As a global community of nations and some 8 billion people, we share in the desire to achieve the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Goals that call for no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, reduced inequality, and climate action, among others. The last of the 17 goals is sustainable development through partnerships--the topic of this report.

This report provides a valuable roadmap to help governments, businesses, and civil society organizations (CSOs) assess their role in multistakeholder partnerships and how these partnerships can contribute to transformative change and progress on the SDGs. It reveals four key success factors for transformative partnerships and details how partnerships with transformative ambitions can maximize their effectiveness to accelerate SDG action. This report is in collaboration with Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G), the Global Green Growth Institute, and the World Economic Forum.

Key Findings

  • Partnerships can accelerate SDG action by better aligning their vision and design to the three main characteristics of transformation. Transformation is systemic, which represents significant changes to a system such as food, energy, or water; long-term and sustained; and disrupts the status quo.
  • Partnerships pursuing transformation can work along a continuum to change external policies and practices and/or launch commercial products or services that address the SDGs. Understanding these two pathways can help partnerships set a deliberate path forward as they pursue their transformative ambitions.
  • Transformative partnerships leverage the contributions of governments, business, and civil society organizations (CSOs). Understanding the drivers of each stakeholder is important for building successful partnerships.
  • Out of 14 commonly agree-upon partnering success factors from partnership literature, an evaluation of 41 SDG-focused partnerships found that those evaluated to have high transformation potential were especially intentional at four success factors as compared to those with low transformation potential. They are: articulating a clear understanding of the system of interest; agreeing on joint transformation vision, goals, and activities; establishing a strong performance tracking system that integrates systems thinking; and leveraging external stakeholders.

Executive Summary

View the full executive summary here.