3-country study illustrates how perceptions data can complement official national data sources and build a fuller picture of people’s daily experiences across SDG targets areas
One-third of people in Sri Lanka know about the SDGs. Evidence suggests that awareness is growing around the world but there is still a very long way to go. In Lebanon 24% of people have heard of the SDGs, but in some countries, such as Romania, awareness of the SDGs is a mere 8% of the population. Across all three countries younger people are more likely to know about the SDGs than older people.
These are among the findings of a 2018 MY World representative study which asked residents in the 3 countries about the SDGs and levels of public services in their daily lives. The study worked with local research agencies in Romania, Lebanon, and Sri Lanka to carry out 1,000 face-to-face surveys in each country. Respondents were systematically sampled and statistically weighted to be representative of the national population in each country with respect to sex, region, and urbanity. The 24 questions, drawn from the MY World question library, were intended to inform discussions at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, around its key 2018 theme of Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies and the 3 countries were selected from the list of countries presenting Voluntary National Reviews this year.
The study aimed to link discussions around SDG delivery with the public perceptions of access to key services and to identify some of the pressing issues in the different countries. For instance, more than 40% of Lebanese people always or often have problems accessing both electricity and clean drinking water whereas this is much rarer in both Romania and Sri Lanka. But of the three countries Lebanon reported the highest levels of improvements in cleanliness of playgrounds in the past year.
Romanians are more likely than Sri Lankans to have a recycling facility close to their home (45% compared to 34%), but Sri Lankans were far more likely to use the service. Seventy percent of Sri Lankans reported that they had recycled the last bottle they had used and 71% also believed the bottle was recycled – compared to 44% and 51% in Romania.
With respect to public transit, Sri Lanka had the lowest availability of service among the three countries. But interestingly, this was not perceived as problem, with 80% of people saying they are quite satisfied of very satisfied with this level of service.
Several of these finding help to demonstrate the value of capturing and comparing public perceptions of services beyond merely referencing the service delivery indicators from official statistics. We see that the demand for and satisfaction with services may seem to contrast with the actual level of service delivery.
The study is part of a longer-term collaboration between the UN SDG Action Campaign and Paragon Partnerships to deepen analytical capacity across the 17 SDGs and of citizen perceptions of progress toward the SDGs. The study demonstrates the tremendous potential for private research firms to contribute valuable citizen perception insights into the heart of the SDG reporting processes. Governments and the UN can access timely data on SDG targets at national level and track progress on the 17 SDGs over time.
See the presentation andwatch the side event(1hr12mins – 1hr18mins) at the High Level Political Forum where this study was presented by Jordan Robinson, Director for the Development Practice, Kantar Public as a member of Paragon Partnerships.
This study was generously conducted and supported by:
Thousands of high-level representatives from governments, civil society and the private sector will gather at the annual High-level Political Forum (HLPF) this month to take stock of progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and discuss successes, challenges and lessons learnt on the road to a fairer, more peaceful and prosperous world on a healthy planet by 2030.
Forty-seven countries will submit their Voluntary National Review (VNRs) – an important, evidence-based platform to highlight national implementation. Since the launch of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the number of countries presenting VNRs has more than doubled from 22 in 2016. With this year’s Forum, more than 120 countries would have submitted their reviews, showing commitment to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time. The Forum also brings together leaders from all sectors of society, including the business community and civil society.
This year’s Forum will review in depth six out of the 17 SDGs under the theme, “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies.” The set of goals to be reviewed include:
Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development (reviewed yearly)
Cruise Terminal, Pier 90, 711 12th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Peace Boat will visit New York City this July 12-13, in the first of two visits in 2018 (next is October 29-30). This visit, during Peace Boat’s 98th Global Voyage, coincides with the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, and Peace Boat will hold an inaugural Partnership Expo onboard
This event will highlight the importance of partnerships for transformation toward resilient and sustainable societies and showcase various initiatives toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
The UN SDG Action Campaign will be part of the exhibition area showcasing Humans of MY World, information on results coming from the MY World survey and providing UN Virtual Reality experiences to visitors.
