Polku 2030 – A developmental evaluation of Finland’s sustainable development policy and transformation pathways

Alongside other United Nations member states, Finland has committed to the Agenda 2030 plan of action for sustainable development. Agenda 2030 consists of 17 main goals and 169 targets. The significant challenges in implementing Agenda 2030 at the state level lie in the dynamic cross-cutting nature of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in the multitude of actors – ministries and administrative branches – that need to be coordinated. Actions and measures set by one sector may substantially affect the prerequisites for actions in other sectors.

Project goals

The two main goals of the Polku 2030 (‘Path 2030’) project are 1) to produce an impartial and comprehensive understanding of Finland’s sustainable development policy by using versatile research material, and 2) together with key stakeholders, to produce concrete recommendations influencing, for instance, the upcoming preparation for the new Government Programme and selection of the main goals of government policy in the near future. Accordingly, roundtable discussions will be organised throughout the Polku 2030 project. In these discussions, the key stakeholders will discuss the crucial challenges of sustainable development in Finland that have not received sufficient attention. At the end of the project, the main findings will be presented in a report. These findings can be put to use, for instance, in public discussions leading up to the parliamentary elections. In addition, project material will be utilised when Finland reports on the national implementation of sustainable development goals at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum to be held in 2020, and when the Agenda 2030 action plan is updated after the parliamentary elections in 2019.

Timeframe and outputs

The Polku 2030 project started in autumn 2018 and will finish in February 2019. In addition to producing a final report, the project will also present a visualisation of its findings, a policy brief, and an election panel on the themes of the project. The project is part of the Finnish Prime Minister’s Office’s research and reporting functions. Previous reports related to sustainable development policy produced by Demos Helsinki include The Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development: Assessment and Development of the Commitment Tool, and the Avain2030 project.)

Work package leaders

Satu Lähteenoja, Demos Helsinki (project manager)
Annukka Berg, Finnish Environment Institute
Matti Ylönen, HELSUS
Kaisa Korhonen-Kurki, HELSUS
Kirsi-Marja Lonkila, Demos Helsinki

International partners in the project are Stockholm Environment Institute and Sustainable Development Solutions Network.