- All hands are on deck in meeting the SDGs by 2030. Efforts from each of the sectors must be reported, costed, and consolidated to accurately measure the gaps, impacts, and opportunities.
- An expansion of existing financial incentives may encourage more investments for public good. Likewise, private and development sectors welcome nonfinancial incentives. To them, easing processes on doing business is in itself an incentive.
- Data and transparency are key to better align development priorities with the SDGs and design programs toward desired development impacts. All sectors call for making granular data available to identify those who are most left behind.
- Spaces for dialogue and knowledge sharing should be created among government, private sector, and development agencies on current intersections and collaboration for innovative and sustainable SDG financing.
The JP INFF Policy Dialogues on Financing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) allowed participants from government, private sector, and international development institutions to take stock of challenges and opportunities toward a unified, coordinated, and evidence-based effort on making “Leaving No One Behind” happen.
Held from October 11 to 13, 2022, the dialogues took off from Dr. Celia Reyes’ presentation of the 2022 Development Finance Assessment (DFA). The assessment looks at the breadth of available financing that can accelerate the country’s progress in meeting the 2030 Goals as it finds its way towards COVID-19 recovery.
The participants’ insights helped in enriching the study’s recommendations, which were based on their experience in implementing interventions guided by public purpose and a commitment to the sustainable development agenda. Part of the discussions surfaced challenges and facilitating factors towards investing in the Goals.
Incentives to facilitate investments and partnerships
Participants from the private sector organizations said the government might still want to expand existing tax incentives beyond those provided under Republic Act (RA) 11534. This, in order to help increase uptake and investment in SDG-aligned initiatives. While COVID-19 recovery has driven the need for more robust revenue generation, incentives may help invite more companies to not only invest more in the SDGs, but also report them regularly in the absence of a mandatory policy.
Private and development sectors also welcome nonfinancial incentives, such as recognizing their share in achieving SDG targets and ensuring their efforts do not go in vain. They also saw a good nonfinancial incentive in streamlining the processes for obtaining approvals:
Another incentive to greater SDG-aligned investments is making the numbers known across stakeholders. This also underscores the significant role that data play in letting the sectors know what else needs to be done, and act accordingly.
Generating Data that gets everyone in one page
All sectors agree that timely, disaggregated, and readily available data will benefit them in designing, scoping, and costing programs for greater impact. More so, the participants emphasized that the level of disaggregation should allow for seeing how groups who most left behind are faring with the current development interventions.
On the part of the government, efforts to build the needed evidence base for the SDGs from the ground up are underway.
Spaces for convergence
All sectors agree with the need to foster the exchange of knowledge and technical expertise on development financing strategies, as well as the strategic use of resources to be raised.
They also agree with having a multi-sector platform to discuss their respective SDG-aligned efforts, including the intersections and opportunities for convergence and resource mobilization. Particularly, there is a proposal to revive the government-led donors’ forum as a venue for multi-sectoral dialogue and for catalyzing initiatives for capacity building.
While the Department of Finance led similar efforts in the past, including the Philippine Development Forum, the lead role of convening sectors toward the SDGs will depend on the mandate of the new leadership.