Silo Fighters Blog

‘Glocalizing’ the Sustainable Development Goals in Moldova

BY Aurelia Spataru | October 20, 2017

Almost two years ago, 193 Member States of the United Nations, including Moldova, adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This bold and universal Agenda already has many countries around the world taking action to improve people’s lives and plan for a sustainable future.   In Moldova’s case, planting the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in national soil and turning the 2030 Agenda into a reality has been quite the journey! The good news is that  Moldova’s national policy agenda is now aligned with more than 106 of the SDGs targets and it selected 226 global indicators to assess progress towards these global goals. 'Glocalizing' the SDGs targets The UN resolution says that the SDG targets are “aspirational and global, with each government setting its own national targets guided by the global level of ambition but taking into account national circumstances.” The beauty of the SDGs is that they’re inclusive of everyone, so our first step was to identify which of the 169 global targets are  most urgent for the Moldovan context. This is what we mean by ‘glocalizing’ - localising a global set of goals while benefitting from the drive of the whole world towards the same ambition. So here’s how we 'glocalize': The UN in Moldova worked through 180 of the government of Moldova’s main national strategic documents to find connections between the Moldovan local reality and the global targets. We found immediate points of contact with almost two thirds of the global targets. Once we gathered this information, we spoke with public servants, civic activists, community and business leaders, and researchers. We wanted to know their thoughts on the SDG targets. If a target was not immediately applicable, then, we wanted to know how it could be adjusted to make it more concrete and specific to the Moldovan context. During the consultations, we jointly defined who would be the responsible government institution to take action and ownership so that we reach the targets. With a fresh pair of eyes, we looked at the national strategic documents again to identify all policy-related gaps that needed to be addressed. We also provided proposals to amend policies and introduce new concepts of sustainable development to deepen the focus on the most vulnerable populations, for example, adding a specific target to understand how many people fall into poverty due to natural disasters such as floods, droughts and landslides. The 2030 Agenda is a complex one, and Moldova is in full swing towards reforming its central administration. The country doesn’t have enough financial resources to cover all the costs at once. So, taking this into consideration, we set priorities and came up with a list of “triggers” that would produce a domino effect and help us reach the other linked targets. Crowdsourcing how to measure SDG progress in Moldova The Moldovan government is currently only prepared to report on half of the nationalized indicators because of financial, capacity and methodological constraints. When we realized this, we knew that we would need to engage experts across many disciplines in order to develop methodologies and data collection.     Under the leadership of the State Chancellery and the direct involvement of the National Bureau of Statistics, we worked for nine months to tailor global targets and indicators to fit the situation on the ground. Talking to different stakeholders (public authorities, civil society, and the private sector) was decisive to our success. Their valuable inputs and insights for tailoring global targets and indicators to the national context represented the first step in assuming of the 2030 Agenda by the people of Moldova. Trying to figure all of this out was no easy feat, so we developed a toolkit which will also help us with the further integration of the SDGs’ into the work of both government and partners in the next stage. The Council for Sustainable Development, which was set up as an institutional anchor to the SDGs nationalization process endorsed and disseminated all of our collective efforts. The process to nationalize the SDGs in Moldova has even catalysed a broader reform aimed at streamlining the policy planning framework. Given the success, the Government has asked the UN to support in the evaluation of its current national strategy and the new Strategy Moldova 2030. Even after all this… the work has just begun! Do you have any advice for us?  Let us know!

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Sustainable Development Goals Are Country-Led And Country-Owned

BY Magdy Martínez-Solimán, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco | September 22, 2017

Over the past 20 years, the world has seen unprecedented progress of human development, as nearly 1.1 billion people have moved out of extreme poverty. But unfinished business remains. Today, roughly 800 million people still live in extreme poverty and inequalities are growing. It was with this in mind that world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) almost two years ago. This is the most ground-breaking development agenda the world has seen, for it contains a radical promise: to leave no one behind. It is a promise to every man and woman who goes to bed hungry, every boy and girl who is deprived of education, every person who is fleeing violent conflict. Put to practice everywhere, this promise transforms our world! You may ask what a set of goals and high-flown words on paper can do to address these enormous challenges in practice. It is a fair question. But the answer is- a lot! The City of Montería in Colombia has become one of Latin America’s greenest cities by linking green urbanism, transportation and renewable energy to the SDGs. In Mexico, a project on reduced inequalities focusing on children with disabilities has improved the lives of 12,000 boys and girls. 350 caregivers in 9 states have been trained in this UN-supported project to increase the quality of care, give better opportunities to children with disabilities to complete schooling, and ultimately increase their prospects of leading a life as fully empowered members of society. In Kyrgyzstan, supported by the UN Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund, local self-governing authorities and citizens have jointly identified and implemented more than 120 local infrastructure projects aimed at smoothing tensions over scarce natural resources. Multilingual education has reached more than 9,000 students, helping to increase inter-ethnic understanding and enhance the prospects of success for historically marginalized groups. These efforts contribute to achieving the SDGs and address root causes of conflict. The leadership demonstrated by citizens and governments in these countries show the SDGs to be country-led and country-owned, and relevant everywhere. Now, a particular challenge is to reach the 1.4 billion people that today live in fragile and conflict-affected situations. With the concept of “sustaining peace”, endorsed by the UN General Assembly and the Security Council, the world is recognizing that there cannot be peace without development and no development without peace. The United Nations is moving away from a narrow focus on time-bound peacekeeping interventions to emphasize efforts for long-term sustainable peace. This encompasses the imperative of conflict prevention and addressing root causes and drivers of violence. It also includes the need to address all stages of the conflict cycle, the importance of breaking siloes and formulate comprehensive and coherent approaches, as well as the need to ensure national ownership and inclusivity. For countries on the move from violent conflict to peace and democratic rule, the 2030 Agenda can indeed be a powerful lever for change. The world has the largest generation of young people ever. 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 are preparing for their future. This is by itself an incredible opportunity for change. In many countries in transition, youth has played a key role in instigating change. In the Gambia, the youth population was crucial in choosing a peaceful path away from authoritarian rule nine months ago. In a country where a disproportionate number of young people risk their life to cross the Mediterranean in search for a better life, this new chapter is an opportunity to build a more open and inclusive society. Like the Gambian youth, people have engaged to make the SDGs come alive across the globe. Over 10 million people voiced their priorities during the run up to the Agenda’s launch in 2015. Now we need more people to do the same. We need new ways of working together, we need investment bankers to work with environmental activists, religious leaders with feminist organizations, sports leaders with disabled young people. To spur this development, the UN is strengthening its support to Member States for the implementation of the SDGs around the world. We know that the 2030 Agenda is a bold plan for humanity that requires equally bold changes to the UN development system to ensure that we support countries as effectively as possible. This also means better connecting our efforts across the peace and security, human rights and development pillars of the organization to achieve sustainable development on the ground. (Context: On 21 September 2017, the UN Development Group held a side-event to the UN General Assembly: “The SDGs in action – Country-led, Country-Owned”. The event focused on initiatives and lessons learned to accelerate progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in different countries and regions, including in vulnerable and conflict-affected settings.) Photography: ©FAO/Antonello Proto

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Sustainable development and sustaining peace: Two sides of the same coin

BY Magdy Martínez-Solimán, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco | July 20, 2017

More than 1.4 billion people, and half of the world’s extremely poor people live in fragile and conflict-affected settings. The number is forecast to grow by a staggering 82 per cent by 2030. Around 244 million people are on the move, with 65 million people in our world being forcibly displaced. You might assume that for countries in the cross hairs of these dynamics, the last thing on anyone’s mind right now is getting on track to achieve the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). If you did, think again. Sustainable development is key to sustaining peace and vice versa. Sustaining peace, a concept endorsed by the UN General Assembly and Security Council, focuses on the importance of having a long-term, comprehensive vision in all responses to violent conflict, to end vicious cycles of lapse and relapse. Many countries in complex situations have embraced the SDGs as part of the solution. Afghanistan, for example, is presenting its plans at this year’s UN High-Level Political Forum, the global platform for SDG follow-up and review. At the same forum, Togo, a self-declared ‘fragile’ state, is showcasing its SDG initiatives for the second year running. And Colombia, one of the masterminds of the SDGs, considers them an integral tool in its peacebuilding process. Traditionally peace has been approached in sequential and separate steps: first humanitarian rescue; then securing a ceasefire and sending in peacekeepers; next creating a new governing system; and finally investing in economic, social and environmental development. But peacebuilding and development are symbiotic, like getting fit: you would not stop smoking for a month, exercise the next month, then eat well the following month - you would work on all together. This is why the 2030 Agenda that contains the SDGs and the Resolutions on the UN’s peacebuilding architecture call for the dissolution of silos and the advancement of a strongly coherent and integrated approach, recognizing that development, peace and security, and human rights are interlinked and mutually reinforcing. The radical heart of the Sustainable Development Goals is their promise to leave no one behind and to reach the furthest behind first. This is a game-changing commitment to the poorest, most vulnerable people around the world who face violent conflict, disease, natural disaster, and unstable government. Old development agendas might focus on boosting a narrow idea of economic growth, industrialisation or social services. Alone, none of these achievements leads to welfare, sustainable economic transformation or sufficient support to a peace process. They could even worsen tensions in a country if growth is not inclusive, services are captured by an elite or industrialisation generates unbalances between regions. A rising tide only lifts all boats if everyone has a boat. The UN’s new sustainable development agenda builds on its past experience in reducing poverty, supporting growth and public services. But it goes further to provide the funds and tools to also address environmental risks, reduce vulnerabilities and pursue peace, justice and equality. Sustaining peace and sustainable development are two sides of the same coin, and this is the fundamental principle that the United Nations of the 21st century must now stand for. For any country to reach a lasting peace, the journey must always be led by its own people. The role of the UN is to support this journey, providing the experience, expertise and using the convening power at its disposal to give countries in crisis the best chance at stability and prosperity. Peace is not simply a benchmark to achieve. It requires ongoing, dynamic participation from the entire society in its governance and economy to ensure that conflicts don’t escalate into violence. That is why a country’s development must be inclusive and sustainable; it gives everyone a stake in a shared future. On 17 July 2017, the UN Development Group held a side-event for the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, co-hosted by UNDP and PBSO, on: “The SDGs in action – eradicating poverty and promoting inclusive prosperity in a changing world.”  The event focussed on how countries at various stages of development, including those faced with violent conflict, are accelerating efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and illustrated the support of the UN development system to Member States.   Photo credit: Mónica Suárez Galindo/UNDP Perú

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Beninese journalists take action for the Sustainable Development Goals

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!

