On Sep 25, 2017, during the last day of the UN General Assembly and as part of the second annual Global Goals week, UNDP, the Republic of Uganda and the UN Office for South-South Cooperation organized the high-level side event 'South-South and Triangular Cooperation in Support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development'. At the event, the work of SGP on South-South collaboration was featured as part of a film that was screened featuring innovative South-South practices that have enabled countries to learn from one another and leverage knowledge and skills.
At the event, Adonia Ayebare, Ambassador of Uganda to the United Nations, and President of the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation stated that all developing countries have a wealth of knowledge and cost-effective solutions that can be replicated to solve challenges faced by other developing countries.
Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator emphasized the role of UNDP in closing the knowledge gap and in the importance of using new technology to achieve results on the ground. In his remarks, the UNDP Administration mentioned SSMart for SDGs (global-ssmart.org), a web-based launched by UNDP in November 2016 that helps countries and development practitioners identify the best solutions to address common challenges and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. In his remarks, Mr. Steiner highlighted the work of SGP: "through the GEF Small Grants Programme, implemented by UNDP, India is supporting ‘women solar engineer’ projects across Africa and Asia to empower poor, illiterate women. You will hear more about this exciting initiative later today."
SGP has been working on South-South Cooperation over the last few years and has supported over 200 exchanges. As part of this work SGP has been actively working with UNDP on South-South and Triangular Cooperation and this past month became a proud partner of SSMart for SDGs by contributing several tried and tested solutions from countries in different regions on natural resource management from communities and civil society organizations supported through the SGP portfolio. As part of this ongoing collaboration, an SGP solution was one of the two solutions featured in the video developed and screened for the event.
The solution highlighted is the SGP Solar Engineers project which supports illiterate women from the Pacific, Africa, and other regions in the world to get trained as solar power engineers in India. Upon their return, SGP supports these women to electrify their villages and maintain the solar power system in the long term. As a result, not only 71 women got empowered and achieved better social status, but also brought renewable energy source to more than 52 villages worldwide, benefitting more than 20000 people. These initiatives have replicated in neighboring villages, and also up-scaled by other national and donor programs in promoting renewable energy with women, particularly women entrepreneurs. These exchanges are transformational not only in bringing about results on the ground, but also in creating long lasting bonds and partnership across communities and countries.
The GEF Small Grants Programme has proven over the years that South-South Cooperation among communities work and is proud to be part of the platform for SSMART for SDGs, and supporting solution-matching among local communities.