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The Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F) is a multi-donor and multi-agency development cooperation mechanism created in 2014 by UNDP, on behalf of the UN system, with an initial contribution of the Government of Spain to support sustainable development activities through integrated and multidimensional joint programmes. It builds on the experience, knowledge, lessons learned, and best practices of the Millennium Development Goals, while expanding its activities towards sustainable development and a higher attention on public-private partnerships. Gender and women’s empowerment is a cross-cutting priority in all areas of work.
The SDG-F intends to act as a bridge in the transition from MDGs to SDGs providing concrete experiences on “how” to achieve a sustainable and inclusive world post 2015.
The SDG-F operates at the country level through joint programmes implemented by specialized UN agencies in collaboration with national counterparts and other stakeholders to bring integrated and holistic approaches to national and local development challenges.
Joint programmes with multidimensional and inter-sectorial approaches can bring integrated solutions that are more effective in tackling complex problems. The case of nutrition and food security can serve as an example. By bringing together the expertise of various UN Agencies, SDG-F joint programmes can put in place multi-sectorial approaches that include important issues such as nutritional education, gender equality and empowerment of women, agricultural production and health, among others. Joint programmes are helping to overcome the limitations of the traditional sectorial approach (the “silo” approach) to development initiatives.
14 UN agencies are currently delivering together in the SDG Fund activities: UNDP, FAO, UNICEF, UN Women, WFP, ILO, PAHO/WHO, UNIDO, ITC, WHO, UNFPA, UN DESA, IFAD and UNESCO.
Areas of intervention
The SDG-F focuses on three sectorial areas (inclusive economic growth for poverty eradication, food security and nutrition, and water and sanitation) which address some of the most important development gaps and build on the MDG-F’s experience using a multisectorial approach to the MDGs.
Equally important, all SDG-F programmes embed three cross-cutting issues: sustainability (understood both as environmental sustainability but also in the wider sense of longer term sustainability of results), gender equality and women’s empowerment, and public-private partnerships.
National and international partners, including private sector, are contributing approximately 55% of the financial resources via matching Funds.
SDG Fund Joint Programmes are supported through matching funds by the following contributors: Australia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Canada, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, El Salvador, European Commission, Guatemala, Honduras, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Tanzania, United Kingdom/DFID, USA/USAID and Viet Nam.
The SDG-F is financing 20 Joint Programmes with a total budget of $63,000,000 in 21 different countries across four regions (Africa, Arab States, Asia and the Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean) bringing together 14 different UN Agencies.
Public-private partnerships for sustainable development
The SDG-F is working together with major stakeholders towards sustainable development, including the private sector.
To better align public-private partnerships for sustainable development, the SDG Fund has established a Private Sector Advisory Group, formed by business leaders of major companies from various industries worldwide. These leaders are helping the SDG Fund to build a roadmap for how public-private alliances can provide large-scale solutions for achieving the new SDGs. Its aim is to collaborate and discuss practical solutions pertaining to the common challenges of contemporary sustainability.
Some industries represented in this advisory group include oil, food, media, consultancy, microfinance, infrastructure, energy, and clothing.
The Advisory Group is committed to identifying areas of common interest and deciphering the best methods of UN-Private Sector engagement, as well as offering suggestions for how to work more effectively with one another at the country level. In this line, the SDG Fund published a report in conjunction with Harvard's Kennedy School and Business Fights Poverty, entitled Business and the United Nations: Working together towards the Sustainable Development Goals: A Framework for Action, which outlines the business and development case for increased UN business engagement as well as recommendations on the ways that the UN can work more effectively on this shared imperative.
A Steering Committee, represented at the highest level by UNDP, participating and contributing Member States and various SDG-F stakeholders (e.g. representatives from the private sector and matching funds contributors), meets at least once per year and provides overall guidance and strategic direction.
The UNDP/SDG-F Secretariat, a small, specialized and technical team sitting on UNDP’s Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy, will ensures that the decisions of the Steering Committee are applied and followed up and will coordinate the programmatic, advocacy, evaluation and knowledge management aspects of the SDG-F.
The SDG-F was conceived as a permanent facility (and therefore without a scheduled operational closure) to channel strategic joint efforts of UN Agencies, Member States and other development partners to advance sustainable development. The new facility was born at precisely the same time that the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development was approved and it intends to be a means of implementation of this new framework for international aid for the period 2015-2030.
The UNDP MPTF Office serves as the Administrative Agent (AA) and is responsible for concluding the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Participating UN Organizations. It receives, administers and manages funds approved by the SDG-F Steering Committee.
Participating Organizations are required to submit final year-end expenditures by April 30 in the following year; Interim expenditure figures are submitted on a voluntary basis and therefore current year figures are not final until the year-end expenditures have been submitted.
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For Policy and Programme Issues
Sustainable Development Goals Fund Secretariat, UNDP, One UN Plaza, East 44th Street, NY 10017, USA, DC-1950 Telephone: +1-646-781-4255
For Fund Administrative Agent Issues