Why are partnerships important

For the realization of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), there is a need to include all stakeholders into the participation of policy making and action plan formulating. For achieving development that ‘leaves no one behind’, which acts as the motto of the sustainable development goals, it is important for the progress towards achieving these goals to be inclusive and universal. For the development to be successful there is a need for partnerships sharing the same value and vision, spread across the global, national and local levels of action, with all parties involved acting to keep people and the planet as its central principles.

Major shocks to the world such as the economic recession, or oil crisis and most recently the global pandemic are events that affected the world indefinitely yet disproportionately. However the world nations came together in interest of global health to tackle the infection and spread of the virus while providing each other with resources and aid required. This partnership goes beyond just the governments but also includes civil societies, private sector, and individual actors etc thus providing a model for the need to work together globally.

Within a region itself, there is a need for the different parties to come together, in order to ensure that the progress and growth is spread across all sections of the society equally and sustainably. This requires participation and collaboration between research institutes, academia, government, private sector, and civil society.

Therefore we can see the need to establish these partnerships and to support each other in order to implement the SDGs. However the financial aid has been sensitive and slow for even the most persistent challenges. UNDP reports that the official development assistance is under the target, and remains constant at 147 billion USD.

17 Partnerships for Goals

Understanding the root cause

The United Nations has formed the 17 SDGs as a call for immediate action on primary areas of concern to ensure growth and development happens sustainably to preserve the future and ensure a peaceful and prosperous society. For this global partnerships are needed where multilateral support can be provided internationally, given that most countries in the world are interconnected through globalized trade, investment and exchange. This interconnectedness is especially beneficial due to the internal access and sharing of technology, knowledge and innovation, which enables a stronger global partnership.

The major aim is to enable North-South cooperation and partnerships as well as South-South partnerships. This is through ensuring a collaborative relationship remains between the developed and developing countries, as well as having a comradeship amongst the developing countries. Developed countries need to fulfill their official assistance commitments, by providing needed aid to developing countries in the form of increased trade, investment and other economic activities. UNDP holds this to provide a fair and just international trading system.

There is also a need for the mobilising and releasing necessary resources across the world that help in financial and technology development as well as instill capacity building. However the coronavirus pandemic has halted and possibly reversed the progress made so far by bringing trade to a standstill. Yet there is hope for resilient and more effective recovery plans to come into place.

Changemakers forming and supporting partnerships

There are various global partnerships to name, which spread across global, national, local and regional levels while including the stakeholders- government, civil society, and private sector. Many partnerships towards the fulfillment of the sustainable development goals are registered with the UN. Development Assistance Committee is a committee set up by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for the official development assistance through a joint SDG fund, which brings together UN agencies as well as nonprofits, private organizations, councils and forums to join and work with the fund. Collaborative initiatives, councils and forums through partnerships, such as the Ocean Conference and the Small Island Developing States, also exist for the sake of specific areas of interest, such as partnership for ocean preservation and partnerships for preservation of small island states which face the most immediate damage of climate change. These partnerships work together to advocate for their interests and build mobilization of financial resources. International financial institutions also form partnerships to facilitate sustainable business and economic growth, while promoting trade and improved financial relationships among states. Such institutions include the World Bank, Asian development Bank, International Monetary Fund etc. The United Nations Office for Partnerships monitors and regulates these partnerships.

What youth can do as a TAL transformer

For global partnerships to exist there is a requirement to acknowledge and understand the need for multilateral cooperation. There’s also a need for active participation and collaboration across stakeholders in regional, national and global levels.

What you as a transformer for the society can do, is use social advocacy, philanthropy and entrepreneurial/business ideas in an innovative manner to provide a progressive direction for reaching the goal. Instances of which are as follows

Social Advocacy

  • Spread awareness regarding the need for and models of international participation.
  • Create a forum or a group which mobilizes support across stakeholders for Sdg implementation and action (which can be registered with the SDG Partnership Platform)
  • Encourage stakeholders’ collaboration with the government to reach the targets for the goals.

Social Philanthropy

  • Provide financial aid to other stakeholders in need
  • Fund mobilization of domestic resources and financial resources
  • Provide sustainability centric debt financing and restructuring policies

Social Entrepreneurship

  • Develop models of resource mobilization and distribution
  • Promote foreign direct investment into sustainable activities
  • Promote or build models for dissemination and transfer of development technologies


United Nations (2020). The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2020. New York: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Retrieved from https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2020/


Sowmya Vunnam
Sustainability Program Manager