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Editorials Making Multisectoral Collaboration Work

Multisectoral collaboration for health and sustainable development

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 07 December 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4868
  1. Wendy J Graham, professor1,
  2. Shyama Kuruvilla, senior strategic adviser2,
  3. Rachael Hinton, technical officer3,
  4. Emma Veitch, associate editor4,
  5. Paul J Simpson, international audience editor4
  1. 1London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  2. 2World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
  3. 3Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, Geneva, Switzerland
  4. 4The BMJ, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to: W Graham wendy.graham{at}

Learning together, from success and from failure

With 17 goals and many more targets, the all encompassing 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has been criticised as being too warm and cuddly,1 and its unwieldy message can feel like little more than a call for everyone to work together. But this rallying call may, in fact, catalyse one of the greatest breakthroughs by 2030. We believe that much of the power of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) is in the 17th goal: “partnerships for the goals.” This final goal could easily be overlooked by cynics as an administrative add-on, aiming merely to scoop up financing. It is here, however, that the goals’ power is hidden within broad indicators such as “policy coherence” and “multistakeholder partnerships.”

SDG 17 provides a powerful incentive to discuss matters regarded as beyond the remit of the health sector, as reflected in strategies and service delivery programmes and in the pages of medical journals. We also know that a substantial proportion of the gains for maternal and child health in the millennium development goal era were associated with interventions outside of the health sector.2 And with a recent study of …

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