The transition from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has shifted the policy debate from growth to ‘quality of growth’ (QG). We explore a new dataset on QG by the IMF and classify 93 developing countries for the period 1990–2011 in terms of Hopefuls, Contenders and Best Performers. The aims are as follows: (i) to depict the contradiction between high-growth and poor social welfare and (ii) to assess the influence of education and health spending on the QG. The findings have implications on education and health policy, and support SDGs 3 and 4.
Polluted air was responsible in 2015 for 6·4 million deaths worldwide. Can walking or cycling in polluted cities negate the health benefits of exercise by increasing exposure to airborne pollutants? This systematic review in The Lancet Public Health by Magda Cepeda and colleagues provides a clear answer to this question: it compares exposure to carbon monoxide, black carbon, nitrogen dioxide, and fine and coarse particles between commuters using active and motorised transport. The study provides important insights to support target SDG 3.9 to substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air.
Ending preventable deaths of children under 5 is a target of SDG 3. This article recognises that pneumonia deaths among children younger than 5 years old have declined between 2000 and 2015. Vaccine and antibiotic use have spurred this mortality reduction but maximum benefits will only be achieved with new interventions working synergistically with established approaches.
Elsevier,

Futures, Available online 19 October 2016

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is vital for advancing the SDGs. This paper looks at transformative learning that prepares students for societal change. The discussion is grounded both in theories about hope from disparate scientific disciplines and in empirical research about young people’s hope concerning global climate change. These insights particularly inform SDG 4.7 to ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, as well as SDGs 3, 11 and 13.
Mental ill health is the third biggest cause of absence in the workplace. The mental health equivalent of a physical first-aid course provides participants with the skills and confidence to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues and effectively guide a person towards the right support. By adpating this course, more efforts can be made to meet SDG 3.4 by utilising preventive methods and treatment to promote mental health and well-being.
This case study looks at the impact of stress on a part-time worker with celebral palsy, and its effect on their well-being. The study shows how using a proactive approach, including the use of HSE stress management standards, can help to avoid negative outcomes for the employee. Stress management in the workplace contributes to the advancement of SDG 3.4 to prevent and treat mental health issues and promote well-being.
PTSD Resolution has launched a training programme for managers with employees who are suffering from PTSD. The programme was initially set up in response to demand from employers of former soldiers. Programmes to tackle PTS contribute to advancing SDG 3.4 to prevent and treat mental health issues and promote well-being
This article provides timely, robust evidence on documenting child health achievements during the Millennium Development Goal era, identifying causes and regions for which less progress occurred, and characterising the association between improving development and child survival. It estimates the number and rates of stillbirths across geographies and over time. Given the reductions in under-5 mortality between 1990 and 2015, this article provides important insights for SDG 3 targets, in particular the target to end preventable deaths of newborns and under 5 year olds.
One of the objectives of SDG 3 aims to reduce premature mortality by 40% by 2030. This study investigates the feasibility of achieving this reduction target, in Mexico, through analysing the projected mortality rates up to 2030. By outlining the top causes for mortality in different age groups, this study provides a roadmap for setting national health priorities to achieve SDG 3.4.
MSF Doctors conduct a Phase III rotavirus vaccine trial at Epicentre’s Niger Research Center at the Maradi Hospital. (Photo © KRISHAN Cheyenne/MSF)
"The Elsevier Foundation is partnering with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and their training and research partner, Epicentre, to support the Niger Research Center. By building the Center's capacity and supporting African-driven research this project directly supports SDG 3, with a focus on target 3B. At the heart of this project is the development of a new vaccine to fight rotavirus."

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