Sustainable Development Goals

STRIVE has developed two meta-narratives to draw together the evidence and distil the key messages for different audiences: Biomedical Interventions and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) narrative is aimed at the wider development community and focuses on how intervening on structural drivers can be useful in formulating strategies for achieving the SDGs.

What’s the issue?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) challenge the world to make progress on 17 interconnected goals by 2030. Many of the structural drivers of HIV – including poverty and economic inequality, unlimited alcohol availability, stigma and discrimination, exposure to violence in childhood, gender inequality and violence against women – are targets included in the global goals agenda. 

Interventions that impact on such factors have the potential to reduce HIV risk and/or facilitate access to HIV programming. These synergies –where by addressing one issue, a range of positive development outcomes are achieved – provide new opportunities for investments that can help deliver multiple developments and support progress on multiple SDGs. 

This type of ‘system’ thinking is an antidote to the vertical and disease-specific strategies that have largely defined the HIV field for many decades. It also shares common cause with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which explicitly acknowledges the many interconnections between different dimensions of sustainable development.

What have we found?

  1. The Sustainable Development Goals provide an important framework for interventions on the structural drivers of HIV
    Social and structural drivers offer investment opportunities to realise co-benefits and deliver multiple impacts at scaleSTRIVE’s research shows the central importance of including responses to the structural drivers of HIV at the heart of the HIV response, not only to end AIDS and meet the 95-95-95 targets, but also to help achieve many other SDGs by 2030.

  2. Policies in sectors other than health have the potential to reduce HIV risk and increase the uptake of HIV services. Similarly, HIV interventions can achieve multiple downstream socio-economic impacts
    There is mounting evidence that a range of interventions can deliver multiple benefits. For example, group sessions and community-based models to transform gender norms have reduced men’s perpetration of intimate partner violence and HIV-related risk behavior (see the MAISHA trial). 

    Harmful alcohol use is also a good example of the how interventions addressing harmful alcohol use can reduce HIV risk as well as achieving other health and development outcomes. Alcohol contributes to such a wide range of health harms, injury and violence against women while also imperiling household and national economic resilience.

  3. Co-financing could provide a new way of financing high-impact interventions that can achieve benefits across the interconnected SDGs and targets. 
    STRIVE’ work on co-financing (conducted in collaboration with the UNDP), suggests that this approach offers an efficient way to budget for high-value/impact interventions that deliver benefits across multiple sectors, SDGs and SDG targets simultaneously.

    As with STRIVE, the ultimate challenge for the SDGs will be to encourage co-financing of select “best buys” that deliver multiple benefits across different goals.

Key resources