Report on Philanthropy Learning Forum on SDGs in Surabaya
The Philanthropy Learning Forum on SDGs roadshow continued last month, this time visiting its 6th city, Surabaya. The PLF on SDGs was held on Thursday, November 23, 2017, the product of a partnership between Filantropi Indonesia, Wahana Visi Indonesia, and the Forum on CSR East Java, with support from the Ford Foundation. Hamid Abidin, the Executive Director of Filantropi Indonesia, emphasised the role that effective philanthropy plays in achieving SDGs in Indonesia. This sentiment also seems to be shared amongst Indonesia’s population; In 2017 Indonesia was named the 2nd most generous country after Myanmar. Particularly illustrative of this is the contribution of millennials, who are more active than ever in philanthropy work. The youth today build communities, and conduct activities, in collaboration with various foundations or charities, contribute through their diverse skills and networks, and create philanthropy programs that are more popular, fun, and interactive than traditional formats. This contemporary approach can improve SDG implementation, and emphasizes that the most important thing is to align SDGs into our everyday life.
Laura Hukom from Christian humanitarian foundation Wahana Visi Indonesia (WVI), explained how her organisation works with partners towards sustainable change for the children, families and communities living in poverty without discriminating between religions, races, ethnicities, classes or genders. She said that in addition to WVI’s primary focus on children’s wellbeing, they are also striving to achieve the interrelated SDG #8, decent work and economic growth.
Imron Mawardi, an academic from the Faculty of Business Economics at Airlangga University identified the important role that academia has in achieving SDGs. Specifically, there is a need to state expected outcomes explicitly, and to identify the inputs needed to reach these goals. Goal #8 was discussed further here, citing the enormous challenge ahead in 2025-2030, specifically geographical and demographic challenges to employment. While there exists a very able and productive youth population, one of the imminent challenges is providing them with sufficient employment opportunities.
One approach integral to achieving SDGs is the formation of effective multi-stakeholder partnerships. There are already several organizations that provide a base for SDG attainment. Some schools, for example, integrate essential aspects of SDG achievement into their curriculum. Contributing to SDGs achievement can be as simple as teaching children to habitually wash their hands, or instilling an awareness of food safety. While the government does not stipulate that every philanthropy organization should have a SDG program, the need for effective instruments, activities and benchmarks related to the achievement of SDGs makes their development and continuation a pressing concern.