Nigerians Hack4Good: Next Generation MY World 2030 global solutions

Nigeria is set once again to take the MY World survey to the next level 

 

Abuja, Nigeria February 5-7, 2018

Between 2013-15 Nigerians collected 2.7 million votes in the MY World 2015 Survey setting a global standard for public engagement. The collected responses allowed the Government of Nigeria hear the concerns of citizens and place them at the heart of decision-making process about the 2030 Agenda. This March MY World 2030 is set to launch once again across the country aiming to mobilize millions of citizens to have their say on the country’s development priorities.

In a previous survey conducted, millions of paper ballots were shipped across Nigeria and hundreds of people then helped transcribe responses to the database. Despite the tremendous results achieved, the process required money, time and human resources which could be better spent. To do things better this time, we challenged Nigerian talents and developers to harness technology to build a next generation MY World 2030 global solution.

On February 5-7 2018, the SDG Action Campaign and the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs partnered with Civic Innovation Lab to host a hackathon. Our challenge for the participants was to have developed a prototype to support response collection and data management of the MY World 2030 survey. Developers came from across Nigeria to the 3-day event in Abuja, where participants learned about the SDGs and 10 teams pitched their solutions to judges.

“I am really passionate about the UN from a very young age and I have always wanted to work with them. Being here in this social space which creates such a collaborative environment is such a blessing. I can’t wait to see what we come up with and to work hard for solutions that can be used around the world to be inclusive. For women, for children, for disabled. Even across language barriers”  Ikuromor Ogiriki, Hackathon participant

 

 

Three winning solutions were selected for a second round. The teams were given the task to continue to build and develop their prototypes to compete for a final prize of N100,000,000 (one million naira). After, the winning solution will be deployed in the national roll out across Nigeria and thereafter globally.

Congratulations to the three teams who were the selected winners of the first round!

Get to know our winning teams and their solutions below.

Team A

  • Perewari Pere – Team Leader and Lead Prototyper
  • Richard Igbiriki – Lead Developer
  • Ikuromor Ogiriki – Lead Designer
  • Adaka Iguniwei – Software Developer

Team A developed a prototype of an app that would enable the direct upload of survey responses into the app allowing the surveyor to work both online and offline. When online, responses are immediately sent to the database after a session is completed. When offline, responses are automatically saved in the device and can easily be uploaded to the online database with one click once connected to internet.

For paper ballots the team developed a prototype of a tool for scanning and a text recognition using Google CloudVision. The tool would enable that texts are automatically extracted and categorized under each survey question and then uploaded to the online database.

Team B

  • Chidi Stephen, Lead Developer
  • Vivian Egeruo, Developer
  • Daniel Nduka, Designer  

Team B developed a prototype of an application which would collect user response from questionnaires using USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data). The application works by collecting user response from questionnaires using USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data). USSD is a Global System for Mobile(GSM) communication technology that is used to send text between a mobile phone and an application program in the network. Example *556# to check balance on a service provider Network. When the USSD is created on a service provider platform, users will be able to interact with contents (questionnaires) uploaded by the admin on such platforms by entering the specified USSD and interacting with the response. The responses collated is then sent to a central storage area

TEAM C

  • Olabosinde Oladipo (Software Engineer)
  • Akinniranye James (Software Engineer)

Team C created three separate solutions to address issues identified in the current process. The suggested solutions were: 1. Scanning backlog of paper surveys with an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) System to eliminate the manual data entry. 2. Use online means like a progressive web app and Twitter Polls to reach out to more demographics. 3. Develop a mobile app that could be used by surveyor and the public to both collect responses and send results to the central database. The app would work offline while leveraging the coverage and reliability of SMS to push time-critical data to the central database from remote places.

About

Hack4Good is a civic and youth participation program of the Civic Innovation lab that encourages the youth to develop innovative solutions to pressing problems in our society.

