Australian SDGs Hub For Business


Tackling poverty and hunger, protecting the planet and fostering peaceful societies require functioning partnerships between governments, civil society, the private sector, multinational organisations, academic institutions and others. Goal 17 seeks to protect and strengthen those partnerships and increase support for developing countries in order to achieve equitable progress for all.

A key component of Goal 17 is official development assistance (ODA) which hit a record US$142.6 billion in 2016, up 8.9% from 2015 after adjusting for exchange rates and inflation (although Australia’s ODA was reduced).1 Despite the overall increase, the world’s least developed countries experienced a 3.9% drop in country-to-country aid in real terms.1

Goal 17 also seeks to encourage cross-border cooperation on science, technology and innovation and the diffusion of environmentally sound technologies. It also sets out targets related to open trade, global macroeconomic stability and policy coherence for sustainable development.



How is this relevant to business?

Goal 17 recognises the centrality of partnerships to achieving the sustainable development agenda, including with the private sector.2

“We are creating a much stronger ecosystem that takes our risk away, but it also creates enormous opportunities to broaden our products. Because once you work in partnerships often with governments or with civil society, it creates other opportunities to grow your business.” (Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever)3

For multi-national businesses, Goal 17 is also key given its targets around trade, global economic stability and policy coherence, and broader cooperation across borders.

What can business do?

Significant opportunities will also be available to businesses that effectively partner with governments, the United Nations, civil society and others.

Act Responsibly

  • Adopt good practice principles and guidelines and align business practices with sustainable development
  • Engage with all stakeholders and partners respectfully and transparently
  • Pay taxes fairly
  • Engage with policymakers responsibly

Find Opportunity

  • Engage in multi-stakeholder initiatives advancing sustainable development
  • Establish a robust impact measurement framework for corporate, multi-stakeholder partnership and industry level contributions to sustainable development including regular monitoring and transparent evaluation and reporting
  • Share data with governments and other industry stakeholders to support industry development and capacity building
  • Strengthen the link between corporate and societal value creation and align the business’ value creation strategy to the SDGs


Links between Goal 17 and the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles

Human Rights & Labour (UN Global Compact Principles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

Every SDG has crossover with the Human Rights and Labour Principles, as does Goal 17, which is about implementation and global partnerships. Without key international institutions, covenants and conventions, the world would be like a rudderless ship.

Environment (UN Global Compact Principle 7, 8, 9)

The SDGs seek to ensure our planet is protected and capable of sustaining a world population while lifting up those who are on the bottom when it comes to poverty, health, education, discrimination and more. The environment-related principles call for business to proceed with caution as far as the environment is concerned and be proactive in terms of environmental responsibility.

Anti-Corruption (UN Global Compact Principle 10)

With the cost of implementing the SDGs possibly as high as US$4.5 trillion a year, vast amounts of capital will be on the move. Global partnerships are needed to combat grand corruption.4


1 OECD (2017), 

2Australian Council For International Development (2016),

3The Fletcher School, Tufts University (2016),

4 Council on Foreign Relations (2015),



Strengthen domestic resource mobilization, including through international support to developing countries, to improve domestic capacity for tax and other revenue collection

Developed countries to implement fully their official development assistance commitments, including the commitment by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of ODA/GNI to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries; ODA providers are encouraged to consider setting a target to provide at least 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries

Mobilize additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources

Assist developing countries in attaining long-term debt sustainability through coordinated policies aimed at fostering debt financing, debt relief and debt restructuring, as appropriate, and address the external debt of highly indebted poor countries to reduce debt distress

Adopt and implement investment promotion regimes for least developed countries


Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism

Promote the development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed

Fully operationalize the technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for least developed countries by 2017 and enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology


Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the sustainable development goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation


Promote a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization, including through the conclusion of negotiations under its Doha Development Agenda

Significantly increase the exports of developing countries, in particular with a view to doubling the least developed countries’ share of global exports by 2020

Realize timely implementation of duty-free and quota-free market access on a lasting basis for all least developed countries, consistent with World Trade Organization decisions, including by ensuring that preferential rules of origin applicable to imports from least developed countries are transparent and simple, and contribute to facilitating market access


Policy and Institutional coherence

Enhance global macroeconomic stability, including through policy coordination and policy coherence

Enhance policy coherence for sustainable development

Respect each country’s policy space and leadership to establish and implement policies for poverty eradication and sustainable development

Multi-stakeholder partnerships

Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries, in particular developing countries

Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships

Data, monitoring and accountability

By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts

By 2030, build on existing initiatives to develop measurements of progress on sustainable development that complement gross domestic product, and support statistical capacity-building in developing countries



The Global Impact Investing Network’s Impact Reporting & Investment Standards (IRIS) is a free catalogue of generally-accepted performance metrics used by leading impact investors.

The Business & Sustainable Development Commission database of public-private collective action initiatives aimed at delivering on the SDGs