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The Sustainable Development Goals go mobile in Uganda

BY Gleh Huston Appleton | September 2, 2016

We are always running these days, as we are constantly on the move. We run to catch the bus, run to get a coffee, or run with a coffee to make an appointment. As people deal with the many issues of life, they run with one thing in hand: a mobile phone. When we run around with our phones, we carry family, love ones, associates and friends, and stay in touch. We also have all the world’s information at our fingertips. “Nothing new here,” you might think. But wouldn’t it be great if the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) touched people in a personalized, simple, intuitive, timely and interesting way through the one thing most of carry around in our pocket or purse? Tapping into innovative initiatives In Uganda, we ran with this idea, concluding that we could reach people best through a mobile app. Which channel could we use to feed this app? Like many UN country teams, Uganda is developing an intranet (through which we publish announcements and information for public consumption and headlines) and we have a UN website. Unlike others, we can tap into other innovative UN initiatives in data management and information such as Pulse Lab big data analytics (including the famous radio-mining project for development and the mobile air-time data for development), and the UNICEF U-Report (capturing the perceptions of young people on critical social issues). We realized that all these initiatives enable us to make information related to the SDGs and other social issues accessible to the Ugandan people in real time, in one go. We will constantly share data on the issues that matter the most to Uganda, Africa and the planet. Through our notifications we will increase awareness, facilitate the creation of communities of action and the exchange of experiences on common goals with national relevance such as the SDGs, the climate agreement, and the World Humanitarian Summit. The benefits that we see The mobile app will allow public users to access push notifications on UN-specific interventions nationally, regionally and globally. Messaging may include headline stories on human rights, education, healthcare, and employment as well as on UN partnerships, joint UN initiatives and new UN initiatives on data revolution, amongst others. Other information may include pop-ups of deadlines, recruitment notices, and procurement notices. …and then we kept dreaming While we place the SDGs at the center of the public’s mobile lifestyle, the app will also allow UN internal users to access key internal information on-the-go wherever they are. For internal users, feeds in the app will include: Agencies vehicle movement schedules pushed from the fleet management system that would enable agencies and staff to jointly plan their field movements; Feeds about the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and business operation strategy delivery rates and; Announcements of new joint common operational initiatives including new long term agreements and memorandum of understandings, internal announcements, etc. This will further integrate the UN in Uganda, allowing for the ease of communications wherever a staff member is. Most importantly, however, is what the app will provide external users. Through the many push notifications, users will be able to run with information about the SDGs in their hands, work with it in their pockets, and work out with it by their side, while paying attention to the very many issues of life on the go… putting the SDGs at the center of the mobile world for many people in Uganda!

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These are Zimbabwe’s Sustainable Development Goals: Parliament’s Responsibility

BY Kanako Mabuchi | August 10, 2016

“Ordinary Zimbabweans must own the Sustainable Development Goals. They are our SDGs!”, the Speaker of the National Assembly closed with these inspiring words a half-day dialogue on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recently organized by the UN in Zimbabwe. The Speaker feels that Zimbabwe’s Parliamentarians have a critical role to play in ensuring that no one is left behind in the country’s progress towards achieving the 2030 Agenda. Through the Zimbabwe UN Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF) 2016-2020, we at the UN in Zimbabwe are supporting the Parliamentarians to fulfil their roles and responsibilities as representatives of the People; as legislators; and, as overseers of the Government’s national and international commitments. A total of 195 Parliamentarians participated in the dialogue which was organized, for a change, in a bit of a new way:  We moved away from “death by PowerPoint” methodology adopting a “talk show” format of pre-identified questions and answers.    We started with a one-minute global video on the SDGs, to ensure that the spirit of the unprecedented Agenda 2030 filled the room – ensuring also that all participants were familiar with the 17 SDGs.   The Government presented its SDG Position Paper which initially prioritizes 10 out of the 17 SDGs and firmly positions them within Zimbabwe’s national development plan.   Each head of agency represented their respective UN thematic result group under the UN strategic plan. This positioned the UN as a team rather than a collection of individual agencies. However, but perhaps unsurprisingly, the real game-changing moment came during the open discussion. The ball is in our court During an extensive question-and-answer session between the Parliamentarians and the UN, a number of Parliamentarians started advocating for UN’s support for their respective constituencies. This sparked the Speaker of the National Assembly to intervene with an inspirational speech to shake up the Parliamentarians, reminding them of the responsibility of the Parliament to make the Government accountable to the People. Taking everyone by surprise, he emphasised that it is the Parliament’s responsibility as legislators to vote on proposed laws using the barometer of whether they are transformative for the lives of Zimbabweans. It is their responsibility to approve and allocate resources in a manner conducive to achieve the SDGs and; it is their responsibility to translate the SDGs for social change. When the Speaker of the National Assembly declared “The ball is in our court,” there was a renewed sense of urgency for action to take the SDGs back to their constituents where the ownership lies. The Parliamentarians decided to establish a parliamentary committee on the SDGs to take the global goals implementation forward, led by the Speaker of the National Assembly himself. By the end of the half-day dialogue, Parliamentarians embraced that they are key to reaching the Zimbabweans who are hardest to reach, to be the voice of the voiceless. From our side at the UN, with SDGs as a common playing field, we are here to support the Government through our common strategic plan.  Stay tuned for the continued volley! 

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The Sustainable Development Goals are coming to life

BY Amir Abdulla, Magdy Martínez-Solimán, Omar Abdi | July 20, 2016

By Magdy Martínez-Solimán, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP | Omar Abdi, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF | Amir Abdulla, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director, WFP  The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), will guide the international community over the coming 15 years. It aspires to ensure prosperity and well-being for all people, while protecting our planet. Following the adoption of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development at the September Summit in 2015, countries around the world have turned their attention to implementation. The experience with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) tells us that leadership, effective and inclusive policies, national and global collaboration and local engagement can go a long way in implementing the SDGs for all people: children, youth, women and men; and in all countries: rich and poor, large and small, island and landlocked states, stable nations and vulnerable countries affected by climate change, fragility and conflict. Achieving the SDGs will require very bold new approaches. Five elements are key: Countries will need to follow a whole-of-government approach— The goals are interconnected – often the key to success on one will involve tackling obstacles and issues more commonly associated with another. For example, a decision made in one government unit about where to construct a road could positively or negatively affect other areas of government responsibility, such as access to services (like hospitals and schools) or to economic opportunity (such as markets and supplies). Integration of policies and development initiatives is key. National ownership on and leadership of the SDGs is vital— If they are incorporated into national policy frameworks, plans, and budgets, and if delivery capacity is built, the SDGs stand a good chance of being achieved. Building broad coalitions around the Goals will be crucial to achieving them— Government commitment is vital, but will not be enough on its own. People, communities, and civil society groups must be able to actively and meaningfully participate. The way in which business does business will have a big impact on whether development reaches everyone and can be sustained. Academia and science needs to help us think and measure. Media has to be an ally to showcase successes, to highlight progress or the lack thereof. All available financial resources must be drawn on for the new agenda – domestic and international, public and private, and environmental and developmental. New finance is needed if sustainable development is to happen, and the gaps are bigger than the available resources and commitment. Every country has relevant experiences to share and new things to learn—Co-operation between countries in the Global South is playing a growing role in generating and sharing new ideas, knowledge, and technologies, and investment, and is greatly valued by developing countries. The role of the UN system to support implementation is recognized in the 2030 Agenda as well as in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. Since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs, the UN is requested by Member States to provide enhanced support. Governments are calling on the UN to help facilitate inclusive national dialogues with all members of society on SDG implementation and look to the UN for support for tracking and reporting progress towards the SDGs. In order to better support the national SDG response, the UN Development Group in 2015 adopted a common approach “Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support—MAPS” which currently is being promoted through the UN Country Teams at the national level. Through this approach, the UN supports Member States to localize the global agenda at national level, to unblock bottlenecks to progress, and to source policy expertise from across the UN development system. The 2016 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF, 11-20 July) provides a platform for the first global follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development since its adoption. The UN Country Teams have already supported 15 Member States for their first Voluntary National Reviews at the 2016 HLPF and the UN will continue to support the Member States in their national SDG reporting. In an attempt to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experiences among Member States in implementing the SDGs, at the HLPF the UN Development Group launched “The Sustainable Development Goals are Coming to Life: Stories of Country Implementation and UN Support” which presents a snapshot of how 16 countries in different regions are bringing SDGs into life at country level. It is encouraging to see many countries have already actively and promptly engaged with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs and the UN development system has played a critical supporting role. The UN will strengthen its support for Member States in implementing the SDGs. Our commitment is to work together in enabling the exchange of experiences and mutual learning, which are essential for turning the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda into reality on the ground, where sustainable development happens.

