Goal 17 calls for increased international cooperation in the implementation of all the Sustainable Development Goals. Progress remains uneven across the target areas of the 2030 Agenda. In order to correct this, governments, non-governmental organizations, businesses, and all other stakeholders must work together to build global partnerships for sustainable development.
The indicators of Goal 17 fall into the categories finance, technology, capacity building, trade, and systemic issues. They include, but are not limited to:
- Strengthening the flow of financial resources, especially to least developed nations.
- Enhancing technological transfer, in particular information and communication technologies.
- Helping countries build capacity for implementing the Sustainable Development goals through regional cooperation as well as official development assistance (ODA).
- Promoting a universal, multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization (WTO), especially by reducing tariffs and increasing the global share of exports from developing countries.
- Addressing issues of policy coherence and institutional stability through multi-stakeholder partnerships, data collection and statistical monitoring, and national frameworks for increasing institutional capacity.
In this collection, we hear from experts at a conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, about how the use of open data can improve both the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs. Open data can increase transparency and improve accountability, showing where governments are spending money and where more effort is necessary. We also learn about how tech experts are creating bridges between Israel and Palestine in the piece by Melissa Jun Rowley.
Read on to learn why investment in sustainability is still not reaching least development countries. Why are the countries that need funding to improve their infrastructure the most not receiving it? The two pieces by Tina Rosenberg also offer a valuable perspective by showing us that all aid is not created equally. Instead of simply sending food or short-term volunteers, how can affluent countries do more to actually empower communities in need?
Click here for more stories in the Solutions Story Tracker on partnerships for the goals.
- Before reading the articles, define the terms “Least Developed Country (LDC)”, “Official Development Assistance (ODA),” and “Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).” Why are these terms significant to the targets of SDG 17?
- After reading Tina Rosenberg’s piece about food aid, first define the terms “tied aid” and “untied aid.” Then, explain the significance of these concepts as they relate to the goals of international aid. Which countries still offer aid that is tied?
- What is the “Climate Catch-22” that John Vidal describes in his article on the UN’s Green Climate Fund? Explain why this is significant in the long-term implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Discuss the pros and cons of implementing data collection on a large scale. How can big data help promote the implementation of the SDGs, and what are some of the drawbacks of collecting data on a large scale?
- Examine at least two other SDGs and their targets alongside Goal 17. Then, either explain or illustrate how the targets of these SDGs relate or influence one another.
- Choose an Issue Area or a Success Factor related to Goal 17. Then, create a collection and select at least 4 (or more) stories from the Solution’s Story Tracker that relate to your topic. If working with groups, each group can present on the issues and solutions they found most compelling.
- Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are countries that meet the UN’s criteria for classification, including a low national income, exhibiting weakness in the areas of nutrition and health, and exhibiting high economic vulnerability. You may wish to have students examine these metrics in relation to other SDGs in one specific country. In many cases, the hampered capacity of LDCs stems of the long-term, systemic effects of colonialism. Official Development Assistance (ODA) refers to all flows of officially sanctioned financial aid, including loans, which have the promotion of economic development in developing countries as the main objective. Some criticisms of ODA are that the practice can produce dependence in a country receiving aid. Others have noted that the legacy of colonialism in many countries receiving ODA necessitates rethinking aid as reparations. Foreign direct investment (FDI) refers to investments made in one country by individuals or firms in another country. Typically, an investor will own 10% or more stake in an investment to be considered FDI, as opposed to simply a stock investment. The pros of FDI include transfer of expertise and long-term commitments, as well as stable, long-term relationships; the cons include the possibility of foreign involvement in strategically important enterprises, as well as the fact that investors may have less of incentive to reinvest in the local community, preferring to benefit their own portfolios.
- Tied aid refers to aid given with conditions that the money must be spent in the country giving the donation. As Rosenberg describes in her piece, the US is the only country to still provide tied aid—the practice is illegal in the UK, by comparison. Untied aid does not carry restrictions on where the money can be spent, making it less protectionist and allowing the funds to be used in a way the benefits the receiving country in the most effective way.
- Countries facing high risk due to climate change, Vidal argues, are burdened with high interest rates by banks and prose a higher risk to investors, leading to greater challenges in attracting capital flows. For this reason, the countries that require the most investment are not receiving it, as affluent countries prefer more stable investments. Despite wanting to change this, the UN’s GCF is still falling far short of its financial goals.
- Data increases transparency and provides a tool for ensuring policy coherence and accountability. Collecting data allows us to monitor the implementation of the Global Goals. However, questions of privacy and ownership of individual data loom large in today’s data-driven age. Students may be familiar with how social media companies such as Facebook used data to track users and target them with political advertisements. Students should discuss how increased transparency and answers to complex questions that come from harnessing big data can be balanced with respect to privacy.
- Answers will vary by student. Goal 17 especially rates to SDGs 1, 2, 3, 6, 11, 12, 13.
- Answers will vary—for more on creating collections, click here. For more on Success Factors, click here.