United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

1.  How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the priorities of your organization?

In light of the significant impact of the pandemic on women and girls and those furthest behind, and the resulting exacerbation of pre-existing inequalities, rather than change the priorities of the organisation, the COVID-19 pandemic has only served to reinforce the criticality of UNFPAs mandate to uphold the rights and health of women and girls, ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights for all. The spike in gender based violence (GBV) and disruptions in access to essential services including for SRHR, resulting from the pandemic, have forced UNFPA to become even more innovative in our programming and service delivery approaches, scaling up and adapting our country level support including in the hardest to reach areas to ensure that no one is left behind. Some examples of our work can be found here:

UNFPA, 'Delivering in a Pandemic: Annual Report 2020'

UNFPA, 'Pandemic Pivot: Achieving Transformative Results in the COVID-19 Pandemic' (2021)

UNFPA, Global Response Plan (2020)

UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on the Elimination of FGM, 'Resilience in Action: Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Crisis' (2021)

UNFPA, 'How will the COVID-19 Pandemic Impact Births?' (2021)

2.  In 2020/2021, how has your organization endeavored to support Member States to build back better from COVID-19 while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda? Please select up to three high-impact initiatives to highlight, especially those that address interlinkages among the SDGs. How has your organizations cooperated with other UN system organizations in those efforts to achieve coherence and synergies?  

Name: “Strengthening Costa Rica ́s SDG financing architecture through resource alignment with national goals and improved education sector public spending, 2020-2022”
Partners: (please list all partners) Costa Rica Ministry of Planning and Economic Policy, UNFPA, UNICEF and UNESCO.
Relevant SDGs SDGs 4, 5, 17
Member States benefiting from the initiative: Costa Rica
Description: UNFPA with UNICEF and UNESCO is implementing the joint programme “Strengthening Costa Rica´s SDG financing architecture through resource alignment with national goals and improved education sector public spending, 2020-2022” directed at improving the planning and financing of SDGs with a gender perspective. Through a two joint pillar approach, the JP intends to strengthen SDG financing architecture at the national, sectoral (education) and ecosystem levels. Working with the public sector, it will develop an integrated financing strategy to mobilize and align multiple sources of capital and planning processes with national development priorities and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, while focusing specifically on the education sector to improve its public spending efficiency through the implementation of a gender-responsive, socially inclusive and results-based budget and framework. Website: https://www.jointsdgfund.org/programme/strengthening-costa-ricas-sdg-financing-architecture-through-resource-alignment-national
Website: https://www.jointsdgfund.org/programme/strengthening-costa-ricas-sdg-financing-architecture-through-resource-alignment-national


Name: Reaping the Demographic Dividend and Managing the Socio-Economic Impact of COVID-19 by Applying an Integrated National Financing Framework in the Philippines
Partners: (please list all partners) Philippines National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), UNFPA, UNDP and UNICEF
Relevant SDGs SDGs 3, 4, 5, 17
Member States benefiting from the initiative: Philippines
Description: Joint programme (UNDP-UNICEF-UNFPA) on an integrated national financing framework for SDGs focusing on Demographic Dividend. The Joint Programme (JP) intends to apply the building blocks of the Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) to provide catalytic support, tools, technical assistance for strengthening systems, coordination and consensus building on priorities as part of a whole of government approach in support of the “We Recover As One”.  A review of the JP’s design highlighted its responsiveness, among others, to finance and coordinate multi-sector priority SDG programmes that reduce future expenditure requirements for the SDGs and mitigate the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on the country’s trajectory towards achieving the SDGs and harnessing the demographic dividend. This will be achieved by 1. Employing the demographic dividend as a thematic test case given its complex, interdependent, and intersectoral nature, build national government’s capacity for evidence-based budgeting and performance-oriented expenditure tracking system within an integrated national financing framework and  2. Addressing  the Socio-economic impact of COVID-19, particularly on the country’s trajectory towards achieving the SDGs and the Demographic Dividend, analyzed and mitigated
Website: https://www.jointsdgfund.org/where-we-work/philippines 


