The SDG Global Festival of Action will be attended by leaders from governments, local authorities, international organizations, civil society, the creative industry and the private sector, the activists, the storytellers, and young advocates, all working to further SDG Action across the globe! For your chance to be part of this annual convening moment for the SDG Action Community, apply to register now!
When & Where The #SDGglobalFest will takes place on 2-4 May 2019 in Bonn, Germany
If you are working on SDG campaigning, communications, advocacy, liaison, education, implementation or awareness raising, we want to hear from you! We are keen to bring together people who are acting towards the achievement of the SDGs from a variety of sectors, specialisms and regions to foster true collaboration and joint up actions.
You will be asked to first create a delegate profile where you enter personal information, followed by a series of more substantive questions about the kind of SDG work you are engaged with, why you wish to attend the Festival and what you hope to get out of it. The application process shouldn’t take long to complete but by finding out a bit more about you, the Festival organizing team are able to ensure a diverse and high quality mix of SDG actors in attendance from across the globe!
By Katina Grigoraskos, MY World 2030 Advocate in Thailand
On November 3 & 4, 2018, international school students from all over Thailand participated in the first ever Youths for SDGs conference hosted at Wells International School.
Youths for SDGs is an academic event that focuses on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and strives to be a part of this universal call to action. The event’s objectives included raising awareness to the SDGs, creating a network of youths passionate about making change, and promoting creativity in finding solutions towards current local issues. With those objectives in mind, the event consists of three activities: the Breakout Session, the SDG Quest, and the Case Challenge. High school Youth Leaders led the discussions and activities in the Breakout Session and SDG Quest.
The Breakout Session is an interactive discussion where participants get to explore different themes of SDGs. The SDG Quest is a game where randomly-grouped participants can collaborate in exploring fun activities and booths related to the SDGs. The Case Challenge presents a current real-life local issue to the teams to find creative and feasible solutions to.
High school students from international schools were given the opportunity to network and share ideas, as well as capitalize on their creativity and problem-solving skills. A total of almost 150 students from 14 international schools all over Thailand participated in this event. Schools came from other areas of Thailand, such as Hua Hin and Phuket, to join in the event as well.
The event started off with the opening ceremony, where the conference director and initiator of Youths for SDGs, Prima Pupornchai (Wells’ Class of 2015 alumna) gave a welcoming speech. This was followed by a speech from our guest speaker Mr. Sorawit Paiboonrattanakorn, who gave an inspiring speech about establishing Saturday School, a social enterprise where volunteers taught children life skills on Saturdays.
Then the students headed to their respective discussion rooms for the Breakout Session, led by youth leaders. There are six themes, which covers all of the Global Goals. The themes include:
End poverty in all its forms and create decent jobs
End hunger, achieve food security and promote sustainable agriculture
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusivity and foster innovation
Conserve and sustainably use resources for sustainable development and promote climate action
In the SDG Quest, students were separated into random groups, with various schools mixed together. They were instructed to earn as many points as they could by participating in the activity booths and completing tasks related to SDGs within a limited time. This fun activity made the students bond and make friends with students from other schools.
In the Case Challenge, the participants got back together with their teams of three and received the case for this year’s challenge. The theme of this year’s case, Waste Management in Thailand, was revealed. The teams had two and a half hours of case cracking time to find a solution and make a presentation. The following day was the presentation day, which consists of 3 rounds: the preliminary round, the semifinal round, and the final round.
The judges for the semifinal and final rounds were Ms. Chutima Pratheepkongjaroen, Social Impact Manager at Local Alike, Dr. Kallaya Suntornvongsagul, Environmental Researcher and Professor at Chulalongkorn University, and Ms. Qi Xue, UN Volunteer & SDG Research and Advocacy Officer at UNDP.
The winner was team Satit Kaset IP. Their idea was to create an application called MyWaste, which tackles food and plastic waste in Thailand by incentivising people to lower their consumption by earning points in the app. There was a 5,000 baht seed capital for the winning team to to implement a small scale version of their solution.
The closing ceremony concluded the event with a video recap and a closing speech from the conference director, Prima Pupornchai.
Overall, the event has inspired many students to learn more about the SDGs and to create change in the society. It was a very fun, productive, and memorable weekend.
Thank you to our partners, sponsors, school advisors, students and, guests for your wonderful support for this youth initiative. This event was truly an event for youths, by youths.
Calling on SDG Advocacy change-makers for the UN SDG Action Awards!