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Tanzania private sector: Open for business on the Sustainable Development Goals

BY Alvaro Rodriguez | June 17, 2016

We all know that the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals is an ambitious global plan, but if we are serious about it, building vibrant and systematic partnerships is a vital prerequisite for their successful implementation. At the UN in Tanzania, we are busy building partnerships to support the new global agenda. So far we have engaged the executive branch of the government, to include the SDGs in the next five-year national development plan. We’ve also reached out to youth groups, with whom we launched the SDG Champions initiative. And the media fraternity is joining us to spread the word about the goals in Kiswahili language; and most recently, the private sector.   Testing the waters Recently, the United Nations Tanzania partnered with the private sector to benchmark their readiness to support the implementation of the SDGs. We do this through the with the UN Global Compact, the Corporate Social Responsibility Group Africa Limited and the Africa Sustainable Business Magazine. Our first step was to get some information the private sector and their plans for engaging on Agenda 2030. We had a very group turnout - almost 280 of the 350 private sector companies  responded to our survey. This targeted research provided some interesting insights on the views of the SDGs by Tanzanian companies. The good news is that they are aware of the SDGs and interested in partnering with the UN to make them happen in Tanzania. According to the results, 60 percent of the people surveyed are aware of the SDGs, being the SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all - the one that resonated most among the participants.  SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere-, and SDG 3 -Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages - followed on the list of the most popular goals among this sector. The respondents also agreed that, potentially, they can have the biggest impact on SDG 8. Beyond just knowing about them, we are also encouraged  that the private sector is ready to partner with us to implement the SDGs, with 60 percent of the participants responding positively to a partnership opportunity to implement the Agenda 2030 in Tanzania. We shared the findings of this survey at the 1st Africa Sustainable Business Summit held in Dar Es Salaam, attended by the Vice President of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu, who encouraged the private sector to actively raise awareness about the SDGs and to build partnerships to assist their implementation. At this stage private sector companies are interested mainly in raising awareness on the new global agenda: Sharing information with their employees, especially on health-related issues, and sharing information on behalf of the UN about the SDGs. Keeping it up According to a UNIDO-commissioned report on engaging with the private sector, “building vibrant and systematic partnerships with the private sector is a vital prerequisite for the successful implementation of a transformative agenda to accelerate poverty reduction and sustainable development in the post-2015 era.” In Tanzania, we will keep working in this direction, we believe the private sector should be taking a strong role in the development in Tanzania with the Global Goals being an integral part of their business proposition. We know that in terms of protecting the environment, preventing corruption and strengthening employment the private sector is absolutely key and their commitment is therefore essential at this stage of Tanzania’s development. The UN will be there to support this effort.  Anyone out there that can share their ideas and experiences?

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The wisdom of crowds: Asking the citizens in Lao PDR

BY Zumrad Sagdullaeva, Jakob Schemel | February 22, 2016

Enough money, enough food, enough jobs, safety, and justice: The new global development agenda is about dignity respect for all the world’s people. What could be better, then, than making sure those people have a meaningful voice in planning their own future? In Lao PDR, we are actively and creatively engaging citizens in analysing their own issues and crafting their own solutions. A common vision to achieve sustainable development results  2015 was a special year for Lao PDR: the country marked a number of anniversaries,  the new 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan 2016-2020 with its overall objective of graduation from Least Developed Country status, and the MDG-SDG transition. The UN country team took advantage of the moment to reinvigorate advocacy for increased citizens’ engagement, particularly as we have embarked on the development of a new support strategy, a.k.a. Lao PDR – UN Partnership Framework (UNPF) 2017-2021. This strategy will not only serve as a common basis and vision for sustainable UN agency interventions, but also demonstrate the importance and power of broad participation for sustainable development results. Our recipe for a participatory UN strategy We are supporting the engagement of citizen experts, including civil society (non-profit associations) and other partners, in our planning. We are doing this through a combination of crowdsourcing, consultations and micro-grants, blended with awareness raising and advocacy. First, we are complementing the country analysis – an important basis for the UNPF development – with a “wisdom of crowds” approach, i.e. crowdsourcing through three mini-surveys based on the Futurescaper online platform. The surveys explored alternative perceptions of Lao PDR’s current key development issues, their causes, effects and priorities for the future of the country to 2021. The first survey, an in-depth exploration of existing development issues and their causes, clearly showed that governance is a top priority. The majority of respondents identified governance and corruption as root causes of development challenges. They linked corruption to issues such as environmental sustainability; poverty and unemployment; human resources capacity; food and nutrition security and access and quality of education (see graph 1). Many of these factors have been cross-referenced in terms of causality; for example, reducing poverty and unemployment is strongly inter-linked with improving governance and vice versa. Identifying the most vulnerable populations What are other ways to get on board views beyond those of the “usual suspects” within UN and Government? To date, we have rarely cooperated with non-profit associations. So we decided to pursue this and engaged local non-profit associations via micro-grants. The associations support research on five vulnerable groups: women and children in remote areas (including ethnic minorities); unskilled, unemployed youth (age 15-24); people with physical and mental disability, especially in remote areas; farmers without access to land; and urban poor and socially marginalized. The studies help identify why these groups have been left behind, looking into immediate and root causes as well as manifestations of vulnerability to ensure better targeting of UN support in Lao PDR and find solutions for these vulnerable groups. Three of the studies are almost complete and the remaining two will be ready soon. Consulting the civil society The studies were complemented through dedicated civil society consultations, with 70 non-profit associations from all over the country, which in addition to the discussion of the UNPF also focused on the contribution of civil society to the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan 2016-2020. Furthermore, the consultations helped to define clear steps towards enhancing the space for the civil society operation in the country and improve collaboration with UN. Consultations between Government, civil society and private sector on SDG localization t00k place at the end of 2015 and additional sensitization workshops are plannedfor 2016. Engaging Lao youth  Lao youth make up 60 percent of the population. We attracted over 80 Lao youth who shared their vision of Lao PDR by 2030 via a mobile-phone photo competition ‘#Namkan2030’ and a related social media campaign. As we continue working on some of the above-mentioned initiatives to promote participatory strategic planning, the success of 2015 is apparent. Engaging citizens is challenging but absolutely necessary. We have seen that it can be both enlightening and fun.

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A story of many transitions: the UN in Haiti as it evolves in 2016

BY Mourad Wahba, Kanni Wignaraja | January 29, 2016

The UN has been in Haiti a long time. The most recent iteration of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) arrived 11 years ago. And it has been ‘shall we stay or shall we go’, for some years now. Maybe 2016 is the year where, finally, the decision to wrap up a full peace keeping mission does happen. For real. And for many, Haitians and UN colleagues alike, it is about time. There is much uncertainty in the air about elections. The complex electoral processes, the play of political parties and strong interest groups, the constitution as it is, the candidates; all contribute to an anxiety, a weariness, and a state of uncertainty. In the midst of this, the various parts of the UN have to come together, to try and think, plan and act as one. This is not a moment for individual entity or personal aggrandizement nor self-interest. It is time to step-up to the plate as a UN first, and take a hard look at our future roles and contribution to this country. To do this, we must first all see Haiti for what it can be in 10-15 years – a stable middle income country on a sustainable development path, leading to lasting peace and progress. Setting priorities with the people of Haiti Many of the UN Country Team and MINUSTAH mission colleagues get this, and have started more intensively working together to ensure a smooth transition, one that works for Haiti going forward. Some key areas for focus that came out of the initial visioning and planning exercises, include: Ensuring all Haitians have formal identity, with a national census and a civil registry; and following the missing data so no one is left behind; ‘Going (staying) local’ to build-back institutional and service delivery capacity, so local government can administer essential services and partner with local private sector to deliver; Addressing the rights and vulnerability gaps, which in most areas remain stark across gender lines, with women and girls as victims of violence, the least able to access land and credit, and with least choices available on education and jobs; If the Haitian people are open to it, some form of indepth dialogue to help bring about and keep a culture of peace. This would also include elements of rule of law, respect for human rights and education that integrates a socialization around a common culture and identity; and The need to keep open an emergency response/humanitarian window to address the spikes in cholera and malnutrition that still exists. This is a whole-of-UN system agenda to support. No entity can do any part of it alone. Nor can the mission, even if it is replaced by another UN Secretariat effort. It will take us all. A new global agenda, a new sustainable development framework This is the clear intention behind the team work underway: to develop a UN Sustainable Development Framework (UNSDF), an UNDAF-plus, that will support countries in their Agenda 2030 pathway. Haiti, we hope, will have a national census this year; the government and the UN also have access to multiple assessments and analytics it can draw from; the upcoming elections and establishment of a new government and parliament will provide the new set of national interlocutors to consult and plan with; and most importantly, it is a moment to take all of this to the Haitian people to understand better what they think and want from the UN in their country. This relationship must be refreshed with more public engagement, open dialogues and data transparency, access and reach that is community; and the UN being seen and heard together, with clear common voice on their vision for a young, growing, peaceful Haiti. Supporting together a transition process The transition is underway. We have learnt from others, including Timor-Leste and Sierra Leone. The common vision based on quality data and analytics are key. And a new UNSDF will be born, with not more than 5-6 strategic outcomes as defined and agreed with the key stakeholders. This must be followed by clear joint work streams leading to groups that will deliver together on joint work plans. A Business Operations Strategy (BOS) in a post mission setting is key, as the mission withdraws and with it the administrative services, such as fuel, which it provides to all. Ensuring UNSDF development, together with a BOS and mission transition plan, and having it all led by a common team and leadership, is therefore, the way to go. This is one island-two countries. Borders, biodiversity, epidemics, climate impact, trade are shared. People move across the borders every day. Bi-national it is called. Down the road, maybe more can be done together between the two UN country teams. There still remains too much that separates us – as UN missions and UN country teams serving in the same country. “Integrated missions” (which will bring together these two angles of the UN) will only really work if we truly integrate from the get-go and look at the design, substantive contributions, resource and capacity sharing, and common administration of a UN presence – One country, One UN. We are moving in this direction, but slowly, and not everyone is on the same page within. Our still parallel structures, separate administrations, separate teams - sometimes the mirror image of each other in the exact same areas - and separate visions of a country, attest to this. It is time to change, and Haiti is where we can show it can happen. This team is ready to demonstrate that it is possible.

