Most often host governments and philanthropy work in silos. Many agree that when these two sectors fail to connect, invaluable opportunities to achieve real impact are lost. Government is a powerful partner for creating enabling environments, scaling interventions, sharing data, creating connections and providing long-term funding. Foundations are invaluable to governments – not only for their financial contributions, but also for the high level of expertise they offer.
Over the last five years we have progressed in achieving this important mind shift in the seven countries where we are established – a change that has elicited authentic respect toward knowledgeable and experienced funders. Both national and local governments now recognize philanthropy as an important partner in shaping policies, laws and programs.
For instance, in Kenya, philanthropy and the private sector have participated in the last 3 UNDAF1 National Steering Committee meetings in Kwale, State House and Machakos, respectively. The role of philanthropy and private sector in national development has been publicly acknowledged by H.E. Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta, current President of the Republic of Kenya, at the State House meeting.
Moreover, SDGPP Kenya has been featured as a progressive and welcomed innovator for deepening partnerships (SDG 17) across the UN, Government and Philanthropy (as well as private sector and civil society linkages) in the Mid-Term Review of the Kenya UNDAF (2014-2018) Evaluation Report. This has been further underlined in the latest UNDAF Final Evaluation Report by external consultants.
In Ghana, philanthropy is among our experts within our recently formed Ghana Advisory Council. As the Platform continued expanding its network and gained certain credibility, it has become a member of two important National Committees on the SDGs: The SDG Implementation Coordination Committee and the National SDG Technical Committee. These memberships are expected to secure “a voice” for the philanthropic sector in selecting indicators, defining data requirements and shaping the framework for SDGs monitoring to further support Ghana’s preparation and reporting under the SDG Voluntary National Reviews at the High-Level Political Forum in the coming years.
Most importantly, SDGPP’s collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and National Development Planning Commission has led to recognizing philanthropy as a genuine development partner rather than an appendage source of funding for drafting National Development Cooperation Policy.
In Zambia, SDGPP, as part of UN interagency team, contributed to the development of the 7th National Development Plan, channeling inputs from its philanthropic partners covering health, nutrition, education and skills development, as well as water, sanitation, and hygiene.
In Indonesia, philanthropy and the business sector have been officially included in the National SDGs Coordination Team (Presidential regulation #59 on achieving the SDGs, July 2017, Jakarta, Indonesia).
Finally, we are actively collaborating with the state governments in India. In particular, we have been supporting the Welfare Department of the Government of Jharkhand in fast tracking and effective implementation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006, with a special focus on Community Forest Rights. This initiative aims to bring about a positive change in the quality of life of tribal people in the community, especially women.