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Purpose

“We commit to engage in systematic follow-up and review of implementation of this Agenda over the next fifteen years. A robust, voluntary, effective, participatory, transparent and integrated follow-up and review framework will make a vital contribution to implementation and will help countries to maximize and track progress in implementing this Agenda in order to ensure that no one is left behind.”

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UN 2015)

Follow-up and review is a key aspect of The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Ensuring that the statistical systems, capacities, methodologies and mechanisms are in place to track progress and ensure accountability, with the engagement of citizens, parliaments and other national stakeholders. This is especially critical with regard to the most excluded and marginalized populations, which are often not represented or under-represented in current national data collection. The 2030 Agenda also requires follow up and review processes to be informed by country-led evaluation and notes the need to build capacity for national data systems and evaluation programmes. The purpose of this section is therefore to provide guidance in relation to approaches and tools for monitoring, reporting and accountability in relation to the implementation of national development plans and strategies.

Guidance

This section provides specific guidance in relation to key aspects of monitoring, reporting and accountability. The guidance addresses four specific aspects:

  1. Indicator development and data collection: to follow the progress of the Inter Agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) and begin working toward identifying nationally-relevant and human rights-sensitive indicators and targets, and establishing baseline data;
  2. Disaggregating data: the commitment to ‘leaving no one behind’ and tackling inequality and discrimination in the SDGs will require going beyond averages to target efforts towards reaching the most excluded population groups. To do so requires disaggregation of data by sex, age and other salient socio-economic characteristics, including income/wealth, location, class, ethnicity, age, disability status and other relevant characteristics as a means for ‘leaving no one behind.
  3. Monitoring and reporting systems: to work with existing data and metadata reporting systems and to create online systems for information exchanges, including reporting on key indicators and providing opportunities for both horizontal and vertical coordination; and
  4. Review processes and mechanisms: for reviewing progress on nationally and sub-nationally adapted SDGs.

Indicator Development and Data Collection

“The Goals and targets will be followed-up and reviewed using a set of global indicators. These will be complemented by indicators at the regional and national levels which will be developed by member states, in addition to the outcomes of work undertaken for the development of the baselines for those targets where national and global baseline data does not yet exist. The global indicator framework, to be developed by the Inter Agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators, will be agreed by the UN Statistical Commission by March 2016 and adopted thereafter by the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly, in line with existing mandates. This framework will be simple yet robust, address all SDGs and targets including for means of implementation, and preserve the political balance, integration and ambition contained therein.”

                                                                                            The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The most important guidance to be provided at this early point in time with regard to indicator development, is to stress the importance of the country implementing/coordinating agency to establish a partnership as soon as possible with the agency that currently tracks progress indicators for the national development plan or strategy. In most countries this would require close coordination between the National Statistical Office, other data producers within the National Statistical System (such as line Ministries) and the Ministry of Planning or specialized designated agency in charge of leading the implementation of the National Development Strategy. This ideally would be in the public awareness stage (see Section B1). Both partners can then follow the progress of the Inter Agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) and begin working toward identifying nationally-relevant indicators that can be used to track progress toward nationally-adapted SDGs[1]. This type of indicator assessment can, in fact, be initiated just from knowledge of the specific SDG targets. For example, in the case of Germany, recommendations from the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) to the federal ministries already discussed which indicators are relevant and in need of amending (See Innovative Case Example in Section B3).

As summarized by the European Sustainable Development Network (ESDN 2015), “In most countries, the National Statistical Offices are responsible for the development and monitoring of SD indicators (e.g. Estonia, France, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland). In other countries, different bodies have this responsibility, for instance, Belgium (Task Force on SD of the Federal Planning Bureau), Cyprus (Inter-Governmental Committee), or Denmark (Environment Protection Agency).”

Where indicator and data gaps are identified, proposals can be made to address them, including establishing baseline data. In countries with limited national statistical capacity, the revision of the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics and the elaboration of five-year or ten-year plans for data collection for the monitoring and evaluation of the SDGs can be undertaken. The UN system can assist in creating a joint programme for the implementation of the data collection plan.

