In the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the United Nations assigned an important role to multistakeholder partnerships for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. Since partnerships show a mixed success record, this article by Marianne Beisheim and Nils Simon analyzes whether relevant actors in the UN context are inclined to translate lessons learned and the increased knowledge about partnerships’ conditions for success into an improved “UN metagovernance.”
Criticizing the current institutional setup, most of the interviewed actors proposed that partnerships should be metagoverned by the UN through systemwide principles, rules, and procedures. There is, however, little consensus as to how that should be done. Drawing on assumptions from the literature and extensive empirical research, the article identifies patterns in actors’ perspectives on the issue.