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Gps3004 lecture1: Sustainable Development and the Public Sector


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Gps3004 lecture1: Sustainable Development and the Public Sector

  1. 1. Sustainable Development and the Public Sector GPS 3004 Gregory Borne
  2. 2. 2 Part Lecture1. Sustainable Development (this week)2. Public Sector Organisations (next week)We will take a journey from the international tothe local level
  3. 3. Part One: Today Learning Outcomes• You will:• Understand the basics of Sustainable Development• Understand how the concept has evolved during the past 30 years• Appreciate it as a fundamentally contested concept• Begin to see how it is applicable to the public sector
  4. 4. Outline1. Background to SD2. Political evolution and time line3. Perspectives4. A Systems approach5. UK Context
  5. 5. 1. Background to SD
  6. 6. • Some Introductions
  7. 7. Sustainable development• Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (Brundtland 1987-Our Common Future )• Development?• Needs?• Compromise?
  8. 8. Problems with Sustainable Development• Oxymoron- Contradiction in terms• Fuzzy concept –means all things to all people No real world relevance, ineffective for policy development• Worse still - A means for continuing legitimisation of global strategies of development which will continue the hegemony of the northern industrialised countries
  9. 9. Advantages of Sustainable Development• Acceptance- of the unsustainable nature current developmental pathways –creation of global risks such as global warming• Focal Point- A concept that disparate organisations and institutions can come together around and try to look for solutions• Orchestration of the sciences – Promotes inter-disciplinarity –New world views that reflect real world problems
  10. 10. Sustainable Development• Not just an academic subject of study but: – a paradigmatic shift in the way we look at the world, nature and humankind; – a change that requires rigorous thinking about the interconnections and interdependencies between the physical, the social and the intellectual worlds We will return to perspective on sustainable development later in the lecture
  11. 11. 2. Evolution
  12. 12. Time Line1962•Rachel Carson publishes "Silent Spring". Detrimental effects of pesticides on theenvironment, particularly on birds. Carson accused the chemical industry of spreadingdisinformation, and public officials of accepting industry claims uncritically.1968 –•Paul Ehrlich publishes book "Population Bomb"“The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people willstarve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothingcan prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate”• The Club of Rome. Its goal is to pursue a holistic understanding of and solutions to the worldproblematique.•The UN General Assembly authorizes the Human Environment Conference to be held in1972.
  13. 13. 1972 Pivotal Year Picture of the Earth by the crew of the Apollo 17 •United Nations Conference on Human Environment held in Stockholm •United Nations Environment Programme •Club of Rome publishes "Limits to Growth". •OPEC oil crisis fuels limits to growth debate? (what impact did this have on public services globally)
  14. 14. 1980-20121980 - Independent Commission on International Development publishes "North:South - A Programmefor Survival" (Brandt Report). It asks for a re-assessment of the notion of development and calls for anew economic relationship between North and South.1982 - The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is adopted. It establishes material rules concerningenvironmental standards as well as enforcement provisions dealing with pollution of the marineenvironment.1983 - World Commission on Environment and Development forms. Chaired by Norwegian PrimeMinister Gro Harlem Brundtland, the commission works for three years to weave together a report onsocial, economic, cultural, and environmental issues.1987 - "Our Common Future" Brundtland Report published. It ties problems together and, for the firsttime, gives some direction for comprehensive global solutions. It also popularizes the term "sustainabledevelopment".1987 - Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is adopted1988 - Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change established with three working groups to assess themost up-to-date scientific, technical and socio-economic research in the field of climate change.1992 - U.N. Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro. It results inthe publication of Agenda 21 the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Framework Convention onClimate Change, the Rio Declaration, and a statement of non-binding Forest Principles.2002- WSSD – World Summit on Sustainable Development2012-Rio + 20 – Institutional change for sustainable development/ Green economy
  15. 15. Time LineSustainable Development Timeline
  16. 16. Most recent Rio + 20 Institutional ChangeGreening the economySustainable Development Goals
  17. 17. Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals SDG differ in three main ways. • First, MDGs centred around seven social goals and just one environmental goal. Long-term social and economic improvement will need closer attention to be paid to the environment. Sustainable Development Goals • Second, whereas MDGs focused on developing countries, SDGs need buy- in from all nations. • Third, MDGs were hastily assembled without thorough analysis.
  18. 18. Sustainable Development GoalsStill being decided but Jeffrey Sacks believes the goals should cover the following• SDG 1 - By 2030 all the worlds people will have access to safe water, sanitation, nutrition, primary health services. Basic infrastructure including , electricity, roads, and connectivity to the global information network• SDG 2- All nations adopt economic strategies that increasingly build on sustainable best practice technologies, market incentives and individual responsibility. Low carbon energy systems, sustainable urban areas and stabalisation of the worlds population through voluntary fertility choices• SDG 3- Social inclusion - Every country will promote the well being and capabilities of all their citizens, enabling all citizens to reach their potential. There is discussion here of improved measurement and base lining as well a reporting on life satisfaction. Special attention is given to youth and the elderly. Sachs talks about the inadequacy of traditional measures of economic prosperity such as Gross Domestic Product. Bhutan is used as an example where it has introduced Gross National Happiness.• SDG 4 - Governance - here Sachs talks about the role of good governance from the global to the local level, and inclusive and democratic system that empowers and avoids marginalization.
