The course introduces the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals for optimal understanding of UNITAR's goals and objectives. The Sustainable Development Goals course guides learners through a multi-part course to share amongst colleagues, friends and family, for effective mainstreaming of the SDGs.
Meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
This lesson introduces and explains the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the SDGs. It also compares the SDGs with the previous approach taken through the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted on 25 September 2015 with the goal to Transform Our World. The SDGs replaced the MDGs which were a series of goals between 2000 and 2015.
The 2030 Agenda is based around five interconnected pillars, referred to as FIVE P's: People, Prosperity, Peace, Partnership and Planet.
The 17 SDGs have the power to create a better world by 2030. With just 10 years to go, the Decade of Action, aims to mobilizing more government, civil society, businesses and calling on all people to make the SDGs their own. See how many SDGs you know in the following video.
Do you know all the SDGs?
The 2030 Agenda's approach is guided by certain PRINCIPLES: National ownership Universality "Leave no one behind" "Reach the furthest behind first" Integrated policies Inclusive and participatory approach Human rights-based approach
Within the Targets, it is important to think about our principle of Universality. For example, what does a universal Sustainable Development Agenda mean for different countries? Think about the differing circumstances of: Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Countries in situations of conflict Middle-income countries as well as high-income countries Everyone plays a role in our universal agenda!
Leaving No One Behind (LNOB) is our mantra. The key objectives within this mantra are: Inclusion Pro-Equity Pro-Equality
Exploring the SDGs Leave No One Behind
This lesson explains the inclusive and participatory approach within the SDGs.
The universal sustainable development agenda, as well as equity-focused projects and evaluations involves working with difficult-to-reach groups such as...
Women and Children
Linguistic and Cultural Minorities
People in remote conflict-affected areas
We should look at the SDGs as a network of targets working together to reach a unified goal. This is sometimes called "policy coherence" or "synergies and trade-offs".
To move forward, it's important we acknowledge the limitations during the MDGs: Tracked progress using national averages Limited nature of national reviews (VNPs) Insufficient emphasis on analysis and evaluation of policies and programmes Failed to identify growing disparities earlier Focused on monitoring only in global and national MDG reports How do we improve? By strengthening monitoring and national evaluation so analysis is more timely, reliable, high quality and based on disaggregated data.
The new Agenda is grounded in the...
Mainstreaming the SDGs
As we enter the Decade of Action toward 2030, many countries and organisations will have taken steps to mainstream the SDGs.
Let’s take a look at how to mainstream the SDGs widely and effectively. To do this, it's important to consider these questions:
Does your country have a national SDG plan?
Has your country completed a voluntary national review?
Are all the proposed projects in your organisation aligned with the SDGs?
Do your stakeholders know about the SDGs?
How can we mainstream the SDGs into the work we do?
Building public awareness and engaging national, sub-national and local stakeholders is an essential step for successful implementation of the SDGs.
Beyond just awareness, achieving understanding among governmental and non-governmental stakeholders is critical. This means reaching out to all levels and sectors with information tailored to their specific functions, roles and responsibilities.
This builds ownership for the SDGs, providing the foundation for its real and lasting delivery.
SDGs are a global Agenda, but linking them to local concerns is essential.
Tripartite dialogue structures (meaning having three parties) are more effective for implementation and accountability.
For example, a forum between (1) government, (2) business and (3) workers would be effective to implement change.
A crucial part of implementing the SDGs is forming partnerships with the business sector.
They have experience with integrational sustainable development and many have corporate social responsibility (CSR) principles in their planning and reporting.
Private sector innovation can bring new insights to the solution of system sustainable development issues and bring investment potential to drive local, sub-national, national and global development.
The UN Global Compact is a non-binding UN pact to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies, and to report on their implementation.
Mainstreaming the SDGs Policy Coherence
This lesson introduces policy coherence strategies followed be a relevant case study to demonstrate how they can be put into practice. Let's start with Horizontal Policy Coherance...
Horizontal Policy Coherence: Bhutan Case Study A good example of horizontal policy coherence is the Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness (GNH) Commission.
They coordinated the country’s 5-year-plan process, composed of all ministry secretaries with planning officers linking each ministry and the GNH Commission.
Vertical Policy Coherence: Uganda Case Study Here, technical staff were trained in local governments and undertook extensive quality-assurance to draft sub-national plans to facilitate alignment with the National Development Plan and SDGs.
Budgeting for the Future
Take stock of the array of financing mechanisms for the SDGs by considering all sources of financing as outlined in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.
Move towards outcome-based and participatory budgeting to support the results-based framework and participatory nature of the SDGs.
Mainstream the budget to integrate specific issues into fiscal budgets such as gender and environment.
Budgeting for the Future: Philippines Case study The Philippines initiated an assessment of how the SDGs can be mainstreamed into their budgeting process through existing public financial management reforms, such as the medium-term expenditure framework and performance-based budgeting.
To support the results-based framework of the SDGs, a government must enforce...
Monitoring, Reporting and Accountability: Egypt Case Study Egypt's national statistical agency, Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), established an SDG Coordination Unit to contextualize and set the national indicator framework necessary to monitor and track Egypt’s progress of SDGs. With the support of the UN, they are now implementing a comprehensive assessment of its capacities and data systems.
Assessing Risk and Fostering Adaptability: Kyrgyzstan Case Study Following the 2010 inter-ethnic violence in the south of Kyrgyzstan, it was recognized that a multi-sector approach was to help build bridges between communities involved in the ethnic conflict, and to support sustainable peace.
In a 6-month inception phase, a number of reports, surveys and assessments were conducted to understand the context and needs of vulnerable children, women and their families. The resulting programme design addresses inequitable access to basic services and lack of opportunity, which was identified as a driver of conflict.
The long inception phase allowed interventions to be tailored to specifics of municipal contexts. The preparatory work, and the engagement with stakeholders at the assessment and design stage, allowed UNICEF to achieve more than it had originally planned in less time than anticipated.
It was interesting to learn about how MDGs evolved into SDGs.