Serious consideration should also be given to going beyond governance as usual and pursuing participatory-based monitoring opportunities (see Innovative Case Example below).

One lesson from the global conversation leading up to the adoption of The 2030 Agenda is that crowd-sourced data can be a powerful complement in advocating for policy change. Building on the MY World survey (see Innovative Case Example below), MY World 2030[2] will seek to build upon the global network of MY World partners and undertake a “people’s baselining” exercise as part of the global rollout of the SDGs.

Through an online, mobile and offline component, MY World 2030 will contribute to efforts to report back on progress by collecting globally comparable data to monitor how people feel their lives are changing. This data could feed into official monitoring efforts both locally and globally and contribute to an enhanced mechanism for effective monitoring and implementation of the goals. A second contribution will be to build dialogue between decision makers such as parliamentarians, local governments, mayors and citizens, with young people in particular to contribute a “people’s perspective” on how to implement the new agenda at different levels. It is envisaged that this dialogue will be aggregated at national, regional and global levels. Volunteers will be a key component for the new phase of offline rollout of the survey in order to enhance people’s engagement with the agenda beyond the collection of data. The demand for this has been demonstrated by the MY Municipality initiative in Macedonia and the continued expansion of U Report globally.

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Innovative Case Example: Participatory Monitoring and Data Collection

UNICEF – Peru: “UNICEF Peru, in its paper ‘Community Surveillance Systems for Early Childhood and Development: A participatory approach’, exemplified how community surveillance systems (CSS) in Peru were essential to the growth and development of children and pregnant mothers.” (UNDG 2015, p 19)

UNICEF U-Report: An “innovative communication technology developed by UNICEF and revolutionizes social mobilization, monitoring and response efforts: It equips mobile phone users with the tools to establish and enforce new standards of transparency and accountability in development programs and services (UNICEF 2012).”

Thailand iMonitor: “Thailand described how its iMonitor application for smart phones and other devices is tracking and evaluating public HIV services, as well as creating an opportunity for dialogue with authorities to address challenges.” (UNDG 2015, p 19)

Zambia M-WASH: “Zambia noted the use of M-WASH, a mobile/web-based monitoring, evaluation and reporting system that covers 1.7 million people and advances accountability by making water and sanitation data transparent. The technological component inspires competition among districts by publishing results and maps that demonstrate which districts and provinces are making the most progress towards improved access to water and sanitation.” (UNDG 2015, p 19)

MY World survey: The global MY World survey was an options survey requesting people to choose six out of sixteen key issues important for themselves and their families. The survey gathered over 8.4 million votes through online, mobile and offline channels. 80% of the votes were collected offline through volunteer effort and 80% of the voters were under 30 years of age. The survey facilitated the dialogue among different stakeholders and increased interest in and momentum for The 2030 Agenda. Its open-source, real-time results were fed into the intergovernmental negotiations of the agenda and were used by many stakeholders for advocacy purposes.

Some countries in special circumstances, such as fragile states, small islands, or least developed countries, might need to evaluate whether the SDG indicator framework is sufficient to capture the specificities of their development needs. If additional indicators are required, countries are encouraged to look at existing commitments, statistical coordination groups and progress monitoring frameworks that might be able to guide their indicator selection process. For instance, the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States and the Indicators to monitor SC Resolution 1325 might be able to capture the needs and specificities of fragile and conflict-affected countries, and region-specific indicators designed by ESCAP, ECLAC and the AU might be able to provide solutions for small islands, landlocked and least developed countries.

Disaggregating Data

The importance of the disaggregation of data was a critical lesson from the MDG implementation period. In The 2030 Agenda, the disaggregation of data will be one of the mechanisms for realizing the ‘Leave no one behind’ principle. And so important is this aspect that it forms the basis for SDG Target 17.18: By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts.

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MDG Lessons

Monitoring activities need to be Sufficient in Terms of Coverage, Disaggregation of Data and Timeliness

Looking ahead to the post-2015 era, more monitoring and evaluation investments are going to be required at the national as well as the international level to effectively monitor and evaluate the sustainable development goals. In the words of the Secretary-General, “we must significantly scale up support to countries and national statistical offices with critical needs for capacities to produce, collect, disaggregate, analyse and share data crucial to the new agenda” (see A/69/700, para. 142).

