Sindh Community Foundation

The one with people from regions of Pakistan owning the SDGs and pushing their politicians to act

Pakistanis taking ownership of the SDGs and pushing their politicians to act

Localizing the implementation of the SDGs should involve –without a doubt– local people to provide their views and have the opportunity to express priorities and solutions with their perspective. That is always a challenge, but it can be even more when we talk about a region in Pakistan.

This initiative has invited mostly women, young people, peasants and laborers from the Sindh province to go through a training on SDGs in order to better understand them and then be able to express priority to possible solutions with their knowledge and engagement. These groups were involved in planning, discussion and learning processes regarding the SDGs commitment and implementation.

The intervention took place in 10 local districts that had their own advocacy groups. In Sukkur district, youth negotiated with district administration for allocating budget for youth development and women councilors negotiated in district budget sessions for providing women toilets in busy shopping areas of city and safe drinking water. In the district of Hyderabad, participants have formed alliance to talk with district administration for safe and resilient city planning.

Participant’s push to solve development issues relevant to all SDGs has actually put pressure on the government’s side in order to take serious planning and resource allocations at local level. This project has the will to keep on strengthening and expanding more alliances in other provinces of Pakistan as well as building capacities of NGOs to pursue SDG implementation. Furthermore, the initiative will provide social accountability tools for youth, women and peasants and laborers to negotiate with their elected representatives and district level resource providers.

Who is behind this?

Sindh Community Foundation

For more information:

Visit https://www.dawn.com/news/1323399

Youth SDG Action Morocco

The Youth SDG Action Morocco’s inspiration led to action, and their action leads to real change. The group is Working to pave the way towards achieving the 2030 Agenda in this North-African country, this initiative was created to engage Moroccan youth in reaching the 17 Goals

The Youth SDG Action Morocco’s inspiration led to action, and their action leads to real change. The group is Working to pave the way towards achieving the 2030 Agenda in this North-African country, this initiative was created to engage Moroccan youth in reaching the 17 Goals

Inspiration happens! From the first edition of the UN SDG Festival last year which ignited the spark of change that brought together rebellious spirits from all over Morocco to create the Sustainable Development Youth association. Working to pave the way towards achieving the Agenda2030 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.

The change maker’s engagement is fueled by the desire of making Morocco a pioneer in achieving Agenda 2030. The uniqueness of their work lays in the launch of a national campaign to promote the SDGs (the first of its kind in the MENA region), and the training and advisory they provide to civil society in order to elaborate concrete solutions to fulfill the SDGs. Accordingly, the project is a major partner of the UN SDG Action Campaign for the MY World initiative in the MENA region and is currently involved in projects with NGOs and Government Institutions.

The aim here is to push for the SDGs in an innovative way, create a network of leaders and gather the maximum of votes and stories that translate citizens’ voices. This initiative’s work in Morocco has changed the vision of many. Including Meryem, who never heard of the SDGs prior our SDGs academy in Agadir, with the support of UNIC Morocco, Climate Change summit and MY World. Following her participation, Meryem was engaged in more than 15 workshops to popularize the SDGs as the project’s coordinator in the region of Casablanca and she is in the process of creating her own association with a focus on decent work and economic growth. This effect may not seem big at first, but it is in a world where equality is aspired, better life quality expected and climate sustainability pursued. Only a true recognition of dialogue’s importance, an honest belief in the power of the SDGs to change the world, would help envision the crucial/far-reaching impact of this association’s work.

The team is wholeheartedly convinced that Impact starts with people, empowerment is a result of involvement, and inspiration is the fruit of our deeds. This initiative is one of the first to be launched in the Arab region, which aspires to reach more targets and create regional coordination bureaus in North Africa and the Middle East, to allow exchange of best practices through fellowship programs, SDG Academies, Youth councils and common research.

All this, inspired still by the reason why it all started: advocacy for Moroccan youth’s implication in decision making through the creation of local and global partnerships.

Who is behind this?

The Sustainable Development’s Youth Association, Morocco

The People’s Summit / The Night Trek for The SDGs

Reaching the SDGs is literally a hike at night (and you have to light up the way to the summit!)

Reaching the SDGs is literally a hike at night (and you have to light up the way to the summit!)

This project looked inside Norway’s national hiking culture to reach the peak. It is thanks to this hiking culture -“turkultur”- that even shy Norwegians opened up to help each other. That is why the team decided to create the world’s first true SDG summit on top of two of Norway’s most popular hiking mountains. And in order to put our “turkultur” to the test, participants would climb to the summits in the dark. This idea was born by wanting to show that collaboration and fellowship are key to achieving the SDGs and believing that these qualities are inherent in all of us.

