Appendix 2: Initiatives that align with SDG 17

The Government’s preparedness to implement the sustainable development goals.

We provide some examples of work the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) has been carrying out or is involved with that aligns with SDG 17 (partnerships for the goals), all of which directly reference the SDGs.

MFAT sustainability integration project: 2018

MFAT commissioned this research project, which, as part of its work, considered how well the United Nations definition of sustainable development and the SDGs applies to MFAT's work, particularly to international development co-operation. The project identified how MFAT can consistently apply these across its work programme's lifecycle, from policy and initiative design to implementation, through to evaluation.
New Zealand's policy and progress status for SDG 17 "partnering for the goals" targets: 2019

In 2019, MFAT assessed New Zealand's status against each of the 19 targets for SDG 17. For each of the targets, the extent to which current New Zealand policy aligns with it was described and rated as either weak, moderate, or strong. Current policy strongly aligned with 13 of the 19 targets, moderately aligned with four targets, with weak alignment for the remaining two targets. A judgement was also made on whether New Zealand is likely to meet the 2030 targets (rated as either yes, no, or uncertain), with a brief comment on what necessary actions are likely required to achieve the 2030 target. MFAT felt that 16 of the 19 targets apply to New Zealand and 11 of the 16 would be met by 2030.
New Zealand's International Cooperation for Effective Sustainable Development – policy statement: 2019

New Zealand aid is mostly focused on developing countries in the Pacific region. MFAT is responsible for New Zealand's Aid Programme, including supporting developing countries through development co-operation. The International Cooperation for Effective Sustainable Development policy statement signals a shift in New Zealand's sustainable development co-operation efforts, which had primarily emphasised economic sustainable development. The International Cooperation for Effective Sustainable Development policy states:
  • New Zealand's support for the 2030 Agenda, and commits New Zealand's international aid efforts to "value, invest in, and seek real progress across" the three sustainable development dimensions (social, environmental, and economic);
  • New Zealand will direct its aid to support multilateral and regional institutions that are effectively contributing to the 2030 Agenda;
  • when allocating New Zealand's Official Development Assistance, particular consideration will be given to supporting the Pacific countries most off track in implementing the SDGs; and
  • New Zealand is committed to advancing sustainable development across the country's foreign policy efforts including trade, environment, diplomatic, and security co-operation.
Partnering for impact – a new approach to partnering with non-governmental organisations to deliver international development: 2019

MFAT has introduced a new approach to partnering with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that have a presence in Pacific and other developing nations. Partnering for impact is guided by the International Cooperation for Effective Sustainable Development policy. It intends to better deliver on New Zealand's aid programme priorities, including the SDGs. It was developed in consultation with NGOs and acknowledges that NGOs can reach the most vulnerable, helping to ensure that "no one is left behind". Partnering for impact consists of three MFAT and NGOs co-invested funding initiatives, with at least 60% focused on the Pacific:
  • Negotiated partnerships are multi-year, country, and sector arrangements agreed with New Zealand's typically larger NGOs with an established overseas development work presence. The longer-term funding provides NGOs more certainty for addressing longer-term development challenges.
  • Manaaki is a smaller, contestable fund where approved initiatives receive MFAT co-funding of up to $1.25 million. The NGO-funded activities are to also involve civil society organisations in the nation/s the NGOs are working in and focus on addressing problems that are a priority.
  • At the time of this review, an organisational strengthening mechanism was being developed with the intent to help civil society groups in the Pacific and Timor Leste become more self-reliant.
Working with other Pacific nations in developing the Pacific Roadmap for Sustainable Development: 2019

MFAT represents New Zealand on the Pacific Sustainable Development Goals Taskforce, which produced the roadmap. The roadmap sets the path for implementing, monitoring, and reporting on sustainable development in the Pacific region to 2030, in line with the 2030 Agenda. The roadmap identifies the main elements required to plan for and implement sustainable development and the various points that the region will report progress to the United Nations to 2030. 127 of the SDG indicators will help drive the region's sustainable development and inform its reporting, along with five further indicators specifically tailored to the region's context. The SDGs chosen were those considered appropriate for the Pacific region's context, which might be distinct from the SDG priorities or responsibilities of the individual nations.
MFAT Pacific and Development Group Strategic Results Framework: updated 2019

The results framework identifies the measures MFAT uses to track progress against its 10-year outcomes for the Pacific goal in its strategic framework. The framework is strongly linked to the SDGs, with its results indicators including many SDG indicators, along with other indicators. The measures include global development results, which New Zealand's aid programme contributes to, and direct development results that are directly attributable to the aid programme. Of the 49 global development result indicators, 31 are SDG indicators, as are nine of the 63 direct development result indicators.
MFAT Strategic Intentions 2020-2024: 2020

MFAT oversees New Zealand's foreign and trade policy and represents the country's interests in international activities and relations. MFAT's strategic intentions outline its purpose, objectives, intended outcomes, and how it plans to achieve those outcomes. MFAT's purpose was revised in 2020 to include sustainability, acknowledging that the country's future also depends on global action on the sustainability issues that are important to New Zealand. The strategic intentions set out MFAT's seven strategic goals for New Zealand's impact in the world. Of the seven goals, two briefly refer to the 2030 Agenda. Another goal, MFAT's goal for the Pacific, uses three SDG indicators as part of its seven "topline" outcome measures for the goal. Although the strategic intentions are for four years, there was a particular focus on Covid-19 priorities to June 2021, noting that other work will need to be re-prioritised during that time.
MFAT Pacific and Development Group performance system: 2021

This performance system assesses the contribution that New Zealand's development co-operation makes to the Ministry's strategic framework. Within this framework, SDG alignment is focused at the country level. Four-year plans will include long-term goals, and key indicators of success for each goal. The first plan is due to be published in 2021 and MFAT anticipates many of the indicators will be SDG indicators. MFAT also produces "annual statistical snapshots", which include a range of SDG indicators and data relevant to MFAT's thematic focus areas. These snapshots assist with internal planning and prioritisation of four-year plans. As the ability to use SDG data to assess progress against development outcomes will depend on the availability of quality data and statistics in the Pacific, MFAT supports national and regional collection of statistics and data, including for the SDGs.

Source: Office of the Auditor-General.