Localizing the 2030 Agenda: People Connecting Peace and Development

IPI and the United Nations Human Security Unit (HSU), in collaboration with the Government of The Gambia and the Senegalo-Gambian Permanent Secretariat, are pleased to announce the acceptance of applications to participate in a forum on Localizing th­­e 2030 Agenda: Building on What Works. The forum will take place on October 29 and 30, 2019, in Banjul.

The forum aims to bring together community leaders from West Africa working to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to generate knowledge, build skills, strengthen relationships, and exchange strategies. The forum will include 40 leaders from five to eight contiguous West African countries: Senegal, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, and Ghana.

Community leaders working in a variety of geographic and thematic areas will come together to learn from and with each other about how best to work together to address key challenges and leverage opportunities. This forum provides a unique opportunity to break out of traditional silos that often keep government officials, UN representatives, members of civil society, and entrepreneurs from working together. It will offer a space to share how to craft inclusive peace and development strategies that put people and communities at the center, not only as recipients but as empowered agents of change.

Grounded in a spirit of multilateral cooperation and a sense of optimism for the future of West Africa, we believe that in times of heightened polarization and inequality and declining official development assistance we can generate knowledge on and scale up a wide range of peace and development initiatives and support networks led by local champions. Therefore, the forum will also bring together global and regional practitioners working to accelerate implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

As the international community seeks answers on how to localize the 2030 Agenda, we believe the answer lies in communities themselves, in the knowledge and agency of local leaders. The forum will provide an opportunity for UN country teams to meet local leaders and reflect on how to build an inclusive process for achieving the SDGs that leaves no one behind and puts people in the driver’s seat.

Participants’ Profile and Application

The forum is designed for leaders at all levels—from regional to local—working on issues broadly related to development and peace within the context of the 2030 Agenda. Given the collaborative nature of the forum, the leaders will be selected in a way that ensures a diverse range of experiences and focal areas.

The first forum on Localizing the 2030 Agenda: Building on What Works is designed for leaders who:

  • Currently reside in Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, and Ghana;
  • Have a history of movement-building or change-making in their community;
  • Work in an area related to the themes of peace, development, and/or the environment;
  • Are involved in a transformative initiative in their community that is cross-sectoral and multi-dimensional in nature and possibly also cross-border;
  • Are available to travel to the Gambia from October 29 to 30, 2019;
  • Are 18 years of age or older;
  • Are proficient in English or French or, ideally, both;

From each of the eight West African countries we are seeking participants with each of the following profiles:

  • A government official with vast experience promoting development and peace initiatives, currently working on, or recently involved in, elaborating the UN development assistance framework (UNDAF) and in integrating the 2030 Agenda into the national development plan;
  • A local official or authority (e.g., mayor) doing transformative work on peace and development and working in an inclusive manner with their community;
  • A representative of an African-based, grassroots-level organization or association working at the community level, including those engaged in cross-border collaboration;
  • A local leader doing transformative development, peace, and/or environmental work in their community (e.g., entrepreneur, innovator, peacebuilder, local chief, mediator, leader of a women’s or youth group, elder, religious leader);

Eligible candidates will be provided with air travel, accommodation, and a small stipend for expenses for traveling to The Gambia on the dates of the forum.

Please apply before July 22, 2019.

Apply to Participate