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SDGs update - 28 September

28 September - this week's post-2015 digest, following the UN Summit, provides a compilation of news, opinion, reports, and events on events, and related issues in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.

Flags outside UN building New York

photo: United Nations Phot va flickr.com, creative commons licence


http://community.wri.org/image/2014-email/spacer.gif·         MDG Gap Task Force Report 2015: MDG 8: Taking Stock of the Global Partnership for Development. This final report in a series on Millennium Development Goal 8 progress examines the global partnership for development, including updates on market access/trade, debt sustainability and access to affordable medicines and new technology. The report also offers lessons learned from the monitoring process: it finds that major gaps in achievement have been accompanied by a lack of quantitative, time-bound targets, whilst the indicators also proved to be mismatched with targets. A write-up by IISD with links to press releases is available here.

http://community.wri.org/image/2014-email/spacer.gif·         Susan Nicolai, Chris Hoy, Tom Berliner and Thomas Aedy (ODI): Projecting Progress: Reaching the SDGs by 2030. This flagship report shows where – if current trends continue – the world will be in 15 years with respect to progress on the 17 SDGs. Scorecards in the report find that without increased effort, none of the Goals will be met on time. The report classifies how much more quickly progress will need to be made (reform, revolution, or reversal), down to regional level. It concludes by calling for inclusivity, early action to raise country-level ambition and plan implementation, take starting points into account and learning from top performers. A related blog by ODI’s Chris Hoy is available on DevPolicy, here, infographics on Development Progress are here, and a write-up by IISD is here.

http://community.wri.org/image/2014-email/spacer.gif·         IMF: From Ambition to Execution: Policies in Support of Sustainable Development Goals.This discussion note outlines the role of the IMF to support countries in their pursuit of the SDGs and examines three areas of relevance: 1) sustainable growth; 2) inclusive growth; and 3) environmental sustainability. The note examines policies to foster sustained growth, reviews developments and policy challenges in developing countries, and looks at the importance the environmental dimension for macroeconomic stability across the development spectrum. A related write-up on the IMF’s website is available here.

http://community.wri.org/image/2014-email/spacer.gif·         OECD: The Sustainable Development Goals: An overview of relevant OECD analysis, tools and approaches. This publication summarizes the OECD’s contributions toward timely SDG achievement. It reviews OECD tools and experiences in seven key areas: 1) improving policies and the way they work together; 2) mobilising resources for sustainable development; 3) working for well-being for all; 4) ensuring the planet’s sustainability; 5) leveraging the power of partnerships; 6) strengthening data availability and capacity; and 7) facilitating follow up and review.

·         Molly Elgin-Cossart (Center for American Progress): Leave No One Behind: Taking Action to Combat Global Poverty and Inequality. This issue brief unpacks what it means to leave no one behind. It calls for governments to be held accountable for designing policies both at home and abroad to fulfill this commitment. Elgin-Cossart recommends four actions to successfully leave no one behind: 1) adopt a people-centered approach; 2) focus on those furthest behind; 3) measure success in terms of outcomes for people; and 4) ensure both action and accountability. A related press release by CAP is available here.  

http://community.wri.org/image/2014-email/spacer.gif·         Oxfam: Inequality and the end of extreme poverty. This media briefing acknowledges the successes of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), but cautions that they have also missed opportunities to make progress on issues that link closely to poverty eradication. The briefing focuses on the extent to which rising inequality has hampered poverty reduction, citing recent research, analyses and country examples to call for actions that close the gap between rich and poor. Recommendations include fair taxation, investment in healthcare and education, and equal opportunities for fair-paying jobs.

http://community.wri.org/image/2014-email/spacer.gif·         Development Initiatives: Investments to End Poverty 2015. This report looks at challenges of getting to zero poverty, the mix of resources needed to get there (including the comparative advantages of official development assistance (ODA)), and the data needed to succeed. The report also investigates the quality of the data and the potential of initiatives such as the International Aid Transparency Initiative. A related article in the Guardian by Clár Ní Chonghaile is available here.


