La presenza degli SDGs nei PIAO 2023-2025 delle università italiane


  • Manuel De Nicola Dipartimento di Scienze della comunicazione, Università degli Studi di Teramo
  • Sara Fratini Dipartimento di Scienze della comunicazione, Università degli Studi di Teramo


SDGs, PIAO, Italian public universities, Agenda 2030, content analysis, public value


Starting from 2021 the strategic planning process in the Italian public sector benefited from the new Integrated Activity and Organization Plan (PIAO). Such a tool has been introduced with the aim of harmonizing and simplifying the three-year planning process through the integration of the different perspectives involved in the value generation and measurement. Furthermore, according to this new approach, the generative path of public value has been rethought and innovated in terms of multidimensional well-being with emphasis to the non-financial perspective. With this regard, the set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represents a useful key to understand the consistency of both the strategies and the impacts of performance. Among the public-sector organizations that mostly influence the achievement of the SDGs, universities play a very important role. Therefore, the aim of this work is to identify an approach to detect the level of materiality with respect to the 17 SDGs within the PIAOs of Italian universities. The proposed interpretative model has been tested by examining 48 three-years PIAOs relating to the period 2023-2025. The study uses the content analysis methodology to investigate which of the 17 SDGs the Italian public universities’ PIAOs are based on. 48 documents have been extracted from the official ministerial platform. The PIAOs examined show a limited propensity to integrate the SDGs within the strategic process. The inclusion of the 17 SDGs in the programmatic lines of universities, when it occurs, does not present homogeneous characteristics. However, the SDGs that are disclosed with a percentage greater than 80% are associated in a consistent manner with respect to the mission to which they are aligned. This study designs a first approach that can be adopted to account for the SDGs materiality in the strategic planning process in the higher education. This analysis also tests the recommended methodology to investigate a sample of 48 PIAOs from Italian public universities.


Download data is not yet available.


Assemblea Generale delle Nazioni Unite (2015), “Trasformare il nostro mondo: l’Agenda 2030 per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile”

(, accesso di novembre 2023)

Aversano, N., Nicolò, G., Sannino, G., Tartaglia Polcini, P. (2022). The Third Mission Strategies Disclosure Through the Integrated Plan. In: Caperchione, E., Bianchi, C. (eds) Governance and Performance Management in Public Universities. SIDREA Series in Accounting and Business Administration. Springer, Cham.

Bebbington, J.; Unerman, J. Achieving the united nations sustainable development goals: An enabling role for accounting re-search. Account. Audit. Account. J. 2018, 31, 2–24.

Benington, J. 2011. ‘From Private Choice to Public Value?’, in J. Benington and M. Moore (eds), Public Value: Theory and Practice. Basingstoke: Macmillan, pp. 31–51

Decreto Legislativo del 3 luglio 2017, n.117. (, accesso di dicembre 2023)

Fuchs, P. G., Finatto, C. P., Birch, R. S., de Aguiar Dutra, A. R., & de Andrade Guerra, J. B. S. O. (2023). Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Latin-American Universities. Sustainability, 15(11), 8556. pp.1-23

Gagliardo, E. D., Saporito, R. (2021). Il Piao come strumento di programmazione integrata per la creazione di Valore pubblico. Rivista Italiana di Public Management, 4(2).

Guarini, E. , Mori, E. e Zuffada, E. (2022), "Localizing the Sustainable Development Goals: a managerial perspective", Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, Vol. 34 n. 5, pp.583-601.

Guthrie, J., Petty, R., Yongvanich, K. and Ricceri, F. (2004) ‘Using content analysis as a research method to inquire into intellectual capital reporting’, Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp.282–293.

Grano, Carolina and Vanderli Correia Prieto. “Sustainable Development Goals in Higher Education.” (2020). DOI:10.14488/ijcieom2020_full_0010_37277.

Lorren Kirsty Haywood & Mothusi Boihang (2021) Business and the SDGs: Examining the early disclosure of the SDGs in annual reports, Development Southern Africa, 38:2, 175-188, DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2020.1818548

Horan, D. A New Approach to Partnerships for SDG Transformations. Sustainability 2019, 11, 4947.

Kastberg, G.; Lagström, C. Processes of hybridization and de-hybridization: Organizing and the task at hand. Account. Audit. Account. J. 2019, 32, 710–726. doi:10.1108/AAAJ-08-2017-3103

Krippendorff, K. (2013), Content Analysis: An Introduction to its Methodology, Sage, Los Angeles, CA.

Mauro, S.G.; Cinquini, L.; Simonini, E.; Tenucci, A. Moving from Social and Sustainability Reporting to Integrated Reporting: Exploring the Potential of Italian Public-Funded Universities’ Reports. Sustainability 2020, 12, 3172.

Moore, M. H. (1995). Creating public value: Strategic management in government. Harvard University Press.

Molas-Gallart, Jordi; Salter, Ammon; Patel, Parimal; Scott, Alister; Duran, Xavier (2002). Measuring third stream activities. University of Sussex. Report.

Rosalia G. Castillo-Villar | Len Tiu Wright (Reviewing editor) (2020) Identifying determinants of CSR implementation on SDG 17 partnerships for the goals, Cogent Business & Management, 7:1, DOI: 10.1080/23311975.2020.1847989

Sachs, J.D. (2012). From Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals. In: The Lancet, vol. 379, issue 9823, pp. 2206-2211.

Spano, A. 2009. 'Public Value Creation and Management Control Systems', International Journal of Public Administration, 32, 3–4, pp.328-348.

Steccolini, I. Accounting and the post-new public management: Reconsidering publicness in accounting research. Account. Audit. Account. J. 2019, 32, 255–279

Terzo Settore e gli Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile, Rapporto 2017. (, accesso di dicembre 2023)

Urdari, C., Farcas, T.V. and Tiron-Tudor, A. (2017), "Assessing the legitimacy of HEIs’ contributions to society: The perspective of international rankings", Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 191-215.

United Nations. Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In Outcome Document for the United Nations Summit to Adopt the Post 2015 Development Agenda; United Nations: New York, NY, USA, 2015.



How to Cite

De Nicola, M., & Fratini, S. (2024). La presenza degli SDGs nei PIAO 2023-2025 delle università italiane. European Journal of Volunteering and Community-Based Projects, 1(1), 82-91. Retrieved from