Translate the Global to the Local
GSDR Community of Practice - Latin America and the Caribbean
As practitioners in the field of climate change we believe in our diversity, richness of expertise and experience in a broad range of thematic fields and in the capacity and potential of us as individuals and a collective to bring about change and be a strong voice for the implementation of the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR). As a Community of Practice we aim to promote collaboration, support the implementation of action plans, and engender co-creative solutions among peers.
The participants come from diverse backgrounds and sectors. They are academics, business leaders, social innovators, policy makers, civil society activists and others.
Brasil, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela
The overall theme for the GSDR Community of Practice is: “How can we use the GSDR framework in national and local contexts to accelerate the implementation of sustainable solutions?”
It refers to us as professionals working on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and is being shaped, depending on the support we need, our specific focal topics and challenges.
As the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by nature are indivisible and interconnected systematic action is needed in order to achieve the agenda as a whole, without compromising the achievement of one goal over another.
Jointly, we strive to maximize co-benefits and minimize trade-offs to drive faster implementation toward the “future we want”. Thus, we aim to break down silos between sectors and stakeholder groups and share examples of how to build upon existing co-benefits and leverage synergies.
We want to generate solutions for policy coherence that enable a smoother implementation and foster a culture of working collaboration. All this is key to bring about sustainable change.
The Community of Practice tackles the question of how to use the pathways presented by the GSDR and build connections and capacities among professionals from different backgrounds working on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Latin America and Caribbean region. Participants include governmental officials, academia, NGO representatives, and representatives of educational institutions for public administration. We aim to bring together different perspectives and search for solutions that take into consideration the impacts and interconnections between different SDGs. In doing so, the Community of Practice not only supports the implementation of action plans along the 2030 Agenda, but also generates co-creative solutions among peers and facilitates systemic approaches.
How can we support each other to improve our practice?
What do we already know as a group?
What are we struggling to know?
Where can we experiment?
What is our personal practice?
Which other networks and communities have undertaken similar journeys to inspire us?
Are there opportunities for mentorship etc. from those into our work?
The Community of Practice (CoP) was born as an outcome of the dissemination workshop for the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) 2019, held virtually in December 2020.
During the workshop, the participants were acquainted with the concept and the approach of the GSDR. Related actions – maximise synergies, minimise trade-offs, apply levers – were contextualised and initial ideas for concrete steps to address identified issues at local, national and/or regional levels were developed. To ensure systemic interaction, the participants started building partnerships across different stakeholder groups and agreed to join a Community of Practice in order to allow for continuous collaboration beyond 2020.
In 2021 monthly meetings and an online platform provided safe spaces for learning, exchange and collaboration built on trust and equality among CoP members. The CoP members decided to share both their good practices and the challenges they face, and as such started to serve as coaches and drivers of the discussion for each other. To this end, we use co-creation and peer learning methods to draw out interests, insights, and learning from practice.
Further individual formats like stakeholder mapping and case studies invite guests for participation and joint learning. In 2021 the Community of Practice has concentrated on questions of stakeholder engagement and involvement in order to give inputs from a diversity of practical experience to the GSDR 2023. In 2022 new members joined, enriching the diversity of perspectives within the CoP, as the focus continues to be on work-related challenges, brought to the group by the members themselves.
"Understanding the level of innovation in what we have developed, we believe this is a kind of delivery and methodology that we need to share with international organizations and networks that work on capacity building for sustainable development."
João Vitor Faria Domingues, ENAP Brazil
Member of the GSDR CoP since 2021
The GSDR Dialogues for Sustainabilty are closely connected to the Community of Practice. This format is open to the public. Experts speak on topics centered around operationalizing the key messages of the GSDR and invite participants to join in for lively discussions.
Contributing to the intercorrelation among the 17 SDGs and not one in particular
In 2021, the Brazilian National School of Public Administration (Enap) had a great experience of implementing the training program called 'Leading for the Development' designed to more than 200 Brazilian Mayors. One of the modules of the program was about 'how to make my city sustainable'. When we started to explain how cities can implement sustainable actions, we saw that more than 70% of mayors have never heard about the 2030 Agenda and their SDGs. And those who have hard about it told us that the reality of the Agenda is too far from the reality of their cities. As the SDGs were explained, more the participants got confused. We found that the empowerment process of facing the global challenges of our time requires a better communication for local level on the narrative for sustainability. The way in which the goals, targets and indicators are arranged in the Agenda is not enough to communicate with those who work with public policy at the cutting edge and local level. The absence of fundamental examples for mayors and cities with high levels of social inequalities was identified in this one year program. They need a simple global communication. Understanding climate change, for example, in the reality of very poor cities in Brazil represents something ethereal in the lives of the community. There is an increasing need for proposals that simplify communication about the 2030 Agenda for greater a greater applicability in local contexts. This project wanted to face this challenge.
