#WorldBookDay2017: Editor’s Picks


 “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” 

― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

There is no doubt that the pace of a country’s development is hinged on access to information and extent of literacy. Throughout human history, the book has been one of the most important and powerful means for the creation, preservation and dissemination of knowledge . It is a major determinant of human development, which is crucial to achieving the much-needed sustainable development.

World Book and Copyright Day is a yearly international day organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to promote reading, publishing, and copyright, in order to draw the attention of the international community to the importance of creativity in content and communication. 

As we prepare for another World Book and Copyright Day (April 23, 2017), below are some of the recommended books for read, towards shaping the sustainability journey and assisting both the public and private sectors in contributing to sustainable development, business and economic growth. 

Business Strategy Integral to SDG Success

Writer: Mike Scott

Publisher: Ethical Corporation

Date of PublicationReport

This 9-page brief gives an expert insight from Johnson & Johnson, ING and Walgreens Boots Alliance, on how organisations/corporations must align their core business to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in order to achieve a sustainable future.

Giving a brief background to the goals, the writer re-echoed the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) position that affirms that businesses have a major role to play if the goals are to be met. With an estimated investment of between $5trillion USD and $7trillion USD per year, Public-Private input is the only progressive strategy.

Hence, citing examples from the three organisations featured, the brief suggests that aligning core business to SDGs, focusing on specific goals, tying goals to CSR strategy, aligning SDG aims with core business activities, and partnering with other companies, are effective ways to entrench the SDGs and at the same time, benefit from their success.

The format of case studies employed in writing the brief provides an outright, practical and proven direction to businesses on the core of the brief. Johnson and Johnson’s three (3) specific SDG focus, ING’s contribution to all SDGs howbeit with two primary (2) focus areas, and Walgreens’ SDG as CSR driver strategy, are some of the empirical evidences supporting the strategies suggested.

The publisher finally submits that the existence of SDGs is helping businesses pay more attention to sustainability issues as part of core operations, therefore, a demonstration that business activities will deliver a more profitable business in future will attract investors to the business.

Consequently, this brief can perfectly serve as a business policy guide to other companies; especially Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in developing societies.

Read the brief on: http://www.ethicalcorp.com/business-strategy

WhitePaper: Scaling Up Educational Interventions in Nigeria: A Call to Action

Publisher: The Education Partnership Center 

Publication Date: 2016

 The education sector is one of the most important sectors in any economy yet, it has become one of the most epileptic sectors in Nigeria; the Nigerian educational system is in crisis. 

This WhitePaper, developed from proceedings at the 2016 Nigerian Education Innovation Summit (NEDIS 2016), describes a general approach and related guidance tools that have been used by a number of education sector actors in Nigeria to enhance the likelihood of scaling-up success. It highlights key challenges faced in scaling up educational innovation in Nigeria and proposes a process to help overcome them. It further explains the tools needed to augment the education sector. 

Noting that about 10.5 million Nigerian children are out of school, the paper faults both the public and private sectors in failing to improve the education system in the country whilst stressing that many educational institutions are opened and run by people whose only interests are in monetary gains. 

A relevant document for planning towards Sustainable Development Goal Four (SDG4) on achieving inclusive and quality education, it further highlights how the government can achieve this goal by implementing more projects for schools.

The paper, clear and concise is both a call to action and a guide for stakeholders in the education development project, towards guaranteeing that necessary but urgent attention is given to the Nigerian education sector. 

Read the WhitePaper on: www.educationinnovations.org/sites/default/…/TEPCentre-ExpandNet-Scaling-Up.pdf 

AREI Progress Report

Date of Publication: 2016

The worldwide acceptance of clean energy is increasingly becoming popular in Africa also. This 4-page report highlights the activities and achievements of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) aimed at enabling the installation of large-scale renewable energy capacity on the African continent by 2020. This would have a considerable impact on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions on the continent, and has also been endorsed by the African union. The initiative so far has been working tenaciously in the realization of her set goals to achieve sustainability in the universal use of clean, appropriate and affordable energy.

Invariably, AREI is implementing set policies based on plans made in phases for sustenance of renewable energy till 2030. These implementation phases have been scheduled to run successfully from 2017 to 2030, in line with the SDGs. There are also continuous project identifications, assessments and revisions for further scaling up to at least 300 GW and expanding generation capacity of Renewable energy.

With an aim to subsequently achieve sustainable development, enhanced well-being, and sound economic development by ensuring universal access to sufficient amounts of clean, appropriate and affordable energy; African countries will also advance towards renewable energy systems that support their low-carbon development strategies whilst enhancing economic and energy security.

Although laudable yet, for AREI to achieve these plans, energy policies should be put in place; investment processes should be improved and necessary renewable technologies should be accessed, for transformational and sustainable change to take its due place beginning from 2017.

The report, concise and clear can also be described as an introduction of AREI’s activities towards achieving clean energy in Africa, which Africans need to be aware of.

Read Report on: www.arei.org

Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives: Cooperating to Achieve Responsible and Inclusive Business

Publisher: CSR Asia 

Date of Publication: 2015

 UN SDG 17 calls for the revitalization of global partnerships for sustainable development. This short paper indirectly responds to this call by presenting the importance of multi-stakeholder cooperation to solving governmental, business, and developmental challenges of this century. This it explains by ruling that tackling today’s corporate challenges require the co-operation and engagement of all stakeholders. It particularly stresses the involvement of every stakeholder, including competitors, as crucial towards inclusive business, growth, and contribution to sustainable development.

Divided into five (5) short but precise chapters, this 16 pager touches on the rational for Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives (MSI), functions and characteristic of MSI, the role of stakeholders, governance of MSI, and evaluating effectives and impact of MSI.

The chapter on function and characteristics supplies three (3) important elements of MSI. The role of stakeholders captures the role and importance of the private sector to the success of any MSI project as well as the importance of MSI to the private sector. It also highlights the roles of NGOs, the government, and other stakeholders. 

Governance of MSI indicates the structure and mechanisms of governance, financing, as well as strategies for handling grievances while the final chapter lists seven (7) criteria for evaluating the effectiveness and impact of MSI. The use of several case studies buttresses all the chapters and the whole essence of the paper. 

The paper can be said to unintendedly justify the role of all sectors to achieving sustainable development. It serves as an explicit manual for planning towards fast tracking sustainable development.

Read Paper on: www.csr-asia.com/report/MSI%20Paper%20Final.pdf 

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