About the task force

The Task Force on Digital Financing of the Sustainable Development Goals  was established by UN Secretary General as part of his broader Roadmap for Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: 2019-2021

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The Task Force

The Task Force was established by the UN Secretary General in November 2018 to recommend and catalyse ways to harness digitalization in accelerating financing of the SDGs.

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“Digital technologies, which are revolutionising financial markets can be a game-changer in meeting our shared objectives. The Task Force on Digital Financing of the Sustainable Development Goals provides leadership to harness the digital revolution.”

António Guterres, UN Secretary-General 

It is co-chaired by Achim Steiner and Maria Ramos. Its members are Maiava Atalina Emma Ainuu-Enari,  Henrietta H. Fore, Mats Granryd, Piyush Gupta, Natalie Jabangwe, Eric Jing, Bradley Katsuyama, Pooma Kimis, Liu Zhenmin, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Ambareen Musa, Patrick Njoroge, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, Richard Samans, Aurelie Adam Soule Zoumarou. Learn more about the Task Force members. 

The Task Force has four goals:

  1. Digital financing becomes an integral part of sustainable development strategies
  2. Digital financing improves alignment of trillions of dollars with the SDGs
  3. Pathfinder initiatives advance digitally enabled SDG-aligned financing
  4. Innovative governance harnesses digitalization in financing the SDGs

the Task Force addressed five core questions

The Task Force’s mandate, work and report is complementary to, and builds on The Age of Digital Interdependence from the  UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, and the associated UN Secretary General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation.

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Secretariat

The Task Force Secretariat is co-hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).

The Task Force Secretariat is lead by Dr Simon Zadek. The Secretariat team is made up of Vera Bersudskaya, Duygu Celik, Maya Forstater, Mimo He,  Aiaze Mitha, and Arti Singh.


Dr. Simon Zadek, Head of the Secretariat of the UN Secretary General’s Task Force on Digital Financing of the Sustainable Development Goals

Simon ZadekSimon Zadek heads the Secretariat of the UN Secretary General’s Task Force on Digital Financing of the SDGs. He also chairs the Migrant Nation and the Finance for Biodiversity initiatives. He was Senior Advisor in the Office of the UN Secretary-General, co-chaired the Chinese Government’s Green Finance Task Force, and ran the Green Finance Study Group under the Chinese, German and Argentinian G20 Presidencies. He founded and was Chief Executive of AccountAbility, and was founding Chair of the Ethical Trading Initiative. He has been Visiting Professor at Singapore Management University, a Visiting Scholar at Tsinghua School of Economics and Management, Senior Visiting Fellow at Harvard`s JK Kennedy School of Government, Visiting Professor at the Copenhagen Business School, and Honorary Professor at the University of Southern Africa, as well a Senior Advisor to the World Economic Forum.

Vera Bersudskaya, Lead Researcher

Vera BeraduskaVera Bersudskaya has conducted quantitative and qualitative research on inclusive digital finance, impact investing, sustainable development, education, and women’s rights in the US and across 10+ countries in Africa and Asia. She has worked with organisations including UNCDF, IPC, GSMA, Equity Bank, Echoing Green, Alliance for Financial Inclusion, PHB Development, Helix Institute of Digital Finance, ActionAid Burundi, ACTED, RTI International, and Global Fund for Women. She holds a Master in Public Affairs from Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and a Bachelor in International Political Economy and French from University of California, Berkeley.

 

Duygu Celik, Liaison Lead

Duygu CelikDuygu Celik leads the strategic communications, maintains and facilitates strategic dialogue between the Secretariat and its members and eminent persons, Executive Office of the SG, the UN Common System, Permanent Missions and Governments. Duygu has worked at the intersection of United Nations policy and operations for over 11 years, with a support role to senior management in the UN System, and closely with Member States delegations. Previously Duygu worked at IFAD Headquarters in Rome, subsequently assigned to NYC Liaison Office. She provided advisory support to senior leadership, policy analysis and intelligence gathering within the framework of UN reform in order to support senior management’s and IFAD’s corporate engagement. She worked on UNGA, ECOSOC and 2nd Committee of GA engagements. She holds two M.A. degrees; International Policies and Crisis Management from Sapienza University of Rome (2011), and Global Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of University of London (2020).

Maya Forstater, Editor 

Maya ForstaterMaya Forstater is a researcher, writer and advisor working on the business of sustainable development.She has worked with organisations including Center for Global Development, The B Team, UNEP Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System, International Council for Mining and Minerals, The Transparency and Accountability Initiative, Global Green Growth Initiative, Green Growth Global Forum (3GF), General Electric, Publish What You Fund, The World Business Council for Sustainable Development, UNICEF, The South African Renewables Initiative, Project Catalyst and AccountAbility.

 

Mimo He, Operations and Coordination Officer

Mimo He is responsible for all operating functions of the Task Force, including the budget, procurement, finance planning, and reporting. Prior to her role in the Task Force, Mimo has worked as the technical expert for the grants management system at the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Women) and the eProcurement system at the UN Women procurement section. Mimo He holds a master’s degree from the Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin

 

Aiaze Mitha, Senior Advisor

Aiaze MithaAiaze has led digital finance projects in 40+ countries and advised many international organizations such as the World Bank, IFC and CGAP. He is supporting UNCDF’s digital economy agenda and is a Senior Advisor to both the UN Secretary General’s Task Force on Digital Financing of the SDGs and the Dialogue on Governance of BigFinTechs. Prior to that, Aiaze was Chief Officer at Tiaxa, a digital lending Fintech. He also led the roll-out of M-Paisa in Afghanistan and Mobile Money Guyana. Aiaze sits on the Board of several Fintech startups. He holds a MSc. from University of Quebec and is a graduate of Telecom Paris.

