Context, Reach and Impact

To implement the SDGs effectively – drawing on the widest possible range of knowledge, experience, expertise, and resource provision – the participation of many types of stakeholders is necessary.

Understanding context specificity (the local economic, political, historical, and societal conditions) is also essential. Effective partnering takes full account of local priorities and conditions and engages with the people affected in tailored and locally-appropriate ways.


In order to have impact, partnering endeavours need to be sensitive to local context, and focus on outcomes that are sustainable and that will maintain their impact for future generations. This is likely to require the following conditions:

  • The initiative is a genuine and inclusive collaboration with a high level of local involvement and ownership. See also PEP Talks on the right hand side of this page.
  • Those involved aim for transformational and systemic change where it is needed in order for the goal to be met
  • A high awareness of risk mitigation, and an ability to reframe problems as opportunities – especially in more challenging contexts
  • A wide range of options for evolving, embedding and scaling are explored and the most context-appropriate are selected


  • Book: A guide to collaborative impact for leaders in industry, government and social change networks. Petra Kuenkel (2016). ‘The Art of Leading Collectively. Co-creating a Sustainable, Socially Just Future’. Available to purchase here.