Mr. Ola Goransson, Sustainable Development Officer, Project Coordinator 2030 Agenda Partnership Accelerator, UN DESA, UN Office for Sustainable Development (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The 2030 Agenda Partnership Accelerator, a project by the Division for Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG) of United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), in collaboration with United Nations Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD), United Nations Office for Partnerships (UNOP), UN Global Compact, UN Development Coordination Office, implemented together with The Partnering Initiative, aims to significantly help accelerate and scale up effective partnerships in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The objectives of the Partnership Accelerator include:
Support effective country driven partnership platforms for SDGs - Research and direct support of effective multi-stakeholder partnership platforms and mechanisms for engaging business and other stakeholders, and catalyzing partnerships for the SDGs at national and global level, drawing out best practices and guidance, to assist optimizing emerging platforms, and supporting new generation of UN Resident Coordinators and country teams.
Direct training support will be offered to member States, UN entities/Resident Coordinators/country teams and other stakeholders wishing to develop new partnership platforms and partnership engagements.
Building partnership skills and competencies - Build capacity of relevant stakeholders to develop and implement partnerships for the SDGs, and to support organizations to develop their policy and strategy, systems and processes, legal agreements and culture to support collaboration.
On 9 to 11 December 2019, the first national workshop of the 2030 Agenda Partnership Accelerator was held in Nairobi, bringing together 40 development professionals from government, various UN entities, the private sector, academia and civil society committed to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Kenya.
The 2030 Agenda Partnership Accelerator is a broad collaboration by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (through its Division for Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD)), UN Office for Partnerships, Global Compact, implemented together with The Partnering Initiative, aiming to significantly help accelerate and scale up effective multi-stakeholder partnerships in support of the implementation of the SDGs.
A central part of the Partnership Accelerator is the national partnership training workshops which offer hands-on and in-depth training on the set-up and running of effective partnerships, and for building strong understanding of the role of multi-stakeholder partnerships for the SDGs. Workshops are adapted to the specific national context and tailored for practitioners from all sectors who wish to build their knowledge of effective partnerships for advancing the SDGs - both new partnership practitioners and those with some experience who wish to complement their learning with frameworks, practical tools and experiential learning.
At the workshop, which was organized in close collaboration with the office of the UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Siddharth Chatterjee, participants engaged in a 3-day interactive workshop on aspects for stimulating effective partnerships in Kenya, including understanding the unique roles, incentives and contributions of all societal sectors, partnership governance, relationship and partnership culture, and in-country level mechanisms to support partnerships in Kenya.
Kenya as a first pilot country of the Partnership Accelerator was a natural choice, being a top advocate of the 2030 Agenda and strongly committed to its implementation. In Kenya, partners are collaborating with the SDG Partnership Platform, a high-level collaboration between the government, the UN system, and other stakeholders in pursuit of accelerating SDGs in the country through multi-stakeholder and cross-sectoral partnerships and contributing to the government’s Big 4 Agenda on Primary Health Care, Food and Nutrition Security, Manufacturing, and Affordable Housing. The Platform was launched in 2017, the year also Kenya undertook its Voluntary National Review at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, prepared in broad consultation with government ministries, county governments, development partners, civil society, special groups including youth and persons with disabilities, and the private sector. In 2020, Kenya will for its second time conduct their Voluntary National Review at the High-level Political Forum, scheduled for July 2020 at the UN Headquarters in New York.
Participants expressed great appreciation for the organization of the timely workshop. Feedback and lessons learned will feed into the finalization of training material and research of the Partnership Accelerator which will be used in upcoming training workshops. By taking part in Accelerator trainings, participants become part of a growing global network of partnership practitioners for the SDGs and will have the opportunity to engage and share their knowledge and insights with Member States and other stakeholders in the various Accelerator global outreach events that are being organized.
In the coming months, the Partnership Accelerator programme will facilitate workshops for building capacity on partnerships among stakeholders in Thailand, Samoa and Maldives.
Mr. Ola Goransson, UN Office for Sustainable Development, Division for Sustainable Development Goals, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), email@example.com
Mr. Ruben Vellenga, SDG Partnership Platform Secretariat, UN Resident Coordinator's Office, Kenya firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Darian Stibbe, The Partnering Initiative, email@example.com
See what our Kenya Partnership Accelerators have to say!
The scope and complexity of the transformations required for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) that are at is core are unprecedented. As a result, no government or stakeholder will be able to address the multi-sectoral, cross-pillar global challenges of today alone, instead, the 2030 Agenda can only be achieved if different sectors and actors work together in an integrated manner by pooling financial resources, knowledge and expertise.
SDG 17 on “strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development”, through its targets 17.16 and 17.17, recognizes the critical importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share the finance, knowledge, expertise and technology to support the achievement of SDGs in all countries. The targets also highlight the need to promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships.
Over the recent years, the importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships in supporting the implementation of sustainable development has also been increasingly recognized by member States and different stakeholders, including leading institutions in international development and the private sector. This is evident in the many UN Conferences that have resulted in the launch of new multi-stakeholder partnerships and voluntary commitments.
At the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS Conference) in 2014, 300 multi-stakeholder partnerships devoted to the sustainable development of SIDS were announced, covering areas such as oceans and seas, climate change, biodiversity, resilience-building, sustainable economic growth, renewable energy and disaster risk reduction. In 2017, at the UN Ocean Conference, over 1,400 voluntary commitments for concrete action to advance implementation of SDG 14 targets were made by all stakeholders, including governments, the United Nations system, civil society organizations, academia, the scientific community, and the private sector. Collectively, these partnerships and commitments make considerable contributions to supporting the implementation of the SDGs.
Despite the strong rhetoric for the engagement of multi-stakeholder partnerships for supporting implementation of the SDGs – the reality is that we are still only scratching the surface in terms of the number, and quality, of partnerships required to deliver the SDGs. The 2018 Partnership Exchange, held in the margins of the 2018 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) explored and identified, among other issues, a key building blocks to build an enabling environment for partnerships to systemically scale up collaboration among a range of stakeholders for driving the implementation of the SDGs, and to run effective partnership action platforms which convene societal sectors around SDG priorities, and catalyze implementation of innovative initiatives. These included:
Developing the competencies of actors from all societal sectors need to effectively partner, including building an understanding of other sectors, relationship and partnership-building skills, and a technical knowledge of the building blocks of value-creating partnerships;
Institutions and organizations need to be set up to be fit for partnering: i.e. to have in place the strategies, systems and processes, staff capacities and support, and culture that are optimized to incentivize and support working collaboratively with others;
Setting up mechanisms or platforms that can physically convene government, business, UN, donors and civil society around SDG priorities to catalyze and support partnership development.
Within many countries, there has been considerable progress made with respect to country driven partnership platforms for dialogue and consultation on development priorities. Dialogue alone, however, is not sufficient to catalyze the necessary collaborative action. There exists a modest but growing number of partnership platforms which are designed to convene stakeholders and development actors around the SDGs, and then help to build the innovative partnerships needed to deliver on the SDGs. There is however currently very limited research or guidance around effective models for such SDG platforms.
With respect to institutional partnership-readiness, some UN entities, international NGOs and donors have made an analysis of the degree to which they are fit for partnering and begun the process of reducing obstacles to partnering, increasing incentives and improving their systems and capacities. They are, however, among the exception and most organizations are far from partnership-optimized.