Inequalities Between Countries could be Perpetuated as a Result of SDG Partnerships

 Partnerships between organizations that assist the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) may prolong resource disparities between affluent and low-income countries. 

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) foster social and economic development as well as environmental sustainability. Partnerships between and within nations that bring together public and private sector organizations can help with SDG implementation by facilitating expertise and resource exchange. It was unknown prior to this investigation which countries are involved in these alliances and which goals they serve. 

In July 2019, Malgorzata Blicharska and colleagues analyzed data from 2,876 partnerships registered on the UN’s SDG Partnerships Platform a worldwide database of partnerships and the SDGs they promote comprising organizations from 195 countries. According to the researchers, 60 percent of the nations engaging in SDG partnerships were high or upper-middle-income, while 24 percent were lower-middle-income and 16 percent were low-income. 

Each low-income country was participating in 18 partnerships on average, compared to 34 partnerships for high-income countries and 30 partnerships for upper-middle and lower-middle-income countries. 55 percent of partnerships involving organizations from more than one nation were between organizations from low or middle-income countries, 10 percent only involved organizations from high-income countries, and 35 percent were between high and low or middle-income countries. 

The focus of collaborations was also linked to the income of the countries involved, according to the researchers. As the income of the nations involved climbed, the share of partnerships focusing on SDGs to reduce poverty and hunger and improve health, wellbeing, and gender equality decreased. As a result, lower-income countries may not be able to make use of higher-income countries’ resources and knowledge when implementing these goals. 

The authors argue that the unequal distribution of SDG partnerships around the world may exacerbate existing resource disparities between high- and low-income nations and that inequalities in partnership formation and implementation must be addressed if the SDGs are to be met. In order to achieve global sustainable development, they urge that funders support organizations in low-income countries and create relationships between high- and low-income countries.