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

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!

MY World 2030 Survey launched in Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network member countries

Rising up to the challenge of leaving no one’s voice behind, the network of volunteers Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network (CSAYN) has officially launched the MY World 2030 UN Global Survey on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) online across all 36 CSAYN countries globally.

As a post-launch, some CSAYN countries have launched the survey offline in Central Africa (Yaoundé, Cameroon), East Africa (Zanzibar, Tanzania) and Europe (Bonn, Germany) for now while waiting on other regions to join efforts.

Based in Cameroon, CSAYN links volunteers with a strong interest in climate-smart agriculture and environment around the world. Climate-smart agriculture can contribute not only to achieve SDG #2, focused on ending hunger, but also relates to ending poverty (SDG #1), sustainable management of water (SDG #6), sustainable economic growth (SDG #8) and action to combat climate change (SDG #13).

In Yaoundé, the offline survey was launched by CSAYN in the International Relations Institute of Cameroon. Attended by well over 300 students of diverse disciplines of international relations, the event was followed by discussions centered on how data collected from the survey can influence policy decisions in the United Nations, as well as resolve key challenges in Africa.

“Watching how participants took the survey with so much excitement, passion and a strong conviction that their votes could make sustainable development a reality has encouraged our work towards being ambassadors for the goals in every local community”, says CSAYN country coordinator Nche Tala Aghanwi.

Although many still continue unaware of the SDGs in Cameroon, particularly in rural communities, discussions made clear how important the goals are for people and the extent to which they cut across their daily experiences.

The MY World Survey has also started to make its way towards local rulers. “One of the most inspired persons I encountered was a traditional ruler who explained to me that this survey has served as an evaluation tool of his rule and the level of amelioration or deterioration of major social services in his village since he became the chief”, says Aghanwi.

In Tanzania, CSAYN has engaged a community of 170 smallholders in Zanzibar in the offline survey, motivated by the interest of rural youth and women in climate-smart agriculture. Members of the Tanzania CSAYN team have also discussed with Zanzibar local farmers how to improve the production of cassava by intercropping it with sweet potatoes or yams in order to increase food security, contributing towards achieving zero hunger by 2030.

In Bonn, Germany, the offline survey was launched in the margin of the Global Landscape Forum. A cross-section of 50 delegates took part in the survey and committed to become SDGs Advocates within their communities, institutions, organizations and countries.

The results of the survey collected by CSAYN will help feed into the UN’s and governments’ monitoring of progress on the SDGs, raising awareness of important issues and giving a “people’s perspective” from the ground, in real-time.

Take the MY World 2030 survey here and raise your voice too about what SDGs are most important to you!

Paragon Partnerships’ member PepsiCo carries out first MY World scientific survey in the Philippines

 70% of Filipinos feel the situation on the Sustainable Development Goals of most concern to them – poverty, hunger and good health & wellbeing – has not improved in the last twelve months.

More has to be done if we want to achieve the Goals by 2030, and the Philippines is a good example of it. PepsiCo, Paragon Partnerships and the UN SDG Action Campaign conducted a representative survey among 10,000 Filipinos to look at their awareness of the SDGs and their perception on how the situation on the most important issues for them and their families has developed in the past year.

The survey revealed that awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals signed by 193 World leaders at the UN in 2015 was very low among people in the Philippines, at just 5.9% of the total numbers interviewed. And more importantly, the lower the socio economic demographic, the awareness decreased further.

Anand Kantaria of the UN SDG Action Campaign said “This latest data demonstrates that more has to be done in communicating the SDGs to the most marginalised communities, ensuring that no one is left behind. Multistakeholder partnerships such as this one with PepsiCo and Paragon help us gather critical timely data on progress and feed people’s’ perceptions into decision making at all levels”.

Pamela Forbus, PepsiCo SVP Global Insights & Analytics, said “We are proud to partner with Paragon Partnerships and the UN SDG Action Campaign in the effort to collect data and insight to improve people’s lives. This important work is aligned with PepsiCo’s strategic vision, Performance with Purpose, which began over a decade ago and is rooted in the fundamental belief that business success is inextricably linked to the sustainability of the world we share.”

