18 February 2019

#SDGsinAcademia: SDG Hub for Goal 17

As part of the ongoing campaign on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) carried out by the United Nations, the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) series #SDGSinAcademia profiles the new SDG Hubs for each one of the Goals in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

18 February 2019 - This week our #SDGsinAcademia series features the American University in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), a member institution of United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), that has been chosen as the SDG Hub for Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

About the Hub:

The American University in Dubai (AUD) is a private, non-sectarian institution of higher learning that serves nationals of the United Arab Emirates as well as international students. The institution is committed to shaping global citizens that strive to contribute to both their careers and society.

At the heart of the institution is a desire to succeed on all fronts which is manifested in its Purpose-Related Goals. These goals aim to foster intercultural understanding and to economically advance all stakeholders within their community.  AUD strives to have global, moral, and forward-thinking individuals with an insatiable thirst for knowledge.

What is this Hub doing about Goal 17? 

One of the ways AUD advances its objectives is through institutional relations. The institution has partnered with a wide range of universities around the world to facilitate student exchanges, host seminars and foster curriculum development for engineering degrees. In that framework, the university holds several joint conferences, seminars and workshops on sustainability and global challenges.

The university has also engaged with a number of civil society organizations and private foundations on initiatives that advance peace, climate action and health to name a few areas. AUD is a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and as such, it created the 1st UNGC student chapter which works on SDG implementation at the community level.

AUD has also addressed humanitarian issues, in particular those related to the protection of refugees and internally displaced persons, thanks to a partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Youth engagement has been the main focus of this partnership to raise awareness among students while empowering them to create a humanitarian and social impact.  

Beyond these partnerships, the university has also signed numerous memoranda of understanding with institutions at the secondary level of education to engage students at a younger age and better equip them for higher education. AUD engages them through various forms according to their needs, including customized workshops, research support, and tuition waivers.

AUD partners with the public sector in the United Arab Emirates on a variety of collaborations that range from customized trainings to joint conferences that tackle pressing issues. The university believes that these initiatives demonstrate that partnerships are a key to success when it comes to the advancement of the SDGs and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018 reviews progress in the third year of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It has an overview that presents highlights of progress and remaining gaps for all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), based on the latest available data, and examines some of the interconnections across Goals and targets.

This is the overview provided in the Report about Goal 17:

Goal 17 seeks to strengthen global partnerships to support and achieve the ambitious targets of the 2030 Agenda, bringing together national governments, the international community, civil society, the private sector and other actors. Despite advances in certain areas, more needs to be done to accelerate progress. All stakeholders will have to refocus and intensify their efforts on areas where progress has been slow.

  • In 2017, net ODA totaled $146.6 billion in 2017, a decrease of 0.6 per cent from 2016 in real terms. ODA as a share of donors’ gross national income (GNI) remained low, at 0.31 per cent.

  • In 2016, remittances to low- and lower-middle-income countries were more than three times the amount of ODA they received.

  • In LDCs, debt service as a proportion of exports of goods and services increased for five consecutive years—from a low of 3.5 per cent in 2011 to 8.6 per cent in 2016.

  • In 2016, high-speed fixed-broadband reached 6 per cent of the population in developing countries, compared to 24 per cent in developed countries.

  • Total ODA for capacity-building and national planning amounted to $20.4 billion in 2016, representing 18 per cent of total aid allocable by sector, a proportion that has been stable since 2010.

  • The developing regions’ share of world merchandise exports declined for two consecutive years: from 45.4 per cent in 2014 to 44.2 per cent in 2016, a sharp contrast to an average annual 1.2 percentage point increase between 2001 and 2012. For LDCs, the share of world merchandise exports decreased from 1.1 per cent to 0.9 per cent between 2013 and 2016, compared to the rise from 0.6 per cent to 1.1 per cent between 2000 and 2013.

  • In 2017, 102 countries or areas were implementing national statistical plans. Sub-Saharan Africa remained in the lead, with 31 countries implementing such plans; however, only three of them were fully funded.

  • In 2015, developing countries received $541 million in financial support from multilateral and bilateral donors for all areas of statistics. This amount represented only 0.3 per cent of total ODA, short of what is needed to ensure that countries in developing regions are better equipped to implement and monitor their development agendas.

  • During the decade from 2008 to 2017, 89 per cent of countries or areas conducted at least one population and housing census.

The following resources provide general information about the SDGs:

  • This is a comprehensive research guide from the UN Library in Geneva listing resources about each one of the Goals, including books and articles (some of which are fully available on line free of charge), UN documents such as resolutions and reports, and additional resources.

  • The SDG Fund has created this online library featuring over 1,000 online publications. The publications are categorized by the Goals they represent, geographical regions and by authors, to facilitate searchability. Each publication also has a short summary attached to it which helps with keyword searches.

  • This selection of tools is an initiative supported by UNDP, UN-HABITAT and the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, which offers concept notes, papers, case studies, compilation of best practices and guides providing contextual and practical information about the SDGs.

  • This guide, entitled “Getting Started with the Sustainable Development Goals”, is intended for stakeholders and designed by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) to serve as an initial basis for implementing the SDGs.

  • SDSN also developed this guide, entitled “Getting Started with the SDGs in Universities”, to help universities, institutions of higher education and the academic sector in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific to accelerate their contributions to the SDGs by providing practical guidance and examples to inspire further action.

You can learn more about the SDG Hubs at the UNAI website.  

Is your institution a member of UNAI and conducting activities and initiatives around Goal 17? Contact us at academicimpact@un.org to tell us about your work and let us connect your university with the SDG Hub! Working together we can make the 2030 Agenda a reality!