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Silo Fighters Blog

Are we as smart as the SDGs?

BY Gina Lucarelli | January 18, 2016

While many of us in the UN see 2015 as a triumphant year for multilateralism, there are those who hold lingering doubts about the agreement on Agenda 2030, an ambitious set of goals that establishes milestones of growth & equality within the limits of the planet.  Many say they are too ambitious – 169 commandments according to the Economist and A free for all according to the New York Times. Fair enough. But what does ‘too ambitious’ as an indictment really mean? Are we saying that the full collective intelligence of humanity is not enough to reach the goals by 2030 – say ending HIV and AIDS, stopping violence against women, and ensuring no one lives in extreme poverty?  Yes these are high goals, but are we not smart enough to make that happen? It they can find a red balloon in nine hours, why can’t we reach the SDGs? Indulge me with an update of the maxim, “if they can put a man on the moon…” {usually followed with a lament of the lack of society advancement in a seemingly more simply terrain, i.e., ala Seinfeld,  why can’t they make a decent cup of coffee}. The SDG update goes like this: If a team from MIT can locate 10 red balloons hidden across the continental U.S. in nine hours, then why can’t we reach the SDGs in 15 years? The story of the red balloon is a good one to illustrate what collective intelligence is capable of. Handbooks and courses by Tom Malone on the subject at MIT (which I recommend) often start with the red balloon story.  In 2011, DARPA held a contest find 10 large red balloons which were floating somewhere in the continental  US. A $40,000 prize was offered to the team who could find all 10 balloons first. With no other information than the fact that the balloons were somewhere out there, the team used a social media network and incentive system to locate all 10 red balloons in 9 hours.  [Hint, the trick was to incentivize people to refer others to the search party to make the collective smart enough to find the balloons quickly.] If the U.S based collective could do this in 2011–can’t we take 2016 to begin tapping into similar collective intelligence on a global scale to achieve the SDGs?  If we take the perspective that intelligence is not just something that sits in individual brains, but it arises from groups of individuals, and increasingly, people and computers together, then what is possible when it comes to the world’s new ambitious set of sustainable development goals? Inspiration from NESTA’s CEO on collective intelligence With this as a backdrop, in December, with help from mentor/agitator Giulio Quaggiotto, I organized a brown bag discussion with UN staff to engage with Geoff Mulgan, the CEO of NESTA, to share his thoughts based on their applied thinking and experience with collective intelligence.  We were particularly interested in how to use planning processes (the UNDAF in UN parlance) as collective intelligence experiments. How does a UN Country Team harness a country’s best minds for sustainable development? What does a genuine multi-stakeholder planning process look like that goes from public engagement to decision making and investment? Internally within the diversity of the UN system, how do we act smartly as a collective? These were what framed Geoff’s talk on Collective Intelligence, the SDGs and the UN. Geoff gave us a good framework to work from, the elements of individual intelligence as a framework for assessing the smarts of a collective. The complexity increases on a continuum of the attributes of individual intelligence which can also be applied to teams and groups of people. Take observation as a cognitive function  - this is what happens when people are on flood watch. Moving up the chain, wisdom according to Geoff’s presentation adds a moral dimension. Wisdom is a tall order collectively – and individually for that matter.  Interestingly, Geoff mentioned that while web-based data tools may help a team cultivate joint cognitive functions like observation of data flows, when it comes to wisdom, no tech solution can make a team wise! New year’s resolution: make planning as a collective intelligence moment Duly inspired by this line of thinking, and pumped with all the good intentions of a new year… how about a resolution to apply collective intelligence as a framework to get Agenda 2030 moving? Within our work at the UN Development Group, what if we transform our own strategic planning processes into collective intelligence experiments? What would this look like in countries as they adapt national development strategies to the global sustainable development goals?  Many UN teams and governments across the globe have started to move in this direction by making their multi-year partnership planning processes more inclusive, more future-oriented and better informed by data, including peoples’ experiences as a new form of data. More of this all around! Instead of filling the new year’s log frames with mind-numbingly dull jargon, what if we roll up our planning sleeves with the intention to approach planning as collective intelligence experiment?   So that’s a collective provocation for you all. Calling all smart people out there who can now figure out how a collective intelligence planning process would look in practice… Any takers?

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Silo Fighters Blog

Go translate! Anchoring the SDGs in Uganda

BY Elisabet Frisk | December 23, 2015

The bottom-up approach taken worldwide to formulating the SDGs has indeed been unprecedented. In order to maintain this approach in monitoring and implementing the agenda, we need to ensure the population comprehends it. People need to understand the commitment and role of national and local government, how they can hold duty-bearers to account, and their own role and responsibility for the sustainable development of their communities. In Uganda, the Government has requested UN support in developing a SDG Communications strategy geared towards reaching as large a portion of the Ugandan population as possible with localized/contextualized and easy to grasp-messages that can be applied by national stakeholders and the UN alike in campaigns and communication products. To implement this strategy, we will need to work together with youth and other community members to develop the messages and connect them to local concepts as well as translate them into local languages. The vision is that wherever you go in Uganda people will have a basic understanding of the concepts of sustainable development. This past October, for UN Day, we launched a publication on Uganda’s journey to Sustainable Development entitled, “Our Constitution, Our Vision, Our SDGs”, highlighting how the concept of sustainable development is nothing new or foreign, but already embedded in national foundations and frameworks such as the Constitution, the Vision 2040, the Africa vision 2063 and the Ugandan national anthem; which all provide the basis for the notion and ownership of Sustainable Development in Uganda. In the publication we have also attempted to identify local concepts or notions of sustainable development, such as Ggwanga Mujje! Ggwanga Mujje! (which can be explained as “Community come”: rally the community for development causes through the beat of the drum). Building on the concept of beating the drum to rally the community, the launch event for the SDGs held 26 October was named “Beat the Drum for the Global Goals.” The event, which included an exhibition to visualize the 17 Sustainable Development Goals with relatable materials, drew a crowd of over 400 people from civil society, government, youth, UN and development partners. That same day the President of Uganda H.E Yoweri K. Museveni also championed Goal 16 – something which attracted a lot of media coverage. To take the SDGs to the people across Uganda, the UN has set out to tackle the lack of technical capacity and awareness within Local Governments to respond to citizen’s needs and to the localization and implementation of the 2030 agenda through Local Government Plans. Through a collaboration between the UN Youth Convergence group and Restless development Uganda, 40 youth researchers in Northern Uganda have been sensitized to the SDGs and have helped to translate the SDGs into local concepts and languages. [gallery ids="787,788,786,785"]     This training session was particularly lively and enjoyable for the youth researchers! The researchers critically analysed which local language expression conveyed the true meaning behind a given goal. This required a deep understanding of each goal by reading the full SDG document. It also spurred debate around the meaning of the words themselves (what is industry? Infrastructure? Consumption?) People also had a keen desire to align the goals to local and cultural concepts (through proverbs, for example) and find a translation that would be accessible for the majority of people in their respective regions. Some of the local concepts and proverbs that were identified to explain the concept of sustainable development include: Luo: Dongo lobo labongo apoka poka pi tin ki pi diki – Development without inequality for today and tomorrow Luo: Tong gweno ma tin loyo latin gweno ma diki – An egg you have today is better than a chick you have tomorrow Ngakarimojong: Eyakaune ngolo ruba – Being there forever. Some examples of translating the short titles of the SDGs into local languages include Goal Translation into Local language English Translation Goal 5 – Gender equality Luo: Tero mon ki coo labongo apokapoka Treating women and men equally Goal 8 – Decent work and economic growth akarimojong:  Ngiticisio ngulu ajokak ka amucurusanu Good work and booming business Goal 13 – Climate action Luo: Tic ikom alokaloka me piny Working on earthly changes Goal 12 – Responsible consumption and production Ngakarimojong: Kimunji Totamunete AkitIYAUN Eat and remember to work for it The work done by the youth researchers will help inform the UN communication strategy for the SDGs, but will also feed into the next phase of the UN/Restless Development project where  youth researchers will discuss real-time data (U-report SMS data) on regional priorities with communities and local governments. The youth researchers have already identified which goals are aligned with the key youth themes emerging from their research, as well as thinking about how the fulfillment of these goals can support change in their local communities. Researchers were able to accurately align the findings of their research with the global goals. Through this process the researchers also highlighted the inter-relatedness of the goals and discussed how the achievement of one goal would support others. They felt that the majority of issues affecting young people were incorporated in the goals and that their achievement could solve many of the problems that their community youth are facing. They were informed about the presence of Hon. Kutesa (President of UN General Assembly’s 69th session) and H.E President Museveni at the launch of the global goals in New York as well as the commitments that they made. This spurred them on to use the SDGs as a policy framework and a tool to support their advocacy efforts on youth issues and to hold their local leaders to account. Initial feed-back from the youth researchers’ engagement with Local Government (which is ongoing) indicate that anchoring the SDGs into local concepts and languages, and leveraging the framework for discussions on priorities and responsibilities is highly useful. This is a time for UN to make sure that this new agenda is not seen as a UN framework but is truly owned and understood by the communities it is there to serve! Go translate!

