Engaging young people in monitoring the implementation of the SDGs

Youth Power! 1,000 Zambian activists hold their communities accountable for SDG action

Youth Power! 1,000 Zambian activists hold their communities accountable for SDG action

Zambia’s population was estimated at 15.9 million in 2016 and available data indicates that 82% of Zambia’s population is under the age of 35. Such a youthful population presents an opportunity to harness and harvest in the new generation to achieve the 2030 agenda.

The launch of the SDGs provides a generational opportunity for these young people to become leaders in decision making, and to take part in the design, implementation and monitoring of the framework that directly affect their lives. The 2030 Agenda recognizes children and youth as ‘critical agents of change’ in the SDGs platform and for the creation of a new world’.

The Accountability Advocates Zambia in collaboration with various stakeholders believes in the power of investing in youth. The organization brings together over 1,000 youth who are aware of the SDGs and are empowered to monitor the implementation of the SDGs in their communities, hold their leaders accountable, and advocate for SDG engagement at the planning, implementation and monitoring levels. The main activities:

  1. Creating platforms and engaging youth in monitoring and accountability of the SDG at both the community and national levels
  2. Developing a youth-led Accountability Monitoring Framework.
  3. Building the capacity of youth in social accountability, budget and service delivery tracking
  4. Sensitizing the youth and community members about the SDGs and their importance in everyone’s life.

The next steps are scale up the project in Southern Africa and ensure that youth in the region have the capacity to advocate for the implementation and achievement of the SDGs.

Who is behind this?

Accountability Advocates Zambia

For more information:

Visit www.aazambia.org

#SDGChallenge

Empowering advocates to implement SDG projects in their communities

Empowering advocates to implement SDG projects in their communities

The “SDGchallenge” is a global citizenship education project, which aims to raise awareness of the SDGs primarily in Ireland but also globally. The project equips people to take informed action on the goals and to contribute to sustainable change in communities. The SDGchallenge focuses on the non-formal learning sector, with many entry points in order to ensure easy and diverse levels of participation.

There are monthly workshops and discussions, monthly resource and information packs, and mentoring and coaching to SDG challenge participants to build national capacity through the advocate program. The project also utilizes creative methodologies such as music and film to engage the public more generally. The SDG Advocate program brings together 26 individuals from 26 communities in Ireland and then puts them through an intense 8-month program. Each of these advocates implement SDG projects in their communities.

For example, the Cork Advocate, Maria Dempsey is a true example of an active citizen who contributed hugely to the project and as a result has created change across Ireland in raising awareness of SDG 5 and SDG 16. Maria has dedicated her time to raising awareness of victims of homicide globally “Since taking part in the SDG Advocate Program I now have direction, coherence, motivation and feel positive that bringing together families of homicide and working towards positive change” (Dempsey, 2017).

They are currently recruiting the 2018 cohort of SDG Advocate participants in order to create change in communities across Ireland / Vietnam and Tanzania. They also have a national showcase event in Ireland in late February which brings together 300 people to raise awareness of the project and results. Future plans include expanding efforts in Ireland, then plans to expand to Vietnam and Tanzania. There is also an interest to replicate the project with likeminded organizations in other countries globally.

Who is behind this?

Stephanie Kirwan

For more information:

Visit http://www.sdgchallenge.net/

SDG Voices Campaign in 6 cities

The SDG Voices campaign, led by the City of Ghent, challenged cities in Belgium to encourage and mobilize Belgians to implement the SDGs in their daily lives. The campaign involved 23 different Ghent city services and departments. Nearly 6,000 citizens in 6 cities participated physically and many others took part via social media.

The SDG Voices campaign, led by the City of Ghent, challenged cities in Belgium to encourage and mobilize Belgians to implement the SDGs in their daily lives. The campaign involved 23 different Ghent city services and departments. Nearly 6,000 citizens in 6 cities participated physically and many others took part via social media.

The Ghent City Board designed a series of five concrete and competitive challenges for Ghent and 5 other cities, which each focused on SDGs 1-5: “Eat massively social” (SDG1.4), “Days without meat” (SDG2.4), “Everyone on the bike” (SDG3.9), “Class marathon” (SDG4a) and “Everybody feminist” (SDG5.5).