UNDG has also recommended that the United Nations development system “intensify support to strengthening of national statistical capacity, greater disaggregation and ‘localization’ of national data and address all data ‘dark spots’, using the distinctiveness of the United Nations global footprint and the capacities and scope of the United Nations system’s joint data coverage”

Source: UN ECOSOC (2015).

It has been noted that, in the case of the MDGs, progress on the goals focussed on tracking changes in national averages. The focus on averages can mask disparities between groups and exclude population groups that may be among the poorest of the poor or the most vulnerable and marginalized (OHCHR 2015).

Therefore, the guidance imparted in this section for UNCTs is to recommend to Member States that when working with their statistical agencies in the formulation of indicators in support of nationally-relevant SDG targets, it is important to support the ‘data revolution’ by investing in the regular and systematic collection of disaggregated data in accordance with SDG Target 17.18. This might require larger sample sizes, specialized surveys to capture specific marginalized groups, as well as specific training for survey enumerators and recording officers (in the case of administrative records).

Addressing gaps in the production of gender statistics in particular will be critical for tracking progress in achieving the SDGs for women and girls. Moreover, to better capture intersectional inequalities throughout the framework, disaggregation by sex, age and other salient socio-economic characteristics, including income/wealth, location, class, ethnicity and other relevant characteristics will be required.

Monitoring and Reporting Systems

“They [follow-up and review processes] will be open, inclusive, participatory and transparent for all people and will support the reporting by all relevant stakeholders.”

Online indicator information systems already exist in many countries for monitoring and reporting on progress toward the national development plan, strategy and/or MDGs. These systems can be updated to incorporate any new or revised indicators that are identified in the process of adapting the SDGs to national contexts (Section B3) and the indicator assessment described above.

For example in Mexico, a National Coordinating Committee helped put in place an MDG information system in 2011 that provides national and sub-national dis-aggregations. Approximately 80% of MDGs are updated annually (UNDESA-DSD 2015c).

Ideally, national data repositories should be in line with international statistical definitions and exchange standards, which would facilitate reporting to international statistical mechanisms and dramatically reduce reporting burden. For instance some of the statistics produced by Mexican INEGI are currently archived in SDMX-XML based databases, which allow for automatic exchanges with international entities.

Other national monitoring and reporting systems are also quite innovative, incorporating multiple ways to view and examine the indicators. The Swiss MONET system is a prime example (see the Innovative Case Example below).

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Innovative Case Example: The Swiss MONET Indicator System

The MONET Indicator System is Switzerland’s mechanism for tracking progress towards its sustainable development strategy. It combines several novel ways to view and analyse indicators:

  • All Indicators: a view to all 75 indicators that describe the “current situation and development in Switzerland with regard to the social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainable development.”
  • Global Indicators: a subset of indicators showing “how sustainable interactions between Switzerland and other countries are related to the use and distribution of the environmental, economic and social resources.”
  • Key indicators: a view of progress relating to 17 aggregated indicators.
  • The cockpit: designed so that the ends of both Use can see how the result comes about, and can view the individual indicators. To this end, the cockpit provides access to the data and to the detailed description of individual indicators.                                                
  • Klartext card game: The card game with exciting information about Switzerland based on the MONET indicators for sustainable development. A game for the whole family for 2 to 4 people over 14 years with 161 cards.

MONET is a joint activity of the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), The Federal Office for Spatial Development (ARE) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Source: FSO (2015)

Monitoring and reporting systems provide a mechanism for both horizontal and vertical coordination. Horizontally, the relationship among seemingly disparate indicators (i.e., issues) can more readily be explored, as in the case of Belize (See Section B3). Vertically, local indicators can aggregate up to sub-national indicators, and similarly, sub-national indicators can aggregate up to national indicators. Growth in the use of online sustainability monitoring and reporting systems at all levels of government are creating new opportunities for the coordination of plans across levels of government given their transparent and accessible nature.

