Perceptions of Multistakeholder Partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals: A Case Study of Irish Non-State Actors
1 Nov 2020 Sustainability (Switzerland) 12(21):1-15.
Banerjee A, Murphy E, Walsh PP.
Abstract: The United Nations 2030 Agenda emphasizes the importance of multistakeholder partnerships for achieving the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Indeed, Goal 17 includes a target for national governments to promote multistakeholder partnerships between state and non-state actors. In this paper, we explore how members of civil society organizations and the private sector perceive both the possibilities and challenges of multistakeholder partnerships evolving in Ireland for achieving the SDGs. The research uses data gathered during 2018 and includes documentary research, participant observations of stakeholder forums in Ireland and the United Nations, and semi-structured interviews to address related questions. The results demonstrate that numerous challenges exist for forming multistakeholder partnerships for the SDGs, including a fragmented understanding of the Goals. They also note previous examples of successful multistakeholder partnership models, the need for more leadership from government, and an overly goal-based focus on SDG implementation by organizations as major impediments to following a multistakeholder partnership approach in the country. These findings suggest that although Goal 17 identifies multistakeholder partnerships as essential for the SDGs, they are challenging to form and require concerted actions from all state and non-state actors for SDG implementation.