Nearly 6,000 citizens in 6 cities participated physically, many other people supported the challenges via social media (communicated through short movies, web-posts and campaign images) The campaign brought together stakeholders such as Ghent knowledge institutions, various NGOs, The Shift, Gent en Garde, Football Club KAA Gent. The campaign paved the way for new partnerships with organizations such as the Flemish Association of Cities and Municipalities, University and Academy Ghent, CSR Europe, etc and initiatives such as healthy cooking workshops, debates on sustainability at school, theatre performance on gender equality, summer cycling course for immigrant children, etc.

The campaign also resonated throughout networks, such as Eurocities, ESDN, ICLEI. The campaign is having a multiplier effect on more citizens’ and organizations’ familiarity with the SDGs. For example, the cooperation between businesses and schools will be continued. NGO Globelink started a project to implement the SDGs in Ghent with youngsters. The city administration integrated the SDGs in the preparation of the long-term city planning. Ghent University and Ghent Academy embraced the SDGs in their new policy strategy.

Who is behind this?

City of Ghent

For more information:

Visit https://ookmijn.stad.gent/sdguitdagingen

Translation of SDGs into local languages

It all starts with education. And from there, people can make demands to political leaders

It all starts with education. And from there, people can demand action from their political leaders.

This initiative under the Great Lakes Peace Center seeks to address the problem of marginalized groups of people both in school and out of school and those groups of people who have low levels of education or not educated at all. The objective is to support them so they are able to understand the Global Goals in their own languages and be able to advocate for themselves to have more local government plans aligned to Agenda 2030. The changemakers behind this project noticed that in their community (Rwenzori region, Western Uganda) there had not been such efforts before because people including local government leaders had limited or no knowledge of the SDGs.

The initiative has created awareness of the goals and their indicators, and raised numerous discussions on what is being done to align the local development plans to the global vision. Through the involvement of Youth Councils, people demanded action in communities, especially for the goals on gender equality, climate action, quality education and peace and justice. That has led to tremendous and commendable work by local authorities to include these particular goals in planning so far. Musoki Evelyn, a child mother that had dropped out from school, was brought on board among hundreds of other young girls and boys during an activity they carried out in collaboration with the Gender and Community development department of their Municipality, during a 16 days campaign of activism against gender-based violence in December 2017.

The initiative will continue to build dialogue at local levels to involve as many young people as possible as they form a big electoral majority. This will bring in a new breed of leaders that are able to address development at global trends. Schools are to be used to build a knowledge base and generate discussions at inter school level presided over by local leaders to be able to influence their decisions pertaining to the goals. This shall eventually involve the sub national government level as plans will be moving upwards for possible funding from national level.

Who is behind this?

The Great Lakes Peace Center

For more information:

Visit www.greatlakespeace.org

Our Life 21

When real people share the changes they are adopting in their lifestyles to be more sustainable (and you can help imitating them!)

When real people share the changes they are adopting in their lifestyles to become more sustainable (and you can help by imitating them!)

Despite commitments to fight climate change, actions do not match those required to limit global temperature increases to below 2°C. We need to convince people that adopting more sustainable lifestyles is the key to increase well-being. People are in search of an inspirational vision. The SDGs provide such a vision: by covering issues as diverse as urban planning, inequalities, agriculture, transports, which are all important aspects of sustainable development and climate policies. The 17 SDGs and their specific targets offer a path to a shared desirable future.

The project Our Life 21 (OL21) aims at allowing individuals to develop a positive perspective within this framework. It captures the prospective stories of 40 hypothetical families in 9 different countries (France, Germany, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, China, India, Peru, and Senegal) for a sustainable future in 2030. Most of these stories have been developed during specific workshops. The shadow activity of the families, with different sociodemographic backgrounds and lifestyle patterns, are further analyzed on the basis of quantified energy scenarios.

Stéphanie was a participant of OL21. The team allowed her to reflect upon her own lifestyles patterns and identify the changes through which she could take action to reach the future she desires. She has reduced the impacts of transports in her life (short circuit for food, holidays…). As she was so conscious of the need for transformation, she quit her job: now, she wants to take part in the development of alternative solutions. Personal, sincere and empathic narratives foster SDG’s ownership, as each person is considered an essential part of the collective journey towards sustainability.

Since 1993, 4D Association has created meaningful connections and learning processes on sustainable development and associated transformative actions. Few civil society organisations work on such cross-cutting issues, from the very local to the global level. To further mobilize civil society, the initiative will launch the platform We are the SDGs (March 2018) to facilitate the networking of changemakers and to collect data on local experimentations. The platform uses an SDG criteria to match individuals and projects: the more cross-cutting a project, the more collaboration opportunities. Thus, the platform fosters peer-to-peer learning and partnerships. During the SDG week, this initiative will promote frontrunner projects, selected according to different criteria (impact, transversality, replicability…), in articles and public events. In addition, they will take this opportunity to strengthen coordination between civil society organizations for an effective SDG implementation in France and in Europe.