Name: Hack the crisis in Palestine 
Partners: (please list all partners) WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF, Google for Startups and Gaza Sky Geeks
Relevant SDGs SDGs 3, 4, 17
Member States benefiting from the initiative: State of Palestine (Observer State)
Description: Gaza Sky Geeks, a joint effort of Mercy Corps and Google for Startups, in partnership with WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, the Ministry of Empowerment and Entrepreneurship and other corporate and government partners, conducted the first virtual hackathon in Palestine, bringing together Gaza, the West Bank, people from different backgrounds, and the global and local tech communities. The Hackathon was inspired by the global #HacktheCrisis movement to generate solutions and to respond to the pandemic.
Website: https://gazaskygeeks.com/hack-the-crisis-palestine/


3.  Has your organization published or is it planning to publish any analytical work or guidance note or toolkits to guide and support recovery efforts from COVID-19 while advancing SDG implementation at national, regional and global levels? Please select up to three high-impact resources to highlight, especially those that address interlinkages among the SDGs.

Name: State of the World’s Population Report 2021: My Body is My Own
Publishing entity: UNFPA
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1, 3, 5, 10
Target audience: governments, civil society, the private sector, academia, the United Nations and other international bodies
Resource description: The report  highlights why bodily autonomy is a universal right that must be upheld and therefore a prerequisite to the achievement of all SDGs. The report reveals how serious many of the shortfalls in bodily autonomy are; many have worsened under the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report also outlines solutions that are already at hand, while making the point that success requires much more than a disconnected series of projects or services, as important as these may be. Real, sustained progress largely depends on uprooting gender inequality and all forms of discrimination, and transforming the social and economic structures that maintain them.
Website: https://www.unfpa.org/swop
Language: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish


Name: How will the COVID-19 pandemic affect births?
Publishing entity: UNFPA
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, 11, 16
Target audience: governments, civil society, the private sector, academia, the United Nations System and other multilateral and international bodies
Resource description: In this report, data from 15 countries sheds light on how the Covid-19 pandemic may affect births. This analytical work discusses the long trend of fertility decline in crisis, COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on fertility behaviours looking at trends across wealthier data-rich countries and observations from developing countries, it also looks at the impact of the pandemic on contraception and SRHR services, and explores causes, impacts and implications across countries.
Website: https://www.unfpa.org/publications/how-covid-19-affects-births 
Language: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish


Name: No Exceptions, No Exclusions: Realizing sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice for all
Publishing entity: UNFPA/ High-Level Commission on the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 Follow-up
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1, 3, 5, 10, 13, 16, 17
Target audience: governments, civil society, the private sector, academia, the United Nations and other international bodies
Resource description: The first report of the High-Level Commission on the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 Follow-up, finds progress on some of the Nairobi commitments, but overall notes a harrowing setback in sexual and reproductive health and rights around the world, and calls for ambitious, deliberate and comprehensive action to achieve sexual and reproductive justice for all, in particular women and girls.
Website: https://www.nairobisummiticpd.org/publication/no-exceptions-no-exclusions
Language: English and French

4.  How has your organization engaged with stakeholder groups to support SDG implementation and COVID-19 recovery at national, regional and global levels? Please provide main highlights, including any lessons learned. If your organization has established multi-stakeholder partnerships in this regard, please describe them and provide links to relevant websites, if applicable.

Main highlights and lessons learned 

Name: #YouthAgainstCOVID19
Partners: UNFPA; Prezi Video; IFMSA; UNHCR; Restless Development; Scouts; European Youth Parliament; Duke of Edin International Award; UNGEI; OSGEY
Relevant SDGs SDGs 5, 8, 10
Member States benefiting from the initiative: Cross- regional, Global campaign.
Description: #YouthAgainstCOVID19 is a campaign developed in tandem with youth organizations that aims to help teach young people around the world about #COVID19 and what they can do to keep their friends, families, and communities safe. Designed as a 6-part video series, the campaign features youth sharing how COVID-19 affects them, how to protect their sexual and mental health, and ways to support each other. Using the platform Prezi Video, the campaign allows for easy re-creation of the videos by young people and partners around the world. Programmatic Relevance: The campaign is not only a risk communication tool, but also an opportunity to foster community engagement and youth participation in the context of the pandemic. Messaging of the campaign focuses on the positive role young people can play in the charge against the pandemic, and uses a rights-based and inclusive language and approach. In line with the principle of leaving no one behind, there is particular emphasis on inclusion and featuring vulnerable groups of young people in the campaign. There are various videos that were recorded by LGBTQI youth, youth with disabilities and refugee youth.
Website: https://prezi.com/landing/youthagainstcovid19/


