September 22, 2016
Written by Patrick McCrummen, Senior Director, Johnson & Johnson Global Community Impact
One year ago this week, the Global Goals for Sustainable Development (also known as the SDGs or the Global Goals) were officially adopted as a framework for the continued advancement of health, wellness and global progress. An evolution from the previous Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the announcement of this world agenda was framed as both ambitious and comprehensive, geographically, demographically, and otherwise.
At a UNGA side event event hosted by Women Deliver this week, moderator Raj Kumar, founder of Devex, candidly called out a lack of progress in the year that has passed, reminding a packed room of influential global health advocates, “This week is our Olympics. Last year, we got the gold – we got the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. But we’re all still thinking about that great moment a year ago, and maybe not quite yet about how we implement.”
It’s a critical question: How can we not only set a great agenda for global development, but also start to deliver for the good of communities? Over the course of the following hour, a group of nearly a dozen panelists helped advance that critical question with how their own organizations connect into and support a shared platform, Deliver for Good, led by Katja Iversen at Women Deliver.
Implementation of the Global Goals starts with girls and women. As Katja put it, there is a “simple truth…that evidence keeps showing it pays to invest in girls and women, [because] it creates a ripple effect, going beyond the individual to families, communities, nations and the whole world.” That’s why Deliver for Good is an inclusive approach for girls and women, cutting across all 17 Global Goals, and inspiring action and policies that put girls and women at the center of development. Within the platform, various partners and supporters are identifying the unique ways they can deliver for girls and women, as well as how they can remove traditional silos in global development to maximize impact and efficiency.
At Johnson & Johnson, we agree that the health and wellness of girls and women is of paramount importance for the future of our people and planet. Our own vision, which we were proud to launch during UN Week, identified five areas of commitment that have deep and meaningful impact on women and girls, and prioritizes them as change agents. Similarly, the Deliver for Good platform recognizes that “Girls are driving forward a movement of change,” as Ann Birgitte Albertsen, CEO, Plan International said at the event. “Let’s give them the oxygen to keep pushing,” she added.
The diversity of focus areas represented by the Deliver for Good platform is as impressive as it is essential for success. From education and land rights to family planning and nutrition, and overlaid with some of the best minds in science, advocacy, and policy, the Deliver for Good platform embraces all that women and girls need to realize for a better future. “All together,” as Nana Tuona Kuo of the Every Woman, Every Child movement put it, “Deliver for Good presents the case that investing in girls and women is both a moral and economic imperative.” She added, “Women are the first responders, center of the family and drivers of change.”
We applaud our long-time partners at Women Deliver for convening not only a powerful discussion but also a robust and much-needed movement in their Deliver for Good initiative. May this moment serve as the catalyst for the collaboration and speed that we need to truly deliver for girls and women in the Global Goals.