Call for Book Chapters

Tentative title: Science, Technology and Innovation for Meeting Sustainable Development Goals


Dr. Ademola A. Adenle
School of Global Environmental Sustainability - Colorado State University, USA

Prof. Milind Kandlikar
Liu Institute for Global Issues - University of British Colombia, Canada

Prof. David Pannell
Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy - University of Western Australia, Australia

Prof. Ellen Moors
Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development - Urecht University, Netherlands


The past decade and half has seen significant achievements in global development, as evidenced in the lifting of one billion people out of extreme poverty and in the reduction of chronic hunger in many regions of the developing world. Concerted international efforts aimed at meeting Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have drawn the attention of many governments in developing countries, and helped shift their public policy and decision-making priorities. Despite these important achievements, much more needs to be done to bring people out of poverty, to improve public health, and to respond to on-going global environmental crises. The emerging post-2015 development agenda has ushered in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will expand and build on MDGs success.  SDGs break new ground in that they incorporate environmental concerns into development agendas and so entail setting novel indicators of success across various sectors. New and carefully crafted policies that recognize the benefits of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) and its potential risks will be needed to successfully implement the SDG agenda over the next 15 years.

STI holds enormous potential to contribute to the achievement of SDG targets. While the role of STI in achieving the targets of MDGs was recognized, it is evident that STI applications were not harnessed fully enough in helping meet MDGs targets in developing countries. SDGs pose a similar challenge. For instance, SDGs are multi-dimensional in nature, so achieving individual SDG targets will be dependent on accomplishment of other targets. STI applications have an important role to contribute to addressing the multiple dimensions of SDGs, i.e., developing countries will need to harness strong linkages, while recognizing the trade-offs across STI policies, to fully realize the commitments to the three pillars of sustainability (social, economic and environment). Technology and innovation process can also create barriers to the SDGs, or at least where there may be barrier to channelling STI toward accomplishing the SDGs. Thus, for the global community to fully meet its SDG targets, better mobilization of STI across multiple sectors and investment in new innovation and policy design that recognizes barriers to implementation will be crucial- according to Professor Jeffrey Sachs, United Nations Advisor on MDG, ‘‘Invest in the Sustainable Development Goals and "don't let them slip through your fingers’’

The impetus for this book comes from our view that there is lack of a clear vision in development circles on how STI (in its full complexity) might enable the global community to meet SDG targets. This book will therefore cover the most significant aspects of STI, i.e. the role that science, technology and innovative solutions, can play in meeting “on-the-ground” socio-economic and environmental challenges. The book will bring to together big picture thinking about how the relationship between STI and development, with actual examples, experiences and case studies. Cases and examples will illuminate what is currently being implemented or pilot tested, especially those that reflects the application of STI. The book will include insights on the collection, analysis, interpretation and dissemination of different types of data relating to STI programs and how to integrate various stakeholders’ views on STI solutions that support accountability and transparency in decision-making in developing countries. The book will recognize the contingent nature of STI applications wherein technologies with enormous potential can also serve to exacerbate social differences and inequality. Moreover, the book will provide a platform for authors from different disciplines and backgrounds including natural and social sciences, public health, engineering, business and public administrations, and industry, to address fundamental challenges of overall sustainable development on STI programs.


The main of objective of this book is to bring together studies addressing crosscutting issues in science, technology and innovation related to tackling the multiple dimensions of sustainable development challenges. The book will pay attention to the methodologies and frameworks relevant to STI and SDG targets with the aim of enhancing policy success in the implementation of SDGs. The book’s target audience is wide-ranging and includes policymaking communities, academia, private sector, civil society, international and non-governmental organizations.

Proposed chapters

The chapter must be original work or a review of recent data that have not been published before. 5000-6000 words maximum including references (without tables & figures) is expected for each chapter. Authors should avoid footnotes, endnotes and use of appendices. An integrated and multidisciplinary approach is strongly encouraged but must be easy to follow, non-technical and be accessible to a general audience. Case studies, new concepts or adaptation of existing approaches should be concise, relevant and clearly written. All manuscripts are expected to incorporate new ideas on methodologies, approaches, frameworks and indicators that are relevant to promotion of STI for SDGs. We expect this edited volume to be published by a major university press.

Tentative book guidelines

The tentative topics and guidelines described below is to assist potential authors develop their proposals and chapters. While they are not final topics for the book, the broad guidelines will help identify where the chapters fit in. We also encourage authors to identify additional issues that are relevant to STI and sustainable development that may not be covered in the guidelines. All authors across a range of disciplines are welcome to contribute. We particular encourage those living and working in developing countries.

