17 December 2018

#SDGsinAcademia: SDG Hub for Goal 8

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.

17 December 2018 - This week our #SDGsinAcademia series features the Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences (Pakistan), a member institution of United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), that has been chosen as the SDG Hub for Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

About the Hub:

The Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEMS) is dedicated to imparting quality education with a focus on research and equipping students to be productive members of society, contributing to the socio-economic uplift of Pakistan in general, and the province of Balochistan in particular.

In fulfilling its mission, BUITEMS aims for academic excellence and seeks to enhance its institutional capacities from partnerships, research, grants, and technology transfer. The institution wants to be among the leading universities of the world while being accessible to all, imparting quality education and promoting cutting edge research.

What is this Hub doing about Goal 8? 

BUITEMS believes that quality education benefits society only if it is translated into economic activity resulting in economic growth. Therefore, BUITEMS has incorporated entrepreneurship in its curricula for all major degree programs and has also encouraged its students and alumni to plan their own start-ups. To extend support to its students, the university, in collaboration with the Ministry of Information Technology, established a National Incubation Center (NIC).

The NIC, which is located on campus, is a pro-innovation hub and business accelerator that provides a platform to budding entrepreneurs to demonstrate their talent and passion to solve the problems of the province and beyond. With its state-of-art facilities, NIC is developing initiatives to become an engine of social transformation and economic growth. The NIC aims to support youth to develop sustainable and impactful start-up firms.

Such firms would create jobs, revitalize community, commercialize new technology and strengthen local and national economy. The university has also organized several seminars and workshops on topics such as promoting entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship, job fairs and  corporate social responsibility.

The Department of Management Sciences offers a range of undergraduate, graduate and PhD programs on business administration and business studies. The Department of Management Sciences has small and medium enterprises as part of its research priorities to develop ideas and proposals in this field with particular attention to local needs.

Other departments of the university also have a special focus on entrepreneurship. For example, the Fashion and Textile Design program endeavours to create a new generation of creative and highly skilled designers and entrepreneurs who can understand the demands of  local and international markets. This is of utmost importance in a country like Pakistan, where the textile industry is the largest manufacturing industry, making the country one of the largest exporters of textile commodities in Asia and the world.

The university also recently launched the Enterprise Challenge Programme, which is an inter-school competition designed to inspire and instil entrepreneurial and business acumen among young people and also to encourage them to consider entrepreneurship as a career option for their future. Mentors help the students understand the basics of running an enterprise and guide them to develop their business strategy.

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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 8

Globally, labour productivity has increased and the unemployment rate has decreased. However, more progress is needed to increase employment opportunities, especially for young people, reduce informal employment and labour market inequality (particularly in terms of the gender pay gap), promote safe and secure working environments, and improve access to financial services to ensure sustained and inclusive economic growth.

  • In 2016, real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita grew at 1.3 per cent globally, less than the 1.7 per cent average growth rate recorded in 2010–2016. For LDCs, the rate fell sharply from 5.7 per cent in 2005–2009 to 2.3 per cent in 2010–2016.
  • Labour productivity at the global level, measured as output produced per employed person in constant 2005 US dollars, grew by 2.1 per cent in 2017. This is the fastest growth registered since 2010.
  • Globally, 61 per cent of all workers were engaged in informal employment in 2016. Excluding the agricultural sector, 51 per cent of all workers fell into this employment category.
  • Data from 45 countries suggest that gender inequality in earnings is still pervasive: in 89 per cent of these countries, the hourly wages of men are, on average, higher than those of women, with a median pay gap of 12.5 per cent.
  • The global unemployment rate in 2017 was 5.6 per cent, down from 6.4 per cent in 2000. The decline has slowed since 2009, when it hit 5.9 per cent. Youth are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults, with the global youth unemployment rate at 13 per cent in 2017.
  • In high-income countries, almost every adult has an account at a bank or other financial institution, compared to only 35 per cent of adults in low-income countries. Across all regions, women lag behind men in this regard.

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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 8? 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!