UN Special Policy Dialogue e-discussion begins today

The first part of a new global e-discussion, “Leveraging foundations’ experiences to help address key development challenges”, begins today and continues through 18 April.

Watch the LIVESTREAM of the UNDP Special Policy Dialogue: The Role of Philanthropic Organizations in the Post-2015 Setting on 23rd April at 10AM EDT, and join the conversation on Twitter at #phil2015.

WINGS is co-facilitating the event with the UNDP, allowing a broad range of stakeholders to contribute inputs, and we greatly appreciate your reactions, reflections and observations during this time!

The e-discussion is happening in conjunction with a Special Policy Dialogue on the role of private philanthropic organisations in international development cooperation, co-organised by The United Nations Economic and Social Council, UNDP, UNDESA, the OECD Global Network of Foundations Working for Development (net-FWD) and WINGS.

Special Policy Dialogue background note now available for download: click here.

Key Discussion Objectives

  • Share lessons learned on how philanthropic organisations have successfully been contributing to development. Specifically, how to scale up successful models and overcome challenges in collaboration. [part 1 of discussion, 4-18 April]
  • Discuss foundations’ innovative practices which have yielded results and created social impact, while exploring how they can be scaled up.
  • Open a more systematic dialogue and partnership channel between philanthropic organisations and member States as well as with other stakeholders, to ensure that the post-2015 development agenda draws upon the unique contribution of philanthropic organisations.

Access to e-discussion

Note: you must be registered for the UNDP event to access the e-discussion website. To join the e-discussion, click here: https://undp.unteamworks.org/phil2015.

The UN Teamworks website is a user friendly system that includes tips for participation. Inputs from the discussion will feed into Special Policy Dialogue: The role of philanthropic organizations in the post-2015 setting, which will take place on 23 April in New York.

Philanthropic organisations’ contributions to development have been growing all over the world. Although philanthropic spending on development is lower than Official Development Assistance, their contributions to development is more than just an expenditure. The philanthropic sector encompasses a wide spectrum of approaches, from traditional grant making to new forms of social entrepreneurship and venture philanthropy. Philanthropic organisations are also increasingly engaging in partnerships with other development actors; they are supporting policy change along with high level advocacy. They are leaders in the areas of research support and investing in innovations for development.

Philanthropic organisations complement “bilateral and multilateral donors” with different strengths. They are able to act quickly and to pilot new ideas. They can deploy resources to finance pilots which – if successful – can then be scaled up thru policy interventions by national governments. They also typically work with different audiences such as civil society organisations.

Although philanthropic funding may indirectly support some of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—e.g. health, education, poverty—they do not explicitly align or report their grants using the same MDG language as multilaterals do.

More collaboration is needed between governments, multilaterals and other partners to form effective partnerships in order to harness the comparative strengths of philanthropy, and to maximise the development impact.


  • Which development challenges have philanthropic organizations been able to address and how? What worked and what did not work so well?
  • How do philanthropic organizations support policy changes?
  • What is needed to ensure that practices and partnerships of philanthropic organizations are better tailored towards the achievement of national development priorities?
  • How do philanthropic organizations monitor their progress and measure their contributions to the achievements of national development priorities, and those of the MDGs?

For more information, please contact: philanthropy@undp.org. Visit the United Nations online.

One thought on “UN Special Policy Dialogue e-discussion begins today

  1. Pingback: WINGS to engage with UN in April | Philanthropy In Focus

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