Transforming our world
The Joint Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Fund is an innovative instrument to incentivize the transformative policy shifts and stimulate the strategic investments required to get the world back on track to meet the SDGs. The UN Secretary-General sees the Joint SDG Fund as a key part of the reform of the UN’s development work by providing the “muscle” for a new generation of Resident Coordinators (RCs) and UN Country Teams (UNCTs) to really accelerate SDG implementation.
To date it has funded 97 joint programmes focused on integrated social protection or SDG finance, it has stimulated over 600 partnerships working together alongside the UN to support the SDGs and it has tested over 100 innovative solutions to accelerate the 2030 Agenda.
The Joint SDG Fund is a multi-partner trust fund. This means contributions it receives are not entity-specific, but aim to support broader UN system-level functions. In this way, it differs from restrictive earmarked funding which can fuel competition and hamper cooperation among UN entities. This type of pooled funding used by multi-partners trust funds, like the Joint SDG Fund is widely considered ‘multilateralism-friendly’ – and is much more suitable for the integrated support at scale essential for achieving the 2030 Agenda. Flexibility in reallocating funds has also proven critical for rapid responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With a total of US$ 250 million for 3 years, the Joint SDG Fund is still far short of the annual US$ 290 million target envisioned by the UN Secretary-General and agreed to the Fund's Funding Compact. If substantively capitalised, the Joint SDG Fund can become a transformational instrument for the United Nations as it helps the world achieve the SDGs in COVID-19 times.
What Makes the Joint SDG Fund Special?
If the world is to “build back better” toward a much more sustainable, just and equitable world – and get on a trajectory to achieve the SDGs – we need to get the right economic, social and environmental policies in place and mobilize the financing required to bring those policies to scale as soon as possible. Big picture – this is why the Joint SDG Fund is so important.
Stimulating shifts in the uptake of integrated and transformative policies can lead to the creation of smart financing strategies that put SDG progress into high gear at global, regional, and country levels. The programmes we support are all nationally owned and led, each built on a country’s unique development assistance framework (UNDAF).
If we want to Leave No One Behind we have to fast track SDG gains while mainstreaming issues related to human rights, gender, youth, the environment, and people living with disabilities. The Joint SDG Fund aims to inspire a shift in the way we “do development” by placing the focus on integrated policy, strategic investments and financing, and robust partnerships. We incentivize partners to adopt strategic financing and integrated policy solutions because smarter, collective investments can accelerate the SDGs.