·         Homi Kharas (Brookings): The post-2015 agenda and the evolution of the World Bank Group. This working paper argues that the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) and the SDGs represent a milestone in the changed thinking about the role of the multilateral development banks (MDBs), and in particular, the World Bank Group. It looks at how the WBG might respond to new challenges such as the wider scope of the agenda, increased ambition and therefore likely higher level of support needed by low and middle-income countries. 

http://community.wri.org/image/2014-email/spacer.gif·         Scott Vaughan (IISED): Inclusivity and Integration: The new Sustainable Development Goals and a second chance for Bretton Woods. This commentary delves into the core principle of inclusivity, its multiple connotations (extending beyond the ‘how’ of the post-2015 negotiations and ‘where’ the concept will be operationalized) and its implications for Bretton Woods institutions. It draws on “Eric Helleiner’s Forgotten Foundations of Bretton Woods” (2014) to reflect on their history whilst looking ahead to SDG implementation.

http://community.wri.org/image/2014-email/spacer.gif·         Nicole Rippin and Markus Loewe, Eds. (DIE): Translating an ambitious vision into global transformation: the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. This comprehensive review provides input for the indicators debate and the process of designing national implementation strategies. It evaluates every Goal, its subordinate targets, and their current proposed indicators, offering insight on their formulation and possible complementary indicators. A related piece by Imme Scholz in DIE’s Current Column on the relevance of the 2030 Agenda is also available, here.

http://community.wri.org/image/2014-email/spacer.gif·         SDG Philanthropy Platform: Engaging Philanthropy in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Lessons Learned and Ways Forward. This report explores the role of philanthropy as a bridge between the public and private sectors, and its increasing prevalence in emerging markets. It reviews the SDG Philanthropy Platform’s achievements, challenges, constraints, strategies for engagement and country-level opportunities for collaboration. The paper concludes by outlining philanthropic organizations’ ability to engage in multi-stakeholder partnerships and the need to scale up, in order to: achieve a wider reach, increasingly pursue advocacy and training opportunities, sharpen thematic foci, develop appropriate models of data collection, and demonstrate the universality of the agenda by launching a pilot program.

http://community.wri.org/image/2014-email/spacer.gif·         Climate Action Network: Letter to UN Missions prior to UN Post-2015 Summit. This letter congratulates member states on the finalization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, highlighting the importance of shifting efforts towards implementation and looking ahead to COP21. It proposes elements to include in the Paris agreement that will enable the achievement of the SDGs, including a Long-Term Goal for phasing out fossil fuel emissions, limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, among others.

http://community.wri.org/image/2014-email/spacer.gif·         Barbara Adams and Jens Martens (Global Policy Forum): Fit for Whose Purpose? Private funding and corporate influence in the United Nations. This report by Barbara Adams and Jens Martens follows a draft previously released in July 2015. It gives an overview of the changing landscape of global governance funding, and argues that private corporations and corporate philanthropic organizations are increasingly ‘paying to play’ in the UN, identifying gateways for entry by the business sector. The report calls for a number of actions and reforms in four areas: 1) public funding of the UN system; 2) norm and standard setting to govern interactions with the private sector; 3) governance and institutional reform; and 4) changing the dominant discourse to reclaim policy space in the UN.

http://community.wri.org/image/2014-email/spacer.gif·         Open Government Partnership: Joint Declaration on Open Government for the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This declaration welcomes the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and promotes the OGP as a platform for voluntary cooperation and learning. It declares the Partnership's commitment to 1) promote the rule of law; 2) promote public access to information; 3) support citizen participation in SDG implementation; 4) uphold the principles of open government; and 5) use OGP National Action Plans to promote transparent and accountable implementation.




http://community.wri.org/image/2014-email/spacer.gif·         United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015. Billed as the largest gathering of heads of state in history, this historic summit was held 25-27 September 2015 at UN Headquarters in New York. The program of the summit is available at the website above. A comprehensive listing of the hundreds of side events compiled by UN-NGLS, is available here. WRI co-organized two events, “A Call for Joint Action” and “Jump-starting the SDGs.” Coverage of the Summit by IISD Reporting Services may be found here.

http://community.wri.org/image/2014-email/spacer.gif·         2015 International Conference on Sustainable Development. This conference was hosted 23-24 September at Columbia University on the theme “Implementing the SDGs: Getting Started.” The program and speaker list is available at the above link.

http://community.wri.org/image/2014-email/spacer.gif·         Climate Week 2015. The above events were complemented by ‘Climate Week’ more broadly, which brought together influential global figures leading the transition to a low-carbon world. The week was marked by high-profile meetings and events throughout New York City.


