Rebuilding and Transitioning to More Equitable Global Systems After COVID-19

In their annual Goalkeepers Report, Bill and Melinda Gates noted that after decades of progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals, progress has stalled, and we are in fact going backwards on nearly all of the indicators.

We are now in a situation where we need to restart and rebuild systems and solutions to get the SDGs back on track. However, we should not rebuild in a way that takes us back to the status quo. We have an opportunity to transition into something better. Something that is more innovative, cross-sectoral, and most importantly, more equitable.

The pandemic has forced all of us to pause and reimagine how to accomplish our goals. At the same time, the calls for racial equality in the U.S. have illuminated the systemic racism and unbalanced power dynamics that extend into the global development community.

It is past time that the global development community examine and change the inequitable systems and practices that have perpetuated power imbalances within organizations and between the U.S. and low- and middle-income countries. Many global health practitioners are thinking along similar lines. The editors of The Lancet, one of the oldest and best-known medical journals, recently called for the global health sector to radically rethink its mission and begin to tackle “deeply embedded structural inequities in society.”

Global Washington launched the Goalmakers initiative to spark conversations around each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and to find new approaches that are more equitable and sustainable. Together with our partners, we will be outlining the topics, the challenges, and specific ways forward through events and an SDG blog series. These conversations will then lead into our Goalmakers National Forum on December 7 and 8.

If you believe as I do that we are all better off when we are all better off, join us as we transition to systems that are more equitable and sustainable.

Author: Kristen Dailey, Executive Director, Global Washington

The Posner Center is proud to be Denver’s host organization for Goalmakers 2020, focusing on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) #7, #13 and #15.