It is also suggested that innovative monitoring approaches including the collection of qualitative data be developed and implemented in order to assess early outcomes, learn and adapt interventions and strategies at national, sub national and even local levels.

Review Processes and Mechanisms

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides guidance for reviewing progress toward the SDGs at the national, regional and global levels, building on existing monitoring mechanisms, including the international human rights monitoring mechanisms.

At the national level, The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development notes the following:

“We also encourage member states to conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels which are country-led and country-driven. Such reviews should draw on contributions from indigenous peoples, civil society, the private sector and other stakeholders, in line with national circumstances, policies and priorities. National parliaments as well as other institutions can also support these processes (The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development).”

Good practice examples for national review of progress can be seen in many European countries implementing national sustainable development strategies, where it is noted that “Multi-level and multi-stakeholder review processes also receive great importance, together with for instance, national parliaments or existing institutions such as the National SD Councils (ESDN 2015).” In a summary of national review practices, the European Sustainable Development Network describes a three-part typology that captures the state-of-practice across Europe (ESDN 2015):

  1. “Internal Reviews: Some countries have a bi-annual review process that culminates with the publication of a so-called progress report (e.g. Austria, Luxembourg, Latvia, and Lithuania). Some others perform annual reviews or annual progress reports (e.g. France, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Switzerland). Several countries have a less tight schedule that does not display regularity or is represented by a one-off exercise (e.g. Poland, Spain). Germany has a four-year review process cycle. Also, for the Austrian ÖSTRAT (the Austrian joint national strategy addressing both the federal and regional levels), evaluation is intended to be done every four years.”
  2. External Reviews: “Two options are usually employed: Either the responsible institution for the NSDS review process commissions a private consultant (e.g. Switzerland, Finland) or the task is given to independent researchers (e.g. Austria).”
  3. Peer Reviews: “Peer reviews have been conducted in four countries: France (2005), Norway (2007), the Netherlands (2007), and twice in Germany (2009, 2013). The idea behind the peer reviews of NSDSs is to identify and share good practices in a process of mutual learning where, usually, other countries are taken as peers in the process. The peer review of an NSDS is voluntary and is undertaken upon the initiative of the country concerned. The peer reviews are intended to address all three SD pillars and the peer-reviewed country is free to choose to undertake a review of the whole NSDS or focus on one or more specific issues.”

Additionally, countries with a long history and culture of planning also have well-developed review processes for their respective national development plans. In a 2014 review of practices in Latin America and the Caribbean undertaken by the Sustainable Development Planning Network, it was observed that “There are national monitoring systems that track progress towards the goals of the national plan in four-year cycles, attempting to gauge the percentage of progress made over time. A central body such as the planning department oversees the process, engaging stakeholders and the public in the monitoring process at these intervals. In Costa Rica, for example, the National Assessment System operates in the Planning Ministry (Ministerio de Planificación Nacional y Política Económica), which carries out monitoring and evaluation of goals and policies of the plan and of public policies. Furthermore, the legislature and the Comptroller General’s Office give periodic accountability reports (SDplanNet 2015).”

  1. Audit Agencies: A fourth type of national review mechanism can be considered in addition to the three listed above in the European context. Audit departments in many countries currently provide an independent internal review mechanism for governments that covers the full range of government operations and services. And some countries have development specific functions within their audit departments for addressing sustainable development issues. For example, Canada’s Commissioner of the Environment and Development resides in the Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG 2015). An interesting innovation in audit agencies is the trend toward creating commissioners that act on behalf of future generations. For example, in Wales a ‘Future Generations Commissioner’ was recently established under the innovative ‘The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act’ (see Innovative Case Example Below). Hungary was a pioneer in this regard with their efforts in creating an Ombudsperson for Future Generations (World Future Council 2007).
  2. Evaluation of public policy:  A number of countries have developed strong evaluation systems to evaluate public policy and inform national decision making.  For example, Mexico and Brazil have both used evaluations of social protection systems to confirm the benefits of such systems and inform expansion of these systems.  The USA and Canada have each made periodic evaluation of government funded programmes mandatory in order to provide assurance that such programmes are appropriate, effective and cost effective, providing a powerful mechanism for follow up.

