The Bond network analyzes the impact of UK official development assistance, other UK international policies, and the international footprint of its domestic policies on global achievement of the SDGs.
The report highlights examples of policy incoherence, such as the UK’s continued fossil fuel subsidies alongside its support for countries in the Global South to move to greener models of energy production.
The report calls on the UK government to promote national and local ownership of the SDGs domestically and through its aid policies.
17 June 2019: A network of UK-based international development NGOs and networks has analyzed the impact of the UK’s official development assistance (ODA), other UK international policies and the international footprint of its domestic policies on the global achievement of the SDGs. The report by Bond appears ahead of the UK’s presentation of its Voluntary National Review (VNR) to the July 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).
The 85-page report titled, ‘The UK’s global contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals: Progress, gaps and recommendation,’ identifies examples of policy incoherence, such as the UK’s continued fossil fuel subsidies alongside its support for countries in the Global South to move to greener models of energy production. The report calls on the UK government to promote national and local ownership of the SDGs domestically and through its aid policies.
The authors call for action by the Government on five cross-cutting areas of concern:
- increase efforts to ensure that no one left behind;
- support national and local ownership of the 2030 Agenda;
- target aid where it is most needed, and focus on eradicating poverty;
- show greater ambition on climate action and environmental sustainability; and
- support international tax reform, domestic resource mobilization and public services that are inclusive and gender-sensitive.
An infographic shows the links between these recommendations for action and the SDGs. For example, the recommendation on climate action and environmental sustainability, is linked to SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy), SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), SDG 13 (climate action), SDG 14 (life below water) and SDG 15 (life on land).
The report outlines actions to achieve each aim. For example, on ensuring national and local ownership of the 2030 Agenda, it calls for supporting other governments, particularly in the Global South, to: develop plans and processes to promote action on the SDGs; support civil society and other stakeholders, particularly women and those ‘left behind’ to engage in such plans and processes; deliver on previous commitments on capacity building for civil society and other stakeholders; collaborate more directly and openly with devolved governments in Britain, such as the administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which also provide foreign aid, on their contribution to the SDGs; and support the delivery of the SDGs in the UK’s Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, in line with their national strategies.
Selected SDG targets are reviewed for the specific impacts achieved by the UK. The authors state that the UK’s ODA has shifted away from its primary purpose of poverty eradication, due to a focus on privatization. As a result, it delivers development ‘in the national interest’ and spends aid through government departments other than its Department for International Development (DFID) – all of which, they argue, limits the Government’s ability to promote achievement of the SDGs.
Overall, the Bond network urges the UK Government to do more to ensure that its VNR and any follow-up actions after the 2019 session of the HLPF are directed by the perspectives and approaches of local civil society, especially through its aid programmes in the Global South.
Bond is a UK network for more than 400 UK-based organizations working in international network. More than 49 organizations and 14 networks and working groups contributed to the report. The analysis was conducted by the Bond SDG Group, which has around 150 member organizations.
The UK is one of 47 countries that will present a VNR to the HLPF this year. The VNR presentations will take place from 15-18 July 2019. The UK is scheduled to present on Tuesday, 16 July. [Publication: The UK’s global contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals Progress, gaps and recommendations] [Executive Summary] [HLPF Programme]