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Purpose

“The challenges and commitments contained in these major conferences and summits are interrelated and call for integrated solutions. To address them effectively, a new approach is needed. Sustainable development recognizes that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, combatting inequality within and among countries, preserving the planet, creating sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and fostering social inclusion are linked to each other and are interdependent.”

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UN 2015)

The purpose of this section is to heed The 2030 Agenda’s call ‘for integrated solutions’ by featuring guidance and tools that connect and break down traditional sector silos and create horizontal policy coherence, integration and partnerships. This is relevant to all levels of governance: national, sub-national and local.

Guidance

There is for the most part, a shared understanding of the inherent interconnectedness and complexity of sustainable development. But what has remained mostly elusive over the years is how to deal with this reality. How do we undertake strategy-making, planning and policy-making that is based in systems thinking and delivers an integrated view?

Fortunately, some very useful approaches and tools have been developed over the past decades since the 1992 Earth Summit. But they require considerable effort and strong leadership to apply, and for that reason, their application in development planning is still somewhat limited. The 2030 Agenda is telling us that time is of the essence on most critical issues (see quotation above) – it is asking us to urgently roll up our sleeves, so-to-speak, and to use ‘integrated solutions’ with ‘new approaches.’

The guidance provided in this section for creating horizontal policy coherence, integration and partnerships is three-fold:

  1. Integrated policy analysis: to ensure that proposed policies, programmes and targets are supportive of nationally-adapted SDGs;
  2. Coordinated institutional mechanisms: to create formal partnerships across sectoral line ministries and agencies;
  3. Integrated modelling: to help clarify and articulate the interconnected system of goals and targets and to analyse and inform key policies, programs and projects for their impact on nationally-adapted SDGs.  

Integrated Policy Analysis

Integrated policy analysis is an approach that UNCTs could share with Member States as a means to screen policy and programme proposals for their potential to either benefit or negatively impact on specific national issues of concern. The approach then ideally asks for policy revisions before they can be submitted to cabinet for approval.

Two countries in particular provide good examples and guidance for integrated policy analysis: Bhutan and Switzerland. Consider first Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Policy Screening Tool, featured in the Innovative Case Example below.

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Innovative Case Example: Application of Bhutan’s GNH Policy Screening Tool

Gross National Happiness (GNH) comprises four pillars and nine domains and is Bhutan’s “holistic and sustainable approach to development.” The GNH Policy Screening Tool is used by the government’s Gross National Happiness Commission to “assess/review all draft policies, programmes and projects through a GNH lens” and furthermore, “[w]hilst it is not the determining factor for ultimately approving/endorsing policy, it highlights specific recommendations and feedback to review the policy within the scope of the 9 domains of GNH.”

 “An intriguing example of the screening tool in action was the proposal for Bhutan’s accession to the WTO. Initially 19 of 24 GNHCS (Gross National Happiness Commission Secretariat) officers voted in favour of joining. After putting the policy through the Screening Tool, 19 officers voted against on the basis that the policy was not GNH favourable. To date Bhutan has not joined the WTO.”

Source: GNH Centre (2015b). Additional information in GNH Commission (2015) and UNOSD (2014)

Switzerland has a long history of applying integrated policy analysis methods in the form of ‘sustainability assessment (SA). The Federal Office for Spatial Development (ARE) provides guidelines and tools for SA which are “intended as instructions on how to evaluate Federal Government initiatives (laws, programmes, strategies, concepts and projects) to find out how they comply with the principles of sustainable development.” Accompanying the online SA guidelines is an MS Excel-based tool to help government officers to conduct assessments.

In addition, the Swiss ARE collaborated with representatives from 30 Swiss cantons and local municipalities to prepare guidelines for “assessing project sustainability at cantonal and municipal level.” The guidelines are available online and describe the benefits of assessment, how the sustainability assessment process can be initiated and provides assistance for choosing the right assessment tool.

Another integrated analysis tool is the Framework for Cooperation for the system-wide application of Human Security (Framework for Cooperation) developed by the Inter-Agency Working Group on Human Security. This approach offers practical guidance on how to harness the potential of the human security approach in areas including implementation of The 2030 Agenda. The human security approach is people-centered, context-specific, comprehensive and prevention-oriented. The approach advances both top-down protection and bottom-up empowerment solutions. The Framework for Cooperation offers an analytical framework that advances comprehensive and integrated solutions and breaks through the conventional single-agency style of planning and programme implementation, and is a key tool for the United Nations system in supporting The 2030 Agenda’s call for integrated solutions.

