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We are halfway through their implementation period and, sadly, the SDGs are still far off track. Multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs) are a key delivery mechanism helping to underpin all of the goals, yet they are not being harnessed systematically or in numbers anywhere near sufficient to meet the magnitude of the challenges at hand. Further, many partnerships are simply not delivering as effectively as they need to.

The MSP campaign

At the start of 2023,  the 2030 Agenda Partnership Accelerator (an initiative by UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and The Partnering Initiative), Partnerships2030 (GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development) and the Global Forum on SDG Advisory Bodies embarked on a research and awareness-raising campaign, focussing on the essential questions: ‘what’s holding back more and more effective collaboration’ and ‘what do we need to do to deliver a wholesale shift in global partnering practice and impact’?

Global survey results – highlights

The results from a global survey, countless interviews and multiple events in person and online provide a comprehensive, sobering snapshot of the current environment for partnering and as a clear steer for what we collectively need to do to support partnerships to fully deliver on the SDGs and climate goals. Findings include: 

    • 91% of survey respondents believe that professionalising partnering skills and competencies would improve MSP impact, but only 13% said that training was accessible in their countries.
    • 93% believe they would deliver better and faster partnerships if their organization was better set up and institutionally optimised for collaboration.
    • Only 24% felt that current funding models are strongly or fully effective in maximising innovation, quality and impact, with 96% agreeing that funders need to adjust their approaches if they want MSPs to deliver greater impact (and they’ve told us what they want funders to do). 
    • 93% believe partnerships platforms are essential or important catalysts of partnerships for the SDGs and climate, and yet there are surprisingly few such platforms around the world. The majority of respondents (52%) thought they should be multi-stakeholder.

SDG Partnership Symposium

The SDG Partnership Symposium will be held on the eve of the 2023 SDG Summit, 6pm-8pm on Sunday 17 September in New York. At the Symposium, the report will be launched, and a Call to Action issued towards investing in a supportive eco-system to drive MSPs for the SDGs and climate.

Join leaders from government, foundations, business, the UN, and civil society to:

  • Be the first to hear and discuss the results of this groundbreaking study on the current state of partnership enabling factors and what can be done to accelerate the take-up of MSPs;
  • Share your experiences and gain fresh insights on your own organizational approach and what you can do to increase the impact from your partnerships or the partnerships you support;


The event will take place on Sunday, 17th September, at APCO Worldwide, NYC. Following opening drinks from 6 to 6.30pm, the main event will kick off at 6.30 with welcoming remarks and a presentation of the study “Shifting the system: How to unleash the power of partnership for the SDGs and climate actionby Darian Stibbe, TPI Executive Director. This will be followed at 7pm by High-level panel debate on the state of partnerships for the SDGs, and a group discussion. Reception will follow from 7.30 to 8pm with drinks and hors d’oeuvres.


The Symposium will be held as an in-person event with no virtual participation. Due to limited seating, interested participants must apply to register, by 11 September 2023. The organizing partners will notify selected participants by 13 September 2023. Please note that there are no associated costs to attend, and there is no funding support available.

17 September 2023, 6:00 – 8:00 PM, APCO Worldwide, 31st Floor, Nomad Tower, 1250 Broadway, New York

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Julia Gilbert
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