To meet the SDGs we need everyone to take SDG action. The UN SDG Action Campaign is looking for the top SDG mobilizers, storytellers, campaigners, connectors, visualizers, includers and creatives across the world who are making this happen!
The UN SDG Action Awards recognize the most brilliant individuals, civil society organizations, subnational governments, foundations, networks, private sector leaders who are working on SDG advocacy to advance the global movement for the Sustainable Development Goals in the most transformative, impactful and innovative way.
The winners are announced at a special Awards Ceremony held at the Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development in Bonn, Germany (2-4 May 2019), and their initiatives and projects are highlighted throughout the year as an inspiration and role model to the growing global community of SDG leaders, decision-makers and influencers.
Stay up to date to news, announcements and the best stories from the Global Festival of Action & the SDG Action Awards and help us spread the word. Follow #SDGAwards & #SDGglobalFest on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
The UN SDG Action Campaign, along with Paragon Partnerships and Kantar Public, has been awarded the President’s Medal, a honor which is bestowed annually by the Market Research Society (MRS) to an organization that has conducted extraordinary research.
The President’s Medal Winner – the UN SDG Action Campaign, sponsored by Paragon Partnerships (Kantar Public and Lightspeed) – developed and tested a question library of almost 100 SDG questions. This huge project constituted the first step to enable countries to measure their journey to the accomplishment of the SDGs in a consistent way. Data from the library was presented at the United Nations High Level Political Forum in July 2018 and is also publicly available for any government organization or NGO to use.
The UN SDG Action Campaign, with Paragon Partnerships and Kantar Public, were selected as one of the five esteemed nominees who have been using research to positively impact society. This year’s nominees were chosen by President of MRS Jan Gooding, Chair of MRS Phyllis Macfarlane and CEO of MRS Jane Frost CBE.
On choosing the winner, Jan Gooding, President of MRS, said:
“I was immensely impressed by what was achieved on a voluntary basis. It was a huge act of generosity on the part of everyone involved. At a time when the UN can find itself justifying its work and existence, when the problems in the world are so huge, this kind of collaboration to provide evidence of effectiveness is something to be celebrated and applauded.”
The MRS Awards celebrate research’s ability to drive innovation, inspire change and deliver results. See all finalists and winners of this year’s awards.
The UN SDG Action Campaignis an inter-agency special initiative of the UN Secretary-General to scale up, broaden, and sustain the global movement to take action for the SDGs. The UN SDG Action Campaign aims to mobilize and inspire individuals and organizations to take action and join the global movement for the SDGs, while connecting people’s actions and perceptions with decision makers in SDG planning and review processes at all levels.
Paragon Partnershipswas launched at Impact 2016, the MRS Annual Conference, by Stan Sthanunathan of Unilever in response to the UN’s 17th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). The programme calls on the private sector to help the UN achieve the SDGs by 2030.
The Market Research Society (MRS) is the UK professional body for research, insight and analytics. MRS recognizes 5,000 individual members and over 500 accredited Company Partners in over 50 countries who are committed to delivering outstanding insight. As the regulator, they promote the highest professional standards throughout the sector via the MRS Code of Conduct.
In the smouldering tropical heat in downtown Bamako, he has convened a group of volunteers to perform the daunting tasks of transmitting over 60,000 paper survey responses received from across Mali from citizens who have just informed their Government and the United Nations about their development priorities through MY World 2030 survey. For Sory Monekata, Executive Secretary of Forum of International NGOs in Mali, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in September 2015 is a major opportunity to advance transformative and inclusive development in which every Malian will have a voice and their priorities accommodated in national development planning.
Since the adoption of the SDGs, the UN SDG Action Campaign has worked with partners across the globe to inspire actions and multi-stakeholder engagement with the SDGs. Mr. Monekata belongs to a growing movement of partners nurtured by the UN SDG Action Campaign to mobilize citizens and volunteers at local levels to take SDG action through MY World survey. MY World is a unique framework which provides a platform for multi-level actors to interface to ensure inclusivity, participation and accountability in SDGs implementation, reporting and review.
When the Government of Mali and the UN Country Team agreed on the implementation of the MY World Survey as a citizen engagement tool in the report and review process for the SDGs in Mali, Mr. Monekata and other civil society actors seized the opportunity to mobilise hundreds of volunteers across the 10 regions to identify the priorities of the citizens and assess progress on SDGs implementation. The survey was aimed at generating citizens’ data which will bring peoples’ perspectives to the Voluntary National Review (VNR) for which Mali was a candidate country in 2018. The VNR is a process of self-appraisal by Member States in the implementation of the SDGs and presented at the annual High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York.