The team created a Facebook invitation and used targeted marketing, bloggers, local and national media to attract people from all across the country. Together with local municipalities, the Red Cross, the Norwegian Trekking Association and hundreds of volunteers they erected 17 light stops along the trails: Each one inviting the passing hikers to learn more about the goals. In 2016 and 2017, 20,000 hikers joined the treks up Gaustatoppen and Keiservarden. The participants lit up the trail for each other and learned about some of the most important messages of our time. Together they created spectacular human light chains that became powerful symbols of what we can achieve together. The starting point was that in 2016, only 35% of Norwegians knew that the SDGs existed, so the target was to increase awareness of the SDGs in the entire population of Norway by 10 percent in 2017.

From the summit, the message was spread through social media: using bloggers, musicians, UN agencies and even the Prime Minister as the project’s ambassadors. The campaign generated over 100 media stories including coverage in all major national media outlets. The films from the events have been viewed over 5.5 million times in social media.

But most importantly: awareness of the SDGs increased by 15%. Today, 50% of Norwegians know that the SDGs exist. This campaign started in 2016 and the idea is to continue the initiative throughout 2018 and 2019, initiating SDG events all over Norway. The People’s Summit will be expanded with seminars, outdoor activities, school activities and continue with night treks for the SDGs. All of it bound together with a social media campaign with films and pictures to tell the great stories of new communities and cities that has started their transformation towards 2030. The new goal now is that by 2020 65% of the Norwegian population is aware of the SDGs.

Chef´s manifesto

Cooking sustainable development from the kitchen and beyond

Cooking sustainable development from the kitchen and beyond

Chefs influence what we grow, what we put on our plates and how we think and talk about food. The changemakers behind this project felt chefs could be powerful advocates for a better food future – motivating people to make changes in their kitchens and communities and empowering them to call on governments and companies to also play their part. Disruptive new voices like chefs could help translate SDGs into a language that resonates with the public and inspires them to take the action that will contribute to delivery of the goals.

Tackling food system challenges – such as undernutrition, food waste and soil degradation – is hugely complex. Success relies on everyone getting involved. By creating an online community and a Chefs’ Manifesto with simple, practical guidance on engaging in the SDGs, this initiative saw an opportunity to amplify existing activity, promote innovation and solutions and empower chefs all over the world to help deliver a more sustainable food system.

The SDG2 Advocacy Hub was uniquely placed to lead the initiative as it could draw on the expertise of Hub members – from NGOs to business and culinary organizations – to create a new movement for food. Over the last six months, the SDG2 Advocacy Hub has established a community of 130+ chefs from 38 countries who worked together to create a Chefs’ Manifesto. This is a document written by chefs, for chefs, synthesizing the SDGs into 8 thematic areas that chefs are most interested in tackling. The Manifesto is underpinned by an Action Plan which provides practical activities across each thematic area that chefs can take to contribute to the SDGs and inspire others to act. The Hub is also collating content and case studies of best practice across the chef network – from innovative ways of tackling food waste in kitchens to examples of chef-led social action in communities.

Notably, the initiative has helped give voice to chefs from all over the world and helped champion their vital role in engaging people in SDG 2 action. For instance, a group of chefs from India, UK, Venezuela and Cameroon presented the Manifesto at the Global Nutrition Summit in Milan in November 2017- providing an opportunity for the individual chefs to both profile their own work but also the power of collective action. The initiative will aim to change lives by equipping chefs all over the world with a simple set of actions to contribute to the SDGs and a ‘one-stop shop’ where they can access and share information that will help them drive change through their kitchens and in their communities.

The project´s aim is to continue to grow the chef network and engagement from all over the world – ensuring that the community is as inclusive and representative of the diverse role of chefs as possible. The Action Plan will be turned into a practical toolkit (translated into French, Spanish and English, in the first instance) which will serve as clear guidance for chefs as how they can – through areas such as purchasing power, kitchen practices and consumer education – contribute to the SDGs.

Who is behind this?

SDG2 Advocacy Hub

Unreasonable Goals

Each year until 2030 the team at Unreasonable Group will bring together highly scalable solutions armed with leading edge technologies and match them, during a two week gathering, with world-class mentors, select foundations, sovereign wealth funds, policy makers, multinational executives, and private equity firms to help scale-up their efforts to meet the SDGs.

Each year until 2030 the team at Unreasonable Group will bring together highly scalable solutions armed with leading edge technologies and match them, during a two week gathering, with world-class mentors, select foundations, sovereign wealth funds, policy makers, multinational executives, and private equity firms to help scale-up their efforts to meet the SDGs.

