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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

El Día Después: catalyzing multi-stakeholder collaborations for systemic and effective SDG-oriented solutions to the COVID crisis

El Día Después (The Day After) (

    The COVID crisis has revealed a fragmented response by sectors, actors and contexts. Also, the recovery of the crisis can not mean a return to the unsustainable starting point: we need to emerge stronger from the crisis, connecting recovery with the SDGs. However, no single actor or sector can achieve the transformations required by the SDGs alone. To reach sustainable and inclusive solutions to the crisis, stable and deep collaborations between all actors are required. But this does not happen spontaneously: organizational platforms are needed to create the context for effective and impactful collaboration at scale, and this is the purpose of designing El Día Después.

    Implementation of the Project/Activity

    El Día Después (EDD) has developed an organizational infrastructure for multi-stakeholder collaboration (SDG17) and collective intelligence that combines: - EDD-Communities: “Global Governance and Cooperation for Development”, “Sustainable transformation of cities”, “Environment & Health”, “Inequalities and New Economic Model”. In these groups, experts from a wide range of backgrounds and decision makers collectively interpret the COVID context and co-design solutions focused on SDGs. The communities operate based on a roadmap, but they have the autonomy to decide the activities to be developed at each step of the process (adaptive organizational scheme). - Virtual spaces (i.e. Agora, Library, Workshop...) and services (i.e. facilitation, design, communication...) that help the EDD communities and their member organizations to collaborate, develop a common framing of the problems, build consensus, increase the transformative capacity of their actions and overcome the silo effects. - Partnership incubator: when EDD-communities identify a need for multi-stakeholder collaboration, a process for the incubation of a multi-stakeholder partnership to cover the identified need is unleashed. This process entails the generation of a win-win strategy for all stakeholders, the development of a value proposition and support for the partnership to generate action in the short term. To sustain the initiative, each organization contributes with knowledge, communication/facilitation/design skills and human and financial resources. The EDD initiative evolves through participative processes of strategy design and envisioning that involves EDD communities, organizations linked to EDD and the facilitation team.


    El Día Después (EDD) has consolidated a stable ecosystem of collaboration, made up of people with decision-making capacity that pool their resources, without bureaucratic ties and under a distributed leadership model. So far, 80 participants have met weekly in the communities and more than 500 experts and decision-makers have been involved in specific activities. EDD outputs directly impacted on different public policies at local and national level, such as “The agreements of the Ville” to respond to the Covid-19 crisis in Madrid, the Response Strategy of the Spanish Cooperation to Covid-19, among others. Also, four transformative partnerships are being incubated in areas related to the generation of green employment, the transformation to sustainability of the 4 biggest cities of Spain, preparedness for emergency response and the support to connect SMEs business models with the SDGs. Finally, transformative initiatives have been co-designed and are being implemented at city scale.

    Enabling factors and constraints

    Launching this initiative in partnership with several organizations amid the outbreak of the COVID crisis was a significant organizational challenge, due to the general uncertainty and the forced digitalization of the workflow. However, the generosity and mutual trust between the organizations involved was a clear enabling factor, facilitating the distributed contribution of resources from all organizations in terms of knowledge, skills, finance and networks to the collective purpose. Another enabling factor was to establish a stable facilitation team that ensured coordination, communication and knowledge management between all organizations.

    Sustainability and replicability

    Cross-sector multi-stakeholder partnerships are recognized as key to the success of the international agendas (Agenda 2030, the European Missions…) and the recovery plans from the crisis (EU and Spanish recovery strategies), so we believe that a platform like EDD that has proven to be useful for public administration and decision-makers is going to be sustained also in the long term by both local, regional and national actors. Moreover, the difficulties that this platform manages to overcome are similar in most of the countries: rigid institutional spaces for interaction and without continuity, regulatory frameworks and bureaucratic procedures that encourage transactional collaborations, lack of relationships of mutual trust between the actors... The collaboration model developed by EDD is already being extended to new Spanish cities and a specific working group has been opened with Ibero-American organizations to adapt and expand this model to other contexts of Latin America.

    Other sources of information

    Effectiveness and Impact of the Multi-Stakeholder Initiative El día después - (paper) Reopening Madrid’s public transport system in the shadow of Covid-19 - (proposal to reduce rush hours on public transport in Madrid) Cuatro meses de El Día Después - (video) Alcaldes y alcaldesas de 15 ciudades españolas imaginan el Día Después - (vídeo) Incubadoras para la gran transformación - (El País) Utopías posibles - (event chronicle on Twitter)

    COVID-19 Impact

    COVID was El Día Después (EDD)’s main catalyser, since it was designed as a space to “learn from the COVID crisis” and to draw lessons that can catalyse and accelerate the transition towards a social, productive, and environmentally sustainable system after the crisis. As an incubator for multi-stakeholder partnerships, EDD supports the collective efforts to build back better through its initiatives. One example of this support is the incubation of a partnership for labour reintegration in green jobs oriented to vulnerable workers who lost their jobs due to COVID. This partnership has been launched by EDD with the support of organizations from different sectors that are protagonists in the cities’ decarbonization processes and reconversion of industries in Spain.

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    This initiative does not yet fulfil the SMART criteria.
    25 March 2020 (start date)
    31 December 2030 (date of completion)
    El Día Después (The Day After) / ISGlobal, Iberdrola, itdUPM, SDSN-Spain (REDS)
    Other beneficiaries

    Public administration and decision-makers (at local, regional and national level) are the direct beneficiaries, because they find in EDD the opportunity to co-create and start multi-stakeholder initiatives linked to public policies. 50 organizations are part of EDD partnership, from private sector (Iberdrola, Ingeus), public sector (City Councils, Ministries), research (ISGlobal, UPM), NGOs (Oxfam) and international organizations (SDSN, UNDP ART)

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    Simona, El Día Después: catalyzing multi-stakeholder collaborations for systemic and effective SDG-oriented solutions to the COVID crisis