The Judges

Mr Muyiwa Ibrahim – Data Scientist. • Mr Adepegba  Oduntan – Oracle Strategic Initiative Specialist • Mr Bolaji – Technology Advisor, Civic Innovation Lab • Laura Hildebrandt – UN SDG Action Campaign • Gayan Peiris – UN SDG Action Campaign

100 primary school children join SDG Advocate team to kick SDGs into action at the Olympics

SDG branded football serves as a reminder of the cooperative action needed to achieve the SDGs

 GANGWON-DO, February 16, 2018

On the 16th of February, high-level dignitaries brought together the messages of the Olympic spirit, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the importance of providing a quality education for all to a classroom in Gangwon Province, South Korea, showing the intersection of these important ideals through a recognizable and beloved object: the football.

In a ceremony led by the United Nations SDG Advocacy Group’s Co-Chair, H.E. Mrs. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, and fellow SDG Advocate Ambassador Dho Young-Shim delegates spoke of the connection between these three ideals with 100 school children at the Musan Community Children’s Center Primary School, stressing their foundational importance to understanding an individual’s responsibility of global citizenship, and the collective responsibility of working together to build a more peaceful and equal world by the year 2030.

The students had the chance to ask the delegation questions. Following the short ceremony, they were gifted a reminder they could keep: an SDG branded football.

“The Olympic Movement and the SDGs promote world cooperation and the lesson that with hard work you can excel. Sport and education prepare children for life as global citizens and future contributors of society. As part of that, we all have a responsibility to do what we can to make sure that all children in all countries can have a quality education and enjoy good health. In the context of the new goals, we are all developing countries with work to do at home.”

The Olympic ideals promote the importance of excellence, friendship, and respect. The SDGs similarly promote profound collaboration, an equal sense of responsibility for all countries, and a focus on helping the most vulnerable communities in an effort to leave no one behind.

A quality education (SDG 4) entails a comprehensive approach to life-long learning, not only in the classroom, that will capacitate students with values and skills that allow them to become global citizens who contribute towards a better world. In addition to the health benefits, sport can motivate children and teach values of camaraderie and inclusion. With UNICEF estimates of 61 million children of primary school age not enrolled in school, sport can also help reach the most vulnerable children who may be outside of formal education settings.

“The world [these students] will enter as grown-ups will be full of challenges and uncertainties. In the years to come, the children from this school will be key players in the global quest to achieve the SDGs,” said Solberg. “With a quality education, they will have the universal currency they need in life to take action for sustainable development.”

The SDG Advocates were joined by Mr. Choi Moon Soon, Governor of Gangwon Province; Ms. Kristin Kloster Aasen, International Olympic Committee Representative to Norway and Ms. Soohyun Kim, Head of Office, UNICEF Seoul Office .

“By studying the icons, the children can learn about the different goals and be reminded that they too should take action to make the world a better place” said Solberg.

The dignitaries then broke down the formalities of the ceremony and effectively passed the torch onto the next generation, learning from the children what they know best: how to play.

 

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More Information:
This event was organized by the United Nations SDG Advocacy Group and the UN SDG Action Campaign.

Media Contacts:
Kristin Gutekunst (kristin@sdgactioncampaign.org) +1 914 330 3774
Benjamin Schaare (benjamin.shaare@un.org) +1 202 341 4956
Tor Borgersen (tor.borgersen@smk.dep.no) +47 909 38 987

About The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
The Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by 193 Heads of State and Government on the 25th of September 2015, represent an unprecedented leap forward in the fight against poverty, inequalities, and climate change. They embody a universal, inclusive and transformative vision of development, which calls upon all Member States to ensure a life of dignity for all, leaving no-one behind. The realization of this agenda by 2030 will require the cooperation of international actors as well as bold individual and collective action by all.

About the United Nations Secretary-General’s SDG Advocacy Group:
The Secretary-General nominated 17 eminent individuals to generate momentum and commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030 by working to promote the universal sustainable development agenda, raising awareness of the integrated nature of the SDGs, and fostering engagement with new stakeholders in the implementation of these Goals.

