Letter from the Editor

The mid-point in a decade is often seen as a time to pause for reflection, a chance to 
review progress against set objectives, and re-set them if necessary. This certainly 
applies for 2015: the year in which the Millennium Development Goals give way to 
the Sustainable Development Goals offers a rare opportunity for people engaged 
with humanitarian and sustainability programmes around the world to appraise 
their plans and actions, and decide if they are still fit for the purposes they were 
set-up for. Alas, they have precious little time to do so, in this world beset with an 
unprecedented number of humanitarian emergencies, environmental challenges, and 
human bellicosity. The demands being placed on the many different organisations 
and agencies now intent on remediating those tragic zones, taking time out for 
reflective analysis is not feasible. There’s just too much that needs to be done – and 
done yesterday. 
Meeting the information requirement for sustainable development professionals 
is one of the primary aims of SOURCE: Sustainable Development. The publication has 
been created for the post-2015 international development sector, with special interest 
in highlighting ways in which private sector engagement will drive innovation and 
support the impetus to deliver on the UN Sustainable Development Goals as they are 
agreed and implemented. 
What is a sustainable development professional? Not an easy question to answer 
with absolute assurance – but a demographic profile has emerged. It enfranchises an 
increasingly broad range of skill-sets and competences from lawyers and diplomats, 
medicos and nutritionists, to aid workers to logistical managers, entrepreneurs and 
scientists. All these professional disciplines (and many others), are in some capacity 
engaged in working toward a common set of aims – aims that will inform the editorial 
foci of SOURCE: Sustainable Development going forward. 
The achievements of the sustainable development sector should be better 
recognised and celebrated. As prosecuted under the auspices of the United Nations, 
sustainable development is of course a matter of global importance that has the 
power to affect millions of lives for the better. Presenting key innovations and success 
stories is an aim of this new publication. Sharing the fruits of experience and firsthand 
knowledge – the sharing of professional expertise usually described as ‘best 
practice’ – is another. 
Sustainable development as a professional sector is also benefiting from a broad 
base of qualified new recruits, as well as a volunteer base that is richly skilled and 
highly-motivated. More people than ever before are pursuing careers that are shaped 
– directly or indirectly – by sustainable development programmes and initiatives. 
The principles and practices of sustainable development hold a political resonance 
that has been widely recognised. Indeed, taking sustainable development ideas as a 
‘the central organising principle for the whole of government’ is no new idea, but its 
adoption has some way to go. However events unfold, SOURCE: Sustainable Development 
will cover them. 

James Hayes