DEV20130 Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

Academic Year 2023/2024

The module DEV20130, "Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals," is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their critical role in shaping global development. The primary purpose of this module is to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to critically analyse, evaluate, and contribute to the progress towards these goals, particularly within the context of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It aims to prepare students for a range of professional roles where understanding and facilitating sustainable development is key.

Overarching Content:
The module unfolds in a structured manner, beginning with an overview of the SDGs – their development history, global significance, and the interconnected nature of these goals. Each class is dedicated to exploring one of the 17 SDGs in detail, delving into its specific targets, the rationale behind it, global and regional progress, challenges, and the strategies employed to achieve these goals.

The first hour of each session will be dedicated to providing students with an in-depth understanding of an individual SDG. This will include discussions on historical context, global relevance, and practical implications. This foundational knowledge is crucial for comprehending the broader framework of global development and the specific nuances of each goal.

In the second hour, the focus will shift to applying this understanding in the context of Sub-Saharan Africa. Students will engage in constructing intelligence around the performance of specific SSA countries concerning the SDG under discussion. This practical application will involve analysing data, reviewing policy initiatives, and assessing progress and challenges faced by these countries. This exercise aims to foster critical thinking and analytical skills, enabling students to draw meaningful insights and understand the complexities involved in achieving the SDGs.

Throughout the module, students will be encouraged to critically examine the interplay between different SDGs and the multifaceted challenges faced by countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. They will explore themes such as poverty alleviation, quality education, gender equality, sustainable economic growth, and climate action, among others, in the context of SSA's unique socio-economic and political landscape.

By the end of the module, students will have gained a holistic understanding of the SDGs, including the achievements and challenges in implementing them, with a particular focus on several SSA countries. This knowledge is critical for professionals engaged in international development, policy-making, non-governmental organisations, and international relations, as it provides a solid foundation for contributing to sustainable global development initiatives.

The module thus serves as a vital educational experience for students aspiring to play a significant role in shaping a sustainable future, with a particular focus on the dynamic and diverse region of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the module DEV20130, "Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals," students will be able to:

1) Understand the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the 17 SDGs, including their development history, global significance, interconnectedness, and the specific targets and objectives of each goal.

2) Critically Analyse the Feasibility and Challenges of SDGs: Critically assess the feasibility of achieving the SDGs, identifying and evaluating the key challenges, obstacles, and progress made globally and specifically in Sub-Saharan Africa.

3) Apply Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives: Utilize insights from various disciplines such as politics, economics, sociology, law, public health, and others to analyse and understand the complexities and multidimensional aspects of sustainable development.

4) Assess the Role and Performance of Sub-Saharan Africa in SDGs: Analyse the performance of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa in achieving specific SDGs, understanding the regional challenges, policy responses, and progress made.

5) Engage in Active Learning and Critical Thinking: Actively participate in class discussions, engage with diverse materials, and apply critical thinking to question and understand the content and context of sustainable development issues.

6) Develop Research and Analytical Skills: Enhance research skills by engaging with various academic and policy-oriented materials, and improve analytical abilities by interpreting data, case studies, and real-world examples related to the SDGs.

7) Connect SDGs to Various Career Paths: Understand the relevance and application of knowledge about the SDGs in a wide range of career paths, recognizing the growing importance of sustainable development knowledge in an interconnected global landscape.

8) Articulate Informed Opinions and Solutions: Formulate well-informed opinions and propose viable solutions to challenges related to the SDGs, particularly in the context of developing regions like Sub-Saharan Africa.

9) Understand Global and Regional Interdependencies: Acknowledge and explain the interdependencies between different regions of the world, especially between developed and developing countries, in the context of achieving sustainable development.

10) Prepare for Professional Engagement in Sustainable Development: Be equipped with the foundational knowledge and skills necessary for professional roles that involve contributing to sustainable development, policy-making, international relations, and other related fields.

Indicative Module Content:

The module content for DEV20130 encompasses a comprehensive range of topics that collectively provide an in-depth understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their application, particularly in the context of Sub-Saharan Africa. The key topics addressed in this module are:

`1) Introduction to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
- Overview of the SDGs and their historical development
- The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
- Interconnectedness and global significance of the 17 SDGs

2) Feasibility and Challenges of Achieving SDGs:
- Analysis of the feasibility of the SDGs
- Global and regional challenges in implementing SDGs
- Success stories and setbacks in achieving these goals

3) In-depth Examination of Each SDG:
- Specific focus on each of the 17 SDGs across different sessions
- Targets, objectives, and key indicators for each goal
- Case studies and global progress reports

4) SDGs and Sub-Saharan Africa:
- Performance analysis of SSA countries in achieving SDGs
- Regional challenges and policy responses
- Role of governance, civil society, and international cooperation

5) Multidisciplinary Perspectives on SDGs:
- Integration of politics, economics, history, sociology, law, public health, and more in understanding SDGs
- The impact of sustainable development across various sectors

6) Key Thematic Areas:
- Poverty Dynamics and Famine
- Income Inequality and Economic Growth
- Partnership and Industrial Development
- Environmental Sustainability: Forests, Oceans, and Climate Change

7) Research Methods and Data Analysis:
- Methodologies for researching sustainable development
- Data collection, analysis, and interpretation related to SDGs

8) Global and Regional Interdependencies:
- Exploration of the global interconnectedness in achieving SDGs
- The impact of developed countries' policies on developing regions

9) Active Learning and Class Participation:
- Engaging students through tasks, discussions, and critical inquiries
- Encouraging active participation and application of knowledge

10) Preparing for Professional Roles:
- Understanding the relevance of SDGs in various career paths
- Skills development for roles in development, policy-making, and international relations

This indicative content is designed to provide students with a holistic and multi-faceted understanding of sustainable development goals, emphasising both global contexts and specific regional dynamics, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. The module will foster critical thinking, analytical skills, and practical understanding, preparing students for future professional engagements in diverse fields related to sustainable development.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning








Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The module DEV20130 incorporates a variety of teaching and learning approaches designed to engage students actively and foster a deep understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a particular focus on their implementation in Sub-Saharan Africa. The key approaches include:

1) Lectures:
- Deliver comprehensive information on each SDG and related global issues.
- Provide foundational knowledge and context for the SDGs.
- Integrate multimedia resources to enhance understanding.

