Published 2016
Funding the UN in the SDG Era: Why We Should Link Funding with the Goals and Aspirations of Agenda 2030
By Olav Kjørven

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a demonstration and endorsement of the power of a collaborative, open and inclusive approach to getting things done in development. This is true when looking at how the SDGs came to be, and it is just as true when it comes to achieving them. Agenda 2030 makes clear that the SDGs must become ‘everybody’s business’. While insisting on ‘national ownership’, it also calls for ‘multi-stakeholder partnerships’ and people and communities everywhere as key drivers of progress towards the goals and targets. The sprawling collection of United Nations agencies working in development - known generally as the UN Development System - has been given a recognised role in moving the agenda forward. This includes working with governments to help establish baselines for tracking progress and set early priority areas of action. It also involves working at national, regional and global levels to help convene actors, shape strategies and forge partnerships required for an ambitious, long haul towards 2030 across the wide range of issues covered by the 17 goals. The expertise, experience and convening power of the UN and its agencies will be critical to the success of the SDG journey. So will its ability to raise resources, both for its own work and for the agenda more broadly. And herein lies a major challenge - and an opportunity.