The Awards Ceremony honored winners in seven categories during the Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development in Bonn, Germany, highlighting transformative action for the SDGs around the world
March 21, 2018 (Bonn) – The winners of the first United Nations SDG Action Awards have been announced this Wednesday by the UN SDG Action Campaign, demonstrating the extraordinary momentum towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in different corners of the earth.
The Awards Ceremony was held in tandem with the second edition of the Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development in Bonn, Germany, and honored initiatives in the categories of communicator, connector, includer, innovator, mobilizer, storyteller, and visualizer.
“These are ‘Action’ Awards because we need more than words: our winners dared to believe and act for change. They are perfect examples of the wonderful work that’s happening around the world led by thousands, if not millions, of people”, said Mitchell Toomey, Global Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign.
The winning initiatives are fighting corruption in Nigeria, mobilizing Belgians to implement the SDGs in their daily lives, empowering children through photography and digital skills in Bangladesh, promoting human rights education in Sri Lanka and much more. Evidencing the multi-sectoral engagement to achieve the SDGs, the winners span over private and public sectors, as well as civil society and grassroots movements.
Over 700 nominations from 125 countries in 7 continents were submitted. An expert judging panel evaluated submissions against the degree to which actions were deemed to be transformative, inclusive and impactful.
In addition, an open vote was held on the website of the UN SDG Action Campaign where visitors could rate their favorite among the 38 finalists to win the People’s Choice Award.
“Great solutions for the world’s challenges can come from anywhere. We hope everyone is inspired by these stories and consider submitting their nominations for future Awards. These are the first winners of a community that will continue to grow”, said Toomey.
Communicator – SDG Voices (City of Ghent, Belgium): The SDG Voices campaign, led by the City of Ghent, challenged cities in Belgium to encourage and mobilize Belgians to implement the SDGs in their daily lives. The campaign involved 23 different Ghent city services and departments. Nearly 6,000 citizens in 6 cities participated physically and many others took part via social media. Who accepted the award: Anja Van Den Durpel
Storyteller – Daughters of Bangladesh (Bangladesh): This initiative gave tools to five daughters of garment workers aged between 7 and 15 to explain their daily lives in a short-film documentary. Over 4 days in March 2017 they compiled enough material to raise awareness on crucial issues like the supply chain transparency and the need for empowerment of women and girls. Having the girls as the directors and protagonists of the film allows viewers to understand the challenges they face daily in their lives. Founder: Bonnie Chiu Founder and who accepted the award: Lucile Stengel
Includer – Youth Power Accountability Advocates / Restless Development (Ghana): Since 2015, this initiative has provided Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) to over 1,000 teenagers and educated 40 rural mothers on maternal health in Ghana. Some of the girls who benefitted from the education and services were able to avoid pregnancy and stay in school. Founder and who accepted the award: Richard Mawutor Dzikunu
People’s Choice Award – Road to Rights (Sri Lanka): The Road to Rights is a unique platform where ideas get pumped up from youth. As a youth-led organization, the team works for educating and empowering young people through human rights education and 2030 agenda. The organization is established in 18 different countries where it uses sport, art, ICTs, tourism and other tools to engage people to educate themselves on their rights, responsibilities and goals. Founder and who accepted the award: Ashan Perera
Visualizer – Global Goals for Local Impact / Open Institute (Kenya): The changemakers behind this project have collected Citizen Generated Data from every household in Lanet Umoja, Kenya, on all aspects relating to the SDGs, including security, food, agriculture, livelihoods, education, health, energy, water and sanitation. They have worked with community leaders in Kenya so they could understand the value of data in identifying the development gaps and the needs that they must address in order to achieve the SDGs. Founder: Al Kags. Who accepted the award: Benjamin Charagu
Mobilizer – SDG Youth Morocco (Morocco): Working to pave the way towards achieving the Agenda 2030 in the North-African country and the rest of the region, this initiative was created to express Moroccan youth’s engagement towards reaching the 17 Goals, with the aim to educate and empower Moroccans to achieve Agenda 2030, through the initiation and facilitation of partnerships between government officials, civil society institutions, youth voices and the UN SDG Action Campaign to break barriers. Founder and who accepted the award: Hatim Aznague
Innovator – “Creative Youth Initiative Against Corruption (CYIAC) Corruption Busters” (Nigeria): The CYIAC anti-corruption awareness campaign “CYIAC Corruption Busters (CCB)” targeted the general public in Nigeria to draw attention to corrupt practices associated with their everyday life and its unimaginable negative impact on individuals and society. The campaign was launched in December, 2017 to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day. So far, it has reached over 1 million people through CCB TV channel on cyiac.com, social media engagement and “Corruption Busters goes to School”, a special school programme. Founder and who accepted the award: Foluke Michael
Connector – Unreasonable Goals (USA): Unreasonable Goals is a first of its kind initiative with the singular focus of accelerating our ability to achieve the SDGs by operating at the nexus of policy governments, finance, multinationals, and the world’s most promising impact entrepreneurs. Each year, until 2030, the team at Unreasonable Group will bring together highly scalable entrepreneurial solutions armed with bleeding edge technologies and match them, during a two week gathering, with world-class mentors as well as select foundations, sovereign wealth funds, policy makers, multinational executives, government officials, and private equity firms to help scale-up their efforts to meet the SDGs. Founder: Daniel Epstein. Who accepted the award: Dave Smith
ABOUT THE UN SDG ACTION CAMPAIGN
The UN SDG Action Campaign is a special initiative of the UN-Secretary General, administered by the UNDP to create awareness about the 2030 Agenda, empower and inspire people across the world to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while generating political will, and help make the Goals attainable by 2030. For more information, please visit https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org.