2) Class Teaching and Interactive Discussions:
- Facilitate class discussions to encourage student engagement and participation.
- Use the second hour of each session for active class participation, focusing on SDG achievements in specific SSA countries.
- Encourage students to share their views, insights, and analysis.

3) Critical Thinking and Analytical Exercises:
- Foster critical thinking through analysis of case studies, policy documents, and data related to SDGs.
- Engage students in evaluating the effectiveness of various strategies and policies in achieving the SDGs.
- Encourage students to critique and debate different perspectives and approaches.

4) Policy Analysis:
- Analyse and discuss policy frameworks and their impacts on achieving SDGs, especially in SSA countries.
- Guide students to understand the complexities of policy-making processes and their outcomes.
- Explore the role of different stakeholders in shaping and implementing policies.

5) Task-Based Learning:
- Assign practical tasks related to each SDG, such as data analysis, report writing, or policy review.
- Use real-world examples and scenarios to help students apply theoretical knowledge.

6) Group Work and Peer Collaboration:
- Facilitate group projects or assignments to encourage collaborative learning.
- Promote peer-to-peer learning through group discussions and presentations.

7) Case-Based Learning:
- Utilise case studies from various SSA countries to illustrate the practical application and challenges of achieving SDGs.
- Encourage students to explore and analyse these cases in-depth.

8) Student Presentations:
- Provide opportunities for students to present their findings and analyses on specific SDGs or case studies.
- Foster public speaking and presentation skills, along with knowledge dissemination.

9) Reflective Learning:
- Encourage students to reflect on their learning process and the knowledge gained throughout the module.
- Utilise reflective journals or essays to assess personal and academic growth.

10) Enquiry & Problem-Based Learning:
- Pose real-life problems and scenarios related to SDGs for students to explore and find solutions.
- Encourage independent research and inquiry to solve these problems.

These approaches are designed to ensure that students not only acquire theoretical knowledge about the SDGs but also develop practical skills in policy analysis, critical thinking, and collaborative problem-solving. The emphasis on class participation, especially about the achievements and challenges in SSA countries, ensures that students actively engage with the material and develop a nuanced understanding of the complexities of sustainable development. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

This multidisciplinary module is open to all students who wish to gain a better understanding of issues of development and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Millennium Development Goals (POL20130)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Journal: "SDG Country Journal" is a reflective task where students track and critically analyse Sub-Saharan Africa's journey in meeting the SDGs, documenting insights gained throughout the module. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Continuous Assessment: This entails weekly active discussions and analyses of SDGs in specific Sub-Saharan African countries, fostering critical thinking and practical understanding of sustainable development challenges. Throughout the Trimester n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Once each student relieves a grade for each assignment, the feedback will be given in lectures. Each student is welcome to attend office hours for individual feedback.

General Overview of SDGs and Development History

1) "Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" - United Nations. The foundational document outlining the SDGs, providing context and objectives for each goal

2) "The Age of Sustainable Development" by Jeffrey D. Sachs. Offers a comprehensive overview of the challenges and pathways to sustainable development

3) "The Sustainable Development Goals: A Global Agenda for Global Challenges" (Edited Volume). A collection of essays discussing each SDG in detail, its background, and implementation challenges.

Specific Focus on Each SDG

1) "Good Practices in South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Sustainable Development" (Volume specific to each SDG) - United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation. Detailed case studies and examples related to each SDG, with a focus on cooperation between developing countries.

2) "The Lazy Person's Guide to Saving the World" - United Nations. An engaging resource for understanding each SDG and its relevance in everyday life.

Sub-Saharan Africa and SDGs

1) "Africa's Development Dynamics 2021: Digital Transformation for Quality Jobs" - African Union and OECD. A report discussing Africa's progress, challenges, and strategies in achieving SDGs, with a focus on digital transformation.

2) "The Sustainable Development Goals Centre for Africa". A resource hub providing reports, statistical data, and analyses specific to SSA countries and their progress towards SDGs.

3) "Attaining Sustainable Development Goals in sub-Saharan Africa; The need to address environmental challenges,
Environmental Development" by Akinlolu G. Omisore, Environmental Development, Volume 25, 2018, Pages 138-145. An analytical study on policy simulations and their impact on achieving SDGs in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Methodology and Intelligence Construction (will help with class participation component of your grade)

1) "A Radical History of Development Studies: Individuals, Institutions, and Ideologies" by Uma Kothari. A guide on various research methodologies applicable in development studies.

2) "Data Collection and Analysis for Sustainable Development Goals" - United Nations Statistical Commission . A resource on data collection techniques and analysis specifically tailored to measuring and evaluating SDG progress.

Additional Resources

1) Journals and Periodicals: Journals like "Sustainable Development", "World Development", and "Journal of African Economies"
might regularly publish articles and studies related to the SDGs and their implementation in SSA countries.

2) Online Databases and Reports: World Bank, IMF, and African Development Bank websites often have country-specific reports and data relevant to the SDGs in SSA.

3) Case Studies and Real-world Examples: Including a selection of case studies from different SSA countries can provide practical insights into the challenges and successes in achieving the SDGs.
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Wed 14:00 - 15:50