About the United Nations SDG Action Campaign:
A special initiative of UN Secretary-General mandated to support the UN system and UN Member States on advocacy and citizen engagement in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The Campaign empowers and inspires people across the world to take action by building multi-stakeholder partnerships and leveraging cutting-edge communication technologies to bridge the gap and ensure a transparent dialogue between world leaders and their constituencies, especially the most marginalized and vulnerable populations.

Youth Leaders Engage with UN SDG Action Campaign during ECOSOC Youth Forum

The 2018 ECOSOC Youth Forum took place on 30 – 31 January 2018 at the UN HQ in New York City. The Youth Forum brought together hundreds of young leaders, ministers, civil society organisations and UN agencies to discuss the role of youth in building sustainable and resilient urban and rural communities.

The Forum presented the UN SDG Action Campaign with the opportunity to bring the SDGs to the forefront of the discussions, to re-connect with some of our longstanding partners, as well as to inspire young leaders to #Act4SDGs and to foster new partnerships.

Highlights

Campaign workshop for Youth Leaders from Northern Africa & Arab States:

A workshop was organized to inform and train twenty young change-makers from the UNDP Youth Leadership Program on SDG Action campaigning. Stories from the Humans of MY World Campaign (now in Nigeria!) were shared, MY World 2030 was introduced as both a data collection and advocacy tool, and a brainstorm took place about possible activities to be carried out during the Global Day of Action.


Youth Leaders from Northern Africa and Arab States explain how to #Act4SDGs during the ECOSOC Youth Forum. #Youth2030

Side-event on the importance of mainstreaming the SDGs in Education:

Organized by UN Youth Delegates and hosted at the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations, a discussion took place on how to better integrate the SDGs in our education systems. Rosario Gravito shared best practices from the Millennials Movement in Peru, while other campaigns and toolkits such as the World Largest Lesson (Project Everyone), MY World 2030 and MY Campus (UN SDG Action Campaign) were shared.
More information can be found here!

UN Virtual Reality (UNVR) experience during DPI NGO Youth Representatives Event

During DPI’s youth event Virtual Reality Screening was used to transport viewers into real life crisis situations in both urban and rural areas.  The concept has proven it’s impact, and also this time around youth leaders were both touched and inspired by the immersive storytelling portfolio of UNVR.

Important: Youth Leaders, Civil Society organisations, and others, can still register for the Global Festival of Action on Sustainable Development taking place in Bonn on 21-23 March. Register here!

All questions related to our youth engagement portfolio may be directed to jilt.vanschayik@sdgactioncampaign.org

Shaping a sustainable future with the UN in Bonn

The United Nations SDG Action Campaign is proud to be part of the growing United Nations family in Bonn, Germany.

The UN is currently represented in Bonn with about 20 organizations. UN Bonn supports targeted efforts by governments for a sustainable future in the fields of climate change, land degradation, biodiversity and ecosystem services, wildlife conservation, volunteerism, health, human security, disaster risk reduction, tourism, as well as education and training.

This not only includes the sustainable use of natural resources and their precautionary preservation for future generations, but also the global fight against poverty.

Learn more about the UN in Bonn here:

Brochure in English

Brochure in German

The United Nations has had offices in Bonn since 1951. In 2006, the UN Campus was officially inaugurated by the former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, with the “Langer Eugen” as the main building.

The UN presence in Bonn has grown steadily, from a handful of staff in 1996 to what has become a UN family with an international staff of almost 1,000 colleagues. Furthermore, the United Nations are represented in Germany with institutions and liaison offices in Dresden, Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt and Nuremberg.

For more, visit the UN Bonn website.