Name: UN Africa COVID-19 Knowledge Hub
Partners: UNFPA; UNECA 
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1, 5, 9, 10
Member States benefiting from the initiative: Africa Region (54 member States)
Description: Hub launched early in the pandemic and provides timely access to critical information and evidence on the pandemic and its impact.
Website: https://knowledge.uneca.org/covid19/

Multi-stakeholder partnerships established

Name: UNFPA Jordan COVID-19 Innovation
Hub Partners: UNFPA Jordan, Shabana Youth Network; MoY; MoH; National Blood Bank
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1, 5, 9, 10
Member States benefiting from the initiative: Jordan
Description: In 2020 in Amman, UNFPA partner has recruited new volunteers under the Shabana Youth Network and has provided them with interactive training workshops about “Leadership and Innovation” and information about COVID-19. The training workshops included communication skills; youth led initiatives, teams’ management, self-awareness, community awareness. Each trained youth has carried out two online awareness sessions to their peers, one on COVID-19 and another one about SRHR including (RH, Gender, Marriage, Family Planning, Mental Health, Healthy LifeStyles, Obesity, Nutrition and Physical Activities). Moreover, UNFPA supported the winners of the 3rd National Youth Forum focusing on “Health under Epidemics” in partnership with MOY, taking into consideration that Sherian app (1st place) has been selected to receive support through the MoH and the national Blood Bank.


5.  Following the adoption of the 2019 SDG Summit declaration (GA resolution 74/4), where Member States outlined ten priority areas for accelerated action in SDG implementation, please highlight any major integrated and innovative policies or initiatives that your organization may have adopted in the following areas:

5.1 leaving no one behind;

While UNFPA previously contributed to the 2019 UNSDG Operational Guidance on LNOB, UNFPA has since further mainstreamed LNOB in its new Strategic Plan (2022-2025) and is now finalising the 2022-2025 UNFPA Operational Plan on LNOB. This plan integrates innovative LNOB approaches across our policy and programmatic efforts on the ground, in the Decade of Action. UNFPA has also launched The Disability Inclusion Strategy-  We Matter. We Belong. We Decide. UNFPA Disability Inclusion Strategy 2022 - 2025 which puts persons with disabilities at the very centre of everything UNFPA does. Further, UNFPA has significantly scaled up its advocacy, data collection and programming efforts, including through innovative approaches, to advance the health, wellbeing and rights of People of African Descent.

5.2 mobilizing adequate and well-directed financing;

Following the costing of UNFPAs Three Transformative Results in 2020 (ending unmet need for family planning; ending preventable maternal deaths; ending GBV and harmful practises by 2030), in 2021 UNFPA put forward the tool kit on Developing Investment Cases for the Transformative Results . The toolkit is a practical guide on how to develop a national investment case, and  investment scenarios to determine the scale of the impact that can be attributed to the investment, with the ultimate goal of mobilizing resources and directing financing towards strategic investments required to deliver on our transformative results and the SDGs in the specific country context.   Following the development of the 2022-2025 Strategic Plan, UNFPA has recently launched the Strategic Investment Facility (SIF). The first UNFPA financing mechanism for supporting programme countries to leverage international and domestic public and private resources towards achieving the three transformative results.

5.3 enhancing national implementation;

Coordinating across headquarters, regional and country offices, in the Decade of Action, UNFPA has stepped up its integrated policy, technical and data support to the Voluntary National Review processes. At both the government and UNCT level, UNFPA provides data and statistical capacity support in tracking and reporting on a range of SDG indicators, including those SDG indicators requiring census data for their computation. In some instances UNFPA has leveraged data layering techniques (combining small area estimation with geospatial mapping) to support governments in mapping and identifying pockets of vulnerability at the subnational level- an important  and innovative means of leveraging data to ensure that no one is left behind. UNFPA also generates and provides technical and policy documents across a range of thematic areas in support of national level SDG follow up. These areas include: health, sexual and reproductive health and rights, youth, ageing, the demograpgic dividend, gender, gender based violence (GBV), harmful practises including child marriage and FGM, family planing, population dynamics and interlinkages across sustainable development. Regarding SDGs indicators  5.6 .1 and 5.6.2 specifically, UNFPA as custodian agency coordinated in collaboration with the IAEG-SDGs, the metadata development and now coordinates the generation of new data to track these indicators for the first time. Further UNFPA renders its support towards the multistakeholder convenings of the VNR process, supporting specifically the participation of youth groups, womens’ groups, persons with disabilities and other vulnerable populations. Finally, UNFPA leverages existing and ongoing SDG localisation efforts in a number of countries, linking these to the ongoing VNR processes.