Section I- Environmental sector

The single overarching SDG environmental goal has 8 targets, which expand on MDG’s environmental sustainability goals. The SDG covers modern energies (e.g. renewable energy), water and sanitation, resilient infrastructure, sustainable cities, sustainable consumption and production, climate change and biodiversity conservation. This section will address a wide range of issues (in light of the targets), especially related to institutional, environmental, economic and social development as impeded or affected by the lack of innovation or technological development in developing countries. Where relevant chapters will also examine whether new technologies create new and additional risks that need to be assessed and avoided.  These issues will touch on new approaches, methodologies and framework that underpin innovation and technological development in decision making towards achieving SDG targets. Key questions to be addressed, are inter alia;

  1. How can technological advances be driven to reduce the cost of reliable and clean energy technologies? What is the level of investment in research and development? How might financing, capacity building and technology transfer affect technological innovation and diffusion?
  2. What role can science and technology play in sustainable production and consumption system particularly across the value chains, i.e., from processing through to distribution, use and disposal? What are the trends and patterns of institutional, social, economic and environmental change common to consumption and production systems?
  3. How do institutions, new technologies and innovation influence water management, sanitation and infrastructure development?
  4. How can we make better use of existing and new energy technologies to tackle the impacts of climate change and to conserve biodiversity and manage ecosystem services?
  5. What role do culture and value play in harnessing science and technology for sustainable development?

Section II- Health sector

Goal 3 of the SDG is focused on global health. Health is also intrinsically linked to the remaining 16 targets and covers a wider range concerns that were not addressed by the MDG.  New and emerging technologies including modern biotechnologies and bioengineering, nanotechnology, information communication and telecommunication (ICT) and healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship have a huge potential in solving some of health problems in developing countries, and hence they can be promoted to meet SDGs. Addressing the following key questions among others are crucial;

  1. What role can modern biotechnologies such as genetic engineering, gene editing and manipulation technologies and bioinformatics play toward achieving SDGs? How can existing and emerging diagnostic technologies in primary and healthcare be harnessed to promote SDG? How can government policy be directed toward research and development, improved, infrastructure capacity building, provision of training and technical improvement?
  2. How can ICT provide opportunities for data collection, interpretation and dissemination that helps in decision making and improved quality of health and social care delivery? How can mobile phone application and new data sources (e.g., social media posts) enhance data collection and provide near real-time information about disease outbreak such as Ebola and Zika Viruses? What have we learnt from previous experiences that should evolve current thinking? Any there specific constraints that hinder application of ICT tools?
  3. How can entrepreneurship development promote healthcare innovation and improve delivery of health and care services underlying SDGs at the grass root levels?

Section III- Agricultural sector

The agricultural sector cuts across multiple goals - Goal 1- End poverty in all its form everywhere; Goal 2-End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture; Goal 5-Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; Goal 8-Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation; Goal 12- Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns; and Goal 13-Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact. Many of these goals are critically interlinked and many involve substantial trade-offs.  Consequently, these linkages can be better understood, analysed through the rubric of sustainable agriculture that recognizes that technologies can have unintended consequences. A combination of existing and new technologies and innovative approaches present new opportunities and challenges in achieving SDGs in areas such as food and nutrition security, climate change, poverty and hunger eradication, gender equality and education, and sustainable economic growth in developing countries. Chapters in the book will address the following questions:

  1. How can new technologies aid better farming practices to tackle climate change and boost agricultural productivity? What are trends and patterns of adoption of sustainable agricultural practices? How can sustainable agriculture be promoted to meet SDGs?
  2. How can local agricultural innovation be integrated and promoted to meet SDG? How can researchers, extension services, governments and non-governmental organization work together to promote local innovation?
  3. How can technological innovation enhance agribusiness development and integrate smallholders into global value chains? What role can public-private partnership play in strengthening agribusiness innovation to promote an inclusive and sustainable economic growth?
  4. What role can STI play in minimizing trade-offs or maximizing synergies between food production and water and energy use?

Potential contributor

Please write a summary for proposed chapter and attach a short bio/CV (one page maximum) and email these documents


A chapter proposal (300-500 words) should be submitted by each contributor by the deadline (Sept. 15, 2016). Contributors will have 4-months to submit the first draft after editorial team has reviewed individual proposal and has been accepted. Proposals that do not fit into the book project will be rejected and contributors will be informed after the deadline. The manuscript will be peer-reviewed and returned to the authors for revision.  Resubmission are expected within 3-months of receipt of the review.

Important dates:

Sept 15, 2016- Proposal submission deadline

Sept 30, 2016- Acceptance notification

January 31, 2017- Full submission

March 31 2017- Manuscript returned for revision

May 31 2017- Final deadline for submission