The United Nations launches hacking challenge to bring Nigerian voices to decision-makers

Hackathon to be held from 5-7 February 2018 will award 1 million naira to winner team

BONN, Germany, January 31st, 2018 – The United Nations SDG Action Campaign, in collaboration with Civic Innovation Lab, is calling on Nigeria’s best software skills to contribute to citizens’ engagement with the SDGs and bring the voices of Nigerians to the Government and the United Nations.

 “The SDGs are a new way of thinking and doing. They provide guidelines for how we can, and need, to do things more creatively, more effectively, and more inclusively. Nigerian developers and the innovation community have invested in helping their communities thrive and we want to provide the opportunity to transfer this innovative thinking into action for good, to solve the most important problems that we are facing right now. It is very exciting to bring this program to Nigeria for the first time, and we are convinced the results will have a tremendous impact locally and globally,” said Mitchell Toomey, Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign.

A hackathon to be held from 5-7 February 2018 in Abuja will bring together top innovative minds to design a tool, app or system to enable a more efficient roll out of the MY World survey across the country.

MY World is the UN survey that educates and mobilizes citizens on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and allows them to share their perception of progress made in their countries and regions on those goals of most immediate concern to them in the past 12 months. Through this data collection, the UN aims to create space for every citizen in the world to participate in the discussions and send strong messages to world leaders on what needs to be done to solve today’s most pressing challenges.

“Nigeria is fully committed to faithfully implementing the SDGs and ensuring that no Nigerian is left behind. In spite of the current economic realities, Nigeria has continued to commit funds to the SDGs to devise effective means of ensuring the SDGs are promoted and owned by peoples of the world”, affirmed Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Presidential Adviser on the SDGs, Government of Nigeria.

The winner of the hackathon will receive One Million Naira and a 3 months’ Community membership at the Civic Innovation Lab to develop the tool that will be used in the roll out of the survey across Nigeria and around the world. Participants can apply through the online application, open until February 1st, 2018.

“Engaging social innovators in tech to take action for the SDGs is key to achieving these Goals. Our collaboration with the UN SDG Action Campaign will enable the Nigerian community of designers, social innovators and entrepreneurs to collaborate effectively in addressing the country’s needs and join the global community of change-makers who are tackling the world’s biggest challenges”, said Adaeze Sokan, Director, Civic Innovation Lab.

ABOUT THE UN SDG ACTION CAMPAIGN

The UN SDG Action Campaign is a special initiative of the UN-Secretary General, administered by the UNDP to create awareness about the 2030 Agenda, empower and inspire people across the world to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while generating political will, and help make the Goals attainable by 2030.

http://sdgactioncampaign.org/

ABOUT MY WORLD 2030

MY World is the UN survey that asks citizens if they are aware of the Sustainable Development Goals, which six of the 17 Global Goals are of immediate concern to them and if the situation of these has got better, stayed the same or got worse over the past 12 months.

https://myworld2030.org/

ABOUT OSSAP-SDGS

The Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on the SDGs (OSSAP-SDGs) was established by the President of Nigeria with a mandate to coordinate national mobilisation, integration, implementation and reporting of the SDGs across levels of government. It also has the mandate to promote partnership and mobilise resources for the SDGs, working with multi-stakeholders including the private sector, civil society and international development partners. In 2017, the OSSAP-SDGs entered into a multi-year partnership agreement with the United Nations SDG Action Campaign.

http://sdgs.gov.ng/

ABOUT CIVIC INNOVATION LAB

Civic Innovation Lab is a social innovation hub focused on harnessing Creativity, Innovation, and Technology to solve our most pressing civic and government issues. We support technology solutions that enhance efficiency and effectiveness in public sector institutions as well as quality of life.

http://civicilab.com/

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Marta Rojas| UN SDG Action Campaign | marta.rojas@undp.org

Priscila Jordão| UN SDG Action Campaign  priscila@sdgactioncampaign.org

A new discovery tool for cutting-edge research on SDGs: the Sustainable Development Explorer

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are interconnected, and so is the work of United Nations University (UNU), which spans the full breadth of the SDGs.

