More than 72% of patrons who tried out the Go For the Goals Digital Hotspot at the joint UN/Government of Jamaica's Go For The Goals roadshow in St Thomas, Jamaica on July 11, have indicated that interactive digital platforms are powerful learning tools for improving knowledge of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Go For The Goals Digital Hotspot leverages an innovation of local Jamaican firm Academic Journies. The innovation transmits its own Wi-Fi signal to smart devices, without using the internet. Nearly 200 individuals accessed the one-of-a-kind hotspot from their smart phones and other devices, and were able to watch videos, complete quizzes, take and download SDG-filtered selfie photos and information material on the SDGs and Jamaica's Agenda 2030 status. Some 34% of participants said that the Smart Zone, which housed the digital Wi-Fi signal and laptops (for those without their own smart phones), was overwhelmingly the best of the 22 booths at the event which saw an estimated 700 patrons in attendance.
UN Jamaica used the opportunity to further test the device by installing polls related to product useability, SDG knowledge and knowledge transfer in the hotspot, with a view to strengthening the product for future roll outs. Results demonstrating a successful transfer of knowledge and awareness of the SDGs included: 72% indicated that their knowledge on the SDGs had increased after visiting the event; 78% correctly answering multiple choice question “What Are the Sustainable Development Goals, and 72% passing knowledge tests on the number of SDGs and being able to “Name Two Sustainable Development Goals”. Another 92% of registered persons agreed that the SDGs are important for Jamaica’s development.
The data collected through the Go For the Goals Digital Hotspot complements data from the 2017 UN Day event which provided measurable feedback on the impact of knowledge retention on the SDGs using a mix of digital and engagement strategies. Information from U-Report Jamaica, the knowledge platform of UNICEF, demonstrated the importance of finding engaging ways to reduce the knowledge deficit. A survey with more than 1 500 youth polled a week before the event showed that only 33% knew about the SDGs, and that 95% wanted to learn more about the SDGs.
Responses on how to improve the event were also digital in nature, with the most popular responses calling for more videos, more activities and more promotions.
In September 2015, Jamaica signed the Global Pact to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path, while leaving no on behind. The 17 SDGs are 93% aligned to Jamaica’s Vision 2030 Jamaica, the framework for sustainable development.
The Go For The Goals Roadshow on the SDGs was organised jointly by UN Jamaica which includes the UNDP, and a cross-functional team from the government coordinated by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) and its Vision 2030 Jamaica Secretariat. Other public sector teams on the planning committee were the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade; the Jamaica Library Service; The Social Development Commission; the Statistical Institute of Jamaica and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.
Supporting agencies for the roadshow included the Ministry of Labour and Social Security; FLOW Jamaica; St Thomas Municipal Council; the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC); The Jamaica Family Planning Board (JFPB); The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF); The Jamaica Fire Brigade; the National Council on Drug Abuse; Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC); Jamaica Tax Administration; Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA); St Thomas Football Association; HEART Trust NTA and local media partners St Thomas Events and Stylz FM.
Contributed by Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), UNDP partner and lead agency for implementation of the SDG in Jamaica