On the road to 2030, this year is pivotal for Australia’s implementation of the SDGs

Marc Purcell

27 Feb, 2018

This is a pivotal year for Australia on its journey to realising the 2030 Agenda - humanity’s bold roadmap to global development efforts over the next decade and a half. In July, Australia will deliver its first Voluntary National Review (VNR) on the 2030 Agenda at the United Nations High Political Forum to assess progress towards implementing the Agenda’s 17 SDGs.  

The UN VNRs aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, as well as seeking to strengthen policies and institutions of governments, and mobilise multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the SDGs. Each country is expected to report at least twice over the 15 years to 2030.

Australia’s July 2018 VNR will profile achievements so far and will help set a path for improving SDG implementation into the future. As part of the process to develop the VNR report, ACFID’s members submitted case studies to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) showcasing best-practice action and partnership on the SDGs.

ACFID has worked hard to build support for the 2030 agenda from its inception, publishing From Policy to Action: Australian Aid and the Sustainable Development Goals just weeks after the SDGs came into effect. This paper maps examples of Australia’s existing aid policies against each of the 17 Goals and sets out ideas and opportunities for how Australia can further our collective efforts toward their implementation.

We are also building momentum and understanding of the SDGs within our membership. Through a human centred design process and several pilot workshops, ACFID has produced this Free Toolkit which is designed to help learners explore and test systems change and collaborative responses as a way of working differently to achieve the SDGs.  The Toolkit has two parts, both of which can be completed online - an Individual Learner Course and a Facilitator Guide, and has been created collaboratively by ACFID and its Development Practice Committee (DPC), Collaboration for Impact and CSIRO

A key milestone as we look towards presentation of Australia’s first VNR is the 2018 SDG Summit, organised collaboratively by ACFID, the Australian Council of Social Service, Global Compact Network Australia, SDSN Australia/Pacific and the United Nations Association of Australia. The 2018 Summit will be held on March 13 and will unite 250 leaders and decision-makers from government, business, civil society, academia and youth organisations to explore ways to unlock opportunities for addressing some of the world’s most pressing and complex challenges.

Over the next month leading up to the Summit, ACFID will present a blog series to highlight some of the case studies that surfaced through submissions to the VNR, demonstrating the already significant momentum and support for the SDGs across the sector.  

Connect with us to stay up to date on ACFID’s work on sustainable and inclusive development and stay tuned for the inspiring blogs in this showcase series.


Note to reader: This blog series is now complete, please view the original posts below:

Equal Measures 2030 – Making the lives of girls visible

Managing floods, feces and fishes in Fiji: a nexus approach to achieving sustainable development goals.

Delivering WASH services in Timor-Leste

Mapping SDGs for intersection and synergies: Transformative sustainable development - beyond business as usual


You can learn more about the Australian SDGs Summit in September 2016 by reading the Outcomes Report. ACFID ran an open EOI process to allocate invitations for member organisations to attend the 2018 Summit. For more information on the 2018 Summit, please contact Alice Ridge, Policy and Advocacy Advisor at ACFID.

  • Marc Purcell
    Marc Purcell

    Marc Purcell is the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) and joined in 2009. ACFID unites over 130 Australian international aid and development organisations that work to alleviate poverty and injustice in over 100 countries.  ACFID members raise around $1.5 billion from a variety of sources and are supported by 1.5 million Australian’s annually. ACFID acts as a NGO regulator and runs a Code of Conduct including an independent public complaints system for signatories to its Code.

    Marc has worked for 25 years in the community, international development and human rights sectors in Australia. He started out working with intellectually disabled people in transition programs to independent living.

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