Foreword from the TAP Network Steering Committee

On behalf of the Transparency, Accountability & Participation (TAP) Network, we are thrilled to present the SDG16+ Civil Society Toolkit: A practical resource guide for planning, implementation and accountability to build more peaceful, just and inclusive societies.

Since the universal adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development [and Sustainable Development Goals], the world has changed tremendously. Progress towards SDG16+ has been slow and uneven – and in many cases backsliding. On top of this, global trends and forces continue to work against peaceful, just and inclusive societies. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unique pressures on the world’s governing institutions, presenting once-in-a-generation challenges for all, while exacerbating existing global, existential challenges.

SDG16+ serves as our best hope for tackling the wide-ranging issues that the world faces today. We have seen a rise in local, national and global protest movements in recent years in response to government inaction and exclusionary behavior, showing that people power is stronger than ever. These movements bring demands for improving justice, accountability, inclusion and peace throughout our societies. Civil society has also played a key role in the response and recovery to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will be even more critical in building resilient societies from future crises going forward. We must collectively double down on our efforts to ensure that SDG16+ is delivered by 2030, and that no one is left behind.

As we enter the Decade of Action for the SDGs, we have collectively learned a lot from the first five years of SDG16+ implementation, which has been harvested into this updated SDG16+ Toolkit. This resource provides invaluable insights into the various approaches that civil society can take to advance SDG16+ at the national, regional and global levels, and we hope that it will also serve as a platform for additional sharing and learning amongst partners.

We are convinced that delivering on SDG16+ is a prerequisite to implementing all of the SDGs, and that meaningful progress on SDG16+ will lay the foundation to deliver on all promises made in the 2030 Agenda – including to leave no one behind. Looking ahead towards 2030, the TAP Network and its partners will continue its work to advance SDG16+ and help to empower civil society at the national and local levels around SDG16+. We hope that this Toolkit will help civil society organizations and other partners around the world in advancing SDG16+ within your own contexts, and we look forward to continuing to learn with all of you through these efforts.