ABOUT THE GLOBAL FESTIVAL OF ACTION
The Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development is the world´s annual event to celebrate, empower, and connect the global community driving Action for the Sustainable Development Goals.
Organised by the UN SDG Action Campaign with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Festival connects an inspiring mix of business leaders, activists, UN representatives, academia, governments, innovators, global organisations, and the media from across the globe. Taking place in Bonn each year, the Festival provides a dynamic and interactive space to showcase the latest innovations, tools, and approaches to SDG action and connect organizations and individuals from different sectors and regions to exchange, build partnerships, and make the impact of their solutions scale.
A solution to bring inaccessible data to decision-makers – and it’s not magic!
A solution to bring inaccessible data to decision-makers – and it’s not magic!
In most places in the developing world, information is still recorded on paper registers, and most of this data never makes it to a digital format. If it does become digitized, it is often stored in local languages, unstructured formats and extremely difficult to extract. To make matters worse, data is often housed in siloed, disconnected systems that just don’t talk to each other. With data this problematic, how can anyone track and accelerate the SDGs?
The initiative SocialCops in collaboration with the United Nations, active in India and Papua New Guinea, came up with a promising answer!
The SDG Solution developed by SocialCops in collaboration with the UN RCO office in India uses proprietary technology to generate and aggregate real-time data, then analyze and visualize a complete data-driven picture for every one of the 17 SDGs. With a data-driven approach to measuring progress towards Agenda 2030, their solution helps governments, nonprofits and foundations bring together data from anywhere – from web services and APIs to inaccessible PDF tables and primary surveys. By conquering problematic data and data sources, top decision-makers can finally consolidate their efforts across different sectors, measure their impact, find better solutions, and accelerate development.
The SocialCops-UNIndia SDG solution empowers decision-makers across different levels of the development sphere to make better, more data-driven decisions to accelerate the SDGs through their organization’s work. The solution is currently being implemented in three different contexts: at a national level in India with data from the government’s social welfare initiatives; across the private sector by the Business Council of Papua New Guinea to track the impact of corporate giving and throughout the state of Maharashtra’s gram panchayats (GPs, or self-governing village councils) to develop digital GP Development Plans and streamline participatory planning.
While launching its SDGs4Businesses dashboard (developed in partnership with UNDP and the Business Council of Papua New Guinea), the former UN Resident Coordinator for Papua New Guinea Roy Trivedi remarked: “Working with SocialCops has brought a wealth of cutting-edge data analytics and software engineering to PNG… They have worked around the clock to prepare this dashboard in record time and I am very proud of the result.”
The solution is still under implementation in India and Papua New Guinea, but the governments and United Nations have envisioned it as a North Star to guide and target all development programs and activities. Once the solution is complete, each country will be able to track every aspect of its progress toward achieving the SDGs, identify what is hindering its progress in real time, and align all development programs — at the central or state level, implemented by governments or NGOs — to focus on the indicators, sectors and geographies that will maximize progress toward Agenda 2030.
When real people share the changes they are adopting in their lifestyles to be more sustainable (and you can help imitating them!)
When real people share the changes they are adopting in their lifestyles to become more sustainable (and you can help by imitating them!)
Despite commitments to fight climate change, actions do not match those required to limit global temperature increases to below 2°C. We need to convince people that adopting more sustainable lifestyles is the key to increase well-being. People are in search of an inspirational vision. The SDGs provide such a vision: by covering issues as diverse as urban planning, inequalities, agriculture, transports, which are all important aspects of sustainable development and climate policies. The 17 SDGs and their specific targets offer a path to a shared desirable future.
The project Our Life 21 (OL21) aims at allowing individuals to develop a positive perspective within this framework. It captures the prospective stories of 40 hypothetical families in 9 different countries (France, Germany, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, China, India, Peru, and Senegal) for a sustainable future in 2030. Most of these stories have been developed during specific workshops. The shadow activity of the families, with different sociodemographic backgrounds and lifestyle patterns, are further analyzed on the basis of quantified energy scenarios.
Stéphanie was a participant of OL21. The team allowed her to reflect upon her own lifestyles patterns and identify the changes through which she could take action to reach the future she desires. She has reduced the impacts of transports in her life (short circuit for food, holidays…). As she was so conscious of the need for transformation, she quit her job: now, she wants to take part in the development of alternative solutions. Personal, sincere and empathic narratives foster SDG’s ownership, as each person is considered an essential part of the collective journey towards sustainability.
