The Global Consultation forum is part of Digni’s Global Innovation project that explores how the global development context is changing and considers the implications this will have for the efforts to reach the SDG's. Digni is an umbrella organization with 20 Norwegian development organizations and churches as members. Dag-Håkon Eriksen, Phd Fellow at VID is project manager: As the world changes, our efforts to enhance respect for human rights, reduce poverty, strengthen civil society and restore dignity are affected, and we must find new ways of working together.
The goal of the Global Innovation project is to get a better understanding of the global situation and contexts in which we operate by looking at present trends and potential developments relevant for global diaconal work and North-South partnership. Particular attention is on themes that are especially relevant for development organizations motivated by the Christian faith and their added value in the sector.
The Norwegian Minister for Development Aid, Dag Inge Ulstein, attended the consultation on Monday and talked about the strong role of civil society in Norwegian development policy, and what Norway is doing to fight the pandemic and to achieve the SDGs.
Innovation is needed to reach the Sustainable Development Goals
Dr. Agnes Abuom, moderator of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches focused on the changing landscape in world Christianity and North-South diaconal partnership. She argued that there has been a shift in the prevalence of Christianity from the global North to the South, but partnership models have remained unchanged. Financial resources, and therefore power, is still heavily concentrated in the global North. Dr. Abuom pointed out the importance of changing the development paradigm, from the traditional aid model to a stronger focus on economic growth and global unity through the SDGs. Achieving this requires the involvement of not only governments but also civil society and faith-based organizations. In this way, our diaconal work becomes part of a larger agenda.
The members and partners of Digni explored specific thematic areas of the SDGs and the “leave no one behind” agenda. The aim of this project is to facilitate innovation to overcome the challenges and reach the Sustainable Development Goals. Amos Ounsoubo, a master student at VID, and Sigurd Haus at SIK also contributed in the consultation.