Financing for Development (FfD) process

Left ArrowAgenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals Purple Dot Indicator frameworkRight Arrow


Financing for Development (FfD) process

The SDGs aim to tackle many issues, such as eliminating poverty and hunger, and reaching gender equality. This requires systematic, forceful, and macro measures. While exact numbers vary, it is foreseen that between 3.3 trillion USD – 4.5 trillion USD is needed per year1It should be noted that these numbers are calculated through the conventional calculations, which overlook the care needs of society and added economic inputs of the unpaid care work. to achieve all the goals and for all people by 2030.2United Nations Development Operations Coordination Office & Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation. (2018). Unlocking SDG Financing: Good Practices from Early Adopters.

In order to be able to mobilise such a big amount, the UN Member States tried to work through the Financing for Development schemes to discuss ways that can help to achieve this amount. While the SDGs were developed, FfD meetings were also utilised to ensure the development of a parallel financing agenda for the SDGs. This resulted in the adoption of the 2015 Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), supporting ‘a new global framework for financing sustainable development’. This then led to the implementation of Agenda 2030 and the SDGs.3The UN website has more information on the Financing for Development Process as well as the Addis Agenda. While the AAAA did not recognise and provide remedy for the structural gender imbalances within the economy, it provided another route for further advocacy.

“The Financing for Development process encompasses the commitments contained in the 2002 Monterrey Consensus, the 2008 Doha Declaration on Financing for Development, the 2015 Addis Ababa Action Agenda and financing for development-related aspects of the outcomes of major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic and social fields, including the Agenda United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, as well as the 2030 Agenda.”

Women’s Major Group

There are many different parallel schemes ongoing within the FfD process. Civil society organisations are continuing to advocate for more just tax systems, better allocation of resources, and more systematic changes to the current economic systems that are failing people (and the SDGs) in nearly all of these systems. Feminist and women’s rights organisations are using this process to advocate for recognition and application of a gender perspective in financing for development schemes.

Civil society participation in FfD meetings are facilitated by the official stakeholder group to the process, Civil Society Financing for Development (CSO FfD) Group. CSO FfD coordinates information sharing on FfD related processes and meetings, organises the CSO side events and the interventions at these meetings. Civil society organisations can join CSO FfD both to get more information on the process, as well as learning more about the possibilities of intervention in the FfD processes.4More information about CSO FfD can be accessed at

Founded in 2007, Women’s Working Group on Financing for Development consists of women’s organisations working to ensure a gender perspective and economic justice principles within Financing for Development work. Women’s Major Group also has a permanent working group on FfD, within the Women’s Working Group.

Recently, the group organised several important online discussions around COVID-19 and financing for development with connections to macroeconomic issues. These webinars can be accessed at the Youtube channel of the group.

One aspect of the sustainable development process (in relation to its financing and implementation) is the reliance on the private sector. The private sector is seen as a key actor in development and is considered essential to fill the financing gap for SDGs.5You can look at Section III of the starter kit for a more detailed discussion on the private sector and its influence on macroeconomics. Both public-private partnerships (PPPs) and the private sector’s own work related to sustainable development are seen as ‘life-savers’. This happens where the governments’ own spending capacities for sustainable development are limited. However, this is a perspective that requires a multidimensional analysis and a critical examination, considering that there are no substantial accountability schemes for private sector violations of human rights and women’s human rights.6The economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an increased emphasis by the private sector as a key actor (and even potential ‘saviour’) for post-pandemic recovery. Barbara Adams, in her interview with CIVICUS titled ‘Market discourse has captured the development agenda to a point that may be incompatible with UN mandates’, warns against the capture of the development agenda by the market discourse, as well as the unregulated involvement of the private sector in the agenda.


Left ArrowAgenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals Purple Dot Indicator frameworkRight Arrow




Share Article