  19. 19. 3. Perspectives
  20. 20. Three pillars Three Pillars approach Emphasizes the integration between economy, environment and society A good starting point for understanding SD but a more complex perspective is needed
  21. 21. • STRONG Vs WEAK SD
  22. 22. Strong Sustainable Development• A radical reordering of economic, social and environmental relationships• Changing the existing developmental processes significantly• Alter processes of consumption and Production• Alterations to the capitalist ethos and what this means –Capitalism doesn’t work• Eco-Centric
  23. 23. Weak Sustainable Development• Operating inside the existing system but greening capatalism.• Technological fixes – Green technology (Ecological Modernisation)• Behavioural change – Incentives, taxation• Anthropocentric
  24. 24. • Why are perspectives on sustainable development important when looking at public sector organisations?
  25. 25. • How a problem is perceived will effect the solution• Politics and policy is about negotiating competing view of the world• If you view a whole system you will see that there is uncertainty and unintended consequences
  26. 26. 4. A Systems Approach
  27. 27. Complex Interactive SystemSir John KayKay argues: “The most complex systems come into being, and function, without anyone having knowledge of the whole” and “While it seems to make sense to plan everything before you start, mostly, you can’t: objectives are not clearly enough defined, the nature of the problem keeps shifting, it is too complex, and you lack sufficient information. The direct approach is simply impossible.”(J Kay, ‘Obliquity: why our goals are best achieved indirectly’, Profile, 2010) Mervin King director Governor of the bank of England says this approach will ‘provide valuable insights into hoe successful decisions are madeHave a look at the TED talk at the following link
  28. 28. Introduction to Systems Thinking• Systems Thinking
  29. 29. Wicked Problems• Why are todays problems different from previous centuries or even decades?Climate Change –How do public organizations respond to this risk?• Complex• Uncertain• Ambiguous• Non –linear
  30. 30. Public Policy is Interdisciplinary• The very nature of these problems causes challenges traditional disciplines• As Jeffrey Sachs recognises• ‘The problems just refuse to arrive in the neat categories of academic departments’• Sachs, J. (2008) Common Wealth, Economics for a Crowded Planet
  31. 31. A Systems Approach• A system is a perceived as a whole whose elements are interconnected• Systems thinking has developed a substantial body of knowledge drawn from a number of areas of study including:• Cybernetics, ecology and complexity theory• Emphasises the positive and the negative interactions within a system.
  32. 32. Schools Fire service HospitalsInland Revenue Prisons Local Councils Health Centres Universities Social Security Public Parks THE PUBLIC SECTOR & SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: Understanding the links for a better world
  33. 33. 5. UK Context
  34. 34. Why 2012-2015Factors Impacting Public Sector Organisations Financial Bottom Line – Government spending round – budget deficit of 11% = cuts of 81 billion pounds by 2014 – Uncertainty over the depth and extent of the global recessions (triple dip) Political Imperative Lead up to the general election May 7 2015 Legislative Transition – Consequences of Localism Act – Changes in Planning regulations and the presumption towards sustainable development (Boles Bungs) Ideological Shift – Big Society - A full system shift – Increasing importance of sustainability and the sustainable development agenda Delivery Mechanisms – Public/ Private cooperation
  35. 35. Features of the FourMain Types of PublicBody1. Central Government2. Local Authorities3. National HealthService4. Public Corporations
  36. 36. Sustainable Development and Principle Public Bodies 1. Central Government Department for Food Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) - Securing the future – Delivering the UK Sustainable Development Strategy 2. Local AuthoritiesLocalism Act/ Sustainable Communities Act/Indicators and targets –Local AreaAgreements 3. National Health Service NHS sustainable Development Unit ( 4.Public Corporations Royal Mail –Sustainable Development Charter (PAS 2020) BBC – Sustainable Procurement Strategy Environment Agency – Central role is to promote sustainable Development
  37. 37. Devolution• Public Management in the UK is not a single System• Privatisation and Marketization• Local decision Making• Changes in the planning system The presumption in favour of Sustainable Development Boles Bungs
  38. 38. BOLES BUNGS Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development Conflict of Perceptions !!!!Source: The Economist
  39. 39. ConclusionMain PointsSustainable Development perspectivesConnections between the global and the localSustainable Development is both top down and bottom upHow sustainable development relates to the public sectorTradition way of viewing the world to a systems approachNEXT WEEKOrganisations –traditional theories and sustainable transitions
  40. 40. Next weekOrganisations in the Big SocietyThe localism AgendaLocal GovernmentResearch Orientated approachTown and Parish councils