Meetings were held with all of the Foundation’s operational units, where their strategic objectives and lines of action were discussed and also how these align with the SDGs.
SDGs and the Foundation
In 2015, the United Nations defined the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a common agenda aimed at eradicating poverty and addressing other needs, seeking to combine strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequalities, and boost economic growth, also focusing on climate change, restoring biodiversity and ocean conservation.
Aware of the strength of this model and its tangible and intangible benefits, the Foundation undertook a project in 2020, in collaboration with the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), aimed at understanding how its activities and projects align with the SDGs, seeking ways to measure this alignment. This was pioneering work in the philanthropic world, which is why the Foundation chose to undertake it in collaboration with RPA, an institution with recognised expertise on the subject and whose senior team members participated in the conceptualisation of the SDGs.
This model enables the use of a common language and shared learning, fostering partnerships between the philanthropic sector, the public sector, and the business world. In addition to promoting greater transparency of the results obtained through the Foundation’s activities, the SDGs also reflect stronger emphasis on the objectives to be achieved at an organisational level.
Currently the Foundation has activities aligned with practically all the SDGs, pointing out in its main external publications which SDGs each project and activity is contributing towards, and its ambition is to increasingly strengthen its external reporting, showing how this alignment is being achieved.
Currently the Foundation already points out in its main external publications which SDGs each project and activity is contributing towards, and its ambition is to increasingly strengthen its external reporting, showing how this alignment is being achieved.
Following an approach based on transparency and remaining faithful to both its collaborative spirit and its mission, the Foundation shared its experience and SDG reporting model with more than 20 of its counterparts and networks of global philanthropic institutions, notably with the European Foundation Centre (now called Philantrophy Europe Association – Philea), the “Theory of the Foundation” and the Centro Português de Fundações. This sharing gave rise to several opportunities to develop the topic further with other organisations equally interested in implementing this analysis model.
In this context, hoping it may be of use to you, we would like to share with you the main conclusions of 2021.
How we aligned the SDGs with our Activity
The Foundation’s most relevant projects and activities in 2020 (more than 100) were analysed. Their alignment with the SDG targets and the indicators and qualitative elements to better measure this contribution were identified.
Guidelines on how to communicate the Foundation’s contribution towards the SDGs (e.g., through storytelling and graphic elements) were proposed and infographics to demonstrate how these guidelines could be applied in practice were made.
Currently, the Foundation contributes mostly to SDGs 4, 9 and 11
SDG 3 Good Health and Well-Being
Target 3.2: End preventable deaths of newborns and children
Target 3.5: Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse
Target 3.b: Support the research and development of vaccines and medicines
Projects in the area of Health
SDG 10 Reduced Inequalities
Social Cohesion and Innovation
Projects with children/young people, the elderly and migrants
SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
Target 11.4: Preservation of cultural heritage
Target 11.7: Access to safe, inclusive, accessible, and green public spaces
Museum, CAM, Libraries and preservation of the Armenian language and culture
SDG 13 Climate Action
Calouste Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity
SDG 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructures
Target 9.5: Strengthening scientific research
Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência and projects developed in the Portuguese-speaking African countries
SDG 4 Quality Education
Target 4.4: Increasing qualifications and skills
Target 4.7: Contributing to culture and development
Education and Culture
Music, Museum, CAM, Libraries, Cultural Activities, Scholarships and projects in the area of Education
Data from April 2022
To see more information on how the Foundation contributes towards each SDG put your mouse over each of the graph’s components (or click on it, if you are on a mobile device).
What are the 5 key elements for greater integration and alignment with the SDGs?
Define which SDGs and their respective targets are priorities for the Foundation. It is important to ensure their alignment with the strategic priorities and its areas of action, in order to guide and ensure an enhanced focus for the organization.
Ensure the entire organization’s commitment in carrying out / supporting projects and activities that are aligned with the priority SDGs and targets. This commitment should also be reflected within the planning and information reporting processes, thus integrating the way the organizational units outline and organise their work.
Integrate SDGs into the Foundation’s monitoring and evaluation model, assuming the same principles (goals to be achieved, reporting timeline and other inherent guidelines). The communication strategy used for SDG reporting should be aligned to the Foundation’s global reporting.
Ensure the integration of the SDGs within the Foundation’s internal and external communication, namely in terms of publications, website and internal communications. This integration may require some changes, notably by reinforcing the website, allowing for a visual display of the Foundation’s work on the various SDGs.
Ensure that the Foundation’s internal structure and capacity evolves according to the desired ambition for SDG reporting. This implies ensuring the necessary resources to be able to gather the desired / necessary information, namely with partners.
To know more
Final Project Report prepared by the RPA with the main recommendations for the implementation of an evaluation model aligned with the SDGs and their targets.
Some examples of how the Foundation's activities and projects align with SDG targets and suggestions for ways to report on this alignment.