Source: Small Island Developing States
The Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) has developed a guidebook and toolkit that offers examples, ideas, and steps for aligning an organization’s work with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The resource titled, ‘The Sustainable Development Goals and Your Community Foundation: Guidebook and Toolkit,’ was developed with funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. It focuses on Canadian community foundations’ efforts to work in their own contexts, but also provides information for community organizations around the world.
The Guidebook introduces the 2030 Agenda, the SDGs, and the core principles embodied in them, namely universality, local-level action, leaving no one behind, interconnected and indivisible, and partnerships. It highlights that these principles are particularly relevant to community foundations, which seek to convene local actors, foster partnerships, and spark action to address the needs of diverse groups.
The Guidebook also includes information on Canada’s approach to advancing the SDGs nationally. Canada presented its first Voluntary National Review (VNR) at the July 2018 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The following year, the Government of Canada released an interim report titled, ‘Towards Canada’s 2030 Agenda National Strategy.’ This report identifies five national priorities: leadership, governance, and policy coherence; awareness, engagement, and partnership; accountability, transparency, and reporting; reconciliation and the 2030 Agenda; and investing in the SDGs.
The SDG Toolkit portion of the resource identifies practical approaches to align an organization’s work with the SDGs. It offers ideas for how a group can select the first steps to take, identify existing alignment with the SDGs, plan for future alignment, and learn from examples of other community foundations.
Among the interconnected challenges for organizations seeking to align with the SDGs, the resource identifies: time constraints, given that the SDGs have a tight deadline for action; and the need to learn a new “language,” build capacity and new partnerships, and break out of silos.
The CFC is also supporting community foundations working on the SDGs through its Vital Signs program, which is prioritizing the collection of data that aligns to the 2030 Agenda to make relevant and standardized indicators available to community foundations. The toolkit notes that, in 2021, community foundations will have the opportunity to use a digital platform to host and share community data aligned to the SDGs.