SDG Project work - Justice for Prosperity
Hello everyone! We are Artom, Florence, Gabriella, Jip, Sydney and Viktoria, and we are working with Justice for Prosperity on a project related (primarily!) to SDG 16 – Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions.
Justice for Prosperity (JfP) is a non-profit and non-governmental organisation aiming to investigate, expose, and predict the targeted undermining of democracies and open societies by anti-democratic actors and their activities. Focusing on ultra-conservative, extremist, and populist parties, JfP investigates their activities, the threats they pose, the deliberate polarisation of societies, and how the use of soft power can lead to the slow erosion of democracies. JfP is developing an AI tool in collaboration with SIDN to support their work. Our work is related to the 8 Subversion tactics the JfP has identified – tactics that are used in conjunction with each other to further the goal of polarisation and undermining open societies.
We have been tasked with delivering academic research that reconstructs events that have instigated, compounded, or otherwise influenced toxic polarisation, antagonistic and toxic (hate) speech, and incidents against marginalised groups. This research has two primary goals: 1) To enhance the efficiency of JfP’s investigations and 2) To bring wider attention to the harms of toxic polarisation at individual, societal, and governmental levels. The research that we do will ultimately be shared in a final publication that describes our research, methodology, outcomes, and conclusions, and a round table event with relevant stakeholders to discuss our findings and how they can be used to stop hate, strengthen institutions, and advance peace.
Although our work (and the work of JfP) contributes primarily to SDG16, there are clear interlinkages between this and other SDG goals. By uncovering toxic, subversive actors and their activities, we aim to help reduce inequalities (SDG10), improve gender equality (SDG5), promote good health and wellbeing (SDG3), and support partnerships for the goals (SDG17).
Week 4 kicked off with a Training session from The Rock Group about Project Management. We learned about the steps involved in Project Management, from initiation to execution to closure. We also explored potential pitfalls involved in the process and how effective management is essential for an efficient and successful project.
Our main takeaways from the training were:
- How important it is to have clear and open communication with the client and project team throughout the project lifespan
- That having clear and realistic objectives is essential for successful work
- Staying on target requires effective prioritisation and task management.
It was encouraging to discover that we have (so far!) naturally organised our work in a structured, efficient way, and we have already managed to find a nice balance within our team for the assignment of project roles and tasks. It has been immensely helpful to work together in person from the office in Amsterdam – something we recommend for all SDG trainees if possible!! It has been very motivating to connect as people and encourage each other’s growth through this process.
One thing we discovered could be a point of improvement is our time-management; to improve this we should break down our milestones into more manageable tasks for each project day, which will help us to track our progress more effectively.
We hope this was a useful insight into our work within the SDG Traineeship. During the past few weeks we have all become even more inspired and motivated to further the SDG Goals, and our own personal development journeys.
From our team to yours: good luck!