Since 1993, 4D Association has created meaningful connections and learning processes on sustainable development and associated transformative actions. Few civil society organisations work on such cross-cutting issues, from the very local to the global level. To further mobilize civil society, the initiative will launch the platform We are the SDGs (March 2018) to facilitate the networking of changemakers and to collect data on local experimentations. The platform uses an SDG criteria to match individuals and projects: the more cross-cutting a project, the more collaboration opportunities. Thus, the platform fosters peer-to-peer learning and partnerships. During the SDG week, this initiative will promote frontrunner projects, selected according to different criteria (impact, transversality, replicability…), in articles and public events. In addition, they will take this opportunity to strengthen coordination between civil society organizations for an effective SDG implementation in France and in Europe.
The impact of the program will continue to grow as households are empowered by giving them the information they need to take action to accelerate adoption of cleaner energy solutions and better nutrition. Reaching people at scale with evidence based, informative, yet also entertaining and motivating content, can have a transformational impact in making progress toward the SDGs across the globe.
Make it household data, make a real implementation
Capturing local household data for impactful SDG implementation
The changemakers behind this project took the position that the sustainable development goals are best achieved by citizens at subnational level, based on their experience. They therefore set out to demonstrate that this is actually possible and that citizens, when properly organized, can achieve these goals using every household’s data.
They worked with the community leaders to understand the value of data in identifying the
development gaps and the needs that they must address in order to achieve the goals in
their area. Thanks to the support of the community they were able to collect Citizen Generated Data from every household in Lanet Umoja (12,500) on all aspects relating to the SDGs, including security, food, agriculture, livelihoods, education, health, energy, water and sanitation.
This is a fairly new concept globally and certainly in Africa. They are now moving their initiative to work with 12 locations (approx, 200,000 households) to replicate the work they are doing there. But they are also working with the government to mainstream our model nationally. The Open Institute works with governments, civil society, private sector companies, media organisations and others to realize citizen-driven open societies in Africa, managed by informed, fact-driven citizens.
The collected data was visualized on a portal which can be viewed at
http://datalocal.info/lanet to enable the entire community to access it and analyze what it
meant to them. The community was able to identify a number of key needs in the location –
there was no health centre in the whole location, households that were led by women were
affected by insecurity and that while there was water in the location and there was a high
prevalence of waterborne diseases.
Their aim is to do this through various community-level initiatives and forging partnerships with other organizations in this space. Through their work, the people behind this initiative aim to achieve two main changes in our societies: they want to see governments that proactively open everything that is relevant to development into the public light and to give value to citizen voices.
The relevant necessity of spreading the SDGs at a country level
Spreading the SDGs at country level
IMAGINE 2030 is an initiative of the UN team in Bosnia and Herzegovina, designed to promote the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Global Agenda through the use of “strategic foresight” and the innovative and interactive SDG consultations tool with elements and the dynamics of social games through which the participants create together, and in a very democratic manner, find imaginative solutions around a selected sustainable development goal or a specific task or a problem.
To date, over 1,200 people were engaged through the SDG workshops Information gathered include negative and positive associations about the past; negative and positive associations about the present; their visions for the future; their perspectives on what key societal values BiH needs to strive for; and information on key actions and elements that need to be in place to achieve the SDGs. Additionally, citizens prioritized SDGs and targets and problem-solved SDG targets adjusted to the local context.
In the process, citizens have elaborated hundreds of brilliant ideas and have identified numerous accelerators for sustainable development. The people behind the project would like to upscale the tool globally. Adaptation would be very simple for any country or organization that would be interested to try the approach and engage citizens with the SDGs directly. Citizen participation is at the core of the sustainable development and citizens need to have a voice in shaping policies and priorities for development and determine their future together with decision makers.
The project’s core is that everyone engaged through the workshops left with clear understanding about the complexity of the task ahead and understanding that the change needs to start with each individual. Though this initiative, citizens are ultimately being empowered to co-create the future with all other relevant stakeholders and ‘nudge’ them to embrace responsibility to also co-change that imagined future.
The new word you need to know is “mapicles” (maps+articles)
The new word you need to know is “mapicles” (maps+articles)
The main objective of this initiative is to represent technical data, resources and statistics using maps which can be more visually understood by the general public. This makes for a better interpretation of any contentious social issues using factual, colorful and simplified maps. According to a 2016 Microsoft survey, humans have an average attention span of just eight seconds. Based on this finding, it is safe to conclude that public representation of data on topical issues including those related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) must be catchy and thought-provoking.
Nigeria In Maps is an online catalog of maps about Nigeria on current national issues. The articles that go with each map have been coined as “Mapicles”. Data gathering from developing countries can be quite challenging, including data currency, accuracy, availability and accessibility. Anyone with the experience of working with data can relate to these challenges but this initiative is for the benefit of the general public and humanity.
After several months of searching for publicly available Nigerian data, the changemaker behind the project was able to produce thematic maps on health, gender equality, security, population, finance, politics and general knowledge. Shortly after the launch of Nigeria In Maps, Anadolu – the largest news agency in the Middle East published an article on Boko Haram based on a map-video from the website. These maps show that available data can become valuable if properly communicated. More “thought-provoking” maps will be produced and hopefully this idea will be replicated in other developing countries.