At the end of the 2nd IWSAT, the George Boole Foundation Limited announced the launch of a new fund, The Sustainable Development Facility (SDF). Its objective is to provide five year extension support for practitioners in low income countries, free of charge, to establish SDGToolkit integrated development environments, user training and support in the design of projects supporting Sustainable Development Goals.
Somewhat like the current expressed desire to distribute Covid-19 vaccines free of charge to the populations in low income countries, the SDF has a similar objective, related to technical services to support practitioners working on Sustainable Development projects. The SDF is being set up by the non-profit organization, The George Boole Foundation Limited so the profit motive is not a driving force in this initiative. All funds received are used to deliver:
- The free provision to organizations in low income countries of an advanced cloud-based Software-as-a-Services (SaaS) due diligence system supported by analytical tools, over a five year period, to identify, design and implement projects in support of Sustainable Development Goals
- Training in the use of the SaaS system and ongoing technical support
- Regular reporting on progress to donors
- The continued development (design and implementation) of cloud-based software services
and it is more likely to succeed. The George Boole Foundation Limited has a good track record in delivering on their applied development projects such as Navatec, Accumulogs and SDGToolkit well within original comparatively low budgets and time. All donations have been dedicated to applied development work and the performance has been secured as a result of the enthusiasm and expertise of an international team of very experienced experts in extension, project design, management and evaluation, economics, systems engineering and information systems and operational experience with the leading international development agencies.
However, the success of the SDF will depend on donor contributions to be able to deliver projects that set up the cloud-based Software-as-a-Service, SDGToolkit, combined with user training and technical support and with direct extension support to assist users with their first two project designs and implementations.
We received a draft version of the SDF launch publication, "Objectives & Modes of Operation" (see left) which has been embargoed until the launch date, to be announce, around mid-May, 2021. The philosophy of this approach is carried on an initial; page as:
"To reduce dependency by enabling communities to address the challenges of climate change, poverty and sustainability in a practical manner."
"Fostering independence through appropriate innovation."
"Building competence and self-reliance"
There have been delays in the approaches to donors as a result of the decision to create the SDF being a recent decision designed to enhance the impact of SDGToolkit.
A very interesting detail that is still under discussion, results from the operational details of SDGToolkit. This is to extend the SDF project deliverables by adding the creation of a sustainable costing strategy for each project to ensure post-funding sustainability. This was added to SDGToolkit as a result of stakeholder requests as a result of a loss of interest in post-funding sustainability on the part of many project funding agencies. In the case of most projects the longer term sustainability is why the projects were established in the first place and this normally extends, in most cases, well beyond the donor-funding period. This is, therefore, of fundamental importance.