The impact of the program will continue to grow as households are empowered by giving them the information they need to take action to accelerate adoption of cleaner energy solutions and better nutrition. Reaching people at scale with evidence based, informative, yet also entertaining and motivating content, can have a transformational impact in making progress toward the SDGs across the globe.

Who is behind this?

Vaia Tuuhia

COMPANIES4SDGS

Tired of non-sense conversations with your colleagues at work? This is how the SDGs sneak in businesses

Tired of nonsense conversations with your colleagues at work? This is how the SDGs sneak into businesses

SDGs have introduced a new paradigm, overcoming the traditional North/South dichotomy and understanding the interrelation between economic, social and environmental issues. Today, for the first time, everyone is asked to contribute to SDGs, including civil society. Private sector has been reached and is already aligning its strategies with SDGs.

The first step to undertake is to spread awareness of the SDGs, their meaning and implications. #COMPANIES4SDGs copes with this challenge providing businesses with a campaign to involve and engage their employees in the SDGs. The new idea underlying this project is to reach people through companies’ regular internal communication channels. The campaign #COMPANIES4SDGs consists of three parts:

  1. An internal communication kit about SDGs to implement over 12 months;
  2. The promotion of volunteering activities aligned with the SDG of the month;
  3. An ambitious external communication strategy.

Until today, the project has been subscribed by 34 companies in Spain, representing approximately 500.000 employees. Globally, it has already been included in routine monthly communications, reaching 310.410 employees in 18 countries. Furthermore, some companies are sharing the project with more than 3.5 million clients and other stakeholders increasing the project’s potential impact. Moreover, one of the companies involved is from the mass media and is broadcasting a spot on radio and television.

From October 2017 to January 2018, a 20-second TV spot has already been seen by more than 25,000,000 people (59.9% of Spanish population). The radio add has reached more than 5,700,000 individuals; 14.42% of the Spanish population has listened to it 4.1 times on average. Up to 8,618 volunteers have been engaged in the achievement of SDGs number 1, 2, 3 and 4. They have invested more than 503,122 hours in 583 activities.

The team is currently working on expanding the project in two ways. On one hand, by engaging more companies and opening the project to academic and public institutions in order to dramatically increase the volume of population reached. For instance, the team has just presented #COMPANIES4SDGs to Barcelona and Madrid public transportation companies and they are submitting it to the Spanish public companies SDG task force. In addition the project plans to present a “year 2” package for its partners with new materials to increase awareness and promote further action to achieve the goals.

Who is behind this?

Benedetta Falletti di Villafalletto

For more information:

Visit www.companies4sdgs.org

Shamba Chef: Using Reality TV to Inspire Clean Cooking

Mass media for good is not an oxymoron! A reality show giving tips for sustainability is happening

Mass media for good is not an oxymoron! A  reality show giving sustainability tips

Shamba Chef is a reality television and radio series focused on cooking and nutrition. The show is filmed in real households with mothers as the primary focus. The stories they tell of the challenges faced in the kitchen are common to families across the country as 80% of the Kenyan population uses polluting fuels for cooking, 35% of Kenyan children are stunted and millions are nutrient deficient.

Shamba Chef has been created to address these critical issues through informative and educational entertainment. The show highlights the dangers and discomforts of cooking with inefficient, polluting stoves and fuels and raises awareness about solutions. It also introduces families to nutritious recipes and provides practical tips for sustainable farm and food management.

By sharing the experiences of real Kenyan women in the kitchen, Shamba Chef inspires Kenyans to make changes to their cooking practices and diets, thereby improving the health and well-being of their families. By gaining access to cleaner and more efficient cookstoves and fuels, women also have more time to engage in other productive activities that lead to greater economic empowerment and gender equality. Scaling up clean cooking also combats global air pollution and climate change.