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Brazil: Engaging multiple stakeholders to implement and track the progress of the 2030 Agenda

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.

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Turkmenistan: Localizing the SDGs and creating a monitoring system with an inclusive approach

November 9, 2016

Following the UN Sustainable Development Summit where the President of Turkmenistan demonstrated his support to the 2030 Agenda and the country’s commitment to realize the SDGs, the country established a joint government–UN SDG Task Group consisting of 20 national agencies. The Task Group includes the Mejlis (Parliament) of Turkmenistan, diverse sector ministries of Economy and Development, Finance, Health, Education, Labour and Social Protection, Agriculture and Water, Justice, the State Committee for Environment Protection and Land Resources, the Turkmen National Institute for Democracy and Human Rights and the State Statistics Committee. The Task Group immediately approved a structured three-stage roll-out process including: national consultations, focused on each of the SDGs, to discuss and agree on the goals and targets to be adopted; incorporation of goals and targets into the next Presidential Socio-Economic Plan for 2017–2021 and sector plans and programmes; and creation of a national system to measure progress in implementing the SDGs. Reviewing existing plans and adapting the SDGs to the national context The Government of Turkmenistan hosted 17 days of national consultations during March 2016 in collaboration with the UN. This was a novel beginning to the country’s journey towards 2030. Each full-day session was jointly led by a government ministry and the UN and provided an opportunity to adjust the SDGs or define national indicators. On average 9 to 10 national ministries and departments were represented at each meeting, along with two representatives from the National Statistical Office. These consultations led to 121 out of 169 global targets being recommended for adoption without modification, while an additional 27 targets were modified; 109 of the 231 global indicators were recommended for adoption without modification, and 50 were modified. In addition, 39 national indicators were formulated, resulting in a total of 198 indicators. This list of recommendations is being submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers for formal approval. Through the consultations, line ministries were able to openly exchange views and hold intersectoral discussions on sensitive topics, including discrepancies in data and HIV/AIDS indicators. The consultations provided an opportunity for capacity development by discussing in depth what each goal, target and indicator meant for the national context. They also contributed to building trust between the government and the UN for the work to follow. Inclusive participation During the process of defining the 2030 Agenda, Turkmenistan, with support from the UN, held country consultations to discuss the lessons learned from the implementation of the MDGs, to inform the public of the global discussions on the SDGs and seek their inputs into the 2030 Agenda. These consultations engaged with diverse stakeholders such as parliamentarians, academics, youth and school children (the Youth Union), women (the Women’s Union), private-sector actors (the Union of Manufacturers and Entrepreneurs), and NGOs working with persons with disabilities. The consultations resulted in a very high level of government awareness of the SDGs and contributed to moving quickly to roll out the SDGs with a whole-of-government approach.

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Sierra Leone: Setting the stage for SDG progress in a crisis-affected country

November 9, 2016

National ownership Despite a devastating decade-long civil war (1991–2001), Sierra Leone made significant progress towards achieving the MDGs. However, in 2014–2015 the country was hit hard by the Ebola crisis as well as a coincidental collapse in international iron ore prices — a key source of fiscal revenues and foreign exchange — presenting a considerable challenge for the country’s Vision 2035 of becoming a middle-income country. Today the SDGs are being implemented against a backdrop of multiple recovery strategies, including the third Poverty Reduction Strategy (Agenda for Prosperity 2013–2018) and the National Ebola Recovery Strategy/Presidential Recovery Priorities (2015–2017). Both strategies are informed by the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States. Progress is being made on implementing the SDGs, despite the circumstances of recent years, due to strong leadership from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MOFED) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. In an impressive move, Sierra Leone’s 2016 national budget already reflects all 17 SDGs aligned with the eight pillars of the Agenda for Prosperity. The government also launched a popular version of the SDGs in the parliament during the national Budget Speech and distributed it to a cross-section of other stakeholders, including civil servants, NGOs and CSOs. With financial support from the New Deal facility,9MOFED provided a briefing to the Cabinet and held several radio talk shows to explain the SDGs to the general public. Adapting the SDGs to the national context The Government of Sierra Leone, in collaboration with the UNCT, held a technical retreat in December 2015 to review the SDGs against the landscape of existing strategies and plans, including the Agenda for Prosperity, and to draft an SDG Adaptation Report to be presented at the HLPF in 2016. This retreat included, among others, line ministries, departments and agencies, CSOs and UN agencies. Raising public awareness Public awareness-raising efforts also saw early progress in Sierra Leone. To lay the foundation, the UNCT prepared a novel SDG communications strategy which domesticated and simplified the messages of the SDGs. With the communications strategy in hand, the UNCT held two SDG photo and banner exhibitions in the capital city as well as a nationwide campaign at the Universities of Kenema, Bo, Makeni and Njala by engaging with mayors, university teachers and students. In addition, the government also held a national conference, with support from the UNCT, at the University of Makeni in March 2016, to discuss the ways to transition from the MDGs to the SDGs and the challenges facing the country in the SDG era. Another innovative move was the UN Communications Group’s special training to familiarize journalists with the SDGs and facilitate objective reporting of progress and challenges to implementation in light of the Ebola crisis. Due to these efforts, key stakeholders are well aware of the SDGs. In particular, SDG 16 on governance gained wide recognition as a critical goal for Sierra Leone as a post-conflict country and a founding member of the g7+, a voluntary association of countries that are or have been affected by conflict and are now in transition to the next stage of development. Assessing risks and fostering adaptability Lessons learned from the Ebola crisis and the collapse in international iron ore prices informed the development of the National Ebola Recovery Strategy/Presidential Recovery Priorities (2015–2017). The objective is to ensure that the country maintains zero cases of Ebola while ‘building back better’ national systems for resilience and national development, including preparedness to face future shocks and epidemics. The national strategy comprises seven presidential priority sectors: health, education, social protection, private sector development, water, energy and governance. Implementation of the first phase ended in March 2016, and the second phase started in April 2016. Discussions are under way for the presidential priorities to integrate the SDGs.

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Philippines: Promoting institutional coordination

November 9, 2016

National ownership The Philippine government has embraced the need for the country to mainstream the SDGs into its next national six-year development plan (2017–2022) and the 25-year development programme called ‘Ambisyon Natin (Our Ambition) 2040’. It has led technical workshops to inform the core national-level indicators for effective monitoring of progress against the SDGs. Institutional coordination and coherence The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) proposed the creation of the Committee on SDGs to spearhead the national implementation of the SDGs and promote rapid, inclusive and sustained economic growth. The Committee will comprise the heads of various national government agencies, with the Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning as the Chair. In addition, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Board has recently approved a resolution enjoining all government agencies to provide the necessary data support to monitor the SDGs. The Philippines Statistical Development Plan 2011–2017 now includes a separate chapter for the compilation and improvement of national SDG indicators. At the subnational level, the Mindanao NEDA Sub-national Offices have passed a resolution requesting the establishment of an operational and integrated mechanism for the localization of the SDGs within the NEDA. The mechanism will define the development actions and commitments required at the regional/local level to contribute to attaining the SDG targets. The resolution also called for the NEDA Central Office to ensure a highly participatory and consultative process by involving the regions in SDG- related activities through the existing Regional Development Councils. Raising public awareness Several CSOs have organized theme- and sector-focused forums and workshops to discuss how the SDG framework could be used to identify issues and interventions for specific sectors and themes. The private sector and business groups have also started advocacy initiatives to increase understanding and the engagement of relevant actors in inclusive business and the broader SDG agenda. In parallel, the UN continues to support the government in raising public awareness on the SDGs by developing advocacy and information materials, including an SDG presentation template, an SDG ‘commitment’ wall, SDG selfie boards to support the #GlobalGoals campaign, and an SDG booklet. These communication materials were used in many public awareness-raising events such as the UN’s 70th anniversary celebrations, children’s and youth events, private-sector events and academic forums. Inclusive participation Social Watch Philippines, a civil society network composed of more than 100 CSOs and individuals, is formulating a Spotlight Report with UN support, which will complement the government’s Voluntary National Review for the 2016 HLPF. It will be drawn from a series of consultations that will analyse poverty and inequality, the inclusiveness of growth and its environmental implications, and structural and systemic issues, including multi-stakeholderism and partnership. The results are also expected to feed into the government’s national visioning and planning exercise. Business groups are also planning a portal to capture the private sector’s contributions to SDG targets. Monitoring and reporting In October 2015, NEDA, in coordination with the PSA and with UNDP support, conducted the First Technical Workshop on SDGs Indicators. This event was attended by 269 participants from various national government agencies, CSOs, academic institutions and the UNCT. Then in May 2016 the Second Technical Workshop on SDGs Indicators was convened with over 300 participants to inform the report by the Philippines to the Voluntary National Review for the HLPF in July. At these workshops, the initial list of SDG indicators was examined within the context of the country’s development objectives, and relevant indicators that were not included in the list were identified. The participants also assessed whether data on the SDG indicators were available from existing data sources, and prioritized those that should be part of the country’s core indicators. Building on such basic mapping activities, 231 global indicators were examined and prioritized in accordance with the national context, while 23 additional national indicators were presented for SDGs 2 (zero hunger), 3 (good health and well-being) and 5 (gender equality). The Department of Labor and Employment also initiated technical workshops with support from the ILO in May 2016 to identify and update indicators for SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth) and other goals covering elements of decent work. This led to a mapping of indicators in the Philippines covering decent work.

