Sustainable Development Goal 16 Peace & Justice, Strong institutions and Project Management

SDG 16 of 17 aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. This is an important SDG for project management.

This goal has ten specific targets to achieve by 2030. 

  1. Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates
  2. End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children
  3. Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
  4. Reduce illicit financial and arms flows
  5. Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms
  6. Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
  7. Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
  8. Broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance
  9. By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration
  10. Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements

In past posts I have provided links to the targets and encouraged you, the reader, to take a look at them.  For this SDG however, I want them listed out as these targets can be used to develop project, program, and portfolio Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and shape governance.

As we at GPM always state, projects have impacts in how they are managed and the product of the project has social and environmental impacts from both a lifespan and servicing perspective.  

Target number five, for example, “Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms.” It is of course bad practice to use bribes to advance projects.  Adopting this target as part of project governance and reporting against it, creates a direct correlation between projects and the SDGs.

Our P5 Standard for Sustainability in project management (a free resource) offers the following on this target:

The policies and procedures that are put in place to ensure that projects are complying with relevant laws and regulations.

It is recommended that project managers take into consideration:

  • The laws and customs of the land in which the project is taking place
  • Establish mechanisms to ensure ongoing compliance.
  • Establish mechanisms to ensure ongoing compliance.
  • Develop communications and reporting for relevant stakeholders on compliance related matters.

Public Policy and Compliance adherence achieve a number of sustainable project outcomes including:

  • Improves transparency and accountability
  • Strengthens brand protection and improves risk mitigation

Target number seven “Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels” should be woven into governance policies ensuring equal pay, hiring based on skill and inclusive decision making, all core tenets of sustainable project management.

From a broader context, understanding number three and ten is important as project environments are not all equal. National legislation varies greatly region to region as does culture, values, and norms. The more a project manager is aware of what international agreements exist, what countries have ratified them and how their national policies align or not will make life easier when risks and issues arise. the Universal Declaration for Human Rights is an example of an international agreement that has global adoption, however, is often disregarded for regional or national policies.

In summary, understanding this goal will safeguard projects and protect the sponsoring organization.


Short video on SDG 16






Dr. Joel Carboni

Dr. Joel Carboni is a highly respected expert in sustainable project management. He is a graduate of Ball State University and holds a Ph.D. in Sustainable Development and Environment. He has over 25 years of experience in project management, including government, finance, consulting, manufacturing, and education. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and events related to project management and sustainability and has worked in more than 50 countries. In addition to serving as President Emeritus of the International Project Management Association (IPMA) in the United States and being a member of the Global advisory board, Dr. Carboni is also the founder of GPM (Green Project Management) and a visiting professor at Skema Business School. He is also the GPM representative to the United Nations Global Compact, where he was a founding signatory of the Business for Peace Initiative and the Anti-Corruption call to action and a contributor to the development of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs). Dr. Carboni is the creator of the PRiSM™ project delivery methodology and the P5 Standard for Sustainability in Project Management and has written training programs on Green and Sustainable Project Management that are offered in more than 145 countries through professional training providers, business associations, and universities. He is the lead author of the book "Sustainable Project Management."

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.