Health & STI for 2030 Agenda

STI & Health 2030 Agenda Hero Image


The holistic nature of 2030 Agenda and SDGs demands an integrated and systematic approach while dealing with the specificities of each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The relevance of social and environmental determinants in health outcomes and the strong role of the health sector in the productive and economic development, make the health-related goals a unique case that needs intensive interdisciplinary analysis and multi-sectoral expertise on their implementation.

Health is an integral part of Sustainable Development. It is an individual and collective right, articulating innovation and the productive basis to human rights, equity and social inclusion. The health sector is also a platform where new paradigms on science, technology and innovation (STI) in areas such as microelectronics, nanotechnology, fine chemicals, biotechnology, and information technology are evolving based on important partnership among public, private and academic sectors. World health is the force behind more than 30% of research and is responsible for around 10% of GNP of OECD countries. Health also contributes in different roles, as it is a prerequisite and an indicator of progress on sustainable development. Thus, synergies among Health, STI and the SDGs are crucial to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Harnessing STI to meet the 2030 Agenda is the main goal of the Technology Facilitating Mechanisms (TFM). Science, technology and innovation have a crucial role in providing solutions for public health problems. However, there still prevails a great divide between STI and health needs and governance. The effort to achieve SDG 3 (ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages) shall rely on a good understanding of health priorities and its determinants, with special attention to the social and environmental factors, confronting these to STI solutions and strengthening global and local governance to address the challenge to foster this virtuous connection.

The development and diffusion of innovation that affects health occurs in many ways independently from the health sector. On the other hand, especially on individual and collective health care, we find very specific characteristics such as a strong dependency on health professionals, organizations and systems; role of governments in shaping health care planning and financing; strong regulatory mechanisms; non-linear relation between innovation and health-care costs; and particular features of mainstream, disruptive, and social innovations. The 2017 HLPF Thematic Review on SDG 3 noted that “Universal Health Coverage (UHC) acts as a key driver for achieving all targets”. Thus, to deal with innovation, especially in the health field, there shall be an equal attention to hard, soft and social technologies and the recognition that they are closely intertwined.

This meeting shall be an opportunity to establish a better understanding of the relevance of STI for the achievement of SDG 3 and its contribution to the health sector, from the standpoint of human rights, equity and sustainable development. This high-level interchange of ideas may facilitate the establishment of a collaborative mechanism of health-related issues with experts and a broad range of stakeholders that, under the TFM, could continue to enable relevant contributions for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs.


General Objective:

To engage the public-health sector and other relevant stakeholders in an inter-sectoral high-level collaboration on Science, Technology and Innovation to accelerate the implementation of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals


Specific Objectives:

  • To analyze STI role and propose means for its development and implementation, at all levels, vis-à-vis the existing evidences on health determinants, priorities and governance and the advancement of the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs;
  • To generate proposals on specific activities and actions that can attract and engage the health sector to contribute for the advancement of the 2030 Agenda;
  • To facilitate the dialogue among existing networks and initiatives that share the interest on health and sustainable development;
  • To develop a specific agenda for action with a focus on the region of Latin America and the Caribbean;
  • To discuss the TFM and other UN mechanisms for monitoring and support countries and initiatives;
  • To discuss health related goals in the context of industrial and innovation policies to face the pervasive market failures for health universal access;
  • To contribute to the development of the Online Platform for the TFM by creating a STI-Health platform as part of this global initiative;
  • To discuss the relevance of traditional knowledge and social innovation and suggest implementation mechanisms to strengthen their role on health-related goals;
  • To contribute to develop evidence-based studies on health, especially from a system analyses and prospective approach, supported by indicators and reliable data systems and directed to concrete solutions for the SDGs achievement


Expected results:

The main expected result of the meeting will be a report containing a set of recommendations on how to harness STI for the implementation of health-related SDGs, in contribution to the work of the TFM and to serve as inputs to the 2018 STI Forum and 2018 HLPF. The report will follow the 10-Member Group’s work streams:


  1. the mapping of existing technology facilitation initiatives including support for policy formulation and strengthening of technological capabilities and innovation systems;
  2. identifying areas of synergy and areas of possible cooperation within the UN system on technology-related work;
  3. developing options for a possible online knowledge hub and information-sharing platform; and
  4. Cooperating with relevant stakeholders on building STI capacity building.



The meeting will be open for experts and representatives of existing networks, research institutions, and donors identified by the 10 Member Group and United Nations Interagency Task Team on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs.

Participants can expect to benefit from a fruitful exchange of ideas and experiences and to contribute to the establishment of a partnership around STI, health and 2030 Agenda. The meeting also intends to strengthen the roles of participants in informing public policy through evidence-based research and the translation of best practices to their national contexts, contributing to the national authorities in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs.



DESA, RIO+, FIOCRUZ, 10MG with support of other institutions.



The presentations and discussions during the Seminar are aimed at elaborating concrete recommendations related to the general and specific objectives listed above. Fiocruz will be responsible for the production of background notes for each main theme, which will be distributed to the invited participants prior to the Seminar. With the same purpose, three question will be sent to each panelist.

Considering the specificities of two objectives, namely, the creation of an STI-Health platform as a contribution to the Online Platform for TFM, and the issues of traditional knowledge and social technologies, which from our perspective need more attention, especially for achievement of SDG 3, we are proposing to have an extra time for a working group. A better alternative would have these meetings as an extra day, on November 8.

Ilona Kickbusch, Director of the Global Health Centre and Adjunct Professor, Interdisciplinary Programmes at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (TBI)
Conference on the public policies for health on the context of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable development goals
Carissa Etienne, PAHO (TBI)
2030 Agenda and its Sustainable development goals as new Opportunity for the advancement of Health
Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava, President of ECOSOC
Sustainable development: Transformative concept for a challenging world
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