Supporting the Geneva SDG community to put SDGs at the centre of COVID-19 recoveryThe continuing global COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing socio-economic crisis is challenging our ability to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. While it is well understood that even before the pandemic hit, we were not on track to achieve the SDGs, we have seen hard-won gains achieved in the last few years disrupted by the pandemic, among other things leading to the first rise in extreme poverty in over 20 years.
On the other hand, the pandemic has also accelerated the uptake of certain social policies that are key to realizing the SDGs and the crisis has provided us the opportunity to reflect on how we build more resilient societies through a sustainable recovery - a topic the SDG Lab explores in the new podcast series It takes a Global Crisis.
To put the SDGs at the centre of recovery with an offset in our Geneva SDG community, in mid-2021, the SDG Lab and IISD created a call for locally driven projects that did so in a concrete and tangible way. Five projects were selected and received a micro-grant to implement their project ideas.
The five projects were very diverse in their focus area and the approach they took to implementing the SDGs at local level covering issues from developing a framework for design thinking workshops on COVID-19 recovery action plans, to supporting refugee inclusion through gastronomy (see a full list of the projects below). A common element across the five projects were that they highlighted the important role collaboration played in the realization of their respective initiatives, highlighting the value of leveraging expertise and knowledge from diverse actors.
Multi-stakeholder inclusion and end-user participation in the development of these initiatives was identified by these organizations as an important element to ensure long term sustainability of the projects. To this end, human-centered approaches and design thinking models were applied in many of these initiatives to develop robust and integrated solutions that ensure ownership.
While this initiative represented only a small wave in the direction of action for a sustainable recovery, experimenting with new ways of integrating the SDGs in local projects are important in that the lessons and learnings this brings contributes to enhancing our collective knowledge and joint efforts to advance the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Trine Schmidt, Geneva SDG Community Manager
The five micro-grant receivers were:
- Developing a framework for innovative design thinking workshops on Covid-19 recovery action plans using the SDGs (by KoKrea Lab);
- Furthering gender equality in the field of economics academia by building a more supportive, collaborative, and equitable economics community for all, including by providing a platform for learning, sharing and empowerment (by Women in Econ Léman);
- Mapping the Geneva actors working in the inclusive blue economy, to identify opportunities for collaboration on inclusive blue economy as a key element of Covid-19 recovery (by Reos Partners);
- Translating a mobile App information, that provides useful resources about pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period and COVID, in local languages (by Enfants du Monde); and,
- Supporting refugee inclusion through the development of a social gastronomy movement (by CuisineLab).
The SDGs provided the inspirational framework to support our design thinking process. It was an eye-opening tool to uncover actionable impacts and federate around the mission. Isis for Kokrea Lab
If you are interested in learning more about any of the concrete initiatives, please do not hesitate to reach out at email@example.com.
IISD and the SDG Lab jointly convenes the Geneva SDG community to mobilize knowledge and multistakeholder partnerships for the SDGs. Want to hear more about our activities? Sign up for our Monthly Newsletter here.