Arti Singh, Team Management

Ms. Singh works in the UNDP Executive Office. She was appointed by UNDP Senior Management to work in the UN SG’s Digital Financing Task Force. Her role is to direct and lead on all management issues, such as team management, financial aspects, operational aspects, and coordination within the UN system. She also plays an important role in advising the Sherpa to the Co-Chairs of the Task Force to ensure a high quality and timely product.Ms. Singh has worked in the UN system since 2005. Prior to that, she has extensive experience in the Private Sector in the financial services industry.

 

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About the Report

“People’s Money” is the Task Force’s final report. It summarises the findings and recommendations developed and agreed by the Task Force. It highlights the potential for digitalization to catalyse a fundamental realignment of both public and private finance with the SDGs. The Task Force offers analysis of current developments and recommendations for action to establish a financial system that advances citizens’ interests. The Task Force has catalysed a portfolio of pathfinder initiatives that exemplify ambitious action in implementing the recommendations. Throughout the report hundreds of use cases are highlighted.

Also available is an extensive bibliography, and summary briefings for different actors.

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Background Reports

The Task Force’s Final report builds on a series of working papers and commissioned reports released over 18 months:

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Acknowledgements

The Task Force has drawn on research and extensive engagement with the financial community, policy-makers and regulators and experts and civil society groups.

Task Force members have been supported by their Sherpas, including Matthew Blake, Cyriaque Edon, Alix Jagueneau, Gerald Lam, Mikkel Larsen, Laurence Latimer, Lanna Lome-Ieremia, Helene Molinier, Matu Mugo, Mack Ramachandran, Shari Spiegel, Mahesh Uttamchandani, Barry Wentworth, Meng Yan and Simon Zadek.

Thanks to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), led by the Co-Chair, Achim Steiner, the Sherpa to the Co-Chairs, Simon Zadek, and Michele Candotti, Christina Carlson, Annette Edra, Mamaye Gebretsadik, Joe Hooper, Sharon Kinsley, Marcus Neto, Michiko Okumura, and Robert Opp. Also thanks to the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), led by Judith Karl and Henri Dommel and including Amil Aneja, Deena Austin, Tillman Bruett, Ralph Chow, Anne Folan, Imelda Panguito and interns Chen Bi, Yi Chen, Yuxin Huang.

Special thanks also to the Task Force partners, including Marianne Haahr of Green Digital Finance Alliance; David Craig, Sherry Madera, and Julia Walker of Refinitiv; and Louise C. James, Palak Kapoor, Sebastian Rodriguez of Accenture Development Partnerships.

Thanks to the following individuals who participated in offsites, working groups and contributed to reviews of the various iterations of the final report: Azeema Adam, Timothy Adams, Fiona Bayat-Renoux, Greta Bull, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Brad Carr, Anir Chowdhury, Benoît Cœuré, Matthew Davie, Eric Duflos, Frank Elderson, Belinda Exelby, Ann Florini, Conan French, Katherine Foster, Jon Frost, Matthew Gamser, Sonja Gibbs, Amandeep Gill, Alfred Hannig, Chia Hock Lai, Marc Hollanders, Fabrizio Hochschild, Samira Khan, Lise Kingo, Alexia Latortue, Peter Lovelock, Henry Ma, Jeremy McDaniels, Ma Jun, Alfonso Garcia Mora, Sophie Pilgrim, Dragan Radic, David Symington, Jael Tan, Julia Walker, Daniele Violetti, Andrew Wilson, Louise Wilson and Xiaochen Zhang.

Thanks also to Douglas Arner, Sofie Blakstad, Liesbeth Casier, Ralph Chami, Peter Chowla, Pedro Conceição, Fadi Chehadé, David Gerbrands, Norbert Gorissen, Sunita Grote, Dakota Gruener, Juan Pablo Guerrero, Rajeev Gupta, Mark de la Iglesia, Johanna Jochim, Cheryl Joseph, Peter Knaack, Christina Lomazzo, Cornis van der Lugt, Yolanda Jinxin Ma, Sabine Mensah, Lorena Rivero del Paso, Oshani Perera, Paolo de Renzio, Bas Rüter, Mateo Salomon, Jaspreet Singh, Martin Spolc, Gerardo Uña, Tidhar Wald, Oliver Waissbein.

Thanks to those who contributed to the Call for Contributions and the formally constituted convenings in Amsterdam, Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, Davos, Geneva, Kuala Lumpur, London, Milan, Mumbai, Nairobi, New Delhi, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Singapore, and Toronto. Also particular thanks to the Rockefeller Center in Bellagio, Ant Group, World Bank, and World Economic Forum who organized meetings and retreats that fed into the report.

We thank Germany, Italy and Switzerland for their generous funding and support to the Task Force.