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The Challenge: Why do we need the SDG Compacts?

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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Treaty have mobilized governments, NGOs, donors, and companies towards bold, coordinated action to end poverty, fight inequality and stop climate change by 2030. While we’ve seen positive momentum towards these goals and targets at the global level, cities and local governments face several barriers to driving coordinated action on the SDGs including:

  • Lack of mechanisms for aligning local priorities, targets, and indicators with the SDGs

  • Confusion around value-add of SDGs and incentives for investment

  • Little political buy-in at the local level for SDG acceleration

  • Competing SDG-related efforts by global networks that can be duplicative

To achieve the SDGs, however, city and local government action will be critical. Already, we’ve seen signs of progress – from more and more city leaders integrating the SDGs into their existing priorities, to a growing number of investors seeking to catalyze action for SDGs at the local level – yet we must move faster and smarter to meet our goals by 2030.

The Opportunity: How do the SDG Compacts work?

The SDG Compacts movement focuses on accelerating local action for global impact.

An SDG Compact is a “mutual accountability agreement” between local stakeholders to achieve bold, transformational, time-bound and locally prioritized biennial targets in support of the SDGs.

The group of local stakeholders that co-designs each SDG Compact in line with their needs and priorities may include representatives from local and city government, civil society, private sector, academic institutions, and other societal areas. An SDG Compact will help align the SDG targets of this multi-stakeholder group operating in the same geography.

SDG Compacts will help cities and local governments accelerate local-level implementation of the SDGs by:

  • Generating political will – empowering local groups to identify and articulate the value of aligning their local priorities to global goals

  • Mobilizing resources – matchmaking local groups with innovative funding streams from financial institutions, investors, corporations, governments, donor, and foundations

  • Establishing local reporting platforms – creating a common language and framework for translating local indicators to the SDGs

  • Validating local progress – monitoring commitments and validating achievement of SDG targets

  • Supporting peer-to-peer learning – sharing approaches and best practices among cities

The Sustainable Development Games will help galvanize the local-to-global SDG Compacts movement by gathering collaborators biennially to celebrate and build on their progress. The games will coincide with the alternating Summer and Winter Official Olympic Games and anchor on the idea that everyone is a winner in the race to achieve sustainable development.