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“No dejar a nadie atrás”: Costa Rica’s pact to engage all people and partners for sustainable development

Costa Rica is partnering with celebrities on social media and training volunteers with local NGOs to get everyone involved in the SDGs

Costa Rica is embracing the motto of the Sustainable Development Goals: Leaving No One Behind. In 2016, members of government, civil society, faith-based organizations, public universities, and businesses all came together to sign the first ever national pact for the SDGs.

In Costa Rica’s 2017 review on progress in implementing the SDGs, the government underlines the need to raise SDGs awareness, and for all of society to be on board. It refers to awareness campaigns aiming to “catch the attention of citizens and raise awareness about the importance of their participation [in achieving the SDGs]”.

In 2016, the government partnered with the UN in 2016 to launch a campaign called “No dejar a nadie atrás” (Leaving No One Behind), in which celebrities from different fields such as sports, journalism and music explain the SDGs and call for action. Designed to be shared on social media, the goal of this campaign is to reach everyday citizens who might not yet know about the SDGs.



In June 2018, Costa Rica’s Technical Secretariat for the SDGs teamed up with healthcare NGO Vida Volunteer to educate their volunteers about the SDGs, teaching them all about processes, indicators, and implementation strategies. “We want to align our existing community projects with Objective 3 [health and well-being for all] and help improve indicators in healthcare’”, said Marco Villegasm, Executive Director of Vida Volunteer Costa Rica.

In addition to increasing citizen awareness, creative partnerships like this one give existing organizations the tools they need to incorporate the SDGs into their daily work. This can be very valuable in sectors like education and healthcare, which are closely observed by all parts of the population. According to the OECD’s Latin American Economic Outlook for 2018, 70.9% of Costa Rican citizens report being ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied” with public education, while only 45.3% report satisfaction with public hospitals,

Header Image: Vida Volunteer

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