Outreach & Partners
A principal aim of the Accountability Advocates project is to raise awareness of the SDGs in the UK and why it is so important that the UK, both government departments and civil society members, work together to achieve the SDGs. The Global Goals are universal in nature, so to fully make this world a better place by 2030, all countries must do their part to make sure all 17 goals and 169 Targets is met. A big part of this, however, is first ensuring that the SDGs are a priority in the UK, which is a difficult task to achieve when many organisations are unsure of what the SDGs are, or do not understand their significance in the UK context. So far, the UK government itself has shown little understanding of the need and importance for the SDGs to be implemented inside the UK. Therefore we have been doing outreach work to various organisations, which has involved running sessions on the SDGs, youth participation, good governance and various other thematic areas that we work on. Furthermore, we aim for a multi-stakeholder approach to building our network of supporting actors in SDG accountability, in order to extend our reach. Enclosed in this section are a few of the outreach and implementation activities we have facilitated.
Youth For Change, a team of young people supported by Plan UK and DFID, represent organisations including UNICEF UK, FORWARD, Integrate Bristol and Educate2Eradicate. After becoming members of the wider Youth for Change coalition, we have had opportunities to learn from other youth-led organisations, as well as facilitate a session on participation and governance on 16th January 2016, in which Raf co-facilitated with a member of the organisation Bond. We have also run small information sessions on the SDGs in the UK and the goals we are working on to highlight to members of the coalition why the SDGs are relevant in the UK and ways in which they can help achieve them. These have taken place at coalition meetings, such as the one on the 23rd January 2016.
Integrate Bristol is a youth charity that campaigns on gender equality and violence against girls, particularly FGM. We were lucky enough to lead a workshop on the SDGs at Integrate Bristol’s annual conference on 26th February 2016. We delivered our session on the importance of the SDGs in the UK and how to get involved in youth advocacy to around 25 participants. They were a mixed group, including: a potential mayor, a MP, a police officer, a GP, and young people. We did a variety of activities including a few hands on activities to get all participants on the same level of knowledge in regards to what the SDGs were. We did a ‘Kahoot’ quiz in the middle of the session to see how much people knew about the SDGs and the indicators we are working on, which we found useful and an interactive way of conveying information. We managed to get people interested in our project, a few people learnt what the SDGs were for the first time, and we learnt a lot ourselves. We also managed to do some data collection on the participant’s opinions on why Goal 5 is important.
The British Council
Keya and Raf attended a multi- stakeholder consultation with British Council on 10th March. Around 50 activists and stakeholders involved in the monitoring or implementation of Goal 5 (Gender Equality) were invited to the British Council office in London to discuss the existing situation. This was a ‘Call to evidence’ for a British Council study on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in the UK in the context of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly (Goal 5) on Gender Equality.
The UKSSD, or UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development is a network of 100 organisations, corporations, and stakeholders that are dedicated to implementing the SDGs in the UK. As a network we find thematic areas that we are all engaged in, and try to find solutions to any problems we may find in said thematic area. On the 25th of April we all attended the first UKSSD conference to represent ourselves and youth. It was a great day of networking and learning, especially a session which we attending around youth participation. Although not run by young people, which is an important component for sessions on youth participation, we learnt a lot and were lucky enough to have a keynote speech by Jeffrey Sachs.
DFID has been the main point of contact within government for us, in the form of conference calls and email contact on DFID’s new youth policy and the ways in which they can support us. We also attended the 100 Days of Global Goals Youth Power Pursuit event with Restless Development, which gave us an opportunity to sit down with DFID and talk about our work in person, discussing the ways in which youth can be better involved in development. Nazzy and Raf attended the meeting, and met with staff from the SDG task team, to discuss ways our data can support DFID’s SDG monitoring.
We would like to thank all of our partners and members of the network who have supported us on this project so far, we are extremely grateful for your support and expertise. If you would like to join us on this journey, please contact us!