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Multi-Stakeholder Participation for Achieving Sustainable Development Goals: A Systems Thinking Approach

Arun A. Elias (Wellington school of Business and Government, New Zealand)

Environmental Sustainability and Agenda 2030

ISBN: 978-1-80262-880-7, eISBN: 978-1-80262-879-1

Publication date: 28 March 2022


The Sustainable Development Goal 12 (SDG 12) that aims at ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns is dependent on efficient and effective transport infrastructure. But many new transport infrastructure projects are delayed due to complex conflicts between multiple stakeholders with different stakes. This chapter illustrates how a multi-stakeholder participation process based on systems thinking can be used to generate a shared mental model of stakeholders in conflict. Using the systems thinking and modelling methodology, the complex problem situation is first structured by identifying and analysing the stakeholders. Then a participative approach is employed to develop a systems model that captures the underlying structure responsible for the problem situation. Finally, three strategic interventions are formulated by the stakeholders to improve the system behaviour in the long term. In this chapter, both quantitative and qualitative data were collected using structured interviews, focus groups and secondary sources. Using a New Zealand transport infrastructure project, the chapter shows that effective multi-stakeholder participation, capable of leading to some form of multi-stakeholder partnership, can help reduce delays in a transport infrastructure project. Practically, the chapter provides a framework that can reach an accommodation between conflicting stakeholders. Overall, this chapter contributes New Zealand–based empirical research to the literature on multi-stakeholder participation for achieving SDG 12 within the context of Agenda 2030.



Elias, A.A. (2022), "Multi-Stakeholder Participation for Achieving Sustainable Development Goals: A Systems Thinking Approach", Tauringana, V. and Moses, O. (Ed.) Environmental Sustainability and Agenda 2030 (Advances in Environmental Accounting & Management, Vol. 10), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 45-65.



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