Unreasonable Goals is a first of its kind initiative with the singular focus of accelerating our ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by operating at the nexus of policy governments, finance, multinationals, and the world’s most promising impact entrepreneurs.  This matters because every year, more than $120B is spent in international development assistance, yet this system has yet to produce the game-changing results we all know are needed.

Unreasonable Goals is designed to bring new problem solvers to the table: profitable entrepreneurs with cutting edge technologies that can, in partnership with governments and select multinationals worldwide, measurably, and with financially sustainable models, solve the SDGs. During its first year, this initiative cohort of 16 world-changing ventures hailed from all over the globe with operations spanning a variety of sectors, disciplines, and markets – from managing direct trade cacao sourcing and distribution in Guatemala, to producing off-grid wave powered clean energy in Australia, to operating the first Fair Trade Apparel company on the continent of Africa. Collectively the cohort positively impacts the lives of over 8.1 million individuals directly and in a measurably way and has operations and sales reaching 68 countries.

Furthermore, the 16 ventures represent the job-creators of tomorrow around sustainable industries and are already actively supporting more than 2,000 jobs. To-date the cohort has raised $170.9 million in collective funding since the program’s launch in July 2017. These 16 entrepreneurs were uniquely positioned to each solve one of the first 16 SDG’s and the 17th “entrepreneur” representing the 17th goals was the US government itself via the State Department.

This initiative will be running annually through 2030 and each year will host the program in partnership with a new international government. The ultimate aim is to create a program where innovative entrepreneurs, governments, and values aligned multinational corporations can all collaborate towards the goal of ending poverty, globally, in all its forms. The project’s vision is that each SDG is intertwined in such a way that none can be solved individually or in silos.

Who is behind this?

Daniel Epstein

For more information:

Visit https://unreasonablegroup.com/ 

NDC-SDG Connections

Global agreements are okay but… let´s bring some action!

Major global agreements, overlapping agendas –  Finding synergies to take action!

In an ever increasingly complex world we are observing a multitude of documents that contain concrete national commitments to the global common good of sustainable development. The two guiding global agreements -the Paris Climate Agreement and the 2030 Agenda- seek to halt climate change and foster sustainable development within planetary boundaries. To keep a systematic overview on these multiple commitments, to identify gaps where action is needed and to foster learning across countries and regions, NDC-SDG Connections visualises how concrete climate action commitments in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of countries can support the achievement of a multitude of SDGs and their targets at global, regional and national level.

NDC-SDG Connections provides a knowledge hub for thematic connectivity of the two global agendas that are kept separate in implementation but benefit heavily from thematic complementarity in implementation. This knowledge hub has been taken up very positively by nation states, asking for support to deepen their national dialogue of stakeholders to achieve the two agendas as one, as well as at UN level to foster synergies between the two agendas and achieve the global common good of sustainable development.

In a next step, this knowledge hub aims at integrating the actions and commitments countries have given in their sustainable development processes to implement the 2030 Agenda in order to truly carve out at global, regional and national level the thematic overlaps and gaps between the two agendas. Knowing about overlaps allows reducing redundancies in activities, identifying the gaps is of utmost importance to strengthen action to leave no one behind.

This initiative aims at stimulating the thematic dialogue across policy sectors to implement both agendas consistently and to provide a platform for learning from each other and jointly contributing to sustainable development for all and within our planetary boundaries.

Who is behind this?

Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) / Stockholm Environment Institute

For more information:

Visit http://ndc-sdg.info/

“Leave no one behind” campaign

“Let´s be together, let´s be inclusive, let´s be united and leave no one behind / Hold hands in hands and move forward / Leave no one behind, say this together”. This is how the song of this campaign begins!

Advocacy in Pakistan sets the beat and everyone should be dancing

“Let´s be together, let´s be inclusive, let´s be united and leave no one behind / Hold hands in hands and move forward / Leave no one behind, say this together”.

This is how the song of the “Leave no one behind” campaign begins. Its original language is in Urdu, the official language of Pakistan and it was broadcasted through radio and social media across the country. Policies- to-action forums were also organized across the country, as a campaign during the last 500 days of the Millenium Development Goals (MDG) and to help kick off the post-2015 consultations with different stakeholders including governments, academia, companies, media, students and the most marginalized and socially excluded groups like religious and sexual minorities. Almost all of them were unaware of the MDGs and wanted to be part of such transformative agenda.