Trusteeship Council Chamber in the UN Conference Building
During the side event the UN SDG Action Campaign will join the panel jointly with one of our key partners, Paragon –a network of marketing research groups- who conducted a representative research using My World 2030 survey in Lebanon, Sri Lanka and Romania. The research aims at collecting citizen’s perception data on the status of SDG’s progress in these countries, with focus on the SDG that will be reviewed during this HLPF . The results and analysis will be presented at the event to assist decision-makers in SDG review activities and planning.
Side Event: Role of ODA for Sustaining Peace and SDGs
Fri 13 July 2018 , 4-6 pm
Venue : Conference room (2/F.) Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea (RoK) to the UN
Peace is one of the core values and principles in SDGs and it need to be translated into strategies and program on the ground. Official development assistance (ODA) is one of the important means of implementation and it need to be maximized for transformative impact. The Panel aims at developing nexus approach by linking ODA to peacebuilding and sustaining peace as a way to preventing violent conflicts which is a necessary precondition for full achievement of the SDGs, and proposals for the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) future role and strategies.
The UN SDG Action Campaign will be speaking at the panel and share its experience on how youth engagement and activation to advance the SDGs can contribute to creating a solid foundation for local peace and sustainable development.
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI), a partnership between several UN entities, was created in 2012 in the run-up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). With commitments from over 300 universities from around the world, HESI accounted for more than one-third of all the voluntary commitments that were launched at Rio+20. The initiative provides higher education institutions with a unique interface between higher education, science, and policy-making. More information: https://www.sdgbusinessforum.org/
SDG Media Zone (16 to 17 July)
The SDG Media Zone at HLPF will feature a diversity of speakers, including business, civil society and United Nations leaders and influencers, who will discuss a range of topics, including sustainable fashion, biodiversity, data and technology, and clean energy. More information: http://www.un.org/sdgmediazone/
Ministerial Segment of HLPF (16-18 July)
More than 80 Ministers are expected to attend the three-day Ministerial Segment, including to present their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). The 47 countries presenting VNRs are Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Benin, Bhutan, Cabo Verde, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Greece, Guinea, Hungary, Ireland, Jamaica, Kiribati, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Namibia, Niger, Paraguay, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Congo, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sri Lanka, State of Palestine, Sudan, Switzerland, Togo, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, and Viet Nam. More information: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/vnrs/
Local and Regional Governments’ Forum (16 July)
At the first-ever Local and Regional Governments’ Forum, Mayors from the world’s major cities will come together to discuss the importance of localizing the 2030 Agenda. The forum is co-organized by the United Nations and its partners, including Local2030. More information: https://www.global-taskforce.org/high-level-political-forum
SDG Business Forum (18 July)
Co-hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), UN DESA and the UN Global Compact, and organized in collaboration with the Global Business Alliance (GBA) for 2030, the third SDG Business Forum will bring together leaders from businesses, governments, UN agencies, key international organizations, and civil society to discuss the private sector’s role in delivering the 2030 Agenda. More information: https://www.sdgbusinessforum.org/
The program opened with a word of welcome by Jayathma Wickramanayake (UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth) who among others emphasised the crucial role young people have to play in implementing and reviewing the 2030 Agenda:
“I have one thing to say to all the young people in the room. We are the SDG
generation and we are critical in implementing and reviewing the Agenda. Demand to have a seat at the table, don’t wait for an invitation. Act now, speak up and believe in your power to change the world.”
Moreover, the event provided a platform for young advocates who have led their own SDG monitoring and accountability processes inside and outside of formal Government structures. Digital innovations offer new possibilities and a powerful example was shared by Richard Herts, Ukrainian U-Reporter, who on a weekly basis engages and consults over 15.000 young Ukrainians via text messages on issues such as water and sanitation, healthcare and democratic freedoms.
During the panel discussion government representatives shared the processes they have used to meaningfully engage young people in the SDGs, and within their Voluntary National Review (VNR) process. A powerful example was shared by Franc Matjaž Zupančič (Slovenian State Secretary) and Sabina Carl (Slovenian UN Youth Delegate) who drafted a special youth section in Slovenia’s 2017 report to the High-Level Political Forum (HLFP).
The side-event was moderated by the Swedish UN Youth Delegate Henrietta Flodell, who aimed at identifying good practices and developing replicable tools, so as to “move from the why to the how”. She wrapped up emphasising the importance ofensuring that youth involvement is institutionalised and that the consultation and follow-up mechanisms for youth are long-term, transparent and democratic.
