Are you SDG ready? Arab philanthropy and the Sustainable Development Goals 

Atallah Kuttab, Noha El-Mikawy, Natasha Matic, Barry Knight and Heba Abou Shneif

One of the lessons of the Millennium Development Goals was that collaboration across sectors will be essential if their successors, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are to be achieved. There are already positive signs that philanthropy is rising to the challenge, prominent among them, the establishment of the SDG Philanthropy Platform and NetFWD as vehicles for philanthropic engagement with international development. How are Arab-region philanthropies faring on the SDGs?  

To find out, we conducted a survey* earlier this year. Fifty-nine organizations from 10 countries (the majority, at 13 each, were from Egypt and Saudi Arabia) responded to the survey, 30 per cent of them foundations, 44 per cent non-profits, 9 per cent for-profit entities and the remainder a mixture of interested organizations including philanthropy infrastructure organizations.

In order to compare the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) picture with the rest of the world, our research builds on an existing global survey.

Prospects of engagement are good

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