In a nutshell: SDGs

Another abbreviation we hear a lot in development, is ‘SDGs’. What does it stand for, and what do they mean?

The SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) are 17 goals agreed by the United Nations and implemented in 2016.

They define global problems and identify qualitative and quantitative targets to work towards as a global community.

Goals refer to issues such as poverty, food, health, education, water, clean energy, peace, climate action and many more. 

Cross-cutting themes are women and gender equality, education and sustainable development and education, gender and technology.

It is intended that the global goals will be attained by 2030. The aim is to protect the world and ensure that all people have a reasonable standard of living and opportunity. Ban Ki-moon, a past United Nations Secretary-General, has stated that: "We don’t have plan B because there is no planet B!”. SDGs have their critics but it gives a framework for debate and action and definite targets for measuring our success.

A Shared Vision

For many years, WDR has worked closely with our sister agency All We Can. In today’s blog, Jaipreet Kaur (Philanthropy Manager at All We Can) writes about our continued partnership and how, by coming together and each playing our part, we can make a significant difference.

And let us consider one another to provoke into love and to good works
Hebrews 10:24

All We Can has always been inspired by Christian principles, with its roots in the British Methodist Church. Methodism teaches the importance of missional work to alleviate the suffering of those living in poverty. In response, All We Can seeks to help people – of all faiths and none – to fulfil their potential, live with respect, and have the opportunity to flourish.The following words are often attributed to Methodist Founder, John Wesley:

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” 

The relationship between All We Can and Methodist World Development & Relief (WDR) is a great testament to these words. Together, for the past 16 years, All We Can and WDR have been working collaboratively to make resources go further. Our shared vision to finding solutions to poverty and injustice, is what makes this partnership so special. Together, we are able to create a greater impact in some of the world’s poorest communities – serving people of all faiths and none. 

From Malawi, Ethiopia, India, Zimbabwe, Nepal, Uganda to Cameroon – our partnership is a journey where two organisations have come together to make a difference. Shared vision and values, competence, integrity, interdependence and open communication is what makes a long-standing partnership work. 

All We Can and WDR supported work for a number of years in rural Ethiopia [Parnter:  SUNARMA ]

All We Can and WDR supported work for a number of years in rural Ethiopia [Parnter: SUNARMA]

Partnerships have enabled All We Can to implement projects that it could not commit to before. Through the years, we have been able to expand our partnership with WDR, not only in our long-term sustainable development work, but through All We Can’s emergency humanitarian response. We have been able to turn to our trusted partners during times of need, and through this special partnership we have seen lives changed. 

Both All We Can and WDR seek to serve others. We want to give practical expression to the love, care and responsibility we have to each other as human beings, and we strive to be humble and accountable in the way we work. We also recognise that we do not have all the answers, the resources or the skills necessary to achieve our purpose on our own. Therefore, we seek to work together in a spirit of collaboration and community – That spirit of collaboration has been something that has grown year-on-year with WDR.

We hope that our partnership, and the difference it is making in some of the world’s poorest communities, will inspire other organisations to build a partnership upon these values, which reflect the Christian faith.


After receiving training supported by the partnership between All We Can and WDR Manato went on to lead a women’s self-help group in Jharkhand, India [Partner:  The Srijan Foundation ]

After receiving training supported by the partnership between All We Can and WDR Manato went on to lead a women’s self-help group in Jharkhand, India [Partner: The Srijan Foundation]

In a nutshell: NGO

NGO stands for ‘non-governmental organisation’.

It is a not for profit organisation, typically addressing a social or political issue. Some operate across borders e.g. Oxfam International.

Some are local and registered within the country in which they operate.

Importantly, their independence of any government enables them to freely challenge government policies for the ‘good of the people’. 

However, NGOs can receive income in a variety of ways and, for some, this includes government funding.

Some would say that this calls the neutrality of such NGOs into question but they retain their non-governmental status by prohibiting government representatives from membership.

Governments will not always look on NGOs favourably despite the good work they do. They can be seen as undermining the authorities. Some of WDR’s partner are indigenous NGOs.