The positive influence of effective communication and public diplomacy in achieving the SDGs and enhancing their social impact


Integrating the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals into international social projects

As we approach the deadline set in the 2030 Agenda for achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the global society finds itself at a point in history where it faces unprecedented challenges. Despite significant progress in some areas, such as improving access to health and education services in many regions and reducing poverty rates in several countries, progress on many of the SDGs has been slower than expected.

Persistent inequality, both within and between countries, along with global threats like climate change and biodiversity loss, are hindering progress. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many of the problems that the SDGs seek to address, presenting additional challenges and threatening to reverse some of the gains made.

In this context, effective communication and public diplomacy emerge as crucial tools to promote the SDGs, accelerate progress, and maximise the social impact of international projects.

Today, we will explain how these two elements can help overcome obstacles and accelerate the achievement of the 17 goals in the time remaining to meet the 2030 Agenda.

The importance of communication in achieving the SDGs

Effective communication is vital for achieving the SDGs. Thanks to clear and compelling communication, international social projects can inform the public about their goals, mobilise support, and foster action. Additionally, well-managed communication can attract funding, form alliances, and share achievements and lessons learned.

The role of public diplomacy in achieving the SDGs

Public diplomacy, involving interaction with a variety of actors, from non-governmental organisations to businesses and civil society groups, can be a powerful tool for achieving the SDGs. By building relationships and promoting mutual understanding, public diplomacy can help international social projects gain support for their goals and overcome challenges.


Case study

Inclusion of SDG 16.10 "Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national laws and international agreements" in the 2030 Agenda

An example of the influence of effective communication and public diplomacy in promoting the SDGs is the work I did with an NGO on a project in which I actively participated.

Through an awareness and promotion campaign to highlight the importance of press freedom and access to information for sustainable development, we achieved the inclusion of SDG 16.10 in the 2030 Agenda.

For this work, we focused on:

  • Raising public awareness about the SDGs, explaining what they are and why they are important
  • Contacting members to understand their needs and expectations
  • Reframing the institution’s brand to communicate the desired image from management and make it easily identifiable
  • Analysing the most suitable communication channels for the institution, to highlight how our offer responded to the internal needs of current and potential members, and the value of our action to achieve the desired change
  • Denouncing the lack of action
  • Consulting civil society, ensuring that even the voices of marginalised or underrepresented groups were heard

This achievement demonstrates the power of effective communication and public diplomacy to influence the global development agenda and promote the adoption of sustainable solutions.

The UN's Sustainable Development Goals

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are a set of 17 global goals adopted by world leaders on 25 September 2015. These goals, part of the 2030 Agenda, a renewed sustainable development agenda, aim to eradicate poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all within a 15-year timeframe.

The SDGs are a continuation and expansion of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), established in 2000 with the goal of being achieved by 2015. The SDGs seek to continue the work started with the MDGs and broaden their scope to address additional issues such as inequality, climate change, peace, and justice. Unlike the MDGs, which focused mainly on developing countries, the SDGs are more inclusive and apply to all countries.

The goal is to achieve the SDGs by 2030, covering everything from education and health to gender equality, climate change, and social justice. They offer a comprehensive framework that understands that development must be sustainable to be effective in the long term.

To achieve these goals, all actors in society have a role to play: governments, the private sector, civil society, and even individuals. The idea is that, working together, we can make a significant impact on the most pressing challenges of our time.

The UN’s SDGs are not just a wish list but a call to action. They invite everyone, regardless of who we are or where we come from, to contribute to building a fairer, more equitable, and sustainable world.

Civil society, a crucial actor in this process

Before the adoption of the SDGs in 2015, the United Nations conducted extensive consultations, including numerous civil society actors worldwide. These organisations not only helped raise awareness about the SDGs but also contributed their technical expertise to define the goals and targets.

Additionally, they represented groups often excluded or marginalised in global policy discussions. Since the adoption of the SDGs, civil society has continued to play a vital role in their implementation and monitoring, working to hold governments accountable and ensuring that progress is made in achieving the SDGs.



The UN’s SDGs offer a powerful vision for a fairer and more sustainable world. However, to make this vision a reality, we need effective communication and robust public diplomacy. By understanding and applying these principles in our international social projects, we can make a significant contribution to achieving the SDGs.

My experience working as a specialist in communication strategies for International Cooperation and Development projects, where I have dealt with all the SDGs, has demonstrated my ability to design and execute these strategies, from creating narratives and stories and multimedia content to organising public diplomacy events, always promoting the adoption of sustainable solutions. My approach, combining a deep understanding of communication techniques adapted to the SDGs with solid experience in public diplomacy, is a valuable asset for any organisation seeking to advance the SDGs, without forgetting the values and principles that guide each project.

If you are interested in learning more about how communication and public diplomacy can contribute to achieving the SDGs, or if you need help implementing these strategies in your project, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Let my know-how in strategy and communication be the boost you need to achieve your goals.

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