Shaping sustainable development: implementing the 2030 Agenda at (inter)national level and reducing poverty and inequality

Project description

Title: Sector Project ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ , reducing poverty and inequality
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Global
Overall term: 2012 to 2024



The 2030 Agenda comprises 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It was adopted by all member states of the United Nations in September 2015, in a historic consensus. Since then, the 2030 Agenda has formed the basis for shaping global economic progress in harmony with social justice and the earth's ecological limits. The 2030 Agenda describes poverty eradication as ‘the greatest global challenge facing the world today and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development’. Accordingly, ending poverty and reducing inequality are independent goals (SDG 1 and SDG 10) and central cross-cutting issues. Closely connected with this is the overarching principle ‘leave no one behind’ (LNOB).

The current COVID-19 pandemic threatens to jeopardise the achievement of the SDGs. For the first time since 1998, the Covid-19 pandemic led to an increase of global poverty in 2020 and further exacerbated existing inequalities. However, if the 2030 Agenda is used to guide sustainable post-crisis recovery, the challenges of the Covid-19 crisis may turn into an opportunity for more sustainable development.


Institutional and conceptual foundations are improved for implementing the 2030 Agenda in Germany, with partner countries and internationally. Moreover, effective approaches to eradicating poverty, reducing inequality and implementing the LNOB principle are strengthened and disseminated in German and international cooperation.


Priority area 1: Implementing the 2030 Agenda

The project advises and supports the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) on strengthening the international dimension of the German sustainability strategy. It also helps to position BMZ in international processes, for example those at the United Nations and the European Union. In cooperation with partner countries, it promotes structural and transformative approaches in the areas of policy, financing and accountability in the field.

Priority area 2: Poverty, inequality and LNOB

The project advises BMZ with regard to its strategies, control instruments and positioning on reducing poverty and inequality, as well as on implementing the LNOB principle. To this end, it provides tangible strategies, methods and experience-based knowledge for German and international development cooperation.

Priority area 3: Knowledge Hub

The project tracks, identifies and processes information, trends and developments that are strategically relevant for BMZ. A knowledge hub has been established to accommodate the transformative approach of the 2030 Agenda. This knowledge hub makes it possible to develop and enhance methodological approaches, good practices and knowledge products together with relevant actors.

Priority area 4: Recover Better Support Fund

On behalf of BMZ, the project is implementing the Recover Better Support Fund. The aim is to contribute to a sustainable recovery in line with the 2030 Agenda and thus increased resilience in partner countries. The fund is aimed at advisory bodies and civil society organisations.



  • Methodological approaches and experience in implementing the 2030 Agenda and reducing poverty and inequality have been incorporated into the development and enhancement of international cooperation projects.
  • Due to the advisory services for BMZ, the 2030 Agenda has been mainstreamed at a high level, both nationally and internationally.
  • Existing and new multi-stakeholder networks and partnerships have been strengthened (including the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network) and exchange of experience have been supported.
  • With the Transformation Fund, innovative projects and activities for implementing the 2030 Agenda in partner countries have been promoted and the issue has been mainstreamed in political and social processes.
  • The ‘Inequality Challenge’ innovation fund has implemented approaches to LNOB and the reduction of inequality in the partner countries of German development cooperation by way of example and generated lessons learned.

Last update: May 2021

Additional information