Director, DiplomacyDialogue and Professor, International Relations & International Management, University of Basle, Switzerland
In order to achieve the 17 goals of Agenda 2030, substantial financial investment will be required. According to the 2014 World Investment Report (WIR) of UNCTAD, about US$ 4 trillion will be required every year in developing countries alone for the SDGs to be achieved by 2030. Given the current levels of investment in all SDG-related sectors by both public and private bodies, developing countries face a funding gap of $2.5 trillion per year.
It is unlikely that government budgets and official development aid will be able to compensate fully for this funding gap. Many developing countries face fiscal constraints, while most donor aid is often channelled towards their current spending needs. Therefore, investments made by the private sector will be crucial in assisting the realization of the SDGs.
SDG Goal 17 aims to strengthen the means of implementation through partnerships and Target 17.17 states:
Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships. (UN, 2015: 27)
Whether public, private, public-private, or civil society based (e.g. cooperatives, solidarity funds)- all financing of the SDG goals carry the risk of indebtedness if countries do not carefully assess the potential short, medium and long-term risks of indebtedness. Democratisation of investment decisions is needed to avoid misguided investments. Social Actors should be involved in large investment decision such as –consumer associations and professional groups- to avoid bad investments and not to leave large PPP+ investment decisions to experts alone. Knowledge is urgently needed for governments and civil society to understand the risks and opportunities of PPP+ so they can ensure effective, efficient and sustainable project design and implementation of PPP+ to ensure sustainable development of their respective countries and communities.