Experts Set True Test of Effective SDG Financing
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An issue brief from IDDRI suggests avenues for more efficient financing processes for the 2030 Agenda.

Understanding the actual impact of investment flows is an important step amid the growing risk of "SDG-washing".

The authors argue that the “true test” of 2030 Agenda financing is not how much is invested in projects on one or more of the 169 SDG targets, but whether projects are designed to minimize the negative externalities and maximize the positive externalities across multiple Goals and targets.

An issue brief from IDDRI (Sustainable Development and International Relations) suggests avenues for more efficient financing processes for the 2030 Agenda, particularly in the context of the vulnerabilities highlighted by the COVID-19 crisis. It argues that the “true test” of 2030 Agenda financing is not how much is invested in projects on one or more of the 169 SDG targets, but whether projects are designed to minimize the negative externalities and maximize the positive externalities across multiple Goals and targets.

Authors Maria Alejandra Riaño and Damien Barchiche explain that synergies among SDGs and their targets “do not occur automatically.” As shown by the ongoing pandemic, one missing element such as efficient governance, health system, energy provision, or management of natural resources—can have effects throughout the economy and society.

This is related to the growing risk of “SDG-washing,” the authors suggest. Understanding the actual impact of investment flows is particularly important during a crisis. They report that the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is working on several initiatives to help map financing flows to the SDGs and assess remaining needs and gaps. 

With regard to country-level financing, the brief recommends developing Integrated National Financing Frameworks, as agreed by UN Member States in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) on financing for development. The Frameworks would spell out financing and implementation plans for the national sustainable development strategy, thus providing investors with clarity and predictability “across the three time horizons of relief, recovery and long-term structural transformation.” 

The issue brief titled, ‘Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: prerequisites, and opportunities for the post-Covid-19 crisis,’ says effectively implementing and financing the 2030 Agenda requires “forceful” alliances and partnerships that are grounded in local and national needs and capabilities, invest heavily upfront, invest in innovation and use science-based solutions, and have the support and participation of government authorities. [Publication: Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Prerequisites, and Opportunities for the Post-Covid-19 Crisis

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