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Inclusive, Sustainable Economic Transformation

Time (GMT +01) 17:15 18:45
Hero image description: An agricultural worker on a strawberry farm in Argentina Image credit:Nahuel Berger/World Bank Image license:CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

How can low- and middle- income countries transform their economies in an inclusive way and within planetary boundaries? How can policy makers reach a balance between economic, social and environmental objectives?

Achieving this balance is a core principle of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and a key step towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. However, promoting economic transformation in an inclusive and environmentally sustainable manner has proven challenging in practice. The unified planning and institutional setup required to make progress in the three dimensions of sustainable development simultaneously are often lacking. In addition, some avenues of economic transformation that allowed households to escape poverty sustainably, including migration and growth of the rural non-farm economy, have been held back by the Covid-19 crisis.

ODI, with support from the Swedish International Cooperation Agency (Sida), is starting a four-year programme - ODI Nexus - to examine lessons from countries that have succeeded in integrating the three dimensions and explore ways to strengthen “nexus” thinking and policy making. Emerging findings indicate that there is great variety across countries in achieving inclusion, sustainability and economic transformation goals simultaneously—giving grounds for optimism about the possibility of unified progress as well as grounds for concern about the depths of the challenge.

The UNGA side event explored these issues from different perspectives: from the UN and its leadership on the SDGs, from countries which have had some success in addressing the challenges and those who are struggling with inertia and locked-in structures and processes. It asked: how can practice and policy making globally incorporate nexus thinking more effectively?

Side event at UN General Assembly Second Committee, in partnership with the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

Watch back


  • H.E. Mr. Suriya Chindawongse

    Permanent Representative of Thailand to the United Nations

  • Mr. Andrew Shepherd

    Senior Research Associate, ODI Nexus

  • Ms. Shahra Razavi

    Director of the Social Protection Department

  • Ms. Daniela Bas

    Director, Division for Inclusive Social Development/DESA

  • Ms. Wenyan Yang, Chief,

    Global Dialogue for Social Development Branch, DISD/DESA