We thank all participants and look forward to increased youth engagement in implementation and review processes and in specific at the High-Level Political Forum taking place in July 2018.
Decades of negative communication about hunger and hopelessness in developing countries has resulted in a general public attitude that the fight against poverty does not work. We need a new narrative about global development: Nuanced and current knowledge creates hope – and hope creates motivation for action.
World’s Best News is an example of a unique partnership that brings together the UN and more than 100 NGOs and 100 private companies. Since 2010, the independent media platform World’s Best News has published news about progress and solutions to the world’s challenges to the Danish population. All uniting to spread news about progress on a variety of different platforms using the Sustainable Development Goals as the frame and constructive journalism as method. The aim is to connect civil society, business, and the citizens in the pursuit of a more informed and sustainable world.
Today, World’s Best News is now an international network with sister organizations in Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Finland.
“World’s Best News has shown that it is possible to change the world. You are creators of hope and perspective.”
Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen, Member of Danish Parliament.
“The collaboration with World’s Best News has made us reconsider our coverage of global issues. When you started with constructive journalism it influenced the rest of the content in our newspaper”
Jonas Ratje, Editor in Chief, Metroxpress.
How and why this action impacts the people in the community ? When more people know about the solutions to the world’s problems, they are more motivated to ensure these solutions will be implemented and put into action. When World’s Best News launched in 2010, 16% of the Danes believed there was progress in lifting people out of poverty; in 2016 this number increased to 32%.
This and other key findings are part of the results of several pilot studies collecting perceptions on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to assist decision-makers in SDG review activities. The results, collected through a collaborative research project between the UN SDG Action Campaign and Paragon Partnerships, in particular Kantar Public and Lightspeed, as part of the MY World 2030 project, were presented today during the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) at the United Nations. The Forum is the central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals held from Monday, 10 July, to Wednesday, 19 July 2017.
The UN SDG Action Campaign & Kantar Public have developed and tested a question library of almost 100 SDG Questions and then conducted a research study in 11 voluntary reporting countries for this year. The results are representative and weighted samples across the following countries provide a baseline against which to measure progress in future years.
One third of people are aware of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Overall. One in three respondents are aware of the Sustainable Development Goals. Younger respondents (ages 16-29) were more familiar with the SDGs than older respondents. There are huge differences among countries. Respondents in Thailand (the least developed country in the sample) were the most aware, while respondents in Denmark (the most developed country) were least aware. Japan and Argentina were the countries with least awareness levels, with over 80% of the population not aware of the SDGs. There is a lot to be done!
SDG 1 / 20% of the population is still struggling to afford basic needs.
This percentages goes up to 35% for those who haven’t completed primary education.
SDG 2 / The struggle for food is very similar in countries with the highest and lowest Development Index and it affects about 20% of the population who are struggling to have enough food to eat.
When asked about how easy or difficult has it been for respondents and their household to have enough food to eat, 20% of all respondents across the sample, without distinction between Low and High Developed Countries (according to the Human Development Index) found it very or quite difficult to have enough food to eat in the past twelve months. Some differences are shown, with Argentina, a country with a Very High HDI level, reporting the most difficulty ( 37% stated “Quite Difficult.”) and Denmark with the least difficulty (55% answering “Very Easy”).
SDG 3 / Access to healthcare has not changed since last year. 1 in 4 respondents are not satisfied with the quality.
For the majority of respondents the situation hasn’t changed. But one in four respondents are not satisfied with the quality of healthcare. Thailand scored as the country where it has most improved.
SDG 5 / More people agree than disagree that women earn the same amount of money for doing the same job.
Overall, more respondents agree than disagree that women earn the same amount of money for doing the same job. Regional differences are shown, as the majority of European respondents disagree with this statement, while the majority of S.E Asian respondents agree.
SDG 9 / Access to internet is still an issue.
One in five respondents reported they were “often” or “always” having problems with internet access. Malaysian respondents reported the most difficulty accessing the internet with 11% answering “always” versus the Netherlands as the country with the least difficulty, with 61% answering “never” or “rarely”. The age difference also played a role, with the majority of respondents aged 60+ reporting more difficulty than younger ones.