OUR TOP 50+ NEWS AND BLOGS!http://community.wri.org/image/2014-email/spacer.gif

·         Andrew Steer (WRI President and CEO) on WRI’s Insights blog. "The Sublime Connection: The Pope, Poverty and the Planet."

·         Kitty van der Heijden and Manish Bapna (WRI) on WRI’s Insights blog. "Now Comes the Hard Part: 4 Key Challenges to SDGs."

·         Manish Bapna and Sean DeWitt (WRI) in the Huffington Post. "Our Fraying Ecosystems."

·         World Resources Institute Press Statement. "WRI Calls SDGs "A Bold New Agenda For International Development"."

·         Brian Lipinski (WRI) in IPS News. "Food Loss & Waste Has Got to Do a Lot with Sustainable Development."

·         Alejandra Lagunes (Government of Mexico) and Manish Bapna (WRI) on the Open Government Partnership's blog. "How Can Open Government Promote the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals."

·         Thomson Reuters spotlight on SDGs. "Can the SDGs deliver?" (Numerous articles and thinkpieces)

·         Somini Sengupta in the New York Times. "U.N. Adopts Ambitious Global Goals After Years of Negotiations."

·         London School of Economics, Africa at LSE. "Blog Series on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development." (Multiple articles)

·         Sam Jones and Carla Kweifio-Okai in the Guardian. "World leaders agree sustainable development goals – as it happened."

·         Marc Silver on NPR’s website. "What, Really, Does 'Sustainable' Mean?"

·         Sophie Yeo in the Carbon Brief. "Explainer: How does climate change fit within the Sustainable Development Goals?"

·         The Jakarta Post. "Global goals on poverty, inequality and climate change challenge business as usual: Oxfam."

·         Alex Cobham, Lukas Schlogl and Andy Sumner in the Guardian. "Top incomes drive inequality – so why does the inequality target ignore them?"

·         Ben Phillips (ActionAid International) on Global Dashboard. "The struggle over inequality: What to expect as world leaders meet in New York this week."

·         Tony Pipa (US Department of State) on DipNote. "#UNGA: Shaping Global Goals for Humanity's Future."

·         Angel Gurría (OECD Secretary-General) in the Huffington Post. "GPS for the SDGs."

Kevin J. Delaney with Bill Gates in Quartz. "Bill Gates on the most important thing the United Nations has done in this century."

·         Tim Jones (Jubilee Debt Campaign) in the Guardian. "Sustainable development goals promise little respite for indebted poor countries."

·         Winnie Byanyima (Oxfam International) on Europe’s World. "Making the SDGs a reality with fair and responsible taxation."

·         Gavin E.R. Wilson (IFC Asset Management Company) in the Huffington Post. "Billions to Trillions: Financing the Global Goals."

·         Alexandru Cujba (Secretary-General, SS-SCSD) in IPS News. "South-South Cooperation Crucial for Sustainable Development Goals."

·         James Murray in Business Green. "Businesses urged to lead pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals."

·         Barbara Adams on Social Watch. "Public SDGs or Private GGs?"

·         Murray Newlands in Forbes. "Entrepreneurs Are The Current And Future Solution For Sustainable Global Economic Development."

·         A Novozymes release on AG Professional. "Novozymes' sustainable development goals: from obligation to sound business."

·         Bono in the Irish Times. "Marshall plan needed to make sustainable development a reality."

·         Hayley Price-Kelly (IISD) on NAP Global Network. "The NAP process and the Sustainable Development Goals."

·         Henrietta Moore (UCL) in the Guardian. "The sustainable development goals: we’re all developing countries now."

·         Sarah Hearn on NYU-CIC’s blog. "The UN Global Goals: Treasure the Vision, Demand Implementation."

·         Livia Bizikova, Darren Swanson and Cory Searcy on IISD’s website. "Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals at Home."

·         Alec Crawford on IISD’s website. "Climate Change, Conflict, and the Sustainable Development Goals."

