The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, or the SDGs, remind us of another commonly used acronym: a BHAG, or Big Hairy Audacious Goal. We at Give2Asia like that the nonprofit sector has a set of BHAGs to aspire toward for several reasons:
- the SDGs provide a much-needed common set of terms, targets, and metrics for us to use across organizations and to align our work with global efforts
- they allow for new discussions to happen around development successes and failures, and create opportunities for cross-sector partnerships
We are taking first step to participate in these goals by tracking relevant Give2Asia projects against the SDGs and offering transparency on how our work aligns. While the SDGs are first and foremost a set of goals for governments and large multilateral actors – neither of which applies to Give2Asia – we see a role for Give2Asia in raising awareness of the goals within the private philanthropy community. Most importantly, we invite our partners and donors to pay attention to how their work also aligns with the SDGs.
Measuring Up IN 2017
The first step in tracking Give2Asia’s alignment with the SDGs is determining what grants align most with each of the 17 goals. Out of our roughly $27 million in total 2017 grants, our team identified over half that clearly aligned with a specific SDG.
Note that this tracking is being done internally at Give2Asia and is not being reported up to the United Nations. This is partly due to the fact that Give2Asia works in partnership with other donors who may be tracking and reporting separately. Note also that we only tagged each project with a single SDG even though many could actually be seen to address multiple goals. This was done to ensure that there was no possibility for double-counting our projects. We welcome feedback from others for how we might improve Give2Asia’s tracking in the future.
Here is how our grant making in 2017 looks in the context of the SDGs:
267 Grants TOTALING US$14 million
Of the US$14 million in 2017 grants that we tracked as relevant to the SDGs, 80 percent (or US$ 11.4 million) were concentrated in five SDGs in particular: Goals 3, 4, 8, 9 and 11. We’ve further broken down the top three SDGs below to reveal where these funds were distributed.
#4: Quality Education
More than one-third of our 2017 funding was channeled into SDG #4: Quality Education. The 2030 targets for this goal include:
- all girls and boys completing free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes
- equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university
- all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieving literacy and numeracy
- all learners acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development
Learn More About Vetted Asia-based Charities Working on SDG #4
Afghan Connection Afghanistan Education and teacher training for children
Ancora Foundation Indonesia Opportunities for youth through education
Child’s Dream Foundation Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar Education for marginalized children and youth
#9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
The second heaviest hitter was #9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, whose 2030 targets include:
- developing quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all
- upgrading infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies
- supporting domestic technology development, research and innovation
- significantly increased access to information and communications technology, and universal and affordable access to the internet
Learn More About Vetted Asia-based Charities Working on SDG #9
Pohang University of Science and Technology South Korea In-depth science and engineering research to advance Korea and the world
Mother’s Heart Cambodia Forefront of preventing family seperation and empowering women with choices in Cambodia Karya Salemba Empat Foundation (KSE) Indonesia Opportunities for students to grow into strong leaders of Indonesia
#11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Our third-most reached target was #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, with goals including:
- universal access to adequate, safe and affordable housing, basic services, and sustainable transport systems
- protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage
- universal access, particularly for women and children, older persons, and persons with disabilities, to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces
- supporting least developed countries, including through financial and technical assistance, in building sustainable and resilient buildings utilizing local materials
Learn More About Vetted Asia-based Charities Working on SDG #11
Centre for Catalyzing Change India Empowering women and girls Karen Hilltribes Trust Thailand Health, education, and income generation projects for rural villages Bright Star Mobile Library Pakistan Literacy programs for underprivileged youth
There’s More to See
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are wide-ranging and far-reaching – it is worth exploring their interactive website to get a better sense of the targets themselves as well as the history and milestones reached across a range of development topics.
We have far too many exceptional partners to list here. Want to find a program in a country that particularly concerns you? You might not have known that you can search through our partners by region and fields of interest. This means you can look up all of our partners that address education in India, infrastructure in Indonesia, or livelihoods in Laos, to find the partners that match your exact interests and learn how to support them.
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