Via Global Volunteers (May 18, 2021)

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

In 2015, the United Nations developed 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a “shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future” to be achieve by 2030. The SDGs were preceded by the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which directed the world’s governments and development institutions toward equality in meeting the world’s needs. Global Volunteers is committed to the vision and volition of the SDGs, and the MDGs before them, and measure our outcomes accordingly.

World Pediatric Project treats thousands of children who need complex surgeries. (Photo: World Pediatric Project)

How often, and in what ways does your organization respond to the UN SDGs?

Sarah Iracane, World Pediatric Project:

We are committed to aligning our strategic vision with the prevailing goals of the global health community. WPP programs work to support the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 3 – Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

Specifically, our work addresses the following SDG targets:

Target 3.2 – End preventable deaths of newborns, reducing neonatal mortality to 12/1,000 live births. à We do this through neonatal training programs that provide tailored skills training to frontline neonatal care workers addressing the major causes of mortality and morbidity in each hospital.

Target 3.8 – Achieve universal health coverage, including access to quality essential health care services à We do this by ensuring access to advanced surgical and diagnostic care for all children under the age of 21 in our partner countries.

Target 3.C – Increase recruitment, development and training, retention of health workforce in developing countries especially in least developed countries and SIDS à We do this through a variety of capacity building and training programs to empower and equip doctors, nurses and midwives with skills and resources to strengthen their local healthcare system for children.

Over the years, how have the SDGs informed your organizational vision?

Sarah Iracane, World Pediatric Project:

We have always strived to align our programs with the expressed local needs of the Ministries of Health and hospitals in our partner countries. As such, the SDGs directly inform our work as they are reflected in the national strategic plans and local and regional goals of each country where we work.

World Pediatric Project provides surgical and diagnostic care for all children under the age of 21 in partner countries. (Photo: World Pediatric Project)

How do you collaborate with other NGOs, agencies and/or corporations to accomplish SDG outcomes?

Sarah Iracane, World Pediatric Project:

Our partners in our work include Ministries of Health, IGOs like the World Health Organization, The Pan American Health Organization and other regional health authorities, peer global surgery and global health NGOs domestic and international, and a wide array of corporate and civic partners across the US and in our region of focus. All of these partners work together collaboratively to address the gaps in the pediatric health system in our partner countries, guided by policies and international goals for health outcomes that are set forth by targets such as the SDGs.

How important are the SDGs as a motivational or organizational tool for international cooperation on the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice?

Sarah Iracane, World Pediatric Project:

I believe the SDGs serve to bring unity around the core issues facing many countries and, most importantly, set realistic and measurable targets for countries and groups to work towards. Having a defined goal to work towards collectively is motivational and the degree to which bilateral aid, philanthropic dollars and other forms of funding are tied to SDG progress is further motivating for those in positions to drive policy.

World Pediatric Project provides perinatal care to women in the Caribbean. (Photo: World Pediatric Project)

What motivates you in your work to achieve your organization’s goals to improve the world?

Sarah Iracane, World Pediatric Project:

Our primary cause, passion and purpose is the belief that access to essential surgical care is a fundamental right for all children and that all children deserve to live full and productive lives. We try to communicate to our supporters the real inequities in care across the global and the critical role that surgery plays in reducing the global burden of disease so that children go on to become contributing members of their communities and future leaders for their countries and the world.

Read the full story including how March of Dimes is helping support the UNs SDGs on Global Volunteers’ website.