September 19, 2017

Is Economic Stability the Secret Ingredient for Achieving the SDGs?

Written by Phil Psilos, Asia Pacific Technical Director, Social & Economic Development, FHI 360

Economic Stability is intrinsic to these 6 Global Goals and 21 Targets, but the concept rarely enters the Global Goals dialog. Households, businesses, communities, and countries—in particular the poorest and most vulnerable—share a common need for stability in key dimensions of their economic lives to build more prosperous futures in a rapidly changing and often volatile world.

This week, development leaders from around the world—individuals, governments, businesses, international organizations, NGOs and others—gather in New York to showcase ideas, solutions, and partnerships to advance progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Discussions will inform, catalyze, and shape progress on the SDGs going forward.

If conversations stay focused on the SDGs as written and adopted, one concept that will not be front and center is “stability,” appearing as it does only once in targets 17.13, and only in the context of macroeconomic stability. We believe that this is an important omission from the Global Goals dialog. Economic stability is a foundation upon which progress on the SDGs will be built.

Stability of income, consumption, and assets is an intrinsic goal of several SDGs—ending poverty and hunger in particular. Other dimensions of stability are essential for generating sustained and inclusive economic growth and industrialization for all, reducing inequality, and building peaceful and inclusive societies with accountable institutions. Gaining ground in these areas depend on households, businesses, communities, and countries around the world having:

  • Greater confidence in the future and ability to predict the outcome of their economic decisions
  • Expanded ability to invest in their future
  • Increasing economic resilience to shocks and stresses

In total, at least six goals and twenty-one targets across the SDG framework relate directly to these dimensions of stability, which were identified as critical by The Rockefeller Foundation in work on inclusive economies. The table below maps the relationship of each goal and target to these dimensions of stability.

Chart describing the relationship between the SDGs and economic stability

A girl holding a solar panel, with text describing the Stability Innovation Atlas campaign


FHI 360 is working with support from The Rockefeller Foundation to build awareness of stability as a pillar of inclusive development, and to surface global innovations that improve the ability of individuals, communities, businesses, and governments to promote economic stability. Top innovations will be featured in an Atlas of Stability Innovation published by FHI 360 in early 2018, in our online media campaigns, and promoted in global media. If your organization has created a product, program, or policy that enhances economic stability we’d encourage you to submit them here. Please visit our website here on Crowd 360 to learn about Innovation for Stability.