The annual High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) took place last month, featuring two weeks of dialogue and lively discussions. The Forum inspired an exchange of ideas and lessons learned with the goal of accelerating the progress of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 


Fewer than eight years remain to deliver on the 2030 global goals. That underscores the urgent need for renewed action and a reimagination of how these goals can be achieved. In this final article of a four-part series by Access Accelerated exploring the progress of the UN SDGs, we take stock of some key lessons from our work with partners that may help refocus and redefine an approach to provoking system level change. 


Flexible funding for long-term impact

Support and funding that is flexible allows project partners to act quickly, to pivot smoothly, to jump on opportunities and to be agile in the face of challenges. This flexibility enables creativity and innovation, which can ultimately lead to greatest impact. 


At the same time, flexible funding encourages a long view of projects and project scalability. For example, funding by Access Accelerated supported the long-term planning of PATH’s primary healthcare strengthening program in Vietnam, expanding it from a provincial program to a national one that is providing improved access to care to millions of people living with hypertension and diabetes. 


In times of uncertainty and crisis, flexible funding is all the more essential. The COVID-19 global pandemic demanded unprecedented adaptability and innovation. With funding from Access Accelerated, our partners on the ground have been able to respond more quickly, ensure business continuity and redirect resources to meet immediate needs. As a prioritized response to the dual threat of COVID-19 and NCDs, PATH delivered virtual training to more than 2,500 healthcare workers in Kenya on COVID-19 infection prevention and control and the management of people living with NCDs.


Strengthening opportunities that favor collective impact 

The work of Access Accelerated has shown just how interconnected the work of our partners can be. At the same time, it has uncovered avenues of collaboration and opportunities to engage in mutually reinforcing activities. 


“Collective impact does not require partners to engage in similar activities; instead, it encourages them to work in a way that supports the actions of others.” 

2021 Access Accelerated Measurement Framework 


To strengthen collective impact, we can do better at communicating, learning from each other’s successes and setbacks and aligning our actions. By creating these opportunities to share experiences and to adapt based on shared learnings, we can meaningfully effect change and improve the lives of individuals and communities affected by NCDs.   


Read how Access Accelerated is creating opportunities for learning and collective impact in the 2021 Measurement Framework Report