermore, the progress feeds back and synergize based on the various interlinks between goals. Based on the integrative nature of the goals, such interlinks are likely to be found in other areas of the SDGs. That could make it easier to reach many goals than just one or another – good news for any policy maker struggling with prioritizing between the different SDGs. The potential effect of synergizing feedbacks between the attainments of different goals also calls for a modeling approach that fully and deliberately incorporates this, such as system dynamics, to be used in policy formulation and implementation to reach the goals.