Helen Clark: Speech at the Post-2015 Partnership Platform for Philanthropy Meeting - Philanthropy Engaged: Implementing and Achieving the Post-2015 Agenda

Sep 24, 2015

One year ago at this annual Ford Foundation-hosted event, UNDP, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, the Foundation Center, and the Ford, Conrad N. Hilton, and The MasterCard Foundations launched the Post-2015 Partnership Platform for Philanthropy to explore ways in which philanthropy could contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Since we last met, three major processes have underlined the need for exactly this kind of platform.

• The final “Millennium Development Goals (MDG) report”, issued in July by the United Nations Secretary-General, highlighted how much the MDGs had achieved, but also how much more there is to do just to meet the unfinished business of the MDGs, let alone the expanded agenda of the SDGs. The report called on us all to consolidate, scale-up, and accelerate approaches which have been seen to work where implemented.

• Also in July, the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa adopted the Addis Ababa Action Agenda – the new framework for development financing. Financing needs for implementation of the new global development agenda and national development agendas are great. The Agenda set important priorities for development investment, including in social protection, jobs creation, nutrition, and agriculture; and agreed on new global technology and infrastructure financing mechanisms.

The Agenda specifically welcomed efforts to increase co-operation among philanthropic actors, governments and other stakeholders. It noted the need for co-ordination mechanisms and partnerships at the country level, and specifically mentioned philanthropy as one of the key sets of stakeholders.

• Negotiations on the post-2015 sustainable development agenda concluded successfully. The agreed SDGs are ambitious and visionary, with poverty eradication identified as the most urgent task within the broader agenda for sustainable development. It is a universal and inclusive vision, and a powerful call to action.

The new agenda will be formally adopted tomorrow by Heads of State and Government. It will guide global development for a generation. But strong partnerships for implementation are critical for the new agenda to take off. “Transforming our world: the 2030 agenda for sustainable development” explicitly acknowledges the vital role of philanthropic organizations in the implementation of the new agenda.

The Post-2015 Partnership Platform for Philanthropy has accomplished a great deal in its first year. This is consistent with the speed, flexibility, and willingness to take calculated risks which UNDP sees as one of foundations’ comparative advantages. Now the name of the platform is being changed to the SDGs Philanthropy Platform. I thank all the foundations involved to date – it is your vision and commitment which has made it possible to get this platform up and running.

I invite you to learn more about the achievements of the Platform from the Flagship Report being published today. UNDP colleagues will also elaborate on the conclusions of the report in the “SDG Platform” session later this morning.

Allow me to briefly highlight some of the main accomplishments of the platform to date:

• Since last year, staff from over 1,000 foundations have participated in fifteen global and regional philanthropic events. There has been at least one event on every continent. Rooms have been overflowing with participants at some of the meetings.

• More than six hundred foundations have been engaged in the four pilot countries - Kenya, Indonesia, Ghana and Colombia. Sessions in those countries have looked at how philanthropic contributions can be aligned with national plans. There have already been several concrete outcomes.

• In Kenya, the Platform has contributed to the creation of the Kenya Philanthropy Forum. This is a body which represents local philanthropy’s collective voice and vision in national decision making forums. Also in Kenya, this year foundations have become official partners with the UN Development Assistance Framework which helps support achievement of the government’s National Vision 2030. I understand that the First Lady of Kenya will speak on this, and on other positive developments involving philanthropy and the Ministry of Education and the National Bureau of Statistics this morning.

• In Colombia and Indonesia, the Governments both included philanthropy in official structures which are reviewing and amending national development plans in line with the SDGs. Thus they have given foundations a formal role in SDG implementation.

• In Ghana, the Government, UN agencies, foundations, civil society, and business are co-ordinating their efforts on improving access to water, education, skills training, and jobs for young people.

UNDP looks forward to continuing its work with the Platform to ensure that even more foundations can engage in aligning their strategies and resources with the new global development agenda. We also hope to expand the partnership well beyond the four pilot countries in the year ahead.

Forging partnerships with the philanthropic community and broader civil society at the country level will be a key part of UNDP’s contribution to SDG rollout in the year ahead. UNDP will be supporting governments to “domesticate” the SDGs. We will seek to involve legislators, municipal leaders, civil society, and other key stakeholders. With other partners we will support governments to accelerate implementation of the SDGs, just as we have been doing with the MDGs for many years.

Later today, the web-portal, SDGfunders.org will be launched. This website will map and publish country-by-country data and include breakdowns of foundation and OECD-DAC funding.

There have been many calls for a “data revolution” to go hand-in-hand with the new SDGs so that progress can be measured. For that data must be available, be of good quality, and be easily accessed. Capacities to analyse data are also needed for good policymaking, and for effective monitoring by parliaments, citizens, and media. Particular thanks must go to Brad Smith, President of the Foundation Center, for his contributions in this area.

To conclude: philanthropy will play a significant role in achieving the new Sustainable Development Goals. The more we work together, the more effective we will be.

I wish you a very successful meeting and look forward to hearing the outcomes.

UNDP Around the world