The December issue of Alliance focused on the topic of community philanthropy and the concept of ‘durable development’ – shifting power closer to the ground and giving agency to local people and their organizations. Here, Dana Doan responds to the issues raised and argues that community foundations have a role to play in delivering the SDGs on the ground.
I devoured the December issue of Alliance, particularly the special feature on community philanthropy. I appreciated the diversity of contributors, their unique experiences and approaches, all of whom come to a shared conclusion: that people on the ground must be empowered if we want our development efforts to succeed.
After finishing the special feature, I read the rest of the magazine and lingered on three articles referring to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I tested out the SDG Indicator Wizard and reflected on my own organization’s experience trying to identify relevant SDG indicators we could feasibly use to measure the impact of our work. It appears obvious to me that there is a need to better relate these indicators to the people working on the ground.
In Vietnam, and I might even argue in many countries, the target SDG indicators can only be tracked or measured by government agencies, bilateral and multilateral aid agencies, and/or large, well-resourced NGOs collaborating closely with governments. But, how can local organizations like my own demonstrate their contributions towards the SDGs?