The governance of collaboration for sustainable development: exploring the “black box”

Diego Alfonso Vazquez-Brust, Roberta Souza Piao, Mary Fernanda de Sousa de Melo, Rodrigo Trotta Yaryd, Marly Monteiro de Carvalho

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    Private sector collaboration for sustainable development remains a “black box” in terms of collaborative governance mechanisms: the specific arrangements or types of collaboration used by multiple actors to come together and implement and oversee rules to align their efforts towards shared goals. Therefore, a theoretical framework is needed to guide the design of collaborative efforts towards the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goals. We address such a need, using a systematic literature review to conceptualize the main dimensions of collaborative governance (hierarchy, formalization, centralization), and the factors influencing the impact of collaborative governance choice on sustainable development outcomes. Our results highlight that there are different types of collaboration as a governance mechanism for progress towards Sustainable Development Goals and that alternative governance arrangements should be combined. We also found that the success of collaboration is contingent not only on governance-specific dimensions but also on the type of SDG and the type of partners involved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
    Early online date3 Feb 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2020


    • collaboration
    • mechanisms of governance
    • sustainable development goals


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