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Innovative Case Example: Welsh Future Generations Commissioner

On 29 April 2015 ‘The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act’ became law in Wales. The Act “strengthens existing governance arrangements for improving the well-being of Wales to ensure that present needs are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (Wales 2015a). Specifically, the Act:

  • “Identifies goals to improve the well-being of Wales;
  • Introduces national indicators, that will measure the difference being made to the well-being of Wales;
  • Establishes a Future Generations Commissioner for Wales to act as an advocate for future generations; and
  • Puts local service boards and well-being plans on a statutory basis and simplifies requirements for integrated community planning.”
  • The Future Generations Commissioner will “be an advocate for future generations who will advise and support Welsh public authorities in carrying out their duties under the Bill (Wales 2015b).”

Toolkit

Data and Indicators

  • National SDG Data Assessments in the Asia and Pacific region (UNDG Asia-Pacific, forthcoming)
  • Data for Development: A Needs Assessment for SDG Monitoring and Statistical Capacity Development (SDSN 2015)
  • UNEPLive (UNEP 2015)

Participatory monitoring systems

  • Peru Community Surveillance Systems for Early Childhood and Development (UNDG 2015)
  • Thailand iMonitor (UNDG 2015)
  • Zambia M-WASH (UNDG 2015)
  • UNICEF U-Report (UNICEF 2012)
  • Most Significant Change (MSC) Technique (Davies and Dart (2005)

Online Monitoring Systems

  • Swiss MONET System (FSO 2015)
  • Mexico MDG Information System (Mexico 2015)

Review processes

  • Internal Review: Belgium (ESDN 2015b)
  • External Review: Finland (ESDN 2015c)
  • Peer Review: German Peer Review (RNE 2013)
  • Audit Offices: The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act (Wales 2015b).
  • Outcome Mapping: Building learning and reflection into development programs  (IDRC 2001)

Human Rights Guidance

  • Human Rights Indicators: A Guide to Measurement and Implementation (OHCHR 2012).
  • Who Will Be Accountable? Human Rights and the Post-2015 Development Agenda (OHCHR (2013).

Gender Mainstreaming Guidance

  • UN Statistical Commission Guide to Minimum Set of Gender Indicators (UN 2013)
  • UN Women Position Paper: monitoring gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in the 2030 agenda for sustainable development: opportunities and challenges (UN Women 2015)
  • UN Guidelines for Producing Statistics on Violence against Women (UN 2014)

Decent Work Indicators

  • ILO Manual on Decent Work indicators (ILO 2012).

Atkisson (2015). Introduction to the VISIS Method: Vision > Indicators > Systems > Innovation > Strategy. Presented at the UNDESA Workshop on Integrated Approaches for Sustainable Development, New York, May 27-292015.

Davies, R. and J. Dart (2005). The Most Significant Change (MSC) Technique: A Guide to Its Use. 

ESDN (2015a). The European context for monitoring and reviewing SDGs: How EU Member States and the European level are approaching the Post-2015 Agenda. European Sustainable Development Network, Quarterly Report.

ESDN (2015b). Belgium Country Profile. European Sustainable Development Network. 

ESDN (2015c). Finland Country Profile. European Sustainable Development Network. 

FSO (015). MONET Indicator System. Federal Statistical Office (FSO). Government of Switzerland. 

IDRC (2001). Outcome Mapping: Building Learning and Reflection into Development Programs. International Development Research Centre: Ottawa.

ILO (2012). Manual on Decent Work Indicators. International Labour Organization. 

Mexico (2015). MDGs in Mexico. Government of Mexico.

OAG (2015). Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development – Office of the Auditor General of Canada.

OHCHR (2012). Human Rights Indicators: A Guide to Measurement and Implementation. 

OHCHR (2013). Who Will Be Accountable? Human Rights and the Post-2015 Development Agenda. 

OHCHR (2015). SDGs Indicator Framework: A Human Rights Approach to Data Disaggregation to Leave No One Behind. United Nations Office of the High Commission on Human Rights.