About 400 UNU researchers are engaged in more than 180 projects to address complex global challenges, especially where different goals meet. To highlight which of those projects address each of the SDGs, UNU just launched a new tool that allows one to search its database of research, commentary, and multimedia: the Sustainable Development Explorer.

Available in English and in Japanese, the SD Explorer currently features 51 projects, 34 experts, 34 publications, and 50 expert articles, organised by SDG.

It offers visitors the opportunity to explore the “who” and “what” of UNU’s work, engage directly with UNU’s experts, and learn about how their ideas can play a significant role in promoting and supporting the SDGs.

To learn more about the SD Explorer, please visit: http://bit.ly/2FQrRwy.

The United Nations calls on the top Nigerian hackers to capture people’s voices

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: HACK 4 GOOD

Hacking the Nigeria National MY World Survey 2030

Photo: Civic Innovation Lab

Calling all developers and problem solvers with multidisciplinary background – Can your software or creative skills help bring the voices of Nigerians to the Government and the United Nations? The UN SDG Action Campaign in collaboration with the Civic Innovation Lab is organising a hackathon to be held 5-7 February 2018  in Abuja to bring together top innovative minds to design a tool, app or system to enable more efficient roll out of the MY World 2030 survey across the country.

Apply now. TOP 3 solutions will be given seed money to compete for a N1,000,000.00 (One Million Naira) prize and Community membership at the Civic Innovation Lab to develop the tool that will be used in the roll out of the survey across Nigeria and around the world. Have the chance to shape this global project for a better world.

The Hackathon is scheduled to take place from Monday, Feb 5th – Wednesday, Feb 7th at the Civic Innovation Lab located at No 54 Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse 2 (Osas & Oseji House) – Abuja, Nigeria, and it is mandatory for all shortlisted candidates to attend.

Deadline for Application is, January 31st, 2018. Participants are to completely fill an online application to be considered.

How to Participate

  1. Applicants must take time to read about the background and solution needed. See more information below.
  2. Participants must completely fill the online application. We will accept the top ideas that will participate in the Hackathon. Participants are free to form teams or work individually. Selection Criteria for the participation in the Hackathon  will be based on:
    • Previous relevant work experience
    • Idea proposal or statement of interest of not more than 150 words
    • completed application
  1. Deadline for application is Wednesday, January 31st, 2018
  2. Only selected participants will be communicated to on Feb 1st, 2018 to attend the Hackathon event from Feb 5th,  2018 – Feb 7th, 2018

Contract  Selection Criteria include:

  1. a) Innovative Approach
  2. b) UI/UX Experience
  3. c) Identified Problem
  4. d) Functional Prototype
  5. e) Presentation Style
  6. f) Scalability
  7. g) Credible Data Reference

Eligibility & Requirements

  1.     Applicants will create prototypes of web, SMS and mobile applications, to address the specific challenge.
  2. Relevant experience, skill and passion is highly appreciated including (but not limited to) GIS mapping, software development, data analysis and design thinking.
  3.  Must be willing to attend the Hackathon from Feb 5th, 2018 – Feb 7th, 2018 at the Civic Innovation Lab Abuja, Nigeria.
  4. Must be willing to develop the prototype to a final product completely by Feb 26th, 2018
  5. All members of the team must be willing to sign an agreement for releasing the final code to public as open source
  6. Must be a Nigerian Citizen
  7. Must be above the age of 18

The Challenge

In March 2018, UN SDG Action Campaign working with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on the SDGs will be implementing a national roll out of the MY World 2030 survey (myworld2030.org). Hundreds of Corps Members will be handing out ballots and collecting responses on paper. Thereafter we will need to get these hundreds of thousands of responses collected and entered into the global database following this Excel template.

