Financing the SDGs is everyone’s business: Experiences from Asia-Pacific
Many countries have a growing and increasingly diverse portfolio of financing that can contribute to achievement of development results – though the makeup of these resources is significantly different between countries. Rapid growth in domestic public and private finance is driving resources availability across the Asia-Pacific region, yet the mix at play in a given country varies widely, with different types of resources better able to achieve particular sustainable development results.
But it’s not just government’s business to think about strengthening enabling environments for increased domestic resource mobilization and quality private investment. It is everyone’s business – it’s for all stakeholders to think about integrated approaches to financing the 2030 Agenda.
The key message from the 2016 Asia-Pacific Development Effectiveness Facility (AP-DEF) consultations was clear: countries want to ensure that financing doesn’t just increase, but becomes more effective through country ownership and multi-stakeholder partnerships.
In response, at the 2017 2nd Annual Regional Knowledge Exchange on the Sustainable Development Goals, countries in the Asia-Pacific region shared experiences on strengthening integrated national financing frameworks and financing innovations at country level. A few main takeaways emerged:
- Country-level actions and reforms are and will be the driver for financing development toward 2030. It is well recognized that there is strong collective commitment on Agenda 2030 and Financing for Development at the global level. At the country level, innovations are taking place, producing lessons that could be useful across regions and contexts. The connection between the global and country level agendas could be further strengthened to prevent countries having to reinvent the wheel and to bring these lessons to global dialogue.
- Financing for development in the region goes beyond ODA. However, in some contexts, ODA still provides important volumes of financing which is crucial to poverty reduction efforts and can also play a catalytic role. It was agreed that the development effectiveness principles of ownership, a focus on results, inclusive partnerships and transparency and accountability have indeed demonstrated their relevance for development finance, beyond ODA.
- The private sector is not merely a funding source, but a key partner without which the SDGs will not be achieved. The private sector has their own initiatives and comparative advantages to address development challenges. Given this, there is huge demand for dialogue at the nexus of the public and private sector silos to strengthen alignment and integrated solutions for development results.
As we embark on 2018, partners in the Asia-Pacific region are using ongoing analysis and these regional discussions as a basis for action, including through:
- Country-level dialogue designed to make financing SDGs everyone’s business: AP-DEF is building on experiences with UNDP’s Development Finance Assessment to bring together key policymakers in an evidence-based discussion about how to address the most pressing challenges and opportunities for financing the SDGs across public and private actors;
- South-South sharing initiatives: To support countries in learning from emerging financing innovations, regional platforms like AP-DEF can facilitate exchange on priorities identified at the consultations, such as measuring private sector impact for the SDGs, harnessing remittances for results, social/green impact investment and Islamic finance opportunities;
- Synthesizing lessons learned and feeding into global dialogue: Funnelling evidence from country examples that utilize an integrated approach to financing and consider how countries are reshaping their thinking about financing the SDGs into international for such as FFD, HLPF and the GPEDC.
Follow the ongoing Financing SDGs work of the AP-DEF Secretariat at UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub at @apdefplatform @emilyraedavis
More on Asia-Pacific Development Effectiveness Facility (AP-DEF) here
More on the 2017 SDG Regional Knowledge Exchange here, including presentations and photos
The 2017 2nd Annual Regional Knowledge Exchange on the Sustainable Development Goals and AP-DEF consultations were generously supported by the European Commission, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia and the Asian Development Bank.
Inputs of the 2017 Asia-Pacific Regional Knowledge Exchange to the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation are available here.