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Around the Web: Localising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Several stories from around the web that should get us thinking about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a more local context:

Localizing the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Baltimore: Next steps towards Implementation

How the local community in Baltimore decided to adopt the UN SDGs to improve life and create a more sustainable Baltimore:

The United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), headed by Professor Jeffery Sachs, approached the University of Baltimore and other key stakeholders to launch USA – SCI in Baltimore (now known as SCI – Baltimore) in order to develop citywide targets and strategies to achieve the SDGs. The Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance and the College of Public Affairs at the University of Baltimore took the lead to build the infrastructure needed for multi-sector stakeholders to provide substantive, locally-grounded input into the initiative to establish quantitative targets for sustainable development in Baltimore.

Given the unique timing of this activity in Baltimore, less than a year after the civil unrest following the death of Freddie Gray in April 2015, the local SCI-Baltimore project team conducted a range of consultative meetings and adopted a “listening-to-the-listening” approach to ensure inclusive engagement and non-duplication of effort and resources.

Summarized in the report below are the accomplishments of SCI-Baltimore during this first year of the SDGs.

Moving forward, the project team anticipates that these achievements will be the foundation of a long-term endeavor to promote global standards of just, equitable and sustainable development in Baltimore City.

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Measuring up: How the UK is performing on the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD) released a report in July that looked for the first time at how the UK was doing with implementation of the SDGs.

With the evidence from Measuring up we can understand how the UK is performing against the SDG Targets, the wider policy context and the historical trends that will a ect us achieving them. It is now possible to understand in one place, for the rst time, what is happening in the lives of people of the UK, in our natural environment, in our economy and to our governance systems. The SDGs are the most comprehensive tool to date to assess the ‘state of the nation’.

While there is an enormous amount to celebrate, the most vulnerable places and people in our society are increasingly being left behind. Our assessment of the UK’s performance against the SDGs used public data to understand progress against the global indicators, existing public policy and historical or future trends that may impact on progress.

“Out of 143 targets we considered relevant to the domestic delivery of the Goals, UKSSD found that the UK is performing well on 24% of them. There are gaps in policy or inadequate performance for 57% of them, and 15% where there is little to no policy in place to address the target, or where performance is poor.”

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Presentation Sisters help implement UN sustainable goals at local level

The UN talks a lot about localising SDGs. This applies to both the developed and developing world. One organisation has been working hard to see this occur in Pakistan:

In 2017, the sisters selected 18 economically vulnerable communities near their convents in which to work in Pakistan. With the help of community leaders and discussions and interviews with local citizens, the sisters found that none of the communities had access to clean drinking water and sanitation facilities. In addition, all of communities faced serious problems with drug addiction among people of all ages. The communities also experienced challenges posed by religious intolerance toward non-Muslims, including Christians and Hindus.

Gill called the U.N.’s 2030 Agenda “an opportunity for dealing with issues of water and sanitation, drug abuse, and peace-building through the involvement of [local citizens] with the aim of bringing transformation.”

The sisters and community members in the 18 targeted communities focused on goals No. 3 (Good Health and Well-Being); No. 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation); and No. 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions).

A July 17 event at the Salvation Army near the United Nations featured presentations on the United Nations’ sustainable development goals from Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary working in Pakistan, India, the Philippines and Zambia. It also included participation from the government of Ireland and UNANIMA International, a U.N.-based coalition of Catholic congregations focused on concerns of women, children, migrants and the environment. (GSR photo / Chris Herlinger)
Following trainings, Gill said community leaders “formed community-based voluntary groups consisting of men, women, and youth.” They also “developed strategies to localize SDGs through education and advocacy,” such as door-to-door visits and communitywide meetings, she said.

Other efforts included school presentations, holding awareness rallies on drug addiction and initiating communitywide petition drives on issues such as waste removal, safe drinking water, blocked drains and the construction of community boundary walls.

In the last year, local governments responded to the concerns by, among other things, removing garbage, building the sought boundary walls, and beginning construction on a water filter.

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Featured image from Ron Mader via Creative Commons

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