The 13 part TV series aired weekly from September to December 2017 on Citizen, Kenya’s most popular TV station, in both English and Swahili. It attracted an average of 3 million viewers per week and was rated the most popular TV show in its time slot on Sunday afternoons. Each episode was adapted for a weekly radio series broadcast on national radio and audience were invited to subscribe to a free interactive mobile platform called iChef to access more information. Over 40,000 SMS were received and 17,500 viewers have subscribed to the service. High audience figures show evidence of an excitement in the show, demonstrating how mass media storytelling can stimulate interest and inspire aspiration and change. Mediae is looking for partners and funders to work with them to develop the concept, and build on the show’s following, to create multiple series to be broadcast annually.

The impact of the program will continue to grow as households are empowered by giving them the information they need to take action to accelerate adoption of cleaner energy solutions and better nutrition. Reaching people at scale with evidence based, informative, yet also entertaining and motivating content, can have a transformational impact in making progress toward the SDGs across the globe.

Who is behind this?

Kate Lloyd Morgan

For more information:

Visit https://shambachef.com/

Creative Youth Initiative Against Corruption (CYIAC)

The CYIAC anti-corruption awareness campaign “CYIAC Corruption Busters (CCB)” targeted the general public in Nigeria to draw attention to corrupt practices associated with their everyday life and its unimaginable negative impact on individuals and society. The campaign was launched in December, 2017 to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day. So far, it has reached over 1 million people through CCB TV channel on cyiac.com, social media engagement and “Corruption Busters goes to School”, a special school programme

The CYIAC anti-corruption awareness campaign “CYIAC Corruption Busters (CCB)” targeted the general public in Nigeria to draw attention to corrupt practices associated with their everyday life and its unimaginable negative impact on individuals and society. The campaign was launched in December, 2017 to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day. So far, it has reached over 1 million people through CCB TV channel on cyiac.com, social media engagement and “Corruption Busters goes to School”, a special school programme

The biggest impediment in Nigeria for achieving the SDGs is corruption. It has led to total breakdown of systems, society, ethical and moral values. The dream of a sustainable nation is impossible until corruption is proactively destroyed; hence the creation of Creative Youth Initiative Against Corruption  (CYIAC) to tackle the menace. The CYIAC strategy is channeled towards sustainable corruption prevention, with clear goals; working towards achieving SDGs in 2030.

The team moves from Vision to Implementation through CSRE: – Clear Vision -Sound Strategy to achieve the goals -Right tools to persuade key people to take action -Effective Execution. The pillar of CSRE is hinged on youth engagement to transform our world. It’s a daring ambition; achievable through tenacity and sense of purpose; the CYIAC team possesses this unbeatable quality. CYIAC is currently empowering youth towards economic and social development, leading to wider participation of youth nationwide.

CYIAC 2016 Award Winner, Anjola Olarenwaju (15 years) is a change influencer in her community in Badagry, Lagos. She’s empowering youth to promote #UnitedAgainstCorruption with her creativity for development, peace and justice. Her painting/song/poetry was innovated to produce CCB-Hands on Canvass. She released her first song in 2017, having gone through CYIAC Leadership training. She is a student, an entrepreneur and CYIAC Integrity Ambassador, she has been selected as a trainer for the incoming 2018 finalists.

The CYIAC anti-corruption awareness campaign tagged “CYIAC Corruption Busters (CCB)”
Animated Movie Series targeted general public with a view to draw the attention of general public to corrupt practices associated with their everyday life and its unimaginable negative impact on individuals and society. CCB campaign was launched on December 9, 2017 to mark International Anti-Corruption Day. So far, It has reached over 1 million people through CCB TV channel on cyiac.com, social media engagement and Corruption Busters goes to School, a special school programme.

The project would like to have in the near term an Organisation of Nationwide Creative Challenge contest. The finalists’ ideas will be innovated for problem solving. Also in the coming future, the Promotion of Techy Girls Initiative will be launched, for effective participation of girls in leadership whilst enhancing the use of enabling technology.

The team would also like to influence policy makers to effectively implement changes to boost economy and launch a Leadership Academy at ICCD to train young political/business leaders with integrity. The overall mission of this initiative is to give birth to a New Nigeria free from the massive looting of treasury, injustice, nepotism, tribalism and underdevelopment, and promote zero tolerance to corruption.

CCB Corruption- the Musical theme song was sang and performed by an upcoming young
Nigeria Afrocentric artiste -Adegboyega to involve the creative industry whilst drawing attention of the
general public to anti-corruption message:

Who is behind this?

Foluke Michael

For more information:

Visit www.cyiac.com

SDGs and Digital Realities

Recreating a school in a virtual world using the online game Minecraft? Let´s play!

