The COVID-19 pandemic has shown opportunities for strengthening multi-stakeholder partnerships, especially among development partners, as they mitigate the economic, environmental and social impacts for the most vulnerable. Pandemic response efforts have often left women and children, farmers, fisherfolk, Indigenous Peoples, and urban poor, among other sectors, behind. Despite the trend of shrinking civic spaces and the threats they face, civil society organizations (CSOs) have served as ‘first responders’ to the threats of the pandemic, as they were able to urgently respond to the needs of their communities and sectors. Throughout the pandemic, CSOs have proven their commitment to ensuring a rights-based, people-centered and climate-resilient development for all.
As the Asia-Pacific region continues to ‘build back better’, countries’ progress on SDG 17 in addressing the pandemic must be evaluated. SDG 17 provides the means to advance other SDGs, facilitating poverty reduction, zero hunger, good health, gender equality, quality education, and climate action, among other goals.
As CSOs integrate a social, economic and environmental approach to the pandemic, civil society partnerships must be further promoted for immediate relief, recovery and even long-term development. Multi-stakeholder partnerships, meanwhile, entail monitoring the initiatives of other development actors, and seeking accountability for their pandemic response. There is a need for concerted and collaborative efforts from various development actors in order to ensure that the marginalized and vulnerable, who face the brunt of the health, socio-economic and climate crisis, are not left behind.
Thus, the Reality of Aid – Asia Pacific and the Council for People’s Development and Governance will hold “Building Back Better, Together: How can SDG 17 and civil society partnerships ensure genuine development in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic?”, a side event to this year’s Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development.
This activity will tackle the progress on SDG 17, and the role of civil society organizations in addressing the pandemic and its compounding development challenges.
Register here: https://bit.ly/apfsd9sideevent