2016 was a year of firsts. The newly established UNSSC Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development in Bonn was brought to fruition, and among many other courses and learning events, the debut edition of the UN Reflection Series. The event which was brought to life by the United Nations System Staff College in collaboration with the Hertie School of Governance, with support from the United Nations Development Operations Coordination Office (UN DOCO), facilitated a spirited exchange of ideas between practitioners and academics who engaged in in-depth discussions on development challenges with a view to advancing sustainable development approaches in Middle Income Countries.

The two-and-a-half-day event, which took place in Berlin, hosted a distinguished group of participants – UN staff, academics, development practitioners and policymakers – from 18 different countries located in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. The interactive learning event facilitated knowledge sharing between UN staff members, government and civil society representatives, practitioners and renowned experts in international development cooperation, as well as high-level representatives of the United Nations in a 'non-UN' setting. It fostered discussions on contemporary international development challenges within the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement. The programme of the UN Reflection Series 2016 included keynote speeches and panel discussions, as well as clinics with academics and practitioners.

A significant outcome of this event is the launch of the publication titled UN Reflection Series 2016: Development Cooperation, Policy Advice and Middle Income Countries. The publication is a compilation of 12 papers from authors representing different sectors, that were selected to be presented at the Reflection Series.

The publication presents valuable reflections and lessons learned on the challenges and obstacles in the pursuit of inclusive sustainable development based on academic research and experiences at country level. The authors have dedicated invaluable thought and time to shed light on various important aspects that require recognition and/or implementation by the international development community. The most prevalent topics discussed in the articles range from the necessity of upstream engagement and improved policy advice, capacity building, the importance of emerging donors, South-South and Triangular cooperation, to tackling inequality, implementing social protection floors and strengthening civil society participation.

The eReader compatible version of the publication can be found here (for a minimal price of €0.99). The pdf version of the publication is available free of charge here.

For more information on the UN Reflection Series, please click here.

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