The MY World survey is an intensive exercise requiring huge human resources, commitment and passion. Volunteerism is at the heart of MY World survey. For instance, the first edition implemented between 2013-2015 saw over 5,000 volunteers working in Nigeria alone to reach 2.7 million people on what their priorities for a post MDGs agenda will be. The survey in Mali was not going to be any different. For two weeks, over 500 young volunteers were mobilized across the country to engage with communities, schools and markets, creating awareness on the SDGs and asking questions about their impact on the quality of life. The work of volunteers did not stop after the field work. For the first time in the implementation of the survey in any country, the UN SDG Action Campaign engaged online volunteers outside the project country to assist in the data entry of the responses from the survey. With the UN reporting deadline for fast approaching, the UN SDG Action Campaign put out a call to local volunteers in Bonn, Germany and to the Online UN Volunteers platform. More than 100 volunteers took up the call. Over 20 came in person and 35 more volunteered online to assist with the data entry over the next 5 days. From Nigeria alone, the Campaign and its local partners mobilized 50 volunteers from the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) for the MY World Mali data entry. In all there were volunteers from more than 24 countries from all the regions of the world.
The MY Wold survey in Mali is no doubt a best practice on the deployment of volunteers using online facilities. It is a clear indication that volunteerism is a huge asset in mobilizing for the SDGs as well as in building a global movement of actors holding governments accountable on their commitments to the SDGs through MY World survey. In the words of Marina Ponti, Acting Director of the SDG Action Campaign: “in MY World Survey, everyone is a volunteer – trainers, enumerators, respondents, data analysts, reporters, visualizers and many more. In all our work, from Nigeria to Morocco, Mexico to Bhutan, Cameroon to the Philippines nothing more expresses the cardinal role of volunteerism in driving campaigns and social change, than the MY World survey”.
As more Member States participate in the Voluntary National Review (VNR), the Campaign will be offering MY World 2030 survey as a ready tool and mechanism to create awareness, mobilise citizens’ participation in implementation and review and generate data for measuring progress and accountability.
The MY World survey was implemented in May and June 2018 in all the regions of Mali. The field work coordination and collation were conducted by the following Malian civil society organisations and coalitions: Conseil National de la Société Civile, Forum des ONG Internationales au Mali and Forum des Organisations de la Société Civile au Mali. The survey was supported by the UN Country Team and the Government of Mali. Technical assistance was provided by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the UN SDG Action Campaign.
In a world where selfies and the need to post on social media all the events that are happening real-time are the norms, how do we make people understand that what is important is not actually seen online? The advocacy for sustainable development boils down to people.
One former Philippine president said to her successor then – It’s the economy, student! But what is the economy if it does not serve the people. We believe that the same is true for the global goals – the centrality of the goals boils down to the development of the people’s lives and their quality of living.
A crucial component of the programme is the ASEAN MY World 2030 survey, which was launched by the 10 Ministers of Foreign Affairs of ASEAN and UNDP Administrator at the opening of the UN General Assembly at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in September 2017. Through an online form, anyone can answer the survey and make their voice heard by the policymakers. An alternative to answering the online form is through a printed survey form. In addition to promoting the survey, advocates also conduct activities in their locality to promote awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals and feature advocates to demonstrate their local actions.
To bring forth localization, we need to focus not just on theories but on the lived experiences of people. This is where MYWorld becomes relevant – the survey and the Humans of MYWorld features are attempting to get a glimpse of the realities of people and try to measure if the aspirations of the new development agenda have borne significant changes for their lives or not.
As part of our strategy to increase awareness of SDGs in the grassroots level, we have conducted the survey in provincial areas using printed forms to give more space for participation to people who are not easily connected to the internet in the north and south of the Philippines. We did this through tapping local networks from our social capital and mobilizing them to support the conduct of the survey.
For us advocates, we wanted to go beyond promoting the global goals online. We hope to help in generating discussions and developing solutions within our communities. We believe that the people need to be enlightened regarding the SDGs than to merely contemplate about these and appreciate the Global Goals through social media sharing or even posting the goals that mean strongly for you. We knew that what we were doing has inherent limitations. The awareness survey is just the first step in promoting the implementation of the goals. People and institutions alike should be informed about the global goals first. With awareness, we hope that this can spark actions from institutions and communities to build collaboration and partnerships toward localizing and achieving the global goals at the grassroots level.