The survey also indicated that SDG 1 – No Poverty, SDG2 – Zero Hunger and and SDG3 – Good Health & Well Being are the primary concerns to Filipinos. When asked about how the situation has evolved for these specific Goals, the vast majority (68.2%) felt that the goals of most concerns to them had not changed in the past 12 months, while just over a quarter (28%) thought they had improved over the same period, and only a small percentage 3.8% of the interviewed Filipinos felt the Goals that they were most concerned about had got worse, with the lowest socio economic classes being the least optimistic about any positive changes.

The survey was conducted as part of PepsiCo’s Demand Science project in the Philippines. PepsiCo included three MY World 2030 questions in partnership with the United Nations SDG Action Campaign for this Paragon Partnerships project.

Dilek Ozler of Paragon said “PepsiCo is an active contributing member of the Paragon Partnerships, committed to using data and insight to improve people’s lives.  As Paragon, we are proud to be providing a platform where market researchers around the world and countries/ governments come together to measure the impact of the actions towards sustainable development.  Without measurement, it would not be possible to see real progress and keep ourselves responsible.  Our hope is that more country governments take the opportunity to work with Paragon, not only to measure the progress of SDGs in their countries, but also to use market research to help feed their policies to implement SDGs.  Knowledge and citizen insights are key for the implementation of SDGs.”

Dig deeper into the results of the survey here.

To explore other results and how people think about progress on the SDGs click here.

Action Taken on Climate Change: previously ignored, has soared to the top of people’s priorities around the world.

               

PREVIOUSLY IGNORED, ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE HAS SOARED TO THE TOP OF PEOPLE’S PRIORITIES AROUND THE WORLD.

In 2015, 10 million people raised their voices on what mattered to them, their families and their communities in the largest global consultation ever undertaken by the UN. Out of 16 priority areas, Climate Action ranked dead last. 2 years later, Climate Action has soared to one of the top citizen priorities across the globe.

Past MY World 2015 data from data.myworld2015.org showing that action taken on climate change was previously ranked last

The MY World survey was the driving force behind this consultation, which shaped the Sustainable Development Goals -the universal to-do list to end poverty, address inequalities and tackle climate change by 2030. This global survey, led by the United Nations and partners, aims to invite everyone to share their views with world leaders, to build dialogue between government and citizens and influence decision-making.

According to the latest data of the global survey, ‘Action on Climate Change’ is either the top priority or one of the 4 greatest global challenges for people around the Globe. This is a big shift in people’s perception and an important message for everyone: governments, the UN, development activists and practitioners, and change agents.

Screenshot showing the current ranking of climate action on data.myworld2030.org

The questions asked are very personal. “What is most important for you and your family?”. It’s increasingly clear that people recognize that climate change is becoming an important issue for them in their daily lives.

Every step taken for Climate Action is a step further in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The adoption of both the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement demonstrate the political will needed to end poverty and human suffering, while also protecting the environment that we and future generations depend upon for our for our health and prosperity. These agendas are closely interlinked and many of the actions taken to address the Goals are also helping people to fight and adapt to climate change.

While governments have committed to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, all people can be part of this movement to make it a reality. Now is the moment for nations, private sector and organisations to listen to citizens and make the necessary changes to address these challenges.

*This is not a representative survey.

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.

Survey results and data visualizations can be viewed at http://about.myworld2030.org
www.myworld2030.org

About the UN SDG Action Campaign

The UN SDG Action Campaign is a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General mandated to support the UN system-wide and the Member States on advocacy and public engagement in the SDG implementation.

With a proven track record on innovative and impactful engagement techniques since 2002, the UN SDG Action Campaign works to create awareness about the Agenda 2030, empower and inspire people across the world to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while generating political will, to make the Goals attainable by 2030. The Global Campaign Center in Bonn is a strategic hub to deliver the UN SDG Action Campaign’s mandate to inspire people’s action on the Sustainable Development Goals. The Global Campaign Center is central to the UN’s strategy of providing real-time cutting-edge advocacy support, big data expertise and analytics to Member States and partners across the globe.

http://un.org/sdgaction


For more information or interview please contact:
media@sdgactioncampaign.org

Action for SDGs: Youth Entrepreneurs for Social Good

Young people are the core power to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.  Therefore it is essential to introduce them to the concept of sustainable social businesses and the role of innovation so that they can better lead the innovation in industry and infrastructure and solve social problems through unique innovative ways.

