Evaluation of Pathfinders Programme for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, focusing on ‘Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions,’ plays a pivotal role in promoting stability, ensuring access to justice, and building accountable and inclusive institutions, all of which are fundamental to achieving sustainable development and fostering peaceful and just societies worldwide.


The Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies Programme is a multi-stakeholder platform, consisting of UN member countries, international organisations and private companies, that is dedicated to the delivery of SDG16. The programme does this by both raising awareness on the importance of SDG16 on the global level and supporting the implementation of policy initiatives that improve the actual delivery of SDG16 on the local level. A key success story is the statement made by the Netherlands in the United Nations Security Council on behalf of the Pathfinders Programme on the importance of SDG16.

In addition to advocating for the importance of SDG16 in general the Pathfinders Programme developed three grand challenges (programmes) that focus on more specific strands within SDG16: the (1) Peace, (2) Justice, and (3) Inequality and Exclusion Programmes. After earlier having performed the midterm review of the Justice programme, we are proud to now also have delivered the midterm review of the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies Programme as a whole.

The evaluation was conducted for the New York University, Center on International Cooperation.

Key findings

Our review included both a backward and a forward-looking component. The backward-looking component consists of an evaluation of the relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency of the activities carried out by the Program. The analysis shows that, although Pathfinders effectively and efficiently contributed to putting SDG16 on the international and national policy agendas, significant progress still needs to be made in the actual implementation of policy initiatives in the field of SDG16.

Ecorys also provided, in the forward-looking component, a set of normative recommendations. The key recommendation is that the Pathfinders Programme should, after its success in raising SDG16 ambitions, increasingly focus on translating these ambitions into actual action.

25 January 2024

2 minute read

Key Experts

Gabriëlle op 't Hoog

Senior Consultant

Mike Beke

Principal Consultant