From the MDG-F to the SDG-F: The transition to the Post 2015 development agenda


The Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F) is a new development cooperation mechanism created in 2014 by the government of Spain and UNDP, on behalf of the UN system, to support sustainable development activities through integrated and multidimensional joint programmes. It builds on the experience, knowledge, lessons learned and best practices of the previous MDG Achievement Fund (2007-2013), which supported 130 joint programmes in 50 countries, while expanding its activities towards sustainable development, a greater focus on public-private partnerships and updating its operational framework to incorporate recent advancements in development (Busan Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation and the discussions on the Post-2015 Development Agenda). Gender and women’s empowerment is a cross-cutting priority in all our areas of work.

The SDG-F intends to make a tangible and practical contribution to the transition process from the MDGs to the future Sustainable Development Goals. The SDG-F was conceived almost as a laboratory where UN countries offices will also contribute concretely with their national counterparts, in joint efforts on “how” to achieve a sustainable world. 

SDG-F application process

The SDG-F operates at the country level through joint programmes implemented through specialized UN Agencies in collaboration with national counterparts to craft multidimensional, integrated and holistic approaches to national and local development challenges. UN Resident Coordinators from eligible countries are invited to submit joint programme proposals in the areas of inclusive economic growth for poverty eradication, food security, and water and sanitation. Only UN Resident Coordinators, on behalf of the UN Agencies participating in the programme and having ensured that national counterparts and civil society organizations have participated in the JP design process, can submit proposals.

The application process consists of two rounds:

  • The first round involves the submission of a concept note that will be assessed by a panel of experts based on the overall quality and results‐oriented nature of the proposed initiative as well as on its adherence to the guidelinesThe deadline for submission of concept note applications is 16 June 2014.
  • The second round includes the presentation of full proposals, in the form of a joint programme document based on the concept notes that were successful in the first round. Formulation teams are expected to work closely with the SDG-F Secretariat to incorporate technical feedback and to ensure high standards of programme design and rigorous plans for Monitoring and Evaluation in the final Joint Programme Document. The deadline for submission of JP full-fledged proposals is 15 September 2014, 23:59 EST.

For full details about the application process, please visit:

Additional information: SDG-F Terms of Reference and Guidance

UN offices and national partners elaborating joint programe proposals are encouraged to consult a list of additional resources, in addition to guidelines provided by UN DOCO and the MDG-F’s online library and knowledge management platform.



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