SDG 14 / The oceans and seas are not clean enough, and half the population agrees.
Argentina and Italy scored high (73% in Argentina and 69% in Italy) in the perception that their rivers and lakes are not very clean or not clean at all. In Italy and the Czech Republic, conditions have gotten worse according to around 30% of the people surveyed, whereas in Malaysia and Portugal, conditions were reported to have improved. Sweden and Denmark were the exception, with above 70% of the respondents reporting that their rivers and lakes were very clean or fairly clean.
Good Health, Eradication of Poverty and Decent Work are the primary concerns for citizens.
It is interesting to note that in MY World 2015, with a much bigger sample size, the top issues of concern were Education, Healthcare, Jobs, Honest & Responsive Government. People are still choosing the same top issues two years on! After good health, the top concerns change for women and men – for women being “No poverty” and men being more concerned with “Decent Work and Economic Growth”. Quality Education also made it as a top concern in Argentina.
In total, 7,772 respondents took part in the survey in 11 countries, ranging from 350 in Denmark to 1,011 in Czech Republic. Quotas were set by age, gender and region in each country. Respondents were sampled from Lightspeed and TNS online and mobile access panels. Data is weighted by age, gender, and region in each country. Cross-country comparison is based on additional weights by country population size
In other words: assuming probability sample, for a question response of 49%, we can say that in 95 out of 100 surveys, the true value (which would be obtained if the entire population were asked the question) lies between 46% and 52%.
Young girls in different parts of Bihar often grow up with limited knowledge of menstruation and about their sexual and reproductive health rights. They often find themselves with incorrect information about their bodily changes. Sexual & reproductive health education is rare in schools and most often, majority of young girls do not attend any formal education.
Restless Development is the implementing partner of the project named ‘Making Periods Normal’, funded by Rutgers WPF. The programme is being implemented in the Munger and Bhagalpur district of Bihar, from 2014 to 2017. The target groups of this programme are women, out-of- school and in-school youth, men and stakeholders like ASHA, Aganwadi, community leaders etc.
The programme focuses on promoting knowledge among girls and women on puberty, menstrual health and sexual and reproductive health as well as creating conducive environment for them by engaging stakeholders.
“I preferred to stay at home during my menstruation to avoid embarrassment, I did not know how to use a sanitary pad or the hygiene practices during my periods. In 2015 I attended the menstrual health management session conducted by Restless Development, and learned about hygiene practices to avoid infection”
Mamta Kumar, a 15 year old, is currently one of the 40 trained educators
Restless Development conducted a needs assessment and its results are shocking:
75% of girls across India don’t have any knowledge of what material should be used during menstruation and were majorly using cloths which were unclean.
25% of out-of- school girls were not using anything during their periods.
To tackle the issue of insufficient information on menstruation, they are implementing a full programme specially designed for young girls on menstrual health hygiene management. The sessions are designed in a manner that give young girls the space to learn about body changes and speak about their health issues.
In order to provide a more holistic approach Restless Development includes trainings for teachers, mothers, peer educators and young boys in our programme. They created a pool of 40 peer educators specifically trained to provide knowledge and guidance to young girls in their communities and districts.
“I did not have the courage to share my health problems with my mother, I did not have the confidence to do so. A friend told me about the menstrual hygiene management session by Restless Development. I then understood the menstrual cycle & spoke about my irregular periods to the volunteers”
Rinku Kumari, 19 year old, Bhagalpur, Bihar
The number of girls who could report menstruation as a sign of puberty went from 4% to 58%.
80% of young people involved in our intervention could identify problems experienced by girls during menstruation.
92% of girls who used cloth during the menstruation said that they dried their used cloth in sunlight.
Awareness about sexually transmitted infections increased to 78% from 58%.
The objective of this initiative is to educate young people on puberty and menstrual health to help them adopt safe health practices, and educate teachers/parents, peer educators the importance of educating young girls on menstrual hygiene. Reaching more than 90,000 young people and having trained 40 educators on Sexual & Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR), restless development did not stop there and eventually designed a special mobile app called M-Sathi to make SRHR education accessible to all.
The High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) at the United Nations is a central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals This year’s meeting will be held from Monday, 10 July, to Wednesday, 19 July 2017; including the three-day ministerial meeting of the forum from Monday, 17 July, to Wednesday, 19 July 2017.
