With a view to supporting international discussions currently taking place within the United Nations’ SDG monitoring process, and to drawing attention to the aspects of the 2030 Agenda most relevant to the global crisis response (health, food, livelihoods, etc), this Issue Brief intends to provide professionals in the fields of development, diplomacy and finance with a strategic in-depth understanding of the complexity and challenges embedded in the issue of financing the 2030 Agenda; it also suggests avenues for more efficient financing processes in terms of principles, instruments and partnerships.

Key Messages

  • Beyond numbers and volume of funding, alignment of finance with the 2030 Agenda is both necessary and urgent. The true test is not how much is invested in projects that support one or several of the 169 SDG targets. Rather, it is to ensure that all projects are designed to minimise the negative externalities and maximise the positive externalities across the various SDGs/targets. 
  • Effectively implementing and financing the 2030 Agenda requires the establishment of alliances and partnerships that, in concerted action (between stakeholders and tools): i) bet on innovation, ii) are grounded on national/local needs and capabilities, iii) with active participation of civil society, iii) have large upfront investment with long-term financing and payback periods, iv) political will and participation from government authorities and, v) use science-based solutions that catalyse cross-sectoral transitions.
  • A fundamental prerequisite for financing the 2030 Agenda at country level is to transform public finance and develop Integrated National Financing Frameworks, as agreed by Members States in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda in order to spell out how the national sustainable development strategy will be financed and implemented. This will bring together financing and related policies most relevant to addressing a country’s financing challenges, and will provide public and private investors clarity and predictability, allowing them to better grasp the sequence of investments across the three time horizons of relief, recovery and long-term structural transformation.
  • New actors within the international finance ecosystem, such as public development banks, should be mobilised in financing the 2030 Agenda, in addition to overseas development assistance and domestic resources. And innovative instruments such as blended finance or bonds should also contribute to this endeavour.
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