Working at ENAP we were convinced that to achieve policy coherence, public agents need to actively participate in the 2030 Agenda narrative as protagonists. The Agenda needs to be tangible for everyone and better strategies are needed to present it to different profiles of public leaders.
So we focused on the development of strategies and tools to better understand narratives about the 2030 Agenda, with a focus on the local level and the promotion of the exchange on successful, scalable public policies between managers and local leaders. We aimed at capacity-building initiatives on the local level to accelerate the implementation of the SDGs that should include:
- A mix of knowledge on broader concepts regarding the narrative about the Agenda
- Dynamic approaches to generate commitment, engagement and emotional connections from public agents themselves
- Strengthening of skills related to planning and policy coherence
- Technical research and monitoring approaches in a wide range of sectors
That is how we started to design the Laboratório de Boas Prácticas em Governo Local.
The Laboratório developed as a set of five online sessions (6h each) related to five Focus-SDGs, designed for top- and medium-level leaders (max. of 50 pax). Each online session, including:
- Presentation of participants
- Presentation of the cases
- Round table (sharing in small groups)
- Panel of ideas (10 min per small group)
In Cooperation with the University of Brasilia (UnB) we identified four cases of communities that met our quality assumptions of assertiveness, objectivity, dynamism, materiality and scalability. The four model cases were presented in different formats to the participants of the Labóratorio (infographics, videoclips and a podcast with the mayors of the four model cities).
The aim of the Laboratório de Boas Prácticas em Governo Local is the creation of networks, raising awareness for the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda, develop a replicable methodology, create a toolkit, and foster capacity building on the local level regarding the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Brazil.
Lead: Mr. João Vitor Faria Domingues (Brazil)
Contributing to SDG 2, 3, 5, 6, 11, 12, 14, 17
The last couple years the public resources available for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the public sector in México have been drastically reduced. Untouchable sectors such as indigenous women, environmental projects or culture were affected by budgetary resource measures owing to the austerity brought about by the pandemic. As a result, CSOs had to reduce staff, modify existence projects and seek for new ways of funding in an environment of little confidence in their social contributions.
Civil Society Organizations CSOs in México had found only a few spaces of dialogue with government authorities in relation to the SDG progress. For instance, there was no representation of Civil Society in the National Committee for the 2030 Agenda. Beyond the formal rhetoric, progress in the 32 states and several municipalities for establishing bodies for the follow-up and implementation of the 2030 Agenda with a deep understanding of its key elements is still lacking behind. CSOs have reported that the implementation of public policies often shows a different logic and does not have a sustainable approach.
It is becoming evident that the implementation of the SDGs needs to consider multi-stakeholder perspectives. Especially with the recognition that the pandemic has had a stagnant effect on certain objectives and that for now the means are not enough, the complex challenges need the contributions of CSOs that can build on their long history and experience of work with vulnerable populations, in order to leave no one behind.
Lead: Ms. Flor Maria Ramirez (México)
Contributing to SDG 6, SDG 7, SDG 11 and SDG 13
There are SDG issues in the LAC region that need to be treated and implemented within a short time span. To approach them individually will not attract the attention of policy makers. This is why we need to come together as a movement with a strong voice that can raise these issues with policy makers of countries of the region. Proposed here is the creation of a network of individuals and NGOs promoting the application of knowledge and know-how derived from science, engineering and technology. Ideally this network is to be convened by GIZ through the linkage of its various country offices in the region. The network can raise issues in the form of position papers, meetings with local authorities or other forms of expression to act as an advisory body to policy makers. The network will get its conceptual arguments by promoting lectures and discussions with experts from scientific and engineering schools and organizations, as well as from technological development enterprises.
Lead: Mr. Jorge Spitalnik (Brazil)
Contributing to SDG 1, SDG 8, SDG 12, SDG 14 and SDG 15
Shorebirds play a key role since they connect biodiversity on a global scale, they are primarily migratory and breed in the United States and Canada. At a global level, 45% of Arctic shorebird populations are decreasing. Although the ultimate reasons behind this overall decline are unknown, the loss and alteration of wetlands seem to be one of the main causes. Large areas of mangroves and salt flats have been transformed mainly in shrimp Farming.