“Youths show a great sense of social responsibility. They understand the concept of social business and they have their own innovative ideas. I hope that they can put their plan into practice and more exchange opportunities between China and Bangladesh can be organized.”

Lamiya Moshed, Executive director of Yunus Center

China-Bangladesh Social Business Young Leaders Program is organized by Youthink Center and gets support from Yunus Centre, Social Business Youth Alliance, Grameen, Intel and other social businesses in Bangladesh. It is a one-week program where the participants will engage in dialogue with Nobel Laureate and SDGs advocate Professor Muhammed Yunus, visit Grameen Bank, lead a social business in Dhaka and then design their own social business idea.

Students talking with Nobel Prize Laureate and SDGs Advocate Prof. Muhammad Yunus

The student teams undergo three main phases:

  1. Learning: Students learn about social business and the Sustainable Development Goals.
  2. Field Visiting: Students go to different social businesses to learn about their models and practices.
  3. Designing and competition: Students design their own social business and present it to partners and stakeholders.
Bangladesh entrepreneurs presented lectures on project promotion, investor’s
attraction, branding construction etc. and provide one-to- one training to help participants design
their business plan.

Feeling inspired to take action?
JOIN the Global Day of Action “We the People #Act4SDGs on Sept 25

On 25th September 2017, 2nd anniversary of the SDGs we are calling for actions across the world to tell people about the global goals and tell our leaders how we are performing. We the People #Act4SDGs.

Read more stories of Action for SDGs from all over the world and be inspired …

 

Action for SDGs: Civil Society takes the lead! Peru and the Agenda 2030 Ambassadors

The 2030 Agenda Peru Ambassadors Program is promoted by The Millennials Movement, the World We Want Platform and the UN Inter-Agency Network for Youth Development – Working Group on Youth and Gender Equality.  The Program aims to facilitate the educated participation of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the process of dissemination, sensitization, implementation and citizen monitoring for 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals at the country level.

Youths discussing SDGs with the CSO Red de Mujeres Iberoamericanas

Through the program, the participant CSOs members join a capacity-building and evaluation process, deliver actions to sensitize their community the 2030 Agenda and SDGs, articulate their organizational goals with the Sustainable Development Goals and bring the voices and opinions of Peruvian men and women to UN and global leaders through the survey My World2030.

“The 2030 Agenda Peru Ambassadors Program, have allowed us interact with other people with similar ideals as our organization, making us feel that we are not alone, that we are accompanied by other youth who have the same desires to make of this a better world.”
– Jessica Danae Tapia Acero, Youth for Change / Líderes por el Cambio

Facilitating this way is a sustainable and inclusive process to achieve the SDGs by 2030. It is important to mention that the program raises awareness about the importance of gender equality to achieve the SDGs through program curricula and as a transversal matter. As it is hard to think about sustainable development when 50% of the population worldwide can’t give their 100% to achieve it.

Peru’s Youth Ambassadors for the Agenda 2030
Credit: Inpulsa Turismo

In 2016 the program reached 16 regions of Peru where 22 CSOs and 162 of their members became “citizen ambassadors” for the 2030 Agenda. 57 actions on the ground were delivered and 2,557 My World surveys were facilitated.

“The Ambassadors Program for the 2030 Agenda has shown us that it doesn’t matter how small the decisions we make every day are, every single decision in every single regards can actively contribute to achieve SDGs by 2030.”
– Rosario Diaz Garavito, The Millennials Movement

The 2030 Agenda Peru Ambassadors Program promotes participation of the CSOs and visualization of their effort as relevant contributions in their communities. CSOs have been contributing to the development process through their communities for quite some time, but many of them do not relate their efforts as contributions to achieving sustainable development at the national level, as some of them are not even familiar with these international instruments.

