The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation announced a $5.44 million grant to the UCLA WORLD Policy Analysis Center (WORLD) for the creation of an initiative that will train the next generation of world leaders and thinkers. Based at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, WORLD is the globe’s largest quantitative policy center, capturing data on what actions governments take to advance social, economic and environmental well-being for all 193 UN member countries.
Over the next 15 years, trillions of dollars and millions of human hours will be invested to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Unanimously adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, the SDGs are a set of 17 universal goals that include the aim to reduce poverty and hunger, improve health, advance education, make cities more sustainable, and combat climate change. Beyond governments a wide range of civil society and private sector stakeholders have committed themselves to the implementation of the goals by 2030.
Despite this unprecedented commitment, critical knowledge and practice on how to achieve many of these ambitious goals is lacking. Currently, few programs exist that focus on training the next generation of leaders to address the human development, health, economic, and environmental needs at the core of the SDGs.
“We believe that, in order to achieve the SDGs, we must invest in training a new generation across all fields related to the goals to give these future leaders and practitioners the cross-discipline knowledge and skills needed for necessary implementation,” said Dr. Peter Laugharn, president and CEO of the Hilton Foundation. “We are confident in the breadth of experience that Dean Jody Heymann and the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health bring to this program, and we are proud to be supporting this initiative.”
WORLD’s data resources have become a valued resource for a wide range of disciplines. By design, all of WORLD’s research is collaborative, drawing upon its deep partnerships with faculty across disciplines and strong relationships with other educational institutions, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations around the world. WORLD’s ability to link national policy to solid outcomes makes it a useful resource for the larger developmental and governmental community.
“Our intent is to use the grant from the Hilton Foundation to equip the next generation of leaders with the tools to learn what works to accelerate poverty reduction, advance equal opportunity and achieve the SDGs,” said Dr. Jody Heymann, dean of the Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA. “Training will focus both on fellows obtaining the skills to advance knowledge and on having the skills to effectively translate that understanding into equal opportunity for previously marginalized populations, more equitable health and education outcomes, increased livelihoods and an improved environment.”
To learn more about the SDGs, please visit www.SDGFunders.org.