In the last 30 years conservationists criticized the industry, which opened a gap of mistrust between them, as a result for decades there was no access to the shrimp farms and the natural wetlands around. However, information generated recently demonstrates that shrimp farms play a vital role in the survival of shorebirds by offering roosting sites during their stopover or during the wintering season. This interaction between shorebirds and production is not covered in existing certification and standards, and is very limited in regulations and laws in both producer and consumer countries. It is necessary to disseminate and share the importance of shrimp farms for shorebirds, the good practices identified and document the response of the birds to the pilot practices.
The challenge is complex and has multiple stakeholders in different geographical regions, however, the shrimp farms provide a concrete opportunity to contribute to the fulfillment of several of the sustainable development goals with concrete action.
Lead: Ms. Salvadora Morales (Nicaragua)
Contributing to the SDG 8, SDG 10 and SDG 11
Rapid urbanization and our traditional pattern of linear consumption (take-make-dispose) have generated a global problem of urban solid waste management. In Panama, only 74% of the national population's waste enters the country's landfills, and the rest ends up in the environment, rivers, and oceans. Only 5% of the recoverable material is recycled, and since the country lacks the capacity to transform it locally, it has to export most of it. The problem gets exacerbated in urban areas such as Panama City, where the main landfill has reached its maximum capacity and represents a public health hazard. Thus, there is a growing need to design waste out of the system in urban settings in Panama. Managed appropriately, waste can be a source of opportunity if a circular economy lens is applied to maintain resources in the loop, creating new opportunities for green businesses and jobs.
Cities are now gaining recognition as potential drivers for circular economy agendas, but this mission can only be made possible through active citizen participation. Our approach aims to empower citizens to take ownership of the waste management challenge and find solutions that unlock economic, social, and environmental benefits. The recycling movement began a cultural shift, but there is now a need to figure out what to do locally with that waste. With our program, we aim to tap into citizens’ creative capacity by bridging the gap of access to resources and knowledge to transform waste locally. such as traditional and new technological fabrication tools and methods to create products and services. Our process guides citizens from an ideation stage where an initial concept is defined, to an experimentation stage where the source of waste chosen is iteratively transformed into a value-added product, and finally, to defining a functional prototype they can test.
Lead: Ms. Carolina Rojas Echeverri (Panama)
Contributing to SDG 4, SDG 10, SDG 16 and SDG 17
Promoting the SDGs at the local level in urban and rural areas of Peru requires the participation of educational institutions as strategic partners to promote the SDGs in the community, with children and adolescents. How to provide this knowledge in a friendly and understandable way, so that decision-makers become interested in issues related to some SDGs in their community and raise awareness? The idea is to empower children and adolescents (leadership and analysis and interpretation of data and information) to be able to analyse the reality of their community and then create SDG committees with the participation of principals, parents, guardians and students, and where they can evaluate the proposals created for the follow-up of the 2030 Agenda in their municipalities, as well as prioritise the goals and indicators according to their region. The approach is based on the direct participation of stakeholders, which opens the door to partnerships, including organisations working on educational issues, but also private companies joining this initiative.
Lead: Ms. Ana Isabel Fiafilio Rodríguez (Peru)
Contributing to the SDG 6, SDG 7, SDG 8, SDG 9, SDG 11, SDG 12 and SDG 16
The localization of the 2030 agenda implies developing local capacities, not just considering the public policy design (planning process) and budgeting. It requires tackling two challenges: identifying the interactions of SDGs and developing the governance infrastructure to improve the projects and programs with a sustainable approach, therefore working in specific acceleration priorities.
The project is currently in an early stage working on the questions:
- How, from the local government perspective, can we create a new understandable narrative to make it possible to spread the communication in an easy way, in order to create a “sense of simplicity” to accomplish the 2030 Agenda goals?
- How could they make it operational in their territories?
- How can it be communicated?
Knowledge and feedback on the possible involvement of local authorities and governments are especially welcome. This might also be worthwhile if your experience is not in México but other countries in the LAC region.
Lead: Mr. Eriko Flores Perez (México)
Contributing to SDG 17 and others in the course of further development of the project
There is an urgent need for building awareness, and training to identify, implement, and monitor the SDGs. Knowledge about the SDGs, their importance or relevance in context to the different spheres of interest for different stakeholder groups (government, enterprises, academia and NGO) is to be improved. In case the knowledge in general is already there, ways of implementing measures to support the SDGs and even more monitoring their success is very variable or even non existing in the different organizations (academies, enterprises, governments, NGOs, etc).
