Are the SDGs winning?

Progress Namibia - Are the SDGs winning?
10 October 2016

It has been one year since the Sustainable Development Goals were agreed to by 195 countries at the United Nations. Our ambitious goals for global development that is sustainable, resilient and inclusive. Has anything changed so far?

There has certainly been a flurry of SDG activities happening around the world. Governments seem to have been taking the goals quite seriously. There has been quite a bit of national planning, budgetary responses and policy change as a result. I have myself gotten word that our National Planning Commission here in Namibia is working on taking a systems (modeling) approach to the SDGs.

Apparently business is also emerging to implement the SDGs. Probably because they themselves see opportunity here. Big investment firms are putting money where their mouths are. For instance, Credit Suisse has specific impact investments aimed at every single goal.

The SDGs are meant to be seen within a system. So it is no surprise that institutions are starting to systems think around them. I read an article recently by 17Goals that civil society are grouping together, water people, food people, climate people, all realising that they are essentially working on the same outcomes.

Now the question is, are the SDGs turning us, the ordinary citizens, into global citizens? Over the past year, I have been teaching all sorts of people in my work days, through facilitation and training sessions, on the SDGs. And it is quite interesting the hope that has gleamed in their eyes when we walk through them. You see, the SDGs, despite their flaws, are a vision. A way forward. Everyone can contribute to this vision. Everyone has a role to play.