In a previous survey conducted between 2013-15, millions of paper ballots were shipped across Nigeria. Hundreds of people then had to transcribe the survey responses to the database. Despite the tremendous results achieved, the process required money, time and human resources which could be better spent. Our challenge to you is to help find a solution to help us improve the process and time spent in data collection, collation and entry.

We challenge you to find innovative solutions which would both streamline and automate the current process. The solutions could tackle issues such as how to effectively scan and transcribe the responses, the design of the ballots or the vote collecting technique itself. We encourage you to get creative! You may assume that many of the National Youth Service Corps members will have an android  smartphone or tablet, but keep in mind that much of the time, they may be in rural areas, disconnected from internet and other services. The solution must be fully tested and ready to use by the start of March 2018.

Data collected through the app will be written to a MYSQL database hosted by the UN SDG Action Campaign. Permissions to access and write to the database will be given to the finalists. The app will be submitted to the Android Google Play store using the UN SDG Action Campaign account.

The open source solutions provided by the Hackathon will be put in place for the national implementation of MY World 2030 in the first half of 2018. It will also provide a model and system that can be applied to MY World 2030 roll-outs in all other countries, and by partners working at both large and small scale implementation around the world.


About UN SDG Action Campaign

The UN SDG Action Campaign is a special initiative of the UN-Secretary General, administered by the UNDP to create awareness about the 2030 Agenda, empower and inspire people across the world to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while generating political will, and help make the Goals attainable by 2030.

About Civic Innovation Lab

Civic Innovation Lab is a social innovation hub focused on harnessing Creativity, Innovation, and Technology to solve our most pressing civic and government issues. We support technology solutions that enhance efficiency and effectiveness in public sector institutions as well as solutions that enhance quality of life.

Let your passion make a difference!

 

UNLEASH searches 1,000 young talents to innovate for SDGs in Singapore

From May 30 to June 6, Singapore will be the host for UNLEASH 2018 and the second cohort of 1,000 young talents from all over the world, who will work on new, innovative and disruptive solutions to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Applications are open from January 15 – February 15, 2018.

The first UNLEASH took place in Denmark in August 2017. In November 2017, the Danish Prime Minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, handed over UNLEASH to the Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during an official visit.

“Denmark kick-started this great initiative, and there is no better partner than Singapore to take over. The global SDGs carry the ambition to bring the world we live in closer to the world in which we wish to live. Singapore is known for its foresight, drive, and ability to take action. By passing on the host country torch to Singapore, I am sure that UNLEASH will take yet another important step forward,” said Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen.

The talents will learn from Singaporean private and public sector, who will inspire the talents for their process through the four-day innovation challenge. The talents are put in teams and will work on solutions within their field of expertise.

“We each have a valuable contribution to make to sustainable development. This gathering of young, creative and innovative minds will harness the power of human ingenuity, to create imaginative solutions that achieve the SDGs,” said Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

At the end of the innovation challenge, the solutions will be perfected and pitched in front of a panel of experts before UNLEASH culminates on June 6, when the final awards show takes place and thought leaders from all over the world will give keynotes to inspire the talents’ way forward. Here the best ideas are also awarded and given prizes to further support the implementation of their solutions.

Applications will be open from January 15 – February 15, 2018. For more information, please visit www.unleash.org.

Mitchell Toomey: “Youth power can lead the way towards the SDGs and the ambitions of countries all over the world”

Source: African Newspage/January 10, 2018

Mitchell Toomey is the global director of the United Nations SDG Action Campaign, a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General administered by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), mandated to support the UN system-wide and the Member States on advocacy and public engagement in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

How important are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to Africa, in terms of achieving sustainable development in the region?

I think the Sustainable Development Goals are everyone’s responsibility and Africa deserves to achieve the SDGs just like other regions deserve to do so; we had the MDGs and countries like Nigeria were an incredible success in rallying people around some specific goals.

