SDG Knowledge Weekly – 6 November 2017
UN Photo/R Marklin
story highlights

Climate Watch collates a range of datasets that allow users to analyze historical emissions data, and identify synergies between the SDGs and countries' NDCs, among other functions.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed stressed a need to "build a new generation of infrastructure that is risk-informed," tackling risk drivers such as poverty, rapid urbanization and weak governance, thereby increasing resilience.

A paper by the German Development Institute (DIE) on aid allocation recommends that donors develop clear thematic profiles where they have comparative advantage, adopt adequate organizational structures, and ensure partner orientation, ownership and results measurement.

Welcome to the SDG Knowledge Hub’s new column, ‘SDG Knowledge Weekly.’ Published every Monday, the brief will highlight key statements and projects contributing to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, taking a different focus each week. As COP 23 opens in Bonn, this brief focuses on efforts around climate, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and resilience, energy and development aid (related to SDGs 13, 7 and 17, respectively). WRI has launched an initiative to analyze synergies between the SDGs and countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement. Other leading voices on climate change released papers, and UN leadership addressed energy, DRR and resilience. A number of fora grappled with the quantity, quality and effectiveness of development aid.

The online Climate Watch platform went live on 2 November 2017. This flagship initiative of the NDC Partnership is managed by World Resources Institute (WRI), and is “designed to empower policymakers, researchers, media and other stakeholders with the open climate data, visualizations and resources they need to gather insights on national and global progress on climate change.” Climate Watch collates a range of datasets that allow users to analyze historical emissions data, and identify synergies between the SDGs and countries’ NDCs, among other functions. Johannes Friedrich and Andrew Pickens provide a preview of Climate Watch at WRI Insights. Pablo Vieira, NDC Partnership Support Unit, links the climate and development agendas in an op-ed featured in The Southern Times.

Following the release of UN Environment’s 2017 Emissions Gap Report, Simon Maxwell enumerates seven ways the report adds to the existing “meta-narrative” on the emissions gap, in a blog post titled, ‘Where next for the global climate negotiations?‘ Looking ahead to the coming two weeks, CARE outlined five recommendations in a policy paper titled, ‘Five steps to address climate change and to increase the resilience of the most vulnerable: CARE’s recommendations for COP23.’ Steps include actions around emission reductions, adaptation, loss and damage, agriculture and gender.

From the UN Secretariat, Secretary-General António Guterres gave an address at a symposium on the ‘Global Energy Interconnection,’ touching on natural disasters that have devastated Caribbean islands in recent months. UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed stressed a need to “build a new generation of infrastructure that is risk-informed,” tackling risk drivers such as poverty, rapid urbanization and weak governance, thereby increasing resilience.

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) released a report by Katie Peters titled, ‘The Next Frontier for Disaster Risk Reduction,’ looking at DRR in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. Peters identifies political and institutional barriers to adapting DRR policies, practices and official development assistance to these contexts. ODI also released three papers on the theme “leave no one behind” (LNOB): the power of demography as a driver of change, definitions for a robust LNOB approach, and ’10 things to know on LNOB.’

On the topic of development aid, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) hosted its 51st High Level Meeting (HLM) from 30-31 October 2017, in Paris, France, on the theme, ‘A New DAC: Innovations for the 2030 Agenda.’ Eurodad’s Jesse Griffiths, in a paper titled, ‘Is the global financial and economic system fit to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals?,’ notes “key ways in which the global economic and financial system will have to be transformed if we are to achieve the SDGs, and the role progressive European governments could play to promote change.” Also on the HLM theme of innovation for the 2030 Agenda, Charles Kenny and Dev Patel authored a working paper for the Center for Global Development titled, ‘Estimating the SDGs’ Demand for Innovation.’ Molly Anders on Devex provided a preview of the HLM, and Polly Meeks and Julie Seghers follow up on the DAC’s High Level Communique on Eurodad’s blog.

Additional civil society recommendations on the quality and quantity of aid provided by EU Member States and the European Commission were put forth by CONCORD, which launched its 2017 AidWatch Report on 16 October 2017, in Brussels, Belgium. The German Development Institute (DIE) also published a briefing paper titled, ‘Thematic Aid Allocation: What Are the Benefits and Risks?,’ which notes that aid allocation is typically country-based, and along sectoral lines such as health, education, the environment or food security. The authors recommend that donors develop clear thematic profiles where they have comparative advantage, adopt adequate organizational structures, and ensure partner orientation, ownership and results measurement.

Building on momentum from events held during the opening of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 72) in New York, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) released a report on 25 October 2017, titled, ‘UNDP and the Private Sector: 25 Years of Partnership on Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Energy.’ UNDP presents private sector partnerships that focus on helping developing countries deliver zero-carbon, risk-informed, sustainable development.

The World Entrepreneurs Investment Forum convened from 31 October-2 November 2017, in Manama, Bahrain, on the theme, ‘Achieving the SDGs through Promoting Entrepreneurship and Innovation.’ Hosted under the Patronage of H.R.H. Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa and The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, with a variety of UN agency, public and private partners, the primary objectives of the event were to introduce international best practices, and facilitate partnerships and investments for enterprise creation and expansion. A write-up on the Forum’s opening by UN News Centre is available here.

This SDG Knowledge Weekly is the first policy brief in a weekly series of briefings on activities by key organizations in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


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