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What is the SDG Philanthropy Platform?

SDG Philanthropy Platform is a vehicle to enable partnerships in the global development space and to help them flourish to achieve global development outcomes as the world transitions from the MDGs to the SDGs. Philanthropy has adopted a systemic approach to funding and policy work, shifting from fragmented individual projects to long-term collaborative efforts in line with national priorities and SDGs.

Who are the partners to the SDG Philanthropy Platform?

Founding partners include the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the MasterCard Foundation. Work is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Foundation Center and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA). Other supporters include the Association of Corporate and Family Foundations (AFE) in Colombia, and the Association of Philanthropy Indonesia (PFI). The Platform welcomes additional partners to support its work and reach.

What are the objectives of the SDG Philanthropy Platform?

To establish robust and enabling platforms for philanthropy in countries across the globe and to bridge the divide between governments and other sectors working to achieve common development goals. We believe that with enough support the potential to improve the performance of philanthropy is enormous.

Our partnership facilitates collaboration between government, philanthropy and the UN system as well as other stakeholders, with the aim of working together to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and improve development effectiveness. We help stakeholders understand the value of philanthropy and encourage philanthropists to better understand the larger ecosystems in which they operate.

What are the most notable added values your platform provides?

The activities of the platform will lead to an improved environment for philanthropic organizations supporting SDG implementation at three levels:

  • Global development policy
  • Country-level coordination among implementation partners
  • Strategic points of entry for individual foundations

As of September 2015 our platform will serve as a national clearing-house to provide unprecedented amounts of information. Our online portal will be complemented by dedicated on-the-ground philanthropy centers that are supported at an international level. We aim to create enabling philanthropic environments, provide consultations, monitor country-level SDG progress and impediments, and organize meetings, conferences, workshops and one-day events.

What are some of the activities of SDG Philanthropy Platform till date?

So far, four planning workshops have been held in four pilot countries, including Kenya, Colombia, Indonesia, and Ghana. These workshops convene philanthropy, governments and the UN on topics relevant to that country’s national development agenda and their overall importance to reaching the goals. The Platform to date has:

  • Created a credible and accessible online data and knowledge portal on philanthropic giving related to development goals – SDGfunders.org.
  • Created a clear track for philanthropy to engage with the UN-led SDG process and to participate in formative events and activities.
  • Developed country-level tracks for philanthropic collaboration with local partners in Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, and Indonesia.
  • Produced key reports, including the SDG Philanthropy Platform Flagship Report, Ghana MDG country report, and a collection of case studies.

Facilitated greater awareness of philanthropy and its role in development, and greater awareness among local philanthropic funders of the SDG process and its implications for development.

What are the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)?

Eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were established following the launch of the United Nations (UN) Millennium Summit in 2000 with the aim of reducing extreme poverty while addressing its many dimensions including education, health, hunger and the environment, amongst others.

Why the MDGs are important?

The MDGs represent pledges from UN member states to reduce poverty. Before the SDGs, the MDGs had been the most broadly supported, comprehensive targets that the world had ever established for solving international development issues. As a result, the MDGs have been critical in mobilizing resources and driving real progress on some of the world’s most pressing issues.

Were the MDGs a success?

Although many of the MDG targets were met, some were not. However, the MDG campaign has been the most successful global anti-poverty push in history. In the last 15 years, the world’s extreme poverty rate has been cut in half, gender equality has reached a new level of progress, and infant mortality has decreased as the number of deaths from deadly diseases like malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS has fallen.

What are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 universal goals that all countries and stakeholders will implement. The SDGs will follow and build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as the MDGs expire at the end of 2015. These 17 goals aim to reduce poverty and hunger, improve health, advance education, make cities more sustainable, and combat climate change amongst other goals. To learn more about the SDGs, please visit our Sustainable Development Goals page.

Do the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) differ considerably from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)?

Yes. For the most part, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were enacted by the United Nations in partnership with heads of state to measure the level of development in developing countries. The SDGs on the other hand focus on action at local, national, and global levels and include all sectors, are universal and embrace a much broader agenda such as achieving inclusive economic growth, empowering women, taking urgent action and addressing climate change.

Why work with or through the UN or other large international organizations?

There is a rich diversity of opinions pertaining to these organizations, even among the most active SDG stakeholders. What matters is that we engage in the process by bringing our voice to the table. It is also worth noting that many partners, varying greatly in size, sector and function, are tackling the SDG agenda.

Do big expensive international events like the SDGs summit really matter?

One of the most effective ways for philanthropy to contribute to the implementation of the SDGs is on the ground. Our partnership now has in-country staff working in four countries to help match governments with philanthropy and other sectors, with support provided at the international level. We do believe, however, that attending UN meetings and events in partnership with philanthropy can turn the tide, possibly less so in the short-run, but certainly over time if we maintain a collective commitment to create change.

Why should foundations coordinate their work with the SDGs?

If we are serious about improving global development outcomes and achieving the SDGs, we must begin by honoring and supporting a diversity of philanthropic interests, practices, and approaches. Fortunately, and intentionally, the SDGs resulted from extensive input by many stakeholders and embody many of the objectives funders embrace.

How can I get involved?

Visit our “Get Involved” page where you can explore different ways to get involved including how to:

  • Contribute your data
  • Submit a report
  • Submit your idea for a discussion
  • Collaborate with partnerships around the SDGs
  • And more.