netFWD Breakfast Meeting - 22 September 2016



netFWD side-event during the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly 

At the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), world governments committed to 17 transformative goals that promise to “leave no one behind”. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are unprecedented in their breadth of commitment to tackling the most critical challenges facing current generations, from eradicating poverty, to reducing inequality, to safeguarding the environment. Gender equality and women’s empowerment were recognised as a priority for sustainable development, reflected in a stand-alone goal and gender-specific targets across the other goals. SDG 5’s nine targets offer the development community a life cycle approach to address some of the most pervasive inequalities confronting women and girls: unpaid care work, political participation and leadership, violence against women and harmful traditional practices, as well as unequal access to productive and economic resources. This agenda reflects the growing recognition that gender equality is a prerequisite for sustainable development and inclusive growth.

The challenges of realising the gender equality promises of the 2030 Agenda are stark and will require rethinking coalitions and partnerships, including with the philanthropic sector. Indeed, philanthropic foundations’ contribution to the global development agenda is increasing. Their flexibility, capacity for innovation and connections with grassroots women’s organisations make them a valuable ally for governments of the South and North. On their end, many foundations have demonstrated commitment to the 2030 Agenda and seize this new impetus for engagement.Multi-stakeholder coalitions that involve foundations can thus help move beyond traditional advocacy between donors and recipients, by exploring innovative tools (e.g. development impact bonds) and coalitions to address the challenges of implementing the SDG’s gender equality commitments. Establishing “what works” for effective implementation of the SDGs will be at the heart of a new policy dialogue to be launched by the OECD’s gender and development cluster.

Key questions

  • What is the comparative advantage of foundations for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for women and girls?
  • How can partnerships between governments and foundations help maximise the impact of collective efforts to accelerate SDGs implementation, including in the key areas of financing and measurement?
  • What can be learned from existing innovative initiatives and models for effective co-operation between foundations and governments?
  • What good practices can be scaled-up or adapted to different contexts?





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