Brief history

During the course of 2015, the world’s leaders and governments committed themselves to several agreements that have the potential to shape the future of people and planet over the next few decades. While there are mixed views in civil society about whether the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change are ambitious enough, almost everyone agrees that civil society needs to play an active role in keeping the spotlight on these commitments, working on implementation, and holding our leaders to account for the promises they have made.

Civil society mobilised in a variety of ways to influence the sustainable development and climate negotiations; whether it was organising on policy and advocacy through Beyond 2015 and other platforms, or mobilising on the streets through action/2015 or the Global Climate March. So in the course of 2015-2016 discussions were held on how civil society should continue to organize and mobilise around these international agreements in Tunis (April 2015), Addis Ababa (July 2015), New York (September 2015), Paris (December 2015), Istanbul (March 2016) and Bogota (April 2016). From those dialogues and mobilisations emerged Action for Sustainable Development…

Our goals

Over the last three years this platform has grown to include over 2,000 organisations and activists from over 150 countries who are committed to ensuring a transformative agenda is delivered.

In early 2018 the Strategic Plan was revised, to provide greater clarity on a specific series of activities at the national, regional and global levels, which ensure renewed ambition.

The platform agreed on the following 3 overarching objectives:

  1. To provide an accessible online space to share information on engagement and delivery of the 2030 Agenda around the world.
  2. To support advocacy and public participation in the 2030 Agenda at national, regional and global levels
  3. To share innovative approaches, insights and good practice between practitioners, experts and activists.

It further agreed on the following 4 aims, which are reflected in our key activities:

  1. Participation: Civil society groups from every region of the world are supported to influence policy decisions on sustainable development and carry out advocacy at national, regional and global levels
  2. Accountability: Civil society organisations are able to contribute to and provide oversight of government reporting on progress on the SDGs and Paris Climate Agreement, as well as deliver their own independent reporting
  3. Mobilisation: Collective action to include at least 1million active citizens takes place on an annual basis to maintain the public spotlight on this shared agenda
  4. Innovation: Good practice in innovation on ways that civil society and active citizens can deliver the agenda from the national to the global level will be shared, through regular forums and an online interactive map.

For more information, read our Strategic Plan 2018-20 as well as our Mission Statement and Governance Outline.

Facilitation Group

The Facilitation Group provides an advisory role to Action for Sustainable Development; to ensure programs and strategies stay on track; to advise/support the Coordination Team and Working Groups on their priorities and engagement strategies; and to identify linkages and any conflicts, in order to help ensure coherence.

The Facilitation Group includes up to 25 members: 4 members chosen from the 4 core global networks; one member chosen from each of the 7 regional networks; plus 1 member elected from each of the 7 regions; and 7 additional representatives are elected for major thematic constituencies. The group is elected on a two year term, elections were held in December 2018 for the 2018-2020 cycle.


Core Global Networks

Conscious of the need to build a broad-based movement and of the need to strike an effective balance between pausing to draw lessons and retaining the momentum, the following four global civil society networks agreed to work together to oversee the next steps in building this new global platform on sustainable development:

  • CIVICUS is the world alliance for citizen participation which has members in more than 170 countries and has incubated previous initiatives such as action/2015 and GCAP.
  • Climate Action Network International (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 950 NGOs in over 110 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.
  • Forus is a network of 69 national development NGO platforms and 7 regional NGO coalitions from 5 continents.
  • Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) is a global civil society movement calling for an end to poverty and inequality, with national coalitions in 85 countries and regional coordination in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Caribbean and Europe.



This international platform would not be possible without the ambition, dedication and good will of the volunteers that donate their expertise and energy to the project.

A special thank you to our project translators, Mathe Kinyana and Walter Leiva for translating content into French and Spanish.