With this, the real power of MYWorld as a platform comes in – it is bringing back the discussion of these lofty and ideal goals to the people who demanded for sustainable development years ago. Features, campaign hypes, and communication strategies are being done to make people work for the goals but are we venerating the goals as an idea without understanding the real end game?
This year, we are privileged to be part of the ASEAN MY World 2030 Programme which aims to empower young changemakers in the ASEAN region to take upon a leadership role for both the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, led by the United Nations SDG Action Campaign, the UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub and the UN Volunteers Asia-Pacific. Selected youth advocates from the region will lead and carry out a series of advocacy activities in order to raise awareness about both agendas and increase citizen engagement to inspire concrete actions on the ground.
The challenge here is how to create a society recognizing individual aspirations but collectively working for these shared goals. This means going beyond the comfort of the online space and going to the communities and people where development is greatly aspired for. The battle to make the goals a reality is still ongoing. It will not just end in an online campaign rather it will be a long march from one community to another to educate, advocate, and work together for the global goals. It is a battle for uplifting the lives of more than 7 billion people and preparing this generation and the next to create a sustainable future- a planet that each person can say: MYWorld – a world that we want!
CSAYN (MY WORLD 2030 Cameroon team) joined efforts with the UN system in Cameroon and the international community to commemorate the 73rd Anniversary of the UN on October 24th, 2018.
The celebration started with a special video message from United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, advising everyone to work with the UN to eradicate extreme poverty, reduce inequality, increase opportunity and peace around the world. The event was attended by Ambassadors, diplomatic corps, government officials, and Head of UN agencies.
During the UN Day event, two thematic programs operating under the UN were present: the HeFoShe; the solidarity campaign for the advancement of gender equality and the MY World 2030 Global Survey; the monitoring and evaluation tool for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
According to the United Nations Secretary-General,António Guterres ‘UN day marks the birth day of our founding charter, the landmark document that embodies the hopes, dreams and aspirations of ‘we the people’. Every day the women and men of the United Nations, work to give practical meaning to their charter despite the odds and obstacles we never give up. extreme poverty is being reduced but we see inequality growing yet we don’t give up because we know by reducing inequality, we increase hope and opportunity and peace around the world. On UN day let us reaffirm our commitment to repair broken trust to heal our planet, leave no one behind and uphold dignity for one and all as United Nations’.
The UN Resident Coordinator in Cameroon Allegra Baiocchi welcomed everyone and encouraged participants to visit the HeForShe and the MY World 2030 Global Survey stands. Everyone was encouraged to write down their opinions on the ‘World we want by 2030’.
MY World 2030 Global Survey informed participants about the 17 SDGs and guided them to have their say online by giving their 6 priorities among the SDGs.
The event ended with interactive discussions among participants, about plans for the future and creating partnerships in order to foster sustainable development in the nearest future.
By Melody Mukum, Chening Florina and Gabuin Merilyn
Happy United Nations Day! Today marks the anniversary of the entry into force of the UN-Charter on 24 October 1945, which marks the creation of the United Nations.
This year’s UN Day celebration in the City of Bonn took place on 20 October. To celebrate the UN’s 73rd birthday, the UN SDG Action Campaign joined more than 20 UN and international entities from across Germany, numerous NGOs as well as Ministries came together with the City of Bonn last Saturday, to showcase their work towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, raise awareness for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and present various opportunities for visitors to be engaged to ensure a better future for everyone, everywhere.
Thousands of visitors were warmly welcomed by the current chair of the heads of UN agencies in Germany, Prof. Dr. Jakob Rhyner, and the Lord Mayor of Bonn, Ashok Sridharan, who encouraged Bonners to take this opportunity and learn more about the organizations’ work towards global sustainable development as well as the importance of SDG Action in Bonn, in Germany and across the world.
The overall theme of the festivities was “Leaving no one behind”, which is one of the fundamental principles of the 2030 Agenda. What does this actually mean? How does the international community follow through? How does it affect us? – These were some of the question visitors asked UN Staff and other exhibitors while they visited the many information booths and displays in front of the city’s Old Town Hall and collected information material. The event was accompanied by a musical stage programme.
3-country study illustrates how perceptions data can complement official national data sources and build a fuller picture of people’s daily experiences across SDG targets areas
One-third of people in Sri Lanka know about the SDGs. Evidence suggests that awareness is growing around the world but there is still a very long way to go. In Lebanon 24% of people have heard of the SDGs, but in some countries, such as Romania, awareness of the SDGs is a mere 8% of the population. Across all three countries younger people are more likely to know about the SDGs than older people.
