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Social Systems Evidence

All the evidence we need

The United Nations program to enable a globally sustainable future, the Sustainable Development Goals,  demands decision-makers in government to bring about massive global change.  To do this, they need evidence to support the changes, so the ability to access the latest evidence on topics relating to the goals may be one of the most valuable tools the academic community can offer to help accelerate solutions. 

Evidence, please

Social Systems Evidence (SSE) gives policymakers and other stakeholders free access to a user-friendly repository of up-to-date research evidence.   SSE is an initiative of Forum+ (run out of McMaster University in Canada) and while it’s one of the world’s most compressive repositories of research evidence when it comes to the SDGs, not all bases are covered.  

Thanks to a new partnership with the Monash Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI), the SSE will soon be expanded to fill knowledge gaps pertaining to goals 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), 13 (Climate Action), 14 (Life Below Water) and 15 (Life on Land).  

McMasters of our own fate

“We’re really excited about this partnership with MSDI, which is internationally recognised for its expertise in addressing the SDGs – especially those focused on energy, the environment and climate change,” says John N. Lavis, Director of Forum+. “For those looking for evidence to support policy decisions, we’re trying to help them do this better and more efficiently.”  

Our own specialist

Leading the MSDI initiative is Associate Professor Peter Bragge, a health specialist within the MSDI’s behavioural unit, BehaviourWorks Australia.  “With support from John Lavis and his team, we pioneered and applied the Forum approach to bringing stakeholders together to find solutions to complex problems in Australia,” said A/Prof Bragge. 

“This seems a logical next step in our shared goal of bringing the world’s best evidence resource to those who need to address SDG-related challenges.” 

SSE provides policymakers with the best evidence available, and can also be searched in several ways. It can also help policymakers identify economic evaluations.  

A global effort for global solutions

Chair of MSDI, John Thwaites, is also Co-Chair of the Leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), which operates under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General and is mobilising global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development. 

“I see great potential in connecting this world-first evidence resource to the 700+ university members of the SDSN. The SDSN member regions and universities are all engaged in the challenge of how to best use evidence to address the SDGs,” concluded Professor Thwaites.   

Stay tuned for updates on the platform – we’ll let you know when it’s officially launched. 

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