SDplanNet (2015). Summary of Capacity-building Needs to Advance Sustainable Development Planning and Implementation: Synthesis of Regional Perspectives from Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin-America and the Caribbean. Sustainable Development Planning Network. Available at: www.SDplanNet.org and http://www.iisd.org/publications/summary-capacity-building-needs-advance-sustainable-development-planning-and.

RNE (2013). Sustainability – Made in Germany: The Second Review by a Group of International Peers, Commissioned by the German Federal Chancellery. The German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE).

SDSN (2015). Data for Development: A Needs Assessment for SDG Monitoring and Statistical Capacity Development. Sustainable Development Solutions Network. 

UNDG (2015). Delivering the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Opportunities at the National and Local Levels. 

UNDG Asia-Pacific (forthcoming). National SDG Data Assessments

UN ECOSOC (2015). Thematic evaluation of monitoring and evaluation of the Millennium Development Goals: lessons learned for the post-2015 era: Report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services. United Nations Economic and Social Council.

UNEP (2015). UNEPLive. United Nations Environment Program.

UNICEF (2012). U-report Application Revolutionizes Social Mobilization, Empowering Ugandan Youth. United Nations Children’s Fund.

UN Statistics Division (2014). UN Guidelines for Producing Statistics on Violence against Women.

UN Statistics Division (2015). UN Statistical Commission: Guide to Minimum Set of Gender Indicators.

UN Women (2015). Position Paper: monitoring gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in the 2030 agenda for sustainable development: opportunities and challenges.

Wales (2015b). The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act.

Wales (2015b). The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act.

World Future Council (2007). Interview with the Hungarian Ombudsman for Future Generations. World Future Council. 

[1] See the IAEG-SDGs website

[2] See www.myworld2030.org

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Letting a thousand flowers bloom: An update from Kosovo on the Global Goals