This project therefore proposes two activities, an awareness campaign that should be rather general about the SDGs, explaining the global goals and indicators, and data; and a series of trainings/workshops with specific content designed to the needs of the different stakeholder groups (academics, enterprises, governments, and NGOs) more focusing on the implementation, development of measures for and monitoring of SDGs in their workplaces.
As a next step, a survey is being planned to be sent out via a range of networks to gain more clarity on the needs of the mentioned stakeholder groups and then develop awareness campaign and trainings needs oriented. As the project is in an early phase, contributions and comments are welcome.
Lead: Mr. Diego de la Merced (México)
Contributing to SDG 11, SDG 13, SDG 16 and SDG 17
While the world is getting warmer, subnational governments are still facing many challenges on how they should plan and develop a climate policy that is able to support regional adaptation, mitigate GHG emissions and keep economic growth stable enough to reduce poverty.
After a long period of planning climate action and developing several tools that are key factors to receiving access to funding, governments get lost in a stage of planning and struggle to implement actions. I would like to find a way to facilitate that stage and allow the subnational government to go from planning to action implementation without the risk of losing time and therefore getting back to planning.
Lead: Ms. Rocio Ruelas Fimbres (México)
Contributing mainly to SDG 17, involving a scope of other goals
In Mexico a lot of effort has been put into generating manuals and supporting materials for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in different sectors, but most of these measures have not permeated locally. The project looks at working with universities to change this, creating tailor made solutions for the needs of different stakeholder groups. As a starting point a multistakeholder dialogue is being designed, including representatives of all relevant stakeholder groups.
Lead: Ms. Xanin García Posada (México)
The Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) 2019 was drafted by an independent group of scientists from a range of disciplines appointed by the United Nations Secretary General, following the request conveyed in the Ministerial Declaration from the 2016 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). It emphasizes a systemic understanding of the various goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda in order to arrive at transformative pathways, explicitly acknowledging ways in which multiple stakeholders can support and sustain such transformations.
In the past, thematic sessions of the HLPF have focused on a sub-set of "in-focus goals", which ensured that the progress and ongoing challenges around each Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) would be considered once within a four-year cycle. In 2019, the HLPF progress review clearly stated that while some SDGs had made progress, others had reversed course and were lagging behind. Therefore, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the Decade of Action to boost implementation. During the transition year 2020, as member states deliberated options for holding the High-Level Political Forum, the GSDR provided a useful framework for applying an integrated understanding of the various goals and targets to accelerate progress on the SDGs.
Meanwhile, a new expert group has been formed for the preparation of the GSDR 2023. The participants of the Community of Practice will also have the opportunity to exchange with this team.
With the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the SDGs have been brought together within one framework as an indivisible and universal whole. Therefore, not only the goals and targets, but also the interactions among them, are brought into focus in the 2030 Agenda.
The GSDR identifies the biggest transformative potentials of the 2030 Agenda, not through the pursuit of individual goals and targets but rather by explicitly considering their interlinkages and resultant co-benefits and trade-offs. In an increasingly globalized and hyper-connected world, any intervention on behalf of just one goal can lead to unintended consequences for the achievement of other goals nearby or faraway, today or tomorrow. Those interactions often imply trade-offs, but also give rise to co-benefits and the significant potential for transformations towards sustainable development. The key to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda thus lies in leveraging interactions among the SDGs away from trade-offs and towards co-benefits, from vicious to virtuous circles.
In dealing with such complex synergies and trade-offs, planners and decision-makers should adopt systemic approaches, following different pathways to sustainable development that offer multiple solutions and drivers, across different sectors and jurisdictions. Moreover, activities need to be undertaken by a diverse group of stakeholders and organizations, other than the governments of United Nations Member States alone. The success of the 2030 Agenda strongly depends on the cooperation of governments, institutions, agencies, the private sector and civil society across different sectors, locations, borders and levels.
The GSDR identifies six entry points representing systems where strategic interventions can harness synergies across goals and targets, and also help mitigate the trade-offs or tensions between them. These systems are essential to constructing durable solutions for narrowing inequalities and ensuring that no one is left behind:
1. Strengthening human well-being and capabilities
2. Building sustainable food systems and nutrition patterns
3. Achieving energy decarbonization with universal access
4. Promoting sustainable urban and peri-urban development
5. Shifting towards sustainable and just economies
6. Securing the global environmental commons.
How to get engaged
- Are you from the Latin America and Caribbean region?
- Do you have a project idea or challenge in the realm of the GSDR or Agenda 2030?
- Are you an expert/professional aiming to break down silos between sectors and stakeholder groups?
- Do you want to generate co-creative solutions among peers and facilitate systemic approaches?
Then contact us!