Based upon the “Leave no one behind” campaign and findings of the consultations, the team developed a documentary and a song in Urdu to popularize the MDG/SDGs agenda to the masses.  AwazCDS/PDA is now the only leading platform in the country that has mobilized the people from all walks of life for better understanding and implementing the SDGs through better governance and greater accountability. This initiative has also sensitized the parliamentarians in Pakistan who have been engaged in SDG taskforces at national and provincial levels to oversee the implementation of the goals.

The national government has institutionalized the creation of SDG Units at planning and development levels in order to introduce the 2030 Agenda in annual and multiyear developmental and financial plans. AwazCDS/Pakistan Development Alliance is now in the process of carrying out a mapping / gap analysis of the CSOs/ private sector engagement in the implementation of SDGs by the national and provincial governments. The mapping will help the team develop a robust advocacy plan for pushing both governments and private sector/ CSOs to join hands together for achieving the commitments made under the 2030 agenda.

Moreover, the project has also conducted a national survey in Pakistan to prioritize the SDGs and interestingly Goal 16 was recommended as the top priority of various stakeholders and governments too. The campaign has also pushed the national Government to join the Voluntary National Review (VNR) process and there is a commitment from the Pakistani leaders to conduct a VNR in 2019.

Who is behind this?

AwazCDS / Pakistan Development Alliance

For more information:

Visit www.pda.net.pk

Beat Explorers

Parents think you are receiving lessons, you think you are beatboxing (and everyone is right)

Parents think you are in therapy, you think you are beatboxing (and everyone is right)

Take, for example, this problem: Young people in need of speech therapy know that speech therapy is hard. It is a frustrating and difficult process especially when trying to carry over lessons into real speech improvement and eventual independence. Many of the existing teaching methods themselves are in fact, effective, however they are also uninspiring, often failing to intrinsically motivate the student to want to improve him/herself. The students are bored to tears during their speech therapy sessions, but they do it because ultimately it is necessary and it does work.

However, this initiative has a transformative magic program improving this therapy through beatboxing. The changemakers behind the project imagined a tool, a technology, to make speech therapy fun, interactive, and creatively empowering. The impact of this curriculum may disrupt the entire field and positively affect the lives of tens of millions of young people. One student in particular, Diego (7 years old), joined the sessions with several articulation issues, but left with those issues markedly improved. To him, he was just beatboxing. But to his parents and doctors, he had adopted a set of practices that improved his speech. This is a vibrant arts education nonprofit organization that empowers youth and artists by creating solutions to real-world issues through creative self-expression rooted in Hip Hop culture.

The problem that this initiative is solving is a problem of accessibility. In this day and age, there are no boundaries to information. However, making information appealing and engaging is another struggle entirely. Our organization focuses on activities and art forms that youth find inherently fun to solve real world problems. Now, the next challenges of the project are growth, scalability, and sustainability. Specifically, the entrepreneurs are designing a set of online lesson plans and games that use beatboxing, verbal expression, and music as tools for speech therapy. But they are also growing programming that teach nutrition and healthy living through bboying/bgirling. This programming can actually be used to get youth engaged with any of the SDGs. While making art is the core of all of our curricula, the goal can be changed for any program’s specific needs.

 

Who is behind this?

James Kim

For more information:

Visit www.beatglobal.org

Daughters of 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.

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.

Remember the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Dhaka? When this tragedy occurred, many media published stories condemning the subhuman conditions of the garment workers, until then overlooked. Now it’s been almost 5 years and we see that little has been done in spite of all the rhetoric by businesses and governments. The stories told by journalists have not had the expected impact BUT… what is the result when the power of storytelling is in the hands of the people in the field?

Having the girls as the directors and protagonists of the film allows viewers to understand the challenges in their lives.  It shows how the seemingly harmless appearance of 5 girls can be transformed into an advocacy weapon, as the documentary is being screened in many cities around the globe.

Today, there are people that know the story of Hafiza, whose mother works in a garment factory but fell ill. This unfortunate situation has left all care responsibilities for the family to the young girl, who also takes care of her younger brother. They can’t watch TV at home as her mother suffers from a hearing problem caused by noise pollution in the factory. Through this video journalism project, not only she is able to gain confidence to speak publicly for the first time during the documentary screening in Dhaka, but she has also been able to develop a close friendship with other girls in the programme, and to acquire digital and filmmaking skills which can help her in her future career. Unfortunately, Bangladesh is only one of the many countries impacted by unfair garment production so this project could be replicated in other countries such as India, Indonesia and Cambodia to scale up its impact.

Who is behind this?

Bonnie Chiu

For more information:

Visit http://lensational.org/