Compassion in action #Compassion4theSDGs
Compassion underpins the SDGs. Throughout 2023 we are launching 17 new resources and a series of events to support practical action to advance the Sustainable Development Goals.
Compassion helps us see the world differently, it connects across silos.
The resources – being launched on specific ‘world days’ throughout 2023 – demonstrate the role of compassion as an essential driver in achieving the SDGs.
Read more and download relevant material using the links below.
Compassion is a central driver to achieve the SDGs
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) act as a blueprint for all major sectors related to health, environment, and economic development.
2022 marked the midpoint of the goals but few targets have been met and the world is unprepared. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) human development report 2022 describes an existential human crisis facing our human systems, with fear, mistrust, and apprehension rising across the globe.
The head of the UNDP, Achim Steiner, argues that we need to radically reposition values and virtues as the drivers and the custodians of the SDGs. Could compassion sit at the centre of this repositioning?
- Link to the UNDP Human Development Report 2022
Repositioning compassion to achieve system change
We have overlooked the importance of human connection and relationships in alleviating the suffering the SDGs were designed to overcome.
The role of compassion as a fundamental driver in establishing the SDGs and the necessity of compassion for achieving them remains an untold story.
Through a grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation, the University of Edinburgh and Focus Area for Compassion and Ethics (FACE) are collaborating to make the case for compassion as a guiding principle for and a unifying thread to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs.
Recognising compassion as an essential driver in achieving the SDGs
Our position paper (published in The Lancet, 2022) made explicit how compassion is at the heart of the SDGs:
There is a need for an understanding of how to achieve compassion-in-action in the context of intractable, complex global challenges. Such expertise exists but is rarely foregrounded in global health.
Additionally, the paper shines an important light on the role of relationships in achieving the SDG ambitions.
Partnerships that are premised on compassion provide the strongest systems, services, and communities for humanity.
To mark the midpoint in the timeline to achieve the UN General Assembly Sustainable Development Goals, we joined with our partners at the Templeton World Charity Foundation and Focus Area for Compassion and Ethics (FACE) to develop this short document "Compassion and the SDGs: An architecture for repositioning compassion in the SDGs".
|For World Day resources (PDFs) on individual SDGs and case studies, visit our World Days 2023 page.|
2023 World Days and the SDGs
Our #Compassion4SDGs project is running throughout 2023. Through a series of resources, social media and events we highlight how compassion is integral to achieving the SDGs.
Our humanness and deep emotional connection to the suffering of others defines why and how we should act – collectively and synergistically across the 17 interconnected goals.
In addition to a range of case studies, 17 resources are being launched on relevant 'world days' during 2023 – one for each of the goals. The first resource relates to SDG 9 'Industry, innovation and infrastructure' and is being shared at the start of 'World Built Environment Forum Week (16th January 2023).
- You can find the resources that are already available on our 'World Days' page.
- Follow us on Twitter for updates and announcements of upcoming events and resources: Global Health Academy Twitter