·         Jason Potts on IISD’s website. "Are Voluntary Standards Relevant to the SDGs? Three Factors that Matter."

·         Liesbeth Casier on IISD’s website. "Why Infrastructure is Key to the Success of the SDGs."

Devex has been on the scene all week with a number of pieces under New York Global Dev Week. A large – though still not fully comprehensive – selection of Devex blogs and commentaries follows:

o    Darian Stibbe, Dave Prescott (The Partnering Initiative). "Investing in the essential infrastructure to drive partnerships for the SDGs"

o    Andrew Griffiths, Philipp Schönrock, Leo Williams and Naiara Costa (Beyond 2015). "7 steps toward sustainable development by 2030."

o    Gail Hurley (UNDP). "Game, set and match: Over and out for the SDGs? Not so fast."

o    Simone Filippini (Cordaid). "SDGs: A real turning point or just impressive words on paper?"

o    Ariel Meyerstein (US Council for International Business). "3 steps to enhancing business engagement in the sustainable development agenda."

o    Keith Polo (Tukula Farming Company). "Linking smallholder and commercial farms: A strategy for tackling SDG 2

o    Carey L. Biron and Greg Scruggs (Citiscope). "Goal 11: The opportunities of the urban SDG."

o    Margaret Batty (WaterAid). "Beyond the SDGs: How to deliver water and sanitation to everyone, everywhere."

o    Tessie Tzavaras Catsambas (EnCompass). "Promoting healthy lives, access to water and well-being for all."

o    Gregory Beck (FHI 360). "A call for integrated, people-centered approaches in the post-2015 era."

o    Jessica McGlyn (Catalynics). "Pivoting to post-2015: Proving the promise of integrated development."

o    Anna Patricia Valerio. "What people really think of the SDGs."

o    Meghann Jones (Ipsos Public Affairs). "The SDGs: How will we know if we achieved them?"

·         Ahmed Baharoon (Environment Agency Abu Dhabi) with a guest article on IISD’s website. "Meeting the Sustainable Development Goal Challenge."

·         Martin Kirk (The Rules) on Fast Company. "How To Feel Good About Global Poverty."

·         Alexander Carius on adelphi’s website. "Review and Monitoring of the Post-2015 Agenda. 6 May 2015, Berlin, Germany – Chair's Conclusions."

·         Julian Egan on International Alert. "All the bells and whistles: The SDGs are here and they brought peace with them!"

·         Ben Garside with a video on IIED’s website. "Understanding the SDGs: powering Goal Seven."

·         Charles F. MacCormack (MDG Health Alliance) and Sarah S. Stroup (Middlebury College) on Open Democracy. "Will SDGs lofty ambition undermine advocacy to achieve them?"

·         Rajesh Mirchandani with Nancy Birdsall and Michael Elliott on CGDev’s website. "Does It Matter If We Don’t Achieve the SDGs?"

·         Heather Stewart in the Guardian. "‘Revolution needed’ for world to meet sustainable development goals."

·         Connor Finnegan on Mashable. "How thought leaders are working to achieve 'Global Goals'."

·         Lindsay Coates (InterAction) in the Huffington Post. "The Post-2015 Agenda: A Global Call to Increase Civil Society Space."

·         Marco Albani (Tropical Forest Alliance 2020) in the Huffington Post. "Why Partnerships for Forests are Critical to Achieving the SDGs."

·         UN News Centre. "Meeting with developing country leaders, Ban stresses universal nature of new sustainability agenda."

·         Adele Peters (Co.Exist) on Fast Company. "The UN's Global Goals Get A Rebrand To Spur People To Action."http://community.wri.org/image/2014-email/spacer.gif

·         Kanaga Raja on Third World Network. "Kanaga Raja on Third World Network."


This digest is compiled by WRI, a member of  IRF2015 — a collaboration of 10 international research institutions providing critical thinking, integrated analysis and awareness raising for a post-2015 development agenda. We welcome submissions for inclusion in the digest. Please e-mail Adam Fishman (afishman@wri.org) with suggestions, questions or comments. To subscribe to this weekly digest, along with other WRI newsletters, please visit this sign-up page on WRI’s website