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8 mistakes to avoid in reporting an INGO’s contributions to the SDGs

August 19, 2021
Guest post from Ximena Echeverria Magariños and Jay Goulden, of CARE International INGOs have for many years felt the need to communicate how many people their programs reach in a year, but the numbers of people our programs “touch” doesn’t tell us anything about the difference they make in people’s lives. Increasingly, INGOs are seeking to report numbers of people

Are Big Companies Walking Their Talk on the SDGs? New report digs into the evidence

September 24, 2018
Following my recent semi-conversion to SDG agnosticism, Namit Agrawal, Uwe Gneiting and Ruth Mhlanga introduce a new Oxfam report on business and the SDGs Business has become a fixture in discussions around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  This week in New York we will see the familiar picture of executives of the world’s largest corporations convening around the UN’s General

So three years in, what do we know about the impact of the SDGs?

September 7, 2018
Next Tuesday I have to give a talk on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and I need your help. As you may recall, I was a massive SDG sceptic in the run up to their creation in 2015 (here’s a summary of previous rants, with links). Now I want to see if my scepticism needs to be moderated/abandoned. My main

Turning ‘Leave No One Behind’ from promise to reality: Kevin Watkins on the Power of Convergence

June 6, 2018
This post is by Kevin Watkins, Chief Executive of Save the Children UK How do you take your Sustainable Development Goals? With a generous sprinkle of motherhood, apple pie and good intentions? If so, the chances are you’re an enthusiast for the commitment to ‘leave no one behind’ in the pursuit of the 2030 development targets. Me too. It’s tough

New Report from UN Women argues that Universal Childcare can unlock progress across multiple SDGs (and costs it)

February 15, 2018
Silke Staab and Ginette Azcona introduce their new report on gender and the SDGs, published yesterday UN Women has just launched its first monitoring report on gender equality and the SDGs “Turning promises into action: Gender equality in the 2030 Agenda”. The report offers the most comprehensive review to date on how gender equality features in the 2030 agenda, the

When is eradicating a major disease a disaster for healthcare?

January 30, 2018
Guest post from Laura Kerr, Senior Policy Advocacy Officer (Child Health), RESULTS UK The world is on the brink of a historic breakthrough – the eradication of polio. Cause for celebration, right? Well yes, in terms of getting rid of a killer disease, but because of the way the aid business has distorted health systems around the developing world, the

How will we know if the SDGs are having any impact?

June 8, 2017
As long time readers of the blog will know, I’ve been a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) sceptic since long before they were even agreed. However, I’ve been hearing a fair amount about them recently – people telling me that governments North and South, companies and city administrations are using them to frame public commitments and planning and reporting against them. So

On Populism, Nationalism, Babies and Bathwater

March 23, 2017
A couple of Oxfamers were over from the US recently so ODI kindly pulled together a seriously stimulating conversation about life, theuniverse and everything. More specifically, how should ‘we’ – the aid community broadly defined – respond to the rising tide of nationalism, populism, and attacks on aid. It was Chatham House rules, so I’ve already told you too much,

Once every 20 years the UN focuses on cities, but the wrong people will be there

September 28, 2016
Urbanization guru David Satterthwaite raises the curtain on next month’s big Habitat III conference.   Surprising though it may seem, I once got mistaken for the mayor of London. I was at a conference for mayors in Latin America and not realising the mistake, for half a day I had all the most prominent mayors greeting me like a brother

Will the Sustainable Development Goals make a difference on the ground? Lessons from a 5 country case study on the MDGs

December 17, 2015
I’ve long been baffled/appalled by the lack of decent research on the impact of the MDGs at national level. Sure there’s lots of data gathering, and reports on how fast access to education or health is improving or poverty is falling, but that’s definitely not the same thing as finding out whether/how the MDGs in particular are responsible for the

How will the SDGs differ from the MDGs?

October 21, 2015
This piece, written with my Oxfam colleague Takumo Yamada, went up on the International Growth Centre blog earlier this week Will the SDGs be bigger, better and more universal than their predecessor, or a bafflingly complex mishmash of issues that fail to generate traction on decision making? They could go either way. Now that the list is finalised, most of

Hello SDGs, what’s your theory of change?

September 29, 2015
As Jed Bartlett would say, what’s next? Now the SDGs are official, there will be big discussions on financing and a geekfest on metrics and indicators. Both are important. But to my mind the big task is to collectively think through what the SDGs are meant to change and how they can best do so – in other words a