The theme is “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world“. The set of goals to be reviewed in depth will be the following, including Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, that will be considered each year:
Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
The UN SDG Action Campaign would like to highlight the following events taking place during High-level Political Forum, don’t miss them!
Perception Data as a Metric of Well-Being
When: Thursday, 13 July 2017, 1:15-2:30 pm EST Where: UNICEF House Lobby (Danny Kaye Visitors Center) Register here by 11 July 2017
This side event will showcase the results of several pilots that have used quantitative and qualitative methodologies to collect perceptions on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to assist decision-makers in SDG review activities. Panelists will discuss how mobile tools like UNICEF’s U-Report and WFP’s mVAM, on-line surveys like MY World 2030 and qualitative methods like the Participatory Monitoring and Accountability Programme can inform SDG implementation and decision-making. The event is co-sponsored by the Government of Guatemala, UNICEF, WFP, and the UN SDG Action Campaign.
Mobilizing Religious Communities to Act with Solidarity and Shared Responsibility to End Poverty and Promote Peace
When: Monday, 17 July 2017, 1:30 – 3:30 pm EST
Where: 866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 120, New York, NY 10017
While sustainable development requires the best of science, technology, and practical problem solving, it also requires a strong ethical foundation—and this foundation has its sources in the world’s religious traditions. Religious leaders have a tremendous capacity to affect change by mobilizing their communities to advocate with world leaders in the context of advancing the values needed to end poverty and advance peace. Therefore, Religions for Peace is holding a multi-religious discussion on the role of religious communities in accelerating the implementation of the SDGs.
Dr. William Vendley, Secretary General, Religions for Peace
Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network
Archbishop Bernardito Cleopas Auza, the Apostolic Nuncio, Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New York
Dr. Azza Karam, Senior Advisor, UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and Coordinator, UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion and Development
Mr. Mitchell Toomey, Director, United Nations SDG Action Campaign
Ms. Elena Cedillo, Regional Representative, Central America Program, Lutheran World Federation (LWF), and Co-Coordinator, Latin American and Caribbean Inter-Religious Alliance for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
The SDGs in Action: Eradicating poverty and promoting inclusive prosperity in a changing world
This event will focus on how countries at various stages of development, including those faced with complex situations such as violent conflict and fragility, are accelerating efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It will illustrate the UN Development System’s support to Member States, including tools and solutions, to address the integrated nature of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the imperative to leave no one behind and risk-informed planning. The role of the UN in peacebuilding and prevention; connecting efforts for peace and security, sustainable development and human rights will also be highlighted in reference to the Sustaining Peace resolution.
When: Tuesday, 18 July 2017, 3 – 4:30 pm EST Where: UN Correspondents Association Room 0310 (3rd Floor of UN Secretariat Building)
See concept note Register here
The event will help strengthen the global community of SDG communicators. Participants will discuss how to measure progress in building public support for the SDGs and identify ways to continue collaborating and learning from one another. The event is co-organized by the Government of Canada & OECD Development Communication Network (DevCom)
In January 2016, the UN Secretary-General launched the High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment, created to provide thought leadership and mobilize concrete actions aimed at closing economic gender gaps that persist around the world, therefore contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The High-Level Panel committed to launching a report and action plan by the September 2016 UN General Assembly (UNGA) meeting. This report harnessed the best ideas and insights collected during the current evidence gathering and global consultation period to put forward an ambitious vision which will motivate and persuade global decision makers to create a cohesive strategy for implementing the targets and goals around women’s economic empowerment in Agenda 2030. Throughout this journey, there was a requirement to engage with organizations, NGOs, the rural and urban poor, young people and civil society so they are part of a conversation that builds momentum, buzz and political will for this ambitious agenda for women’s economic empowerment.
The creation of this citizen survey instrument at http://empowerwomen.myworld2030.org and the SMS version in partnership with U-report was to help meet this challenge and to engage people all over the world, especially women, to better understand their subjective experiences and views about priority areas needing attention to ensure women’s full economic inclusion and empowerment. The findings of the citizen survey were shared with the High-Level Panel for their consideration in the run up to UNGA 2016. This final report draws on the correlations between the citizen survey findings and the report published by the HLP in September 2016.