SDG Lab News Dispatch: September 2019

SDG Lab Dispatch September 2019 .jpg

(You can download a PDF version of this newsletter here)

Dear friends,

We’re pleased to share with you a short update on some highlights of activities of the SDG Lab since our last update in June.

What’s been happening

  • The Lab has launched its very own toolkit, a one-stop resource on the tools, methods and techniques that we have tried and tested since the Lab’s founding in 2017. 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. If you would like a quick overview of the toolkit’s contents, we’ve put together a one-pager.

  • Linking the world of work and climate change: On 3 September, the Lab hosted its SDG “So What?” series focused on Goals 8 (Decent Work) and 13 (Climate Action). The talk was timely for two reasons: first, the International Labour Organization (ILO), which is celebrating its centenary this year, is very much at the centre of the 2030 Agenda. ILO’s focus on advancing social justice and promoting decent work is essential for development that is sustainable and inclusive. Second, the global community is gearing up for the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit on 23 September at UN Headquarters that will focus on accelerated actions to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Against this backdrop, the “So What?” discussion heard from a diverse panel of practitioners who shared insights from their respective institutions and areas of expertise on how they are carrying out joint actions between these two Goals. We were fortunate to have newly-appointed UN Geneva Director-General, Ms Tatiana Valovaya, deliver opening remarks. If you would like to watch a quick two-minute recap of this “So What?”, please visit our YouTube channel.

  • Time for Hard Choices: On September 11, 2019, the Lab hosted the 2019 Geneva launch and briefing of the 2019 Financing the UN Development System Report, an annual publication produced by the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office. The report, now in its fifth year, provides a reader-friendly update of the financing picture of the UN. Key messages stemming from this year’s report – titled Time for Hard Choices – were presented by Henrik Hammargren and Bruce Jenks, both with the foundation, and Jennifer Topping of the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office. Opening remarks were provided by UN Geneva Director-General Tatiana Valovaya, with the Lab’s Director, Nadia Isler, moderating the session. Photos from the event are available on Flickr.

  • Building the SDG financing gap: Early next month, Geneva will play host to Building Bridges Week, a five-day event (7-11 October) focused on rallying the finance and international development communities around a common goal: scaling up collective impact for the SDGs. The SDG Lab, Sustainable Finance Geneva (SFG), the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Swiss Sustainable Finance and other partners have been preparing for the event for months, which will culminate in a Summit on 10 October. It is hoped that the day will help galvanize action from the financial industry towards greater alignment with the SDGs.

On the horizon

  • #UNGA2019: September is one of the busiest months of the calendar—and this September is no exception. The UN’s high-level week, as part of the annual opening of the General Assembly, will be held from 23-27 September and see Heads of State/Government and other stakeholders convene in New York for five summits under the theme of “Action for People and People”. The red thread of the week is the 2030 Agenda, and a two-day summit (24th-25th) will be exclusively focused on ramping up SDG progress. The programme is now online for this first UN summit on the SDGs since the adoption of the agenda four years ago. We’ll be attending and share our own take on the main outcomes and key messages. In the meantime, IISD’s SDG Knowledge Hub has published a helpful policy brief on “What Will Spell Success at the SDG Summit”, providing a succinct overview of what to expect.

  • Building Bridges Week, 7-11 October: programme available in English and French.

  • Mark your agenda for our next “So What?” on 20 November where we will focus on SDG 2 – Zero Hunger and the importance of nutrition and sustainable food production in achieving the Global Goals. More details about the event will be shared in the coming weeks.

In the loop

  • If you have an event or activity that you would like the Lab team to be aware of, do not hesitate to reach out to us: We would be happy to discuss further.

Best regards,

SDG Lab team