SDG Lab Toolkit: Activating the 2030 Agenda

We are pleased to launch our new toolkit – www.sdglab.ch/toolkit – that provides insight into the methods, tools and techniques that we have tried and tested since the Lab’s founding in 2017.

A living document, the toolkit was developed in response to many requests for a ‘how-to’ guide on replicating the Lab model; a demand that came to us from governments and organizations alike in their quest to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The toolkit has been created to be highly accessible and designed to support a range of actors, regardless of expertise, experience and knowledge of working and innovating in a collaborative way.

We hope you will find it useful in informing your work, and we look forward to receiving any feedback on the toolkit in its entirety or on individual aspects. If you have thoughts to share, please let us know at sdg-lab@un.org.

SDG Lab toolkit at a glance (or download a one-page summary)

The toolkit is structured into four sections:

  • Tips for building your own SDG Lab inspired initiative: This section includes seven clusters of top tips that we learned from our own start-up experience and what should be taken into account when building a lab from scratch.

  • Tools: This is the bulk of the kit, containing a series of tools that we have tested and iterated on since the Lab’s founding. They are grouped according to the Lab’s four areas of work: Connect, Amplify, Ask Questions and Innovate. Eleven tools are currently included; additional ones will be added as they are ready. Each tool includes an overview of what the tool aims to achieve; why it should be considered; how to carry it out; a list of practical suggestions; and templates and a case study, where available.

  • Co-Creation Rules of Engagement: This section outlines the principles of convening, engaging and working in the SDG era; points that are essential for fruitful collaboration. They have been adopted from handbooks on co-creation as well as our own experiences.

  • Additional Resources from the Geneva Ecosystem: This last section features additional methods, tools and techniques that can support governments, organizations and other entities in advancing the 2030 Agenda.

How to use the toolkit

The ideas and tools featured in the toolkit are not owned by the Lab. We were inspired by several organizations and entities that have pioneered design and systems thinking methods as well as collaborative approaches.

We hope this compilation of what works (and also what doesn’t) in our context serves as a guidepost for your own activities. Determining if the tools and techniques resonate in your ecosystem or community will require rounds of trial and error as well as a lot of patience.

If you, your government or your organization would like to use our toolkit, our only ask is that you review our terms of use section.

Quotables

“The SDG Lab was created to be a catalyst for finding synergies, breaking down silos and erasing outdated divides. This toolkit does that exactly by providing the tools and know-how for individuals and organizations who want to think and act differently and creatively in the SDG era.”

— Mr. Michael Møller, Director-General, UN Geneva (Nov 2013 – Jun 2019)

“The SDG Lab Toolkit packages the resources and insights we have used and collected along our journey in one place. With growing interest in the lab model, I hope this toolkit will serve as inspiration to others seeking ideas and help in implementing the 2030 Agenda.”

— Ms. Nadia Isler, SDG Lab Director