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Measuring the value of UNESCO

3rd December 2018

The value of international peace organisation UNESCO’S Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been assessed thanks in part to research carried out by a Northumbria University academic.

Professor Yu Xiong, from Newcastle Business School at Northumbria, and his Research Assistant Jiamin Liang, analysed data gathered from a range of structured interviews seeking the opinions, experiences and quotations from participants in six countries. They were investigating how effective UNESCO has been in delivering its SGDs globally, and contributing to a major report designed to help unite efforts to deliver the organisation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The research was undertaken as part of an initiative under the co-lead of the Swiss Commission for UNESCO and the UK National Commission for UNESCO, and involved an international network of academic Science Chairs.  Their work has resulted in the publication of a report entitled: Assessing the Value of UNESCO within a Framework of International Cooperation. It was announced at a recent meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

A key outcome of the report was to highlight the contribution that UNESCO Chairs have made, and to reveal the relationship between the study area and UNESCO’s 17 sustainable development goals. This study includes data from UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks from the following countries: Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia, United Kingdom, Portugal and the Republic of Korea.

Professor Yu Xiong, Chair of Technology and Operations Management at Newcastle Business School said: “The research behind this report has contributed to the existing knowledge by new findings of how UNESCO and UNITWIN (University Twinning and Networking) Networks create and deliver value to stakeholders. This could have considerable impact and could be used as a guidance for policy-makers and sponsors to better support future UNESCO work and focus more on the areas that need to be strengthened.”

UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture. UNESCO's programmes contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in Agenda 2030, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.

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