5.4 strengthening institutions for more integrated solutions;


5.5 bolstering local action;

UNFPA has engaged with various stakeholders including Member States and has a proven record of unleashing the creative potential of partnerships through alliances with, civil society, such as youth organization, faith-based organizations, religious groups, parliamentarians, philanthropic organizations, International Financial Institutions (IFIs), the scientific community and the private sector at all levels for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. UNFPA has organized a number of regional consultations with Member States and convened series of briefings with civil society organizations to provide evidence-based information, best practices and lessons learned on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the ICPD. UNFPA's advocacy initiatives and joint programmes with various stakeholders continue to strengthen its partnerships for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the local level.

5.6 reducing disaster risk and building resilience;

UNFPA Humanitarian action overview: A key strategic shift in the UNFPA Strategic Plan for 2022–2025 is to expand the full spectrum of our humanitarian action to better safeguard the health and lives of women and adolescents. We have mainstreamed resilience, prevention and preparedness, and emphasized the complementarity between humanitarian,development and peace-responsive efforts. We are strengthening emergency preparedness, anticipatory action and response systems so that they are more flexible and adaptable.  UNFPA is also stepping up its efforts to build the resilience of women and young people to adapt to the impacts of climate change, and other megatrends that have the potential to disrupt their lives and livelihoods and limit their access to SRHR.

5.7 solving challenges through international cooperation and enhancing the global partnership;

UNFPA considers South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) as one of its strategic accelerators for results under its new Strategic Plan 2022-2025, and in 2021 compiled this second set of 18 documented good practices on SSTC programming. South-South Cooperation as a Mode of Engagement: Innovative Programme Solutions  UNFPAs efforts on the ground to bolster and mobilize local action for SDG acceleration and implementaion are reinforced and enhanced by partnerships at the global level. And in the context of our new strategic plan (2022-2025), we are in the process of finalizing the new Strategic Partnerships Framework for 2022-2025.

5.8 harnessing science, technology and innovation with a greater focus on digital transformation for sustainable development;

Over the last two years, UNFPA has Introduced a number of disruptive  innovations for women and girls, including : The Youth Leadership School for young people of African descent in the Latin America and Caribbean region seeks to strengthen young people’s technical and entrepreneurial skills by empowering them through targeted skill training and encouraging entrepreneurship by building an enabling environment. Safe YOU , the innovative, all-in-one platform helps women connect with a community that supports survivors of gender-based violence launched in Armenia, Georgia, Iraq. iCivil (a digital Civil Registration and Vital Statistics platform where births are registered in real-time)in Burkina Faso YouthConnect - a toolkit that will help countries adapt digital solutions to meet the needs of women, adolescents and the most vulnerable. The platform builds on momentum from eight global projects that have helped deliver life-saving information and services with customized platforms from Nepal to Nicaragua. The Geospatial Dashboard on Intimate Partner Violence is an open source platform that helps governments, researchers and service providers use data to better understand the connections between gender-based violence, poverty, education and SDG indicators related to UNFPA’s mandate. The platform uses disaggregated data on a sub-national level and illustrates key socio-demographic characteristics of violence. The Mobile Learning System is a user-friendly and portable, cost-effective training solution, adapted to rural and hard-to-reach areas relevant for both pre-and in service midwives. UNFPA worked with Profamilia Nicaragua to develop the Appsistencia Materna smartphone app. The app provides care for pregnant women, family planning and comprehensive sexuality education, and added a teleconsultation component that allows virtual monitoring by doctors during the pregnancy and timely care to every patient.  UNFPA Philippines developed a tool to take the pulse of what young people are concerned about so public health messages can connect with the women and girls who need them most. UNFPA North Macedonia: ACCESS-ABILITY is an innovation project that set out to develop materials to help young people with autism spectrum disorder access comprehensive sexuality education (CSE).  Colombia: There is a growing alliance between midwives and traditional Chocó who carry ancestral knowledge transmitted from generation to generation to welcome new lives and care for women. Today they are working together as part of a social innovation called ‘Patera Vitale’, developed with UNFPA Colombia. investing in data and statistics for the SDGs; and (Innovative data dashboards that allows evidence based programming and monitoring, like Covid-19 Vulnerability Dashboard and Intimate Partner Violence Dashboard, as well as investments in real time monitoring of obstetric fistula performance-based repair program)

