Global Policy Watch Blog

Is business action on climate change believable?

By John Probert

One of a series of Guardian Members’ events, hosted by Guardian Sustainable Business in partnership with Nordea Responsible Investments, the focus of this discussion, facilitated by a Guardian environmental journalist Karl Mathieson, was nominally on the “plethora of pledges from major businesses… in the lead-up to the UN talks”. Read more…

Philanthropic Power and Development – Who shapes the agenda?

A new GPF working paper, jointly published with Brot für die Welt and MISEREOR, examines the role and impact of philanthropic foundations in development. It addresses the impacts and side effects of philanthropic engagement by taking a closer look at the priorities and operations of two of the most prominent foundations, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in two crucial sectors, health and agriculture. So far, there has been a fairly willing belief among governments and international organizations in the positive role of philanthropy in global development. But in light of experiences in the areas of health, food, nutrition and agriculture, which are discussed in this working paper, a thorough assessment of the impacts and side effects of philanthropic engagement is necessary. The important role being allocated to the philanthropic sector in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda makes the discussion of its role a matter of urgency. Read more…

SDG Indicators and Data: Who collects? Who reports? Who benefits?

By Barbara Adams

As part of its mandate to develop an indicator framework by which to monitor the goals and targets of the post-2015 development agenda, the Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDGs (IAEG-SDGs) held its second meeting in Bangkok, 26-28 October 2015. The objective was to seek agreement on the proposed indicators for each target—keeping in mind that indicators alone can never be sufficient to fully measure progress on the goals. More specifically, it was to move provisional indicators marked yellow—needing further agreement—to either green—agreed by all parties—or grey—no agreement possible. As a result, there are now 159 green indicators (including 52 moved from yellow and 9 new ones), and 62 greys (including 28 moved from yellow plus 5 new ones). Read more…

SDG indicators: Counting the trees, hiding the forest

By Roberto Bissio

The Inter-Agency Experts Group agrees on 159 indicators for most of the SDG targets, but in too many cases what they suggest to measure is not what the governments agree to so. To acknowledge the difficulties in monitoring the Agenda 2030 because of the complexities of the issues, the lack of statistical capacity in many countries or even the ambiguities in the wording that made the agreement possible is sensible. To propose indicators that substantially rewrite key aspects of the consensus is simply unacceptable.

Can development goals help development finance? If so, how?

By Ingrid Harvold Kvangraven.
Last month, the “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) were launched at the UN in New York. This is the outcome of two years of consultations, lobbying, and debate about what the “post-2015” agenda should look like. This agenda is likely to have far-reaching implications both for development finance and for the promotion of social and economic rights. However, why adopt goals at all? Any systematic effort to answer this seemingly elementary conceptual question has been disturbingly absent. What’s more, not only has this basic question not been answered, what is most striking is that it has hardly been asked. Read more…

Rethinking the development paradigm: Reflections from civil society in the region on Post2015 and Financing for Development

The Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND) has published a booklet titled ‘Rethinking the development paradigm: Reflections from civil society in the region on Post2015 and Financing for Development’. Some of the central topics are the role the private sector has been given in the Post2015 development agenda and the diminished support for civil society organizations in the region. This shift in stakeholder roles comes before the adoption of “business-binding human rights standards.” In the global partnership for development the focus has shifted towards private sector involvement while minimizing the goals for fair trade, debt relief and neglecting the regulation and control of capital movement.

As part of the involvement of civil society in the arab track of sustainable development goals ANND has organized forums parallel to the arab economic and social summit, in which proposals and recommendations for the summit were made. The documents in this booklet include analysis of most prominent arab development challenges and tackle on some of the elements of the alternative development model. Read more…

U.S. Funding for the United Nations

Barbara Adams, with the Global Policy Forum, talked about the money the U.S. contributes to the United Nations and how that amount compares to contributions by other countries. She also discussed the efficiency of U.N. programs.

This program was part of C-SPAN’s “Your Money” series. Each Monday morning the last hour of “Washington Journal” is devoted to a federal program, focusing on its mission, participants, and cost.

The world agrees on a better future… just not yet on how to get there

By Roberto Bissio
Last August 2 in New York, the United Nations agreed on the new sustainable development agenda as the guide for their global, regional and national policies over the coming fifteen years.

At the core of this new global consensus, seventeen “sustainable development goals” (SDGs) spell out a vision for a better future where poverty everywhere will be eradicated, inequalities within and between countries will be substantially reduced, and current unsustainable consumption and production patterns will be transformed. Read more…

Public SDGs or Private GGs?

By Barbara Adams

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) negotiated painstakingly over two years by all UN Member States  with thousands of public interest organizations providing their commitment and expertise have been copyrighted. And by whom? The UN you would think? But no. They have been re-branded as Global Goals (GGs) and the copyrighted by Project Everyone, a private company incorporated and registered in London. Read more…

Is the UN fit for the ambitious new Sustainable Development Agenda?

New study highlights private funding and corporate influence in the United Nations

New York City, 22 September 2015. More than a hundred Heads of State and Government will gather in New York this week to adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This agenda is intended to make the UN ‘fit for purpose’, but it is important to ask, ‘whose purpose will it be fit for’? Read more…