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Pakistan: Making progress on the SDGs through commitment and institutional readiness

November 9, 2016

National ownership While Pakistan struggled to meet the MDGs, due in part to a lack of awareness and ownership early on in the process, the SDG era is being met with early political commitment and national ownership. Already by February 2016 the National Assembly of Pakistan had passed a unanimous resolution to adopt the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs as the national development agenda. The Speaker of the National Assembly constituted Parliamentary Task Forces at federal and provincial levels to oversee and support legislation for the SDGs and assigned the SDG Secretariat to provide support. Additionally, the federal government and four provincial governments have already committed US$15.5 million as co-financing to set up SDG Support Units, which aim to coordinate activities at both national and provincial levels. The governments will finance 50 percent of the total project budget of around US$35 million, which will be used for four main outputs: (i) mainstreaming the SDGs in national policies and plans; (ii) data and reporting; (iii) inclusive budgeting processes and tracking expenditure; and (iv) innovation. Institutional coordination and coherence During the MDG era, there were no institutional structures in place to coordinate planning and provide policy coherence. This time, the government has established SDG Support Units at federal and provincial levels with UN assistance, and has created the SDG Secretariat within the parliament. At the provinciallevel specifically, the government has begun the process of integrating the SDGs, including establishing approaches for the analysis of Annual Development Plans to help identify gaps in progress and financial allocations. Raising public awareness The launch of the SDGs in Pakistan in October 2015 was marked in the presence of the Minister for Planning, Development and Reform and the UN Resident Coordinator. The country has a devolved governance structure which empowers provinces to plan and implement development interventions. The importance of awareness and ownership at these levels was a key lesson learned from the MDG era. Accordingly, provincial launches and consultative workshops were held in Sindh and Punjab with a view to raising awareness of the SDGs at the subnational level. Advocacy and awareness-raising materials were developed and disseminated to government officials at national and provincial levels, civil society, UN agencies and other international partners. Inclusive participation At the national launch of the SDGs, the government invited non-state partners to discuss the country’s SDG roll-out plans. The Parliamentary Task Force on the SDGs also ensured the participation of development partners, including UN agencies, CSOs, think tanks and the media, in a national consultation workshop focusing on malnutrition. In Sindh and Punjab provinces, consultations to launch and prioritize the SDGs at the provincial level involved not only senior provincial officials but also CSOs, think tanks and academia. Monitoring and reporting Pakistan was able to produce regular data for 33 of the 60 MDG indicators, while the SDGs have 231 indicators. A preliminary exercise to assess the data gap for the SDGs shows that data are available for 125 indicators at the national level, 71 at the provincial level and 27 at the district level. The initial assessment portrays a dismal picture of the availability of data at federal level for SDG 3 (good health and well-being), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), SDG 14 (life below water), SDG 15 (life on land) and SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions). Also, the data gaps widen as the analysis moves from the national to the district level. The findings show that data for most of the indicators for SDGs 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), 10 (reduced inequalities), 12 (responsible consumption and production) and 15 (life on land) are not available at district level. District-level data are costlier and require greater effort to collect and analyse because of the larger sample size and disaggregation required.

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Morocco: Multi-stakeholder forums to adapt the SDGs to national and local contexts

November 9, 2016

The constitutional pathway Morocco’s national priorities are derived from its 2011 constitutional reforms with a focus to: complete the democratic transition and strengthen human rights; improve its economic viability, environmental sustainability and social stability; scale up climate change adaptation and energy transition; and consolidate its strategic leadership regionally and globally. For Morocco, the transition from the MDGs to the SDGs has enabled a strategic focus on inclusive development and the environment. As a further testament to the country’s commitment to sustainable development, in 2016 Morocco will host the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP22) in Marrakech. National ownership The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the High Commission for Planning in Morocco, together with a national interministerial committee and the UNCT, organized a national consultation in May 2016 under the theme ‘Contextualization of the 2030 Agenda in Morocco: Leave No One Behind’. During the consultations, approximately 500 stakeholders had the opportunity to collectively examine the 2030 Agenda, learn about the country’s engagement at the international level and explore their roles and responsibilities to achieve the goals. It was also the first opportunity for high-level public officials to take stock collectively on key national policies and sectoral strategies related to the SDGs. Raising public awareness Close to 200 non-state participants, mainly digital entrepreneurs, children and young people, civil society activists, celebrities, journalists and activists joined the national consultation. The UN also engaged the Royal Institute of the Amazigh Culture to translate the SDGs into the Amazigh language, which in 2011 became an official language of Morocco, alongside Arabic. Social media (#MarocODD) was used to inform stakeholders about the issues to be discussed at the national consultation workshop. Also, as part of the ‘Project Everyone’ campaign during the week preceding the UN Sustainable Development Summit, Hit Radio, a leading radio station with approximately 1.8 million listeners per day, partnered with the UN to translate SDG messages into Moroccan Arabic and broadcast them to reach young people. Reviewing the SDGs and the national context Thirty-five high-level panellists from the Moroccan parliament, administration, the Ministry of Justice, the Human Rights Council and the Confederation of Business Enterprises gave presentations on the status of the SDGs related to their sectors during the national consultations. The discussions and exchanges among participants collectively examined the work in progress and implementation and monitoring challenges. It also delved into the need for public policy coherence, adequate financing, and monitoring and evaluation systems. The Planning Commission shared the national framework which addresses the main targets and indicators. An initial analysis by the government revealed that the national statistical system can produce data on about 63 percent of the global SDG indicators. The missing data relate mainly to the SDGs on governance and the environment. Inclusive participation The Economic and Social Council, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UN system brought together CSOs and national institutions in the consultations. Discussions included how to support local authorities in the development, implementation and monitoring of the SDGs, and how to effectively engage children and youth and foster awareness and ownership of the 2030 Agenda. The role of CSOs in maintaining the public debate was also highlighted. UN entities such as UNDP, the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), UNESCO, UNV and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA) proposed areas of policy support and tools at regional, national and subnational levels in support of contextualizing and accelerating the SDGs in Morocco. With a particular focus on children and youth, UNICEF and UNV organized sessions during and after the national consultations, leading to positive feedback that those sessions helped enhance the civic engagement of young people at the local level.

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Montenegro: Adapting an established national strategy for Sustainable Development to new global and regional agendas

November 9, 2016

National ownership Montenegro’s ambitions as an ‘ecological state’ pursuing a sustainable development path stem from the 1990s and were reflected as early as 1992 in the text of the Constitution. This interest was further reflected in the country’s high level of participation in global debates on the formulation of the SDGs, particularly through the Open Working Group, where the views of 12,000 people from national consultations ‘Montenegro – the Future I Want’ were presented. The UN Montenegro and the civil sector collaborated closely with the government in the ambitious consultation process with the people of Montenegro, which included the most marginalized populations. In close cooperation with the UN, the government launched the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the UN, using a jointly developed animation entitled ‘We have a plan’. Institutional coordination In 2002, Montenegro established a National Council for Sustainable Development, which acts as an advisory body to the government for implementing sustainable development policies, while the line ministry responsible for sustainable development is in charge of implementation. Chaired by the President and consisting of 25 members (representatives of ministries, local authorities, the business sector, public institutions, civil society and independent experts), the National Council provides recommendations to the government for implementing sustainable development policies; harmonizes sectoral policies with the principles, objectives and measures of sustainable development, climate change and integrated coastal zone management; and amends the existing regulations and adopts new regulations for the harmonization of socio-economic development and conservation of natural resources with sustainable development policies. Since the adoption of the first National Strategy for Sustainable Development (NSSD) in 2007, a new strategy has been proposed to reform the institutional set-up, in order to further strengthen capacities at the Ministry for Sustainable Development and Tourism and the public administration and improve their cooperation with national and international partners. The existing National Council was thus reformed as the National Council for Sustainable Development, Climate Changes and Integrated Coastal Zone Management, covering more diverse and integrated issues. Reviewing existing plans and adapting the SDGs to the national context A draft version of the NSSD 2030 was adopted by the Government of Montenegro, and a mapping of the indicators and targets proposed for each goal against existing national statistics was completed. Public consultations with a broad spectrum of relevant stakeholders have been held, and the NSSD has fully aligned national goals with the 2030 Agenda. The Strategy was adopted by the National Council for Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Integrated Coastal Zone Management in June 2016, while the final adoption by the government is expected in mid-2016. The previous NSSD and MDG Progress Reports were used as important inputs to the new NSSD 2030. Discussions held within the Open Working Group on SDGs, intergovernmental negotiations and the outcomes of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda influenced the content and timing of the Strategy. A longer time horizon was adopted to align it with the 2030 Agenda, and ‘governance and financing’ for sustainable development was given a central position. The UN contributed to the development of the new NSSD, and it is expected to be further involved in setting up a national monitoring and evaluation system to track progress in implementing the NSSD Action Plan. Moreover, the government and UN Montenegro developed a new plan of cooperation for 2017–2021, taking the 2030 Agenda as a starting point for UN interventions in the country. They are currently working on developing an online hub that will inter alia  help to communicate the SDGs and engage with partners in their implementation of the NSSD. Monitoring and reporting Monitoring and reporting on implementation of the NSSD has been taken seriously. An integrated NSSD monitoring framework proposes using 231 global SDG indicators, 281 national indicators, 9 composite indicators, and 36 other indicators provided by international organizations that are relevant to Montenegro. Overall, 42.3 percent of the global set of SDG indicators will be tracked through existing or newly accessible data by 2018, since the preparation of the First National Report on NSSD implementation is planned in 2019. It is anticipated that by 2024, 74.7 percent of SDG indicators will be regularly monitored and reported on. Specific tasks are being assigned for the collection and storage of input data for the statistical indicators, as well as protocols for exchanging data and ensuring compatibility. The need for improved capacity is highlighted if reporting on the full range of indicators of sustainable development is to be realized.