BY Kotaro Takeda, Flutra Rexhaj | March 15, 2018

The UN Kosovo* team is on a mission: to bring the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to Kosovo and to bring Kosovo to the SDGs. As we enter 2018, the Kosovo Assembly has just passed a Resolution endorsing the Sustainable Development Goals. Kosovo is a busy, complicated place, and its institutions are working simultaneously to achieve various development strategies (a Development Strategy, a Gender Strategy, the European Reform Agenda, etc., etc.), but they all contribute towards the creation of a more inclusive, sustainable future. We are pleased that Kosovo sees the value in adopting the SDGs and in using them to help power its own development agenda. The unanimous vote constitutes the natural conclusion of two years of “letting a thousand flowers bloom”. Given the unique political context in Kosovo, and other factors, the UN Kosovo Team has, from the beginning, taken a bottom-up approach to “seeding” the SDGs and preparing the ground for more formal activities to adapt and implement the SDGs. It all began five years ago with the participation of 9,000 Kosovars in the global survey “The World We Want” that helped to establish the goals. We are proud of the fact that there was Kosovar DNA in the Global Goals from the very start. Building on this initial level of public awareness, the UN Kosovo Team, with its partners, has been exploring multiple avenues for promoting and bring the SDGs to life in Kosovo. Here are just a few of the many stories behind our approach of “letting a thousand flowers bloom”. SDG1 No Poverty: The Journalism Poverty Prize Poverty rates in Kosovo remain amongst the highest in the region. According to the Statistical Agency of Kosovo and the World Bank (2015), the poverty rate (those living below 1.82 euro per adult equivalent per day) was more than 17 percent, while the extreme poverty rate (those living below 1.30 euro per adult equivalent per day) was 5 percent. While many activities of the UN agencies along with partners have contributed to reducing poverty, none have been as successful in terms of raising public awareness about the persistence of poverty and inclusion as the Annual Journalism Poverty Prize. For the twelfth year in a row, the UN Kosovo Team and the Association of Journalists of Kosovo (AJK) have provided professional journalists the opportunity to showcase their stories about the reality of poverty in Kosovo. The best examples (print and online news, video, radio, and photography), as selected by a professional jury, win the Poverty Prize. PovertyPrize-15 In 2017 we were joined by the remarkable artist Alketa Xhafa-Mripa, who created a public installation of black and white photographs portraying prize-winning stories of poverty and social exclusion in Kosovo. The timing was powerful: Alketa was calling for Kosovars to vote to end poverty just as politicians were finishing a final week of campaigning prior to local elections. We had over 30,000 Facebook and 15,000 Twitter impressions that day. “Vote to end the poverty”- Alketa’s powerful art installation was mounted on the walls of the “Termokiss” building, (an Alternative Community Centre for Youth), sending a powerful message. “It is not so much about charity as it is about justice”, said Alketa. SDG 5 Gender Equality: 16 Days Against Violence Against Women Although Kosovo’s legal framework guarantees full equality for men and women, discrimination against women continues, resulting in inadequate protection for some basic human rights guaranteed by law. The 16 Days campaign began in Kosovo in 2013 and, since then, it has become the centerpiece of our efforts to combat violence against women. Every year, more people get involved and we must scramble to manage an ever-increasing number of events without diluting the impact of this unique campaign. In 2017, we were as always led by UN WOMEN, in partnership the Kosovo Women’s Network, Care International, the Women’s Centre for Human Rights, the Assembly of Kosovo, and international organizations and missions, including OSCE, UNMIK, KFOR and EULEX, on more than 65 separate advocacy activities taking place across Kosovo to raise awareness of the need to eliminate all forms of violence against women. The highlight by far of this year’s events was the ballet performance “One Day”, performed by the Kosovo Theatre Ballet. This was a deeply personal story and a message of hope based on the experiences of a Kosovar survivor of domestic violence. This was another example of art and advocacy can mix in Kosovo, to powerful effect. It comes in the wake of the global success of the Bafta-winning short film HOME– a fantasy on the struggles of migrants, which was recognized as one of the most successful achievements in the region for 2017 by Al Jazeera. SDG 4 Quality Education: Podium, the UNICEF Innovation Lab approach to teaching the SDGs Creating environments where young Kosovars can learn about the Global Goals is another of our priorities since only the engagement and commitment of future generations will ensure long-term societal commitment and bring about lasting change. The Advocacy for Social Change initiative “Podium for the SDGs”, organized by the UNICEF Innovation Lab, UNV and the UN Development Coordinator’s Office, reached hundreds of young girls and boys from across Kosovo during its outreach phase. Later, over forty of them attended workshops where they learned to identify and link community needs to specific Global Goals, how to collaborate with peers, and how to advocate for their communities’ priorities. SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals: It’s Festival Time! The UN Kosovo Team continued to build on its long-standing partnership with the Dokufest, a world-class documentary film festival, in Prizren, Kosovo, to promote the SDGs. This year’s theme “Future My Love” was perfectly suited to Agenda 2030. We created a SDGs booth to allow participants at the festival to create a video recording of the future they want. And we helped to shed light on the boundless talent of young women filmmakers in Kosovo. UNV and the UN Development Coordinator’s Office also supported the 8th edition of Anibar, the annual animation Festival in Peja/Peć, where children were taught about the SDGs and were encouraged to produce their own animations around their favorite goals. In addition to working with these existing platforms for SDG advocacy and learning, we took the first steps in 2017 towards partnering with private sector around SDGs, with a focus on sustainability and partnership-building. More than 35 representatives from the private sector, UN Heads of Agencies, the American Chamber of Commerce, USAID EMPOWER programme and The Partnering Initiative contributed to discussions on leveraging partnerships for sustainable development. Setting SDG baselines 2017 also marked the first steps in setting up a robust data platform, to help inform the public and assist decision makers to monitor and report on the implementation of Agenda 2030. Gathering reliable data in Kosovo is always a challenge, but the SDGs represent a critical opportunity to promote synergies with existing efforts and to raise awareness of the need to further invest in improving capacities for data collection and analysis. What’s next? We’ve had a lot of fun so far, experimenting and piloting different ways to bring the SDG message to Kosovo. Now, with the Kosovo Assembly and leadership fully on board, it’s time to take stock and focus attention on nurturing those flowers that are blooming the most. In Kosovo, there is never a dull moment! * References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).

Country Stories

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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