ICJ Lima

It is clear that the program contributes to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).  The program also includes gender equality approaches that need to be considered while delivering concrete actions to Peru. Peru is a country with different issues regarding gender inequality, according to the last National Gender Inequality Report 2015, the levels of inequality include both economic and political spheres.

Feeling inspired to take action?
JOIN the Global Day of Action “We the People #Act4SDGs on Sept 25

On 25th September 2017, 2nd anniversary of the SDGs we are calling for actions across the world to tell people about the global goals and tell our leaders how we are performing. We the People #Act4SDGs.

Read more stories of Action for SDGs from all over the world and be inspired …

 

Action for SDGs: Building Bridges for Women Entrepreneurs

Young women are disadvantaged compared to their male counterparts when it comes to access to funding, community trust, government tenders, and mentorship. The actions taken by the Building Bridges Foundation and its partner’s efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa can effectively address the challenges that hinder young female entrepreneurs in setting up and running their businesses.

The Building Bridges Foundation in partnership with the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UN SDG Action Campaign has developed a project that focuses on the economic empowerment of young female entrepreneurs in eight countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

This program has helped to equip youth entrepreneurs with the skills and tools that enabling them to grow their businesses, and empower more women and girls in their communities.

“When your dream scares you, that’s when you know you are on the right track.” Sometimes I’d look at myself and think, will I really be able to be a 15-year- old designer?
This is crazy! And then I realize that what I’m doing is really unique and it’s special.
I just have to keep on doing it.”
Tawile – Malawi.

What has been the impact so far?

  • More than 1000 young entrepreneurs participated in the project
  • 80 Humans of MY World stories were created that continue to inspire many young people around the world to do chase their dreams.
  • 27 female youth entrepreneurs have been incubated and assisted with the skills and tools that are needed for their business to prosper and employ more young people.
  • A book and research report were presented to heads of state, ministers, NGO leaders and other stakeholders during the Nairobi High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation.
  • Local hubs and a network of youth entrepreneurs that cover 45 cities in eight countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya) have been created.

The policy recommendations set out by the research component of the project aim to enhance new regulations and programs driven by multi-stakeholder cooperation in order to boost the economic activities of young women.

Feeling inspired to take action?
JOIN the Global Day of Action “We the People #Act4SDGs on Sept 25

On 25th September 2017, 2nd anniversary of the SDGs we are calling for actions across the world to tell people about the global goals and tell our leaders how we are performing. We the People #Act4SDGs.

Read more stories of Action for SDGs from all over the world and be inspired …

 

Support UNICEF Innovations new call for support for VR/AR

REPOST: Our friends at the UNICEF Innovation Fund have released a call for proposals. Deadline is 17 September. Brief summary below, and full posting here: http://unicefstories.org/vr/.

The Innovation Fund allows UNICEF to quickly assess, fund and grow open-source solutions that can improve children’s lives. Financial and technological support is available for companies that can show a strong founding team and a clear path to improving the lives of children.

The UNICEF Innovation Fund is looking for start-ups that are developing and piloting new open source VR/AR solutions. We are looking to make investments in 1) software for authoring or consuming these new realities, 2) platforms and ways providing wider access to that software, 3) platforms and ways providing better tools for content creation (such as a template, workflow, or format), and 4) particular applications of content.

For our next VR/AR cohort of investees we are particularly interested in the following applications of content:

  • Learning
    Teaching people to perform simple tasks, in many languages, with higher retention rates and better motivational levels (examples: how to install a water pump; how to recognize malnutrition in under 5-year-olds; how to teach seamstresses to perform simple procedures). VR/AR also presents new ways of increasing access to experiential learning, including for people with disabilities.
  • Understanding complex environments
    Accessing large amounts of data and deciphering them in a better way. Getting a simple picture from a complex collection of data points (examples: converting history of GIS data points from refugee camps into a VR environment for better planning; improving situational awareness for emergency responders).
  • New ways of storytelling
    Undiscovered ways of using VR/AR to tell a story, especially by bridging cross-cultural gaps and creating a dialogue.

Be daring: Applications to the Fund are accepted on a rolling basis. However, to be considered for the VR/AR-focused cohort, we ask you to submit your application by September 17, 11:59pm EDT.