Global Leadership and the SDGs: What Role for Local Communities?

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29.06.2023 / Publications

Authors: Stefan Cibian Ph.D, Banu Pekol, Cristina Gallegos, Theresa Carrington, Gaurav Sharma

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The Global Diplomacy Lab, organised in Făgăraș, Cincșor, and Sibiu, Romania was entitled Global Leadership and the SDGs: What Role for Local Communities? 

Three main challenges were selected by the Lab participants – how community foundations can engage more with the SDGs, how local municipalities can engage with the SDGs, and how civil society and government institutions could be brought together in collaborative setups. For each of the challenges we had one challenge holder, as follows, the Țara Făgărașului Community Foundation, the Făgăraș Municipality, and Ashoka Romania, respectively.

The role of this report is two-fold: First, to present insights generated by the phases of the Lab and second, the core ideas on the main topics of discussion. These topics include the SDGs and local community actors, such as the Făgăraș Municipality and the Țara Făgărașului Community Foundation; the development of a national infrastructure for civil society collaboration; the importance of enhancing inter-sector collaboration for sustainability; community diplomacy as a less visible practice at an international level; and the necessity for developing an infrastructure for community sustainability.

The Lab consisted of online and in-person meetings that opened a space for discussing the role of local community actors, both public and private, in achieving the SDGs, national multi-sector collaboration for sustainability, migration, and security.

The Lab has been supported by the Global Diplomacy Lab, with a significant contribution of the GDL Secretariat, by the GDL leading partners, including the BMW Foundation, the International Alumni Center Berlin and Robert Bosch Stiftung, the German Federal Foreign Office, the Slovenian Foreign Affairs Ministry, the US-Germany Fulbright Commission, and Mercator Stiftung. Also, the Lab has been a part of the project “Increasing the contribution of European community foundations to the SDGs,” supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. Further support was received from the US State Department through the program Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund (CDAF) and local actors such as the Țara Făgărașului Community Foundation, the Făgăraș Municipality, Ashoka Romania, Case de Oaspeți Cincșor, Casa Terra, and Expert Cleaning.

We are profoundly grateful to all local participants and to the challenge holders for their engagement and input throughout the implementation period of the Lab. We are equally grateful to each member of the GDL and FRI teams, as well as to the GDL Secretariat for their substantive contributions.

Departments: Policy Analysis and Outreach Department, Research Department, Center on Global Affairs and Post Development, Society, Crisis, and Resilience Program, Global Diplomacy Lab at Făgăraș: Global Leadership and the SDGs: What Role for Local Communities? 

Regions:  Făgăraș Country, Romania, Europe, Global

Themes: Philanthropy and Community Development, Civil Society, Democracy, and Democratization, Sustainable Development Goals, Foreign Policy and Diplomacy, International Development