5.9 investing in data and statistics for the SDGs; and

(Innovative data dashboards that allows evidence based programming and monitoring, like Covid-19 Vulnerability Dashboard and Intimate Partner Violence Dashboard, as well as investments in real time monitoring of obstetric fistula performance-based repair program)

5.10    strengthening the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

UNFPA has contributed actively to and participated in the work of the HLPF, and in the Decade of Action, is further deepening this engagement. Together with the rest of the UNDS, each year UNFPA provides substantive inputs on the HLPF Theme, engages proactively in the thematic review processes, co-leading and contributing lto any number of thematic background papers ahead of the session. In 2021, UNFPA together with WHO co-convened the Expert Group Meeting on SDG 3 ahead of HLPF, and will be available to co-lead and support the in-depth review of SDG 5 at the 2022 session. UNFPA also organizes, together with member States and key partners, a number of side events relevant to the HLPF in line with UNFPA's mandate; Through dedicated workshops, webinars and  disseminated advisory notes to all UNFPA business units including UNFPA Regional and Country Offices, UNFPA continues to advocate for and to strengthen the link between national and regional SDG follow up processes and the HLPF.  UNFPA also participates at the respective regional forums, providing data and technical support and capacity building to member states  including for the preparations of the voluntary national reviews through UNFPA Country Offices. UNFPA has also provided technical support to Member States in the lead-up to and during the intergovernmental consultations which effectively informed the negotiations of the Ministerial Declaration of the HLPF.

6.  In the lead up to the 2023 HLPF to be held under the auspices of the General Assembly (or 2023 SDG Summit), please provide your organization’s recommendations on how to overcome challenges to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the SDGs, taking into account the thematic reviews and voluntary national reviews conducted to date.

Strengthening the linkages between national and regional SDG follow up processes and global reviews of progress on the SDGs both at the HLPF and the General Assembly is critical. In this vein, integrating the key messages, best practices and lessons learned  from the respective Regional Sustainable Development Forums (RSDFs), into the work of the HLPF is key.  Supporting voluntary follow up mechanisms for the post-VNR cycle would be important, taking forward the policy recommendations and addressing the gaps identified through the VNR exercise in forward looking national policy and programmes, with the support of the UNDS would be a major boon to national SDG implementation  and would maintain  momentum between VNR cycles.  Fully leveraging the repositioned UNDS, and the independent empowered RC to support the VNR process, better linking it to the CCA-UNSDCF exercise to fully contextualize these in light of national SDG priorities and gaps would strengthen collaboration and ensure the government and the UNCT are working towards the same goals.  Operationalizing the policy recommendations that emerge from the thematic reviews of progress at the HLPF, and leveraging the repositioned UNDS infrastructure to do so- DCO-RCO-RC-UNCT, would breathe life into the post HLPF phase.  Strengthening the normative role of the UNDS at the country level, underscoring human rights based approaches and leveraging best in class technology and innovation to drive “out of the box” thinking and collaborations with young people, the private sector, big tech, local actors and key political actors such as parliamentarians (who influence national budgets) would be transformative.  Finally simplifying and amplifying our communication. The SDGs are about people and people must own the agenda.

7.  Please review your organization's information contained in the UN System SDG Implementation Database. If you wish to submit any updates, please share details below.

Update: UNFPA has a new Strategic Plan, 2022-2025, which was presented to our Executive Board at the second regular session in  2021.  The UNFPA strategic plan, 2022-2025, reaffirms the relevance of the current strategic direction of UNFPA. It calls for urgent action to achieve universal access to sexual and reproductive health, realize reproductive rights for all, and accelerate the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). With this “call to action”, UNFPA contributes directly to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in line with the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The UNFPA strategic plan, 2022-2025, is the second of three consecutive strategic plans leading to 2030. It focuses on critical pathways and the strategies necessary to accelerate the achievement of three transformative results: (a) ending the unmet need for family planning; (b) ending preventable maternal deaths; and (c) ending gender-based violence and harmful practices, including female genital mutilation and child, early and forced marriage. These three transformative results, which UNFPA is committed to achieving, also formed the basis of the current UNFPA strategic plan, 2018-2021, the first of the three strategic plans leading to 2030.

ECESA Plus Member
Year of submission: 2021