A post-SDG Summit governance primer: interlinking the institutional, peace and justice dimensions of SDG16 (2016–2019)

As the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development enters its fifth year of implementation, it is opportune to ask how governance is understood and implemented around the world. In fact, one can go further to probe the extent to which governments are cognizant of the principles undergirding effective governance. This paper examines the ways in which governance has been operationalized by countries, major groups and other stakeholders since the first round of Voluntary National Reviews at the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) of 2016. It does this based on the qualitative overview of the Synthesis reports of Voluntary National Reviews (2016–2029), and the quantitative analysis of three SDG databases: Voluntary National Reviews, SDG Good Practices and the SDG Acceleration Actions. It starts with a literature review of the multidimensional concept of governance. The three databases are then scoped through a series of keywords associated with the SDG16 governance targets. It finds that although SDG 16 is catalytic to progress on all other SDGs, its governance dimension does not receive due focus. The article concludes with several action areas to mainstream the governance dimension of SDG16 in sustainable development.