BY Marie Sandra Lennon, Aristide Djossou | October 18, 2016
If you are reading this blog chances are you work in development, so you might know something about the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). If you work for the United Nations, like we do, you might be able to identify a few of the 17 goals and maybe a few of their 169 targets. You might also be aware of the importance of the new agenda or, as the UN Secretary-General’s says - the SDGs are THE plan: there is no ‘Plan B’ because we do not have a ‘Planet B'! But, what about the rest of the World? Do they know? In Benin our answer to this question was “not… yet”, so we rolled-up our sleeves and started spreading the word! Journalists as allies We all know how important media are and, more how fundamental journalists are to generating a public debate, sharing information with the local population and making governments accountable keeping their promises. Journalists could be great allies and we at the UN in Benin decided to partner with them to spread the word. The Union of Media Professionals of Benin was prompt to take on the Agenda 2030 challenge and we were thrilled to collaborate with them on a number of workshops in Cotonou, Grand Popo and Parakou guaranteeing the participation of all major community radios in Benin. More than one hundred journalists from different media establishments around the country participated in these workshops. We made sure to involve journalists from community radios, since they are often the most powerful channels to communicate with the most excluded and isolated populations, since they might not have other forms of communication, but they often have radios. Involving community radio journalists was our way of sticking to one of the (beautiful) agenda principles we maintained: to leave no one behind. A spontaneous translate-a-thon First we shared with journalists the goals of the 2030 Agenda, the development process of the Agenda and the principles behind it. Once achieved we moved to the important stuff: How are journalists in Benin going to engage and take action to mobilize support for the new agenda? The first step that the journalists took was a basic but essential one: “Let’s translate the goals into our local languages”. Using local languages is essential to ensure the full involvement of local authorities, civil society and population, among other many collectives. For a few hours our SDG orientation workshop was transformed into a translation space, where journalists helped the UN coming up with the translation of the SDGs into languages used in Benin Bariba, Dendi and Yoruba. Simple but smart. Moving forward We and the UN and the team of journalists see this collaboration as a first step on engaging and knowing more about the UN efforts in Benin to accompany the Government in the implementation of the agenda, sharing their enthusiasm for being agents of positive change in their society. During the workshop, they discussed with our programme colleagues on diverse development activities ongoing in their localities, including gender equity, education, and economic growth and how they relate to the SDGs. Such is the case of the towns of Banikoara and Bonou, where the Millennium Village Project is promoted by the journalists as one specific actions effectively linked to SDGs. Overall, they are enthusiastic on the contribution they could bring to achieve the SDGs and being agents of positive change in their society. At the closure of one of the workshops, Isabelle Lemou, journalist from the Urban FM in Parakou, represented her peers and said “we very much need this type of capacity building as it will allow us to be armed to properly raise and advocate for SDGs issues”. She noted that collaboration between the UN and Beninese media should be reinforced in the future. We are already planning to identify clear and practical ways to follow up on this collaboration with radio communities. Thanks to UNICEF, the UN in Benin is soon organizing a ‘brainstorming’ day with the Ministry of Communication and community radios across the country to agree on the next steps. We will keep you posted!
February 4, 2017
National ownership The Government of Brazil has been a long-standing champion of sustainable development as the host of the 1992 Earth Summit and the 2012 Rio+20 Conference. The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) has represented the Mercosur countries and Chile on the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Indicators and has been elected as the new Chair of the UN Statistical Commission, actively contributing to the task of developing the SDG indicators at the global level. Both IBGE and the Interministerial Working Group on the Post-2015 Development Agenda — encompassing 27 ministries and bodies of federal administration — have undertaken consultations with different stakeholders to reflect Brazil’s contribution to implementing the SDGs. Inclusive participation The UNDP World Centre for Sustainable Development (RIO+ Centre) relaunched the Rio Dialogues space in 2015 with a focus on an interactive SDG space for Brazilian youth to learn about the SDGs and how to get involved. There have been several outreach and live events to help support the effort, which has attracted considerable interest from universities and other groups. In 2016, for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, there has been intense work to design a new institutional arrangement at the national level, with the aim of involving different stakeholders in implementing and following up the 2030 Agenda, including the SDGs. Institutional coordination The Task Force on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (whose name was later changed to Task Force on the 2030 Agenda) was established in December 2014 to facilitate cooperation between the Brazilian federal government and UN entities on the issues of the new agenda. The Task Force is co-chaired by the Brazilian federal government, represented by the Ministry of External Relations, and brings together a full complement of UN entities including UNDP, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UNESCO, UNFPA, UN Women, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the PanAmerican Health Organization (PAHO)/WHO, UNODC, UNIDO, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), ILO, UN-Habitat, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR-CERRD), UNICEF, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), UNV, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG)/UNDP. In addition, the Brazilian Committee of the Global Compact Network is an observer member representing the private sector. Monitoring and reporting One of the main purposes of the Task Force is to contribute to identifying national social, economic and environmental indicators related to specific SDGs and their targets. In September 2015, the Task Force issued its publication ‘Following-up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Initial inputs from the United Nations System in Brazil on the identification of national indicators related to the Sustainable Development Goals’. Sixteen thematic groups covering SDGs 1–16 worked over nine months to produce the report, identifying around 570 indicators and highlighting data gaps regarding relevant information needed to follow up certain SDG targets. In 2016, the Task Force is planning to review its publication in light of the global indicator framework. This publication presented available national indicators as inputs for the follow-up process on the SDGs targets, which will be led by the Brazilian government. The Task Force will also launch a set of glossaries containing key terms and expressions used in the formulation of the SDGs and their targets.
The Mainstreaming the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development reference guide seeks to support UN Country Teams mainstreaming the 2030 Agenda at the national and local levels, integrating it into national, sub-national, and local plans for development as well as into budget allocations. The guide also provides information on how UN Development Assistance Frameworks can be crafted to support the implementation of those national plans.READ MORE
The overall scope of the UNDG Sustainable Development Working Group is to guide UN Country Teams in their role supporting Member States in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by formulating policies and strategies for implementation, monitoring, and reporting. The Working Group also follows up on concrete activities related to UNDG strategic priorities.READ MORE