Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Sustainable Development Goals Fund?
A:

The Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDGF) is a development cooperation mechanism created in 2014 by UNDP, on behalf of the UN system, with an initial contribution of the Government of Spain. The SDGF was created to support sustainable development activities through integrated and multidimensional joint programmes. It builds on the experience, knowledge, lessons learned, and best practices of the previous MDG Achievement Fund (2007-2013), while expanding its activities towards sustainable development and a greater focus on public-private partnerships. Gender and women’s empowerment is a cross-cutting priority in all our areas of work. The SDGF intends to act as a bridge in the transition from MDGs to SDGs, providing concrete experiences on “how” to achieve a sustainable and inclusive world post 2015.

Q: Which are the SDG-F’s thematic priorities?
A:

The SDGF works on three sectorial areas (inclusive economic growth for poverty eradication, food security and nutrition, and water and sanitation) which address some of the most important development gaps and build on the MDG-Fs experience using a multi-sectorial approach to the MDGs. Equally important, all SDGF programmes should embed three cross-cutting issues that are considered central pillars for the future of development aid: sustainability (understood both as environmental sustainability and longer term sustainability of results), gender equality and womens empowerment, and public-private partnerships. The areas of work could be enlarged in the future.

Q: What activities does SDG-F support?
A:

The SDGF operates at the country level through joint programmes implemented by specialized UN agencies in collaboration with national counterparts and other stakeholders in order to bring integrated and holistic approaches to national and local development challenges.

Q: How is the SDGF managed?
A:

A Steering Committee, represented at the highest level by UN Agencies and contributing Member States, meets at least once per year and provides overall guidance and strategic direction. UNDP’s Multi Partner Trust Fund Office is entrusted with the administration of the Fund as Administrative Agent. The SDGF Secretariat, a small, specialized and technical team sitting on UNDP’s Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy will ensure that the decisions of the Steering Committee are applied and followed up, and will coordinate the programmatic, advocacy, evaluation, and knowledge management aspects of the SDGF. At country level, joint programmes have established governance mechanisms that represent the interests of the national government. 

Q: What is a joint programme?
A:

According to UN DOCO, the UN office that promotes coordination and coherence among UN Agencies, a “joint programme is a set of activities contained in a common work plan and related budget, involving two or more UN organizations and (sub-) national partners." It is the preferred mode of work if the development challenge to be tackled requires the collective expertise and action of different specialized agencies and national partners. The joint programme's governance structure is crucial for the success of its work. In this regard, SDGF will rely on the critical and strategic coordination and executive role of the UN Resident Coordinator (RC), the highest representative of the UN in the country. More information on joint programes.

Q: How does the SDG Fund select its joint programmes?
A:

The current 22 joint programmes have been selected through a competitive and indepedent experts-reviewed process according to the requirements established in the SDG Fund Terms of Reference. Link with more information on the SDG Fundjoint programme selection process.

Q: How does the SDG-F build on the MDG-F experience?
A:

As the largest ever contribution of a single country to the UN Development System for the achievement of MDGs, the MDG-F reached more than 9 million direct participants through 130 joint programmes in 50 countries. Its work was anchored in integrated, holistic approaches to development problems identified by national partners. In addition, the MDG-F established other thematic, advocacy, and knowledge partnerships to advance the MDGs. All this experience has been extensively evaluated and analyzed, and findings from this evaluation process are feeding the work of the new facility. Moreover, the SDGF’s Secretariat is sharing these findings with other development partners so as to inform other development initiatives, especially those rooted in joint and integrated programmes.

Q: How is the SDGF funded?
A:

The initial resources of the SDGF came primarily from a contribution of the Government of Spain to the UN system. Over 20 donors are already contributing to the SDG Fund´s programmes. The SDG Fund is open to other donors including national governments, aid agencies and private sector.

Q: How do the SDGF is incorporating lessons learned from MDGs?
A:

The MDG Achievement Fund (MDG-F) evaluation and knowledge management strategies have produced valuable insights on development cooperation in the form of lessons learned, key findings, knowledge products, publications, and reports. All this knowledge has been compiled and is now accessible through the MDG-F’s website and online library. Disseminating and sharing the knowledge generated by the MDG-F with development aid practitioners and decision makers represents an important area of work for the SDGF’s team. 

Q: Can other donors join the SDGF?
A:

Yes, the SDGF framework document establishes that the SDGF is open to new donors from both the public and private sectors that are interested in supporting multidimensional UN joint programmes to achieve sustainable development. 

Q: How and where do I apply for a job with SDG Fund?
A:

The SDG Fund publishes information about current job and internship opportunities at its Secretariat on UNDP's employment page: http://jobs.undp.org/. Implementing partners at each country joint programmes use their own communication vehicles to reach local talent in the country.