September 22, 2016

Partnerships for Action

Written by Crowd360 Live Coverage Team

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” The African ancient proverb served as the overarching theme during “Together for the 2030 Agenda”, a side-session hosted by Every Woman, Every Child, Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, Zero Hunger Challenge, Global Partnership for Education and Sanitation, and Water for All, which spotlighted the importance of Global Goal 17 — global partnerships, in achieving the sixteen goals before it. It’s officially been one year since world leaders gathered in New York City during the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly, where they agreed to embark on an ambitious 15-year commitment — the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By 2030, we’ve vowed to create a world where everyone has access to the care they need, girls are guaranteed a quality education, poverty is a thing of the past, and many other solutions help tackle the world’s biggest challenges.

However, we can no longer afford to partner just for the sake of partnerships.

  • “Without actions, inspiration means nothing.” Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of Myanmar
  • “Partnerships to what end? We must be moved to action.” Mark Suzman, Chief Strategy Officer and President at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • “We need to say partnering instead of partnership. An action instead of a noun.” David Nabarro, adviser on 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

While the session gave the floor to various policymakers, government officials, private sector managers and grassroots activists who are driving progress in health, nutrition and food security, sanitation and girls’ education and more, our call to action is clear. We need action and we need it now. The stakes are high. While we gather this week during UNGA, another girl has lost her right to education, a mother has passed away due to lack of access to prenatal care, and a child has contracted an infection due to poor sanitation. If we continue at this rate, we unfortunately will not be able to realize our 2030 agenda in time.

However, Global Goal 17 must serve as our compass on our journey to SDG success. The Partnerships Playbook outlines how we can increase our impact within the already-existing coalitions we’ve formed as well as inspire new action-oriented thinking when identifying the partners we want to join forces with. Arguably, our most powerful resource in expanding access to health, education, nutrition and WASH — youth leaders led us through the following 10 principles of partnership, which acknowledge the need for local-led initiatives, human rights-based approaches and transparency, and accountability at all levels of implementation.

  1. We are country-led.
  2. We are rights-based.
  3. We are inclusive.
  4. We are transparent about our intentions and impact.
  5. We will be predictable and mutually accountable.
  6. We will be evidence-based.
  7. We will communicate conscientiously.
  8. We will act with integrity and in an ethical manner.
  9. We are mutually respectful.
  10. We will do no harm.

Our goals are set and our marching orders are clear. Armed with the Partnership Playbook, we now have the vehicle we need to drive progress to an equitable and just 2030.