Beyond the SDGs Alternatives to Development Concepts

Many women walk down a street together
In its many projects, Kalpavriksh devotes particular attention to social sustainability issues such as the empowerment of women. | Photo (detail): Screenshot Bhimashankar documentary on women empowerment © Kalpavriksh

Many international institutions refer to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. From poverty alleviation to gender equality to sustainable consumption, there are 17 sectors addressing environmental, social and economic sustainability that the United Nations has sought to address over the past six years. The SDGs should encompass holistic aspects and make the world a little more equal. That is a noble goal, but political scientist Dr Aram Ziai believes it has failed. But what do the SDGs really mean for work on the ground? How do they influence NGOs in their practical work – and can they really resolve power dynamics? That and what alternative concepts could be is what we talked about with Ashish Kothari, founder of the Indian NGO Kalpavriksh.