2021 Networks in Action Report – Creating Impact in the Times of Covid-19

Annual report shows the rapid expansion of the SDSN networks program and the impact of its 47 national, regional and thematic networks.

Impact in the Times of a Global Pandemic

The 2021 Networks in Action report features all the major accomplishments of the SDSN networks over the past year. This year’s edition features a specific focus on the impact that the SDSN networks have had from their efforts to localize the SDGs in their countries, engage with knowledge institutions and youth, improve education for the SDGs, fight the Covid-19 pandemic, advocate for a sustainable recovery, promote viable solutions initiatives, and develop their publications, events and actions.

A Year of Expansion & Transformation

Despite the setback for sustainable development created by the Covid-19 pandemic, most of the SDSN networks have seen their membership and activity grow significantly over the past 12 months. While the overall membership of SDSN has grown by 17% compared to 2020, the number of knowledge institutions joining SDSN networks has almost doubled in certain regions.

In 2021, for the first time, the report includes chapters on SDSN Europe and SDSN UK, some of the most recent networks set in motion. In addition,  SDSN Czech Republic and SDSN Western Balkans have recently been approved.

Moreover, the report shows how SDSN’s networks successfully executed their digital transformation, organizing dozens of online events and reaching wider audiences than ever before. Their improved online presence on social media was also accompanied by thousands of downloads of publications as well as the establishment of new partnerships relating to the Voluntary National Reviews, National SDG planning, and youth initiatives.

The 2021 Networks in Action Report is an inspiring record of leadership by universities around the world to collaborate and promote urgently needed solutions for the SDGs. In the face of a complex global crisis, SDSN’s Networks have demonstrated their commitment, ingenuity, resilience and flexibility. The worldwide growth of SDSN membership and the five new SDSN networks are testimony to the vital importance and relevance of the university networks.
Jeffrey D. Sachs
SDSN President

Partnerships that Last

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has partnered with SDSN since 2013 to support the identification of scalable solutions within the framework of the 2030 Agenda. Commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the GIZ project continues to advise the SDSN Secretariat and Networks in order to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs within countries and regions worldwide.

In addition to supporting the Networks in the Global South through capacity development efforts, GIZ is also helping strenghten SDSN’s development of spillover measurements, data-based policy research on the ‘Leave No One Behind’ principle and more.

Over the last 8 years of collaboration, SDSN and GIZ have realized a number of successful projects, including the Annual Workshops for Network Managers, Initiatives Lab contest for innovative solutions as well as Research Papers and Policy Briefs on the impacts of global production and consumption patterns.

Find examples of the impact created by SDSN networks in the report.

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