SDG Observatory

Goal 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.


Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions Globally

In order to accomplish the Sustainable Development Goals, it is essential to ensure that governments and institutions are strong to enough to deal with rising global conflict and security concerns. Unfortunately, there still remains many barriers to equal justice and peace for all. The number of global refugees continues to increase, with 108.4 million people forcibly displaced in 2022. Issues such as corruption, unequal laws, violence against children still continue to plague many countries across the world. The need for strong institutions will only increase with rising temperatures, an increased number of climate refugees, and continued global conflict over resources.


Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions Locally

The Dallas area has taken several steps towards the accomplishment of Sustainable Development Goal 16. In 2019, State Representative Eric Johnson announced he would take anti-corruption action in Dallas government and created the Office of the Inspector General in 2021 to proactively seek out or investigate submitted complaints alleging fraud, waste, corruption, or misconduct. The Refugee Services of Texas also opened an office in 1978 in DFW [Dallas / Fort Worth] to help refugee populations in North Texas. Several nonprofits have also opened in the Dallas area to promote peace and equal access to Justice for all Texans.



Inclusive and Participatory Governance

SDG 5: Gender Equality
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
From left, 2022-2023 Student Governement President Kruthi Kanduri and vice President Margaret Moore

2022-2023 UTD Student Government
President and Vice President

At the University of Texas at Dallas, inclusive and participatory governance ensures that all students, faculty, and staff have a voice in decision-making at the University. The main governing bodies at UT Dallas include the Academic Senate, Faculty Senate, Staff Council, Student Government, and Graduate Student Assembly. Through these main outlets, all UTD community members have the opportunity to have their voice heard. Collaborations among the groups, such as student collaboration between Student Government and the Graduate Student Assembly, is common to foster increased transparency and action.


Voter Education and Support

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

At UT Dallas, we make an active effort to ensure all eligible voters on campus are educated about upcoming elections and have the opportunity to vote. This is accomplished in several ways. The Office of the President sends out emails to the entire UT Dallas community for upcoming major elections, with information about voting on and near campus. UT Dallas Student Government has also improved voting accessibility on campus by establishing polling centers on campus. In the November 2020 election, UTD was home to polling centers for both Dallas and Collin County. Student Government further incentivized students to exercise their civic duty by hosting the Party at the Polls event, offering pizza and fun activities to draw students to polling locations. Texas Rising, an on-campus student organization, also hosts voter registration drives on campus throughout the year with registered student VDRs. UTD is proud to uplift strong institutions by encouraging civic participation among our student population.


Student Fellowships for Participation in Government

SDG 4: Quality Education
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
Two young women make the sign of the UTD “Whoosh” in front of a legislative building.

Archer Fellows Brittany Ellenberg and Prisha Gaddam; Photo Source: UTD News Center

The University of Texas at Dallas has several opportunities for students who wish to increase their involvement in governmental work. The Archer Fellowship is one opportunity for students in the University of Texas system to live, intern, and study in Washington D.C. for an entire semester. Interested students can apply during January of their sophomore or junior year. This competitive fellowship provides students with a cohort experience and the ability to gain valuable hands-on knowledge in the nation’s capital. Closer to home, the Texas Legislative Internship Program is a similar opportunity that grants students access to the Texas Government in Austin, Texas. TLIP allows students to earn 6 hours of internship credit and 6 hours of class credit to maintain full-time status as students at UT Dallas.

Learn more about the Texas Legislative Internship Program.


Police Oversight Committee

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals
Dr. Richard C. Benson

Dr. Richard C. Benson
Photo Source: UTD Office of the President

The Police Oversight Committee at UT Dallas was established in the Summer of 2021 to provide accountability and oversight to the police force at UT Dallas. The committee receives quarterly reports from the UTD Police Department for review. Additionally, any member of the University committee can submit concerns to the Police Oversight Committee for review and possible action. The committee is comprised of faculty and staff members, students appointed by Student Government and the Graduate Student Assembly and is overseen by the Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement and the Dean of Students.

More information about the Police Oversight Committee.


Goals / Future Work

Continue efforts to increase voter participation on campus


Learn More

  • Take the online courses regarding Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions from SDG Academy
  • Learn more about the targets and indicators at the UN Global Goals website

Compliance with Texas Senate Bill 17
The information on this page predates the signing into law of Texas Senate Bill 17 (SB17Senate Bill 17), and as such, should be considered an obsolete historical document which will either be changed or purged from this site in a future iteration, following the guidance of The University of Texas System.