Recreating a school in a virtual world using the online game Minecraft? Let’s play!

The SDGs will only be reached if the goals and their targets can be meaningfully brought to life in a school community and not only at the tables of policymakers. Yet how often are young people invited to act on the SDGs?

Accepting the challenge, this team sought to achieve sustainable development in a school in Bray, Co. Wicklow, Ireland, by recreating that school in a virtual world and redesigning it to align with the SDGs using the online game Minecraft. As a partnership project with secondary school Presentation College Bray and human rights charity 80:20 Educating and Acting for a Better World, the aim was to produce an open-world thinking platform to enable the whole school community to be involved in mapping environmental and social footprints with the potential of the SDGs.

Inverting the often top-down dissemination of education, the project began with this unique context and analyzed it using the goals; enabling participants to become active producers and engineers empowered with visualizing how these changes might look as a planning project led by young people. The challenge was on the languages. Textual language is often the typical vehicle for policy development. Visualization, however, can be empowering, lasting and bridges words with imagined realities. This initiative galvanized students to lead on visual design-based thinking linked to sustainable development, gradually involving 37 students (ages 13-17), 11 teachers and staff from 80:20.

The ‘sustainable school’ model was created by the community and for the community; each modification reflected one of the 169 targets and underpinned by the 5 P’s of the SDGs (people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership) in what kind of school they would like to see by 2030. Students drove new ideas in transforming the school into an SDG-friendly community and acted as spokespeople and champions of the visual design experiment, such as:

  1. field visits and peer-exchanges with other social justice student groups and peer-platforms such as the Let’s Talk project;
  2. presentations with national and SDG platforms, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Sustainability Research Coordination Group; Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland;
  3. used social media: 20,000 project video views, and findings published in a research portfolio.

The project’s next steps are 1) to use a sustainable development open-world design model to test priority action ideas to bring about changes in the wider school community and accelerate other schools in getting started with their important role in implementing the SDGs; and 2) to share ideas and methodologies with schools and SDG stakeholders locally, nationally and globally to empower all educational institutions to nurture whole-community involvement in sustainable planning and visualisation.

Who is behind this?

Clifton Rooney, Tony Daly, Shane McInerney and Stuart Hannon.

For more information:

Visit website

Together 2017: Collaboration, Innovation and the Sustainable Development Goals

Canada’s meeting point for crucial multi-sector conversations is on tour!

Canada’s meeting point for crucial multi-sector conversations is on tour!

Together 2017: Collaboration, Innovation and the Sustainable Development Goals was the first-ever multi-stakeholder symposium in Canada dedicated to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. Together 2017 bridged the gap across sectors about the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the importance of collaboration and innovation in achieving the 2030 Agenda.

By convening representatives from across academia, civil society, national and subnational levels of government including federal, provincial, and municipal, Indigenous communities, the private sector and youth, Together 2017 set a foundation for how all stakeholders can work collectively to use the 2030 Agenda as a framework and common language, creating better organizations and communities in a better world. While conversations within sectors are taking place across the country about Agenda 2030, there exists a significant gap for convening multi-sector conversations.

Together 2017 fostered an environment which allowed diverse stakeholders to have open dialogue, learn, share and advance together. The Together 2017 Symposium provided an opportunity and platform for participants to showcase their work, celebrate accomplishments towards the SDGs, and identify where there is more work to be done.

Together 2017 speaker and participant Terry Sloan from the Southwest Native Cultures in Albuquerque, New Mexico expressed the impact of his participation at Together 2017 as being transformative. He had the opportunity to connect and share his wealth of knowledge with those in attendance particularly through his participation in the “Indigenous Perspectives on Achieving the SDGs” session. He encouraged using the Together 2017 “template” as a mechanism to foster the achievement of the UN SDGs and advancing Agenda 2030 both locally and globally.

Together 2018 will be taking place in Edmonton, Alberta in October 2018 with satellite conferences happening from coast to coast to coast across Canada. The Together movement has convened organizations to start a conversation that would not normally occur and will continue over the next 13 years. Conference organizers hope that Together will become a recurring symposium that travels across the country, broadening representation, charting progress, identifying next steps and keeping the discussion on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs alive and current. ​Together 2018 will look at what has been accomplished and where more efforts are needed. It will examine Canada’s voluntary national review, encourage new leaders to join the movement, and identify innovative ways to tackle the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

Who is behind this?

Alberta Council for Global Cooperation

For more information:

Visit their Facebook page