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Mauritania: Demonstrating early efforts to mainstream SDGs within a new national development strategy

November 9, 2016

National ownership and reviewing national plans for adapting the SDGsThe Government of Mauritania undertook a Rapid Integrated Assessment with UN support to inform its new Strategy of Accelerated Growth and Shared Prosperity for 2016–2030. The results showed that 92 SDG targets are represented in the existing strategic framework, suggesting good integration so far, with gaps to be addressed. This assessment will inform the formulation of the new strategy, which marks a transition from 15 years of implementing a strategy and policy focused on poverty reduction, to the formulation of a new, ambitious development strategy through to 2030. In addition, the Ministry of Economy and Finances provided SDG-related training to the new strategy’s technical team, using UN tools and modules. This training focused on the challenges of integrating the SDGs into national plans, with particular attention to cross-cutting elements, data and accountability. Raising public awareness In October 2015, the Ministry for the Economy and Finance, with support from the UN as part of its 70th anniversary celebrations, gathered participants from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector, the government, parliamentarians, financial and technical partners and researchers to launch the 2030 Agenda and discuss future implementation of the SDGs in Mauritania. The celebrations included a free concert by local musicians, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and the UN to promote the SDGs and raise public awareness of the role of each citizen to achieve them. The UN system in Mauritania also organized a national photography contest with the theme of the SDGs, giving all Mauritanians the chance to depict an SDG of their choice. An awareness-raising workshop took place in May 2016 to explain the global SDG formulation processand the future mainstreaming of the SDGs into Mauritania’s new strategy. The event brought together multiple government departments and the private sector (e.g. the Employers Association and the Chamber of Commerce), civil society (e.g. Platform of Non-State Actors, Organization for the Defense of the Disabled, Observatory of Organizations for Human Rights, the Network for the Social Promotion and Environment Protection, Mauritanian Association for Assistance to the Needy) and international technical and financial partners (e.g. the UN, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the European Union). The workshop allowed the participants to better understand the transition from the MDGs to the SDGs, to learn about the SDGs and to understand the importance of integrating them into national plans. The participants, based on their field of activity and expertise, also provided recommendations for the whole SDG mainstreaming and implementation process. Inclusive participation As part of the celebration of the UN’s 70th anniversary, the Ministry of Social Affairs, Children and Family And the UN system collaborated with the Center for Children Living with a Disability to organize a free concert at the Olympic Stadium. The musical group Evolution (with members representing youth from all diverse segments of Mauritanian society) performed a song about the SDGs while children from the Center performed a choreographed dance. Malian refugees also took part in the celebrations, through the musical group Etrane Timbuktu. The participation of children with disabilities and refugees in the performance was an effective way to highlight the commitment to leave no one behind in the process to implement the SDGs. Furthermore, representatives of marginalized groups, such as the Association for Disabled, Blind and Visually Impaired People, have taken part in the work to mainstream the SDGs into the Strategy of Accelerated Growth and Shared Prosperity, including in awareness-raising workshops and technical work to prioritize the SDGs.

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Indonesia: Promoting inclusive approaches to localize the SDGs

November 9, 2016

National ownership Indonesia has been involved in the SDGs since their early conception in 2012 when former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was appointed as a Co-Chair of the High-Level Panel of eminent persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Indonesia has expressed its strong commitment to the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. President Joko Widodo’s nine national priorities and the country’s Medium-Term Development Plans align well with the SDGs. The National Development Planning Agency, Bappenas, performed a mapping exercise for the goals and targets of the national plan with the SDGs, finding that 108 out of 169 SDG targets are matched. Some of the boldest targets, such as ending violence against children, are openly debated and thereby in the realm of the possible to achieve. A Presidential Regulation has been drafted to establish governance mechanisms for the SDGs that are conducive to stakeholder engagement and will guide mainstreaming of the SDGs into sectoral development plans and budgets. The Regulation also ensures the role of provincial government in leading implementation of the SDGs at their level and in the districts under their supervision. It also demands regular monitoring and evaluation reporting from ministries and the subnational level. Institutional coordination and coherence Effective January 2016, the government transformed its MDGs Secretariat into the SDGs Transition Secretariat, operationalized with additional support from the UNCT, the Australian government, the Asian Development Bank and the Ford Foundation. It is notable that the Ministry of Health has also created a secretariat to deal specifically with SDG 3 on good health and well-being. The Planning Office of Indonesia’s Riau provincial government has collaborated with UNDP and Tanoto Foundation in localizing the SDGs at provincial and district levels. It held its first multi-stakeholder consultation in May 2016 and has selected three districts to pioneer development of the SDG District Action Plan. Meanwhile, Bappenas, the International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID) and UNDP have been contacted by several provincial and district governments seeking technical assistance and guidance to roll out the SDGs at their level. Inclusive participation Indonesia’s approach to adapting the 2030 Agenda to its national and subnational contexts is characterized by the participation of a wide range of stakeholders in SDG discussions and a decentralized approach. Following President Widodo’s commitment to CSOs in December 2015, the SDGs Transition Secretariat held dialogues with civil society networks such as INFID, and the private sector, to translate that commitment to inclusive SDG governance into a policy framework. Private-sector organizations in Indonesia have been among the most active partners in launching SDG-related activities. The SDG Philanthropy Platform facilitates dialogue and collaboration on the SDGs. The Association of Philanthropy Indonesia (Filantropi Indonesia), together with the Indonesian Global Compact Network, the Indonesian Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce, have launched the Forum Filantropi dan Bisnis — Indonesia untuk SDGs (the Indonesia Philanthropy and Business for the SDGs), which has a membership of 10 associations representing more than 600 businesses and philanthropic foundations. Also, business, trade unions, the Ministry of Manpower of Indonesia and the ILO jointly hosted a tripartite conference in February 2016 to discuss the impact of various labour policies and institutions on the objectives included in the SDGs, particularly in SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth). Participants acknowledged the critical importance of tripartite social dialogue to achieving inclusive growth and decent work. By May 2016, two public universities had engaged in the SDGs. The University of Indonesia is collaborating with the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Bappenas on localizing the SDGs, and the University of Padjajaran has established an SDG Centre to prepare policy recommendations and independent monitoring of the SDGs. A private university, BINUS, has also adapted its community development programme to contribute to SDGs 1 to 8. Raising public awareness To raise awareness of the SDGs among young people and children, who represent 25 percent of the Indonesian population, the UN Resident Coordinator in Indonesia appeared in two 30-minute shows on the biggest national TV channel, TV RI, to talk with young children about development in the country and the importance of achieving the SDGs. The UN in Indonesia also created an SDG partnership with Radio Elshinta, one of Indonesia’s premier and largest radio networks, generating 25 interviews and articles about the SDGs to date. The information is also cross-posted with other Elshinta channels, including Elshinta TV and Elshinta Magazine. Their postings on social media are shared with over 1.6 million followers on Twitter (hashtag #ElshintaSDGs). The UN has entered into a partnership for the SDGs with the most influential daily newspaper, Kompas , and has named a renowned actor and a famous musician as ‘SDG movers’ to campaign for the SDGs. Monitoring and reporting The National Statistical Office (BPS) is assessing its capacity to measure SDG indicators and discussing the establishment of a data monitoring system to record progress against them. BPS estimates that it will be able to supply one third of the data needs for the proposed indicators, and another one third can be found within the data repositories of the technical ministries. A data gap remains for the final third, but BPS is working with the UN to explore the possibility of using big data to fill it.

