Special Event Showcases Partnerships for Data, People, Planet
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The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs' (DESA) Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) and the UN Office for Partnerships (UNOP) organized the first Partnership Exchange, as a special event on the occasion of the 2016 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

UNDESA18 July 2016: The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ (DESA) Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) and the UN Office for Partnerships (UNOP) organized the first Partnership Exchange, as a special event on the occasion of the 2016 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

Welcoming participants to the day-long event on 18 July 2016, David Nabarro, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, via recorded message, said partnerships are essential for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and highlighted the need for data that integrates the qualitative feedback of the people for whom the partnerships exist.

Nikhil Chandavarkar, Thersus Sustainability, introduced the annual report on Partnerships for the SDGs, mandated by paragraph 283 of ‘The Future We Want.’ He said the online partnerships platform has 7,412 users and 2,119 initiatives registered, of which 39% respect the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely) criteria. The platform is a gateway to 12 other action networks, and showcases one partnership from each of the 22 countries that submitted National Voluntary Reviews to the HLPF in 2016, he said.

In a session on ‘Partnerships with focus on People,’ Claudia Morrissey Conlon, USAID, presented the ‘Saving Mothers Giving Life,’ a public-private partnership (PPP) to reduce maternal and newborn mortality in Sub-Saharan African countries, with a focus on Uganda, Zambia and Nigeria. She explained that the initiative was launched by Hillary Clinton to test an integrated health systems approach that addresses the “three delays” associated with maternal and newborn deaths: delays in seeking appropriate care; delays in reaching care in a timely manner; and delays in receiving high-quality care at a health facility.

Nana Taona Kuo, Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General, highlighted ‘Every Woman Every Child,’ and noted key elements for successful partnerships: the SDGs provide the framework, but partnerships need clear objectives; leadership from CEOs and UN leaders; and building trust through robust and transparent accountability mechanisms.

Barbara Ammirati, Global Partnership to End Violence against Children, said violence against children can be addressed by achieving SDG targets 16.2, 5.2, 5.3, 8.7, 4.a, and 4.7. She said the Global Partnership is strengthening collaboration between countries, building political will, and promoting multi-sectoral services. He also introduced INSPIRE, a package of seven strategies for ending violence against children.

Natalie Draisin, FIA Foundation, presented the ‘Global Initiative for Child Health and Mobility,’ which speaks to SDGs 1, 3, 4, 7, 11 and 13, and aims to ensure that by 2030 every child will have a safe journey to school through: safe and accessible low-carbon mobility; clean air and a healthy environment; and road safety.

Sofia Garcia Garcia, SOS Children’s Village, presented the ‘Go Teach’ initiative created in partnership with the Deutsche Post DHL Group, focused on youth employability. She said the partnership provides career guidance for young people and connects employers and youth, having reached 7,000 young people in 26 countries so far. Alexandra Knezovich, Toilet Board Coalition, highlighted the ‘Toilet Accelerator’ initiative, which works with sanitation innovators by: accelerating promising sanitation business models with prospect for scale; co-innovating new solutions where critical components of the system do not exist; and building opportunities to bundle sanitation projects that target the same users.

Lise Kingo, Executive Director, UN Global Compact (UNGC), announced the launch of Partnership Data for SDGs, a partnership between DESA, UNGC, and UNOP to provides a centralized framework for publishing and assessing partnerships, in order to enhance transparency, coherence and comparability of UN’s data on partnerships. Kingo further noted that the partnerships listed on the platform must fulfill three criteria: be linked to specific SDGs; adhere to the SMART criteria; and be published in a format that allows the partnership to be shared in an open, user-friendly way.

In a session on ‘Partnerships with focus on Planet & Prosperity,’ Ramon Cruz, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, introduced the Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT), saying mobility and transport are essential for the achievement of the SDGs, even though they are not addressed in a stand-alone SDG. He called for the HLPF to ensure that this “critical” cross-cutting issue does not fall between the cracks when it comes to SDG follow-up.

Patrick Ho Chi Ping, China Energy Fund Committee, presented the US$1 million grant ‘Powering the Future We Want – Recognizing Leadership and Innovative Practices in Energy for Sustainable Development,’ which aims to promote leadership and innovative practices on global energy. Chikako Takase, UN Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD), presented the ‘International Partnership for Waste Management Services of Local Authorities’ (IPLA), which works as a decentralized network with global, regional and local secretariats and contributes to the achievement of SDGs 6, 7, 11, 12 and 17.

Rajul Pandya-Lorch, International Food Policy Research Initiative (IFPRI), presented Compact2025, an initiative for ending hunger and undernutrition by 2025, which uses three approaches: engaging emerging countries; stimulating knowledge and innovation through innovation labs, synthesizes of current knowledge, communication plans for the existing knowledge, and data tracking and monitoring; and supporting existing initiatives and projects at the national and regional levels. The key recommendations she enumerated included: making policies and programmes more nutrition-driven; improving coordination; and filling data and knowledge gaps.

Karen Newman, SDG Fund, introduced the ‘Food Africa Project – Adopting a backward and forward integration model,’ a partnership among Sahara Group, the SDG Fund, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Trade Centre (ITC), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Roca Brothers and the Kaduna State Government. The Food Africa Project promotes replicable integrated solutions to agro-food value chain development, food security and nutrition, youth employment and poverty alleviation. She said the programme engages non-traditional actors through a private sector advisory group and dialogues with civil society, the creative industries and different faith groups. Seriena Bal, Our Oceans Challenge, noted that, in order to make an industry move forward on a sustainable path, members of that industry need to define common goals that connect the entire industry, identify the existing sustainability challenges, and find ways in which partnering could solve them.

Mitchell Toomey, SDG Action Campaign, moderated a session on ‘Partnerships with focus on Data, media and innovative tools for the SDGs.’ Heather Grady, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers, presented the SDG Philanthropy Platform (SDGfunders.org) catalyzing philanthropy-government collaboration for the SDGs, noting that “real shifts” are required to fully support the SDGs, not just “deviating from the norm.”

Sanjeev Khagram presented the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, which was launched in September 2015 following on the report, “A World That Counts.” He said the Partnership seeks to ensure data is utilized to empower citizens to achieve the SDGs, and called data “the oil of the 21st century” and “the difference between life and death.” The GPSDD has over 150 members, including governments, international agencies, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), civil society organizations and private companies, such as Facebook and SAP. Khagram stressed the need for official statistics to embrace the new opportunities of the data revolution, and called for building trust between silos.

Also presented during the session were: the PCSD Partnership, a multi-stakeholder partnership for enhancing policy coherence for sustainable development; the ESRI open engagement platform to allow users to find, use, make and share spatial and statistical data; Regions Adapt (nrg4sd), the first global initiative for regional governments to take action on climate adaptation; and Everyone Counts, for citizen-generated data.

The Partnership Exchange also included a stocktaking event on SIDS Partnerships, organized by Maldives and Italy, co-chairs of the Steering Committee on Partnerships for SIDS, in collaboration with the UN Secretariat. Sebastiano Cardi, Permanent Representative of Italy, said the SIDS Partnership Framework includes the Steering Committee and an annual multi-stakeholder dialogue. He said the Pacific States had initiated a long-standing model of partnership that is expanding to other regions.

The event concluded with a dialogue on reviewing partnerships’ contributions to implementing the SDG, organized in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Germany and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, and a wrap-up session with Thomas Gass, DESA.

HLPF 2016 took place from 11-20 July 2016, in New York, US. [Partnership Exchange] [A World That Counts: Mobilising the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development] [IISD RS Coverage of HLPF 2016]

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