How to promote partnerships for the SDGs
Author: Daniele Pistelli
Estimated reading time: 7 min
Following the list of the SDGs, the Seventeenth and last goal is to “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development”. (1)
But what does partnership mean? It is defined by Investopedia as “a formal arrangement by two or more parties to manage and operate a business and share its profits”. (8)
This definition is strictly related to business partnerships, but in our case, we could assimilate the parties with the countries and their individuals who need to collaborate in their business, the world’s sustainability, to share its profits: better living conditions for everyone.
To reach the goals fixed by the UN, everyone needs to take action, starting from the governments helping the countries that are more in need and ending with every single person doing its part.
In the other articles of our series, we went through the actions that companies can do to contribute to the achievement of each SDG, but these goals will never be reached if there’s not a huge collective effort in the same direction.
SDG 17 aims to increase international cooperation and strengthen global partnerships at the governmental level by:
- strengthen domestic resource mobilisation, including through international support
- mobilise additional financial resources from multiple sources
- attain long-term debt sustainability through coordinated policies aimed at fostering debt financing (2)
The partnerships for the SDGs in numbers
This leaves us with the question: what degree of collaboration have we reached? Let’s take a look at some numbers to gather an idea.
SDG 17 is composed of nineteen targets, let’s take a deeper look into some of them.
Target 17.2.1 consists of “Developed countries to implement fully their official development assistance commitments, including the commitment by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national income for official development assistance (ODA/GNI) to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries.”
Looking at the data from 2020 we can see that only some of the most developed countries in Europe have an ODA/GNI index higher than 0.7%. The United States for example only reach 0.18%, similar numbers for Canada and Australia. We still don’t possess data for most of the least developed countries but we can see from these numbers that there is still a lot of work to do. (7)
Target 17.6.1 is defined as “Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation”
As we can see from this graph from SDG Tracker, most of the southern nations of the globe still don’t have a good internet connection. (7)
In fact, 3.7 Billion of the world’s population are still not online despite the immense need for connectivity during the pandemic (1)
Visiting this website you will find a cool game to understand the meaning of partnership. In this game you will have to split into 2 teams, creating your own rules by collaborating and listening to everyone. (3)
How can companies help the achievement of SDG 17?
Partnership and cooperation are essential factors to reach the SDGs. The development of partnerships between different players, including businesses, needs to be encouraged to achieve common goals. (5)
Lead on responsible tax practices
Governments require corporate tax revenues to advance in the SDGs. Therefore businesses should adopt responsible tax practices in the states in which they operate, complying with the laws and regulations. (5)
Finance sustainable development
Companies can help developing countries, investing in infrastructures, services, and growing businesses, while discouraging financial flows towards unsustainable activities that violate human rights or damage the environment. (5)
Partner to share knowledge
The world’s sustainable development is a huge challenge and can’t be solved without strong partnerships of companies and relevant stakeholders. These partnerships are necessary to develop and share solutions for addressing the SDGs across all countries. (5)
Companies can promote sustainable development through partnerships with developing countries’ stakeholders to build local capacity. Capacity building can help close skills and institutional quality gaps. (5)
In our objective of achieving the SDGs, there are several systemic impediments (child labour, poverty wages, denial of land rights, sexual violence and discrimination) that require inclusive, formalized and long-term partnerships that align critical drivers of change. Businesses can lead on partnerships addressing one or more of these systemic challenges by making significant contributions to them. (5)
Companies to take inspiration from
If you are looking for some inspiration, here is a list of companies that make a difference with their initiatives towards the achievement of SDG 17.
17 Asset Management
Supporting developing countries financially and with innovations is a crucial step towards reaching the SDGs and can also facilitate the partnership between different nations.
17 Asset Management is a US-based startup that makes sure that funding goes towards projects aligned with the SDGs. They created a place-based investing framework to help founders align with the SDGs and channel funds towards advancing towards the Global Goals in developed and developing countries at the same rate. (6)
Between the targets of SDG 17, there is also the objective of operationalizing science, technology, and innovation in the least developed countries.
UNLEASH is a Danish nonprofit organisation that brings together people from all over the world to work on projects that aim to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs. They also created a pre-accelerator program for early-stage startups, called UNLEASH+, that allows these ventures to reach the final users with a prototype. (6)
AI for Good
AI for Good is a US-based nonprofit that measures and accelerates progress towards the SDGs through AI. They bring together researchers, non-profits, governments and corporates to create solutions that contribute to the achievement of the goals. (6)
Actions you can take in your daily life to achieve SDG 17
To achieve the objectives of SDG 17, each one of us needs to take action. In addition to companies, organisations, and governments, we should contribute in our personal lives to help achieve the goal.
Here is a list of things everyone can do to play a part in the achievement of SDG 17 as suggested by the United Nations. (4)
- Find a Goal 17 charity to support.
- Support export by buying products from developing countries. Pay attention to the Fair Trade label on products which helps to indicate products from local producers in developing countries.
- Work or volunteer in NGOs that are working towards the Global Goals. You can contribute through various projects to achieving the Goals by 2030.
- Stay informed. Follow your local news and stay in touch with the Global Goals online or on social media at @TheGlobalGoals.
GründerAtelier’s Impact Accelerator
This was the seventeenth and last article of our SDGs series, which aims to make the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals easy to put into practice for start-ups and entrepreneurs, in general.
If you are in charge or work for an impact-related start-up that supports one or multiple SDGs you can apply to our Impact Accelerator where we will guide you through the journey to become investment-ready and then, introduce you to our VC partners.
(1) Goal 17: Partnership for the goals. (n.d.). Retrieved from United Nations website. Accessed on 05/03/2022
(2) Goal 17: Partnership for the goals. (n.d.). Retrieved from European Commission website. Accessed on 06/03/2022
(3) Goal 17: Partnership for the goals. (n.d.). Retrieved from GG Impact Games website. Accessed on 06/03/2022
(4) Goal 17: Partnership for the goals. (n.d.). Retrieved from Global Goals website. Accessed on 06/03/2022
(5) Goal 17: Partnership for the goals. (n.d.). Retrieved from Blueprint website. Accessed on 06/03/2022
(6) Goal 17: Partnership for the goals. (n.d.). Retrieved from Startus Insights website. Accessed on 06/03/2022
(7) Goal 17: Partnership for the goals. (n.d.). Retrieved from SDG Tracker website. Accessed on 07/03/2022
(8) Partnership definition (n.d.) Retrieved from Investopedia website. Accessed on 06/03/2022