These are among the findings of a 2018 MY World representative study which asked residents in the 3 countries about the SDGs and levels of public services in their daily lives. The study worked with local research agencies in Romania, Lebanon, and Sri Lanka to carry out 1,000 face-to-face surveys in each country. Respondents were systematically sampled and statistically weighted to be representative of the national population in each country with respect to sex, region, and urbanity. The 24 questions, drawn from the MY World question library, were intended to inform discussions at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, around its key 2018 theme of Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies and the 3 countries were selected from the list of countries presenting Voluntary National Reviews this year.
The study aimed to link discussions around SDG delivery with the public perceptions of access to key services and to identify some of the pressing issues in the different countries. For instance, more than 40% of Lebanese people always or often have problems accessing both electricity and clean drinking water whereas this is much rarer in both Romania and Sri Lanka. But of the three countries Lebanon reported the highest levels of improvements in cleanliness of playgrounds in the past year.
Romanians are more likely than Sri Lankans to have a recycling facility close to their home (45% compared to 34%), but Sri Lankans were far more likely to use the service. Seventy percent of Sri Lankans reported that they had recycled the last bottle they had used and 71% also believed the bottle was recycled – compared to 44% and 51% in Romania.
With respect to public transit, Sri Lanka had the lowest availability of service among the three countries. But interestingly, this was not perceived as problem, with 80% of people saying they are quite satisfied of very satisfied with this level of service.
Several of these finding help to demonstrate the value of capturing and comparing public perceptions of services beyond merely referencing the service delivery indicators from official statistics. We see that the demand for and satisfaction with services may seem to contrast with the actual level of service delivery.
The study is part of a longer-term collaboration between the UN SDG Action Campaign and Paragon Partnerships to deepen analytical capacity across the 17 SDGs and of citizen perceptions of progress toward the SDGs. The study demonstrates the tremendous potential for private research firms to contribute valuable citizen perception insights into the heart of the SDG reporting processes. Governments and the UN can access timely data on SDG targets at national level and track progress on the 17 SDGs over time.
See the presentation andwatch the side event(1hr12mins – 1hr18mins) at the High Level Political Forum where this study was presented by Jordan Robinson, Director for the Development Practice, Kantar Public as a member of Paragon Partnerships.
This study was generously conducted and supported by:
Today, on the 3rd anniversary of the Sustainable Development, and as part of the Global day to Act for SDGs, we’re thrilled to announce the first MYWorld360º playlist—a collection of youth-produced immersive stories from around the world that spotlight issues most relevant to young people and their communities. The MYWorld360º playlist will be screened at the UN General Assembly as part of the United Nations Virtual Reality program, and presented virtually at the SDG Media Zone at the UN HQ in New York on the Global Day of Action on September 25th.
In March 2018, the United Nations SDG Action Campaign, Digital Promise Global, and Oculus announced the launch of MYWorld360°, a new global initiative supporting young people worldwide to develop their digital skills, share their perspectives, and advance positive action toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
Over 100 students participated in the first MYWorld360º. The 6 selected stories represent a broad range of creative responses, including a public service announcement about food deserts and access to healthy food, an exploration of social media’s influence, and a celebration of diversity and multiculturalism. The 6 youth created films will be shown to world leaders gathered in New York on the opening day of the UN General Assembly.
Dive into these stories and stay tuned for more youth-produced MYWorld360º media in the months ahead!
A video poem takes the audience to Fifth Ward, a super-neighborhood in Houston, Texas, and challenges simplistic thinking about the area.
Site/Location: Urban Enrichment Institute (with Writers In The Schools), Houston, Texas, USA Youth Producers: Byron A. (16), Daylen H. (13), Deandre D. (15), Roderick J. (14), Lamar E. (15), Matthew T. (16), Lee R. (16), James W. (12), Jason M. (14), Lynwood O. (15), Tant D. (15) Educator: SharonFerranti
A disturbing look into social media and it’s effect on society.
Site/Location: Gemeinschaftsschule Bellevue, Saarbrücken, Saarland, Germany Youth Producers: Julian W. (17), Gosia C. (17), Jonas J. (17), Jennifer G. (18), Simon G. (17), Lara K. (17), Akim H. (17), Jason K. (17), Hagjer D. (18), Dennis K. (18.), Jana S. (17) Educator: Torsten Becker