Moreover, the SDGs represent a much more ambitious agenda; they are not just about people’s survival but actually about ensuring people thrive. So, Nigeria is an obvious leader in Africa and with such a large youth population and potential we want to make sure the SDGs work here so that Nigeria can lead other countries in Africa.

We are already 2 years into the implementation of the SDGs, how has Africa fared in terms of achieving the goals?

Well, I think every country is different, every country has their own development plans and one thing we have learnt is that you can’t just bring something new and expect everyone to enforce it immediately; already there is the Africa Agenda 2063, which is a very important agenda that came before the SDGs. So, we have to be humble enough to understand that people already have their own plans.

Two years on, we are very happy to see how governments have taken them very seriously; they have set up departments and commissions to make sure there is some accountability in the implementation of the SDGs. Many countries have come to New York to talk about their action plans and what they want to do. However, two years on we can say the goals are still in their very early days.

The next few years will really determine how much progress we will see in terms of implementation of the goals. So, in 2019 the heads of state of all countries will gather again in New York to review the progress we have achieved in 4 years – it will be an incredibly important period. Therefore, we are confident that by then many countries would have achieved some of the progress necessary for the success of the goals.

Two key sectors of the world’s population i.e women and youth are very vital to the success of global development frameworks like the SDGs. How do you think given women and youth the opportunity to key into the implementation of the Global Goals will aid the successful realization of the goals?

Well, one reason the youth are such a focus of the goals is that the youth themselves helped designed the goals; when we were deciding what the goals would be we challenged young people from around the world to help us decide what the goals would be and they responded in amazing ways: by telling us what was happening in their communities and hence what the goals should be.

As such, most of the goals are youth-centered which means the youth can relate to them; we make sure that the icons are very friendly and easy to understand so that even children can understand these goals.

The reason is we are in a period of tremendous change in the world and young people are the future; the ability to access information, find networks of people, and learn new things using digital tools are what matters. It is a much different world than it used to be and young people are the ones who understand it best so we need to follow their lead in making these goals a reality.

And women have always played a very critical role in society even though sometimes such a role is marginalized outside of the traditional economies but we believe by giving everyone in the society the opportunity to participate we will achieve explosive growth which will lead to development in all countries.

Agenda 2030 is a very ambitious development framework that hopes to change the face of the world particularly here in Africa, around gender, education, governance, and public health. Where do you hope to see Africa by the year 2030 in terms of achieving these goals?

It is hard to generalize for Africa as different countries are at different starting points; different countries are progressing in different ways. We have to be very honest that different countries will progress in different ways.

Imagine how much the world has changed in the last 15 years, imagine all the things we never dreamed we could do like standing here and having this conversation with you and getting it out on the internet for everyone to see, we just would not even have thought it would be possible. So, I think if anything the goals aren’t ambitious enough to match the ambitions of young people around the world.

This article is culled from African Newspage – a digital newspaper for development reporting. View the original piece on their website.

SDGs brought to first internship fair of the German Foreign Office in Bonn

Almost 300 university and tertiary-level students had the opportunity to experience a first-hand interaction with the UN SDG Action Campaign last Saturday, the 20th of January, at the first Internship Fair at the German Foreign Office premises in Bonn.

Apart from receiving information on internship opportunities at UN agencies, they built up their knowledge about the SDGs and learned about several ways to engage, such as answering the My World 2030 survey.

Many have also shown interest in volunteering for the annual Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development, which this year happens in Bonn from 21-23 of March. The call for volunteers to support the preparations, communications, and delivery of the event is now open and those fluent in English can apply.

The fair brought together 25 international organizations and EU institutions in the region, including several UN organizations such as United Nations Regional Information Centre, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, World Health Organization and International Organization for Migration.

The region of Bonn is considered a sustainability cluster since it gathers several global players and around 150 NGOs working in the fields of development co-operation, peacekeeping, renewable energies, and sustainable resources management.

We encourage all students to stay connected with us by following us on social media (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram), volunteering for the festival and engaging with the SDGs in their local communities!