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Georgia: Prioritizing SDG implementation towards institutional coordination and policy coherence

November 9, 2016

National ownershipGeorgia is enjoying a favourable start to implementation of the SDGs due to the government’s demonstrated ownership of the SDG agenda and a national consensus about the importance of thenew global goals for the country’s development. The Administration of the Government of Georgia has established a working group comprising line ministries and the National Statistics Office to adapt the SDGs to the national context. Strong commitment to make the global goals an essential part of national priorities was clearly voiced at the Social Good Summit in September 2015 organized by the Administration of the Government, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection and the UN, in cooperation with the Government of the Ajara Autonomous Republic, one of the rapidly developing regions of Georgia that has engaged in piloting many of the SDG approaches. With the focus on pressing developmental issues faced by Georgia in the areas of environmental protection, economic growth and urban and rural development, the Summit paid particular attention to the development of national strategies required to address these challenges and the value of international cooperation to enhance the country’s role in achieving the global goals. The discussion which had started at the Social Good Summit continued at the SDG Donor Round Table in January 2016. Inclusive participation Following a highly participatory Social Good Summit which brought on board government officials, representatives of subnational governments, civil society and the media, UN support to the nationalization of the SDGs continued by assisting an inclusive national dialogue about the Post-2015 Development Agenda. This included a series of introductory meetings in five regions of Georgia that engaged local authorities, NGOs, businesses and the media. Adapting the SDGs to the national context To adapt the SDGs to national priorities and challenges, the Government’s Administration has prioritized 13 of the 17 SDGs and 79 global targets for the next 5–7 years. Additionally, 40 targets have been translated and adjusted, and 5 new national targets have been set, while the government intends to define all 17 SDGs as a permanent national priority. National and local CSOs provided inputs into identifying priority areas, and the government is continuing the dialogue process. The UNCT has held a series of consultations with the Government’s Administration and all line ministries to provide feedback on the nationalization process, including specific targets and indicators. Raising public awareness Building on the successful engagement of approximately 10,000 Georgians during the national consultations in 2013 to inform the creation of the 2030 Agenda, the government, together with the UN, is considering creating an online digital platform for interactive data collection and visualization of  the SDGs and the Georgian nationalization process. Crowdsourcing tools such as the MY World survey, including an online platform and an SMS voting service, offer the opportunity to collect fresh data on the Georgian public’s stance on the SDGs. Leaflets and guides are being developed in the Georgian language to raise awareness among local communities and municipalities. Additionally, introductory meetings were held in five regions of the country, with the aim of raising awareness of the SDGs among local governments and the private and civil sectors. The UN has also partnered with the national NGO Civil Development Agency (CiDA) to support local-level outreach round tables, and a panel discussion was convened on the SDG agenda at the international conference ‘Promoting Corporate Social Responsibility in Georgia’ together with CiDA and the UN Global Compact. Horizontal and vertical coordination The establishment within the Government’s Administration of two new units in 2014 greatly enhanced the government’s capacity to lead the nationalization process and provided the UNCT with clear entry points and partners to support the SDG process. The Planning and Innovations Unit has led the nationalization process and horizontal policy coordination, while the Donor Coordination Unit has led the interface between the Government’s Administration and international organizations. Monitoring and reporting With the support of the National Statistics Office of Georgia (Geostat), a reliable information base has been analysed to set the baseline indicator for each target. Geostat has worked with the line ministries to collect the relevant data and analyse weaknesses of disaggregated statistics. As of early 2016, nearly 120 indicators have been identified as having baseline data. Still, the lack of statistical data remains a challenge to setting reliable quantitative indicators.

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El Salvador: Demonstrating ownership to implement the SDGs

November 9, 2016

National ownership On the initiative of the President of the Republic, Salvador Sánchez Cerén, El Salvador decided to give a special boost to the implementation of the new 2030 Agenda in the country. Since the President’s participation at the UN Sustainable Development Summit, the processes of adopting and implementing the 2030 Agenda have been guided from the highest level by the Presidency of the Republic, and operationally delegated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Technical and Planning Secretariat of the Presidency. Adapting the SDGs to the national context The current Five-Year Development Plan (2014–2019) has already been studied and analysed in relation to the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. Among several similarities found, it is of particular interest to note that SDGs 8 (decent work and economic growth), 4 (quality education) and 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) clearly embody the three main priorities defined in the Plan: Productive employment generated through sustained economic growth Inclusive and equitable education Effective citizen security In this context, on 15 December 2015, the Government of El Salvador and the UN signed a Memorandum of Understanding — the first of its kind — for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The first step identified in this process was to jointly develop comprehensive training on the 2030 Agenda for government officials, which involved 488 public servants from 71 national institutions. Significant contributions from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Technical and Planning Secretariat of the Presidency enabled fruitful coordination with other national institutions and the successful provision of technical assistance. Based on the UN’s MAPS approach and the SDGs Roadmap, devised by Salvadoran public institutions as a country-specific guide for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, further initiatives aimed at fostering national ownership of the 2030 Agenda are now under way. Raising public awareness Numerous SDG awareness-raising initiatives have been organized with the international community, CSOs and the public and private sectors, at both national and local levels. In particular, under the auspices of the Presidency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Technical and Planning Secretariat of the Presidency, together with the UNCT, organized a series of training workshops for Salvadoran public servants on each of the 17 SDGs. These workshops aimed to: Develop, strengthen and complement public servants’ knowledge on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs; (ii) promote a comprehensive understanding of the SDGs; Analyse the links among the institutional strategic plans of the public institutions involved, the government’s Five-Year Development Plan (2014–2019) and the 2030 Agenda; and Create a dialogue space to exchange expertise and answer questions or concerns. Inclusive participation The development of the first phase of SDG mainstreaming in El Salvador is guided by a commitment to ensure the highest possible level of inclusive participation. These efforts are feeding the enthusiasm for the new 2030 Agenda, building on the results already achieved through the consultation and localizing phases, in which more than 4,000 Salvadorans shared their perspectives and ideas about the ‘El Salvador We Want’ as part of the UN SDG Action Campaign. In addition, the creation of an integral and comprehensive National Council for Sustainable Development has been called for within the government, to foster synergies among the variety of development stakeholders, at the national and subnational levels, for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Monitoring and reporting To overcome the monitoring and reporting challenges posed by the 2030 Agenda, the Technical and Planning Secretariat of the Presidency and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been working with the UN to review the complete list of SDG indicators, as a first step towards defining national targets. This work includes the development of a second series of workshops with Salvadoran public institutions, aiming at fostering multilateral dialogues on the issue and generating the seed for the creation and implementation of a one-of-its-kind national development agenda for the SDGs.

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Egypt: Aligning the nation’s plans with the 2030 Agenda and the African Union’s Agenda 2063

November 9, 2016

National ownership Egypt has endorsed both the global 2030 Agenda and the regional African Union Agenda 2063, which strives to enable Africa to remain focused and committed to the ideals envisaged in the context of a rapidly changing world. The year 2016 marked a convergence of strategic planning for Egypt. At the national level, Egypt’s Vision 2030 was endorsed by the newly elected parliament as the nation’s sustainable development strategy. It aims to promote a competitive, balanced and diversified economy based on justice, social integrity and participation. The next 15 years will thus certainly place many important strategic demands on the country, including overcoming structural challenges, mobilizing resources and coordinating efforts to fulfil its national Vision 2030 and its commitments to the regional and global agendas. Egypt has shown early signs of commitment to implementing the 2030 Agenda, and has already taken a number of important steps. In December 2015, the Prime Minister issued a decree to form a national committee, composed of key ministries and state institutions, to follow up on the implementation of the SDGs and to effectively report on progress. The Minister of International Cooperation was appointed as its Rapporteur. Reviewing national plans and adapting the SDGs to the national context With support from the UN, the Government of Egypt is conducting a rapid review of its existing strategies, including Egypt Vision 2030 and other relevant sectoral plans. The objective is to assess the level of alignment with the SDGs, identify possible gaps between existing national priority goals and targets and global targets, and highlight areas for change. Raising public awareness There has been a significant focus on systematically promoting public understanding of the SDGs. For instance, the UN in Egypt held an ‘Open Code for Sustainable Development’ camp in September 2015 as part of the Social Good Summit to launch the SDGs in the country. More than 100 children and youth took part in the camp and learned about new web programming and management technologies to develop solutions to help achieve the SDGs. Similarly, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Youth, together with the UN, used the occasion of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace in May 2016 — which brought together more than 300 sports celebrities, diplomats, the general public and the media — to support and raise awareness of the SDGs. Inclusive participation The government has initiated a multi-stakeholder consultation process with CSOs, major groups from academia, the private sector, special interest groups, children and youth to raise awareness of the SDGs and seek their views and feedback on the SDG implementation. This process builds on the consultative process that Egypt undertook in partnership with the UN and development partners to prepare the post-2015 consultation The World We Want, during which over 17,000 Egyptians participated in shaping the 2030 Agenda. Monitoring and reporting The national statistical agency, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), has established an SDG Coordination Unit to build capacity and contextualize and set out the national indicator framework necessary to monitor and track Egypt’s progress towards achieving the SDGs. With the support of the UN, it is conducting a comprehensive assessment of its capacities and data systems. Egypt is also one of the African countries taking part in the 2016 Africa Data Report initiative11 to assess what is needed to fully realize the data revolution. The report will feed into other SDG initiatives and studies by providing concrete analysis of data issues at national and regional levels. With the support of the UN and other development partners, the government is looking into evaluating impact and building national capacity to assess the long-term effects of policies on specific SDGs, notably poverty alleviation, food security, child protection, employment and climate change, with the objective of fostering a knowledge base for policy dialogue and evidence-based decision-making.

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