Coordinated Institutional Mechanisms

Formalized institutional mechanisms in the form of inter-agency coordinating bodies are another key approach that UNCTs could discuss with Member States for purposes of creating horizontal policy coherence, integration and partnerships. With the involvement of the highest level offices in government (i.e., Prime Ministers and Presidents offices, Cabinet Offices), these coordinating institutions can serve to connect and break down silos across government.

Good practice examples in Bhutan, Finland and Colombia provide relevant guidance for this aspect. Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness (GNH) Commission is an example of an inter-agency coordinating body designed to foster horizontal coherence, integration and partnerships across government sectors. The GNH Commission is “the Government of Bhutan’s Planning Commission and is charged with ensuring that GNH is mainstreamed into government planning, policy making and implementation.  The GNH Commission coordinates the country’s Five Year Plan process and is composed of all ministry secretaries with planning officers that provide links between individual ministries and the GNH Commission (Bertelsmann Stiftung 2013b).

The inter-ministerial secretariat of the Finnish National Commission for Sustainable Development (FNCSD) is another example of an inter-agency coordinating body that facilitates horizontal policy coherence, integration and partnerships. Steered by the Ministry of the Environment, the secretariat “comprises of about 20 members from different ministries, each taking the lead in preparing themes within their area of expertise (ESDN 2015).” The secretariat facilitated horizontal coordination over the years, including striking a sub-committee for integrating multiple strategies from across government and other stakeholder groups (Bertelsmann Stiftung 2013c).

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Innovative Case Example: Colombia’s Horizontal Institutions

As an original champion of the SDGs in the run-up to Rio+20, Colombia has enjoyed early political commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This commitment gained momentum through involvement as a member of the Open Working Group and its SDGs consultations, and through its role in the Inter-Agency Expert Group on SDG indicators. This inherent government commitment has enabled Colombia to make early progress on mainstreaming the 2030 Agenda.

Among Colombia’s new institutions for mainstreaming and implementing the 2030 Agenda are its High-level Inter-Institutional Commission for SDGs with a technical secretariat, technical committee and transverse and inter-sectorial working groups.

Source: UNDG and UNDP (2015)

Integrated Modelling of the System of Interconnected Goals and Targets

The 2030 Agenda states that the SDGs are “integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental.” This statement highlights the imperative of an integrated approach to contextualizing issues and planning, implementing and monitoring their solutions.

While the basic groundwork for adapting the SDGs to national context can be set through deliberative processes such as described above, adapting of specific targets requires more detailed analysis and deliberation. UNCTs could discuss with Member States approaches for: (i) ‘mapping’ the system of interconnections among a nation’s goals and targets; and (ii) support the mapping with integrated models to better understand and inform the setting of potential targets.

Mapping Interconnections of goals and targets: Social network analysis (SNA) is a strategy for investigating social structures through the use of network and graph theories (Wikipedia 2015, Otte and Ronald 2002). It has been used by the UNDESA to map the interconnectedness among the 17 SDGs and its 169 targets and can provide important insights for policy coherence and integration when applied in the national context (see innovative case example below).

Although the analysis was done at the global level, UNCTs could share such approaches with Member States to undertake similar analysis at the national level also (UNDESA 2015b).

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Innovative Case Example: UNDESA Analysis of the SDGs as a Network of Targets

Using network analysis techniques, UNDESA revealed that the SDGs and targets can be seen as a network, in which links among goals exist through targets that refer to multiple goals.

“Because of these connections, the structure of the set of SDGs has implications for policy integration and coherence across areas. For many of the thematic areas covered by the SDGs, targets relating to those areas are found not only under their namesake goal (when it exists), but across a range of other goals as well. In designing and monitoring their work, agencies concerned with a specific goal (e.g. education, health, economic growth) will have to take into account targets that refer to other goals, which, due to the normative clout of the SDGs for development work coming forward, may provide stronger incentives than in the past for cross-sector, integrated work. Similarly, for institutions concerned with monitoring and evaluation of progress under the goals, it will be necessary to look at multiple goals – indeed, all those which include targets referring to one institution’s area of interest. This may enable greater integration across goals.”

Note: The sixteen SDGs are represented as broader circles of differing colors, while targets are figured by smaller circles and have the color of the goal under which they figure.

Source: UNDESA (2015b)

Use of Integrated Modelling Tools: Government planning agencies can use integrated modelling tools to gain a systems-wide perspective on sustainable development issues to inform the setting or achievable and ambitious targets for plans and policies.

UNDESA’s 2015 workshop on Integrated Approaches to Sustainable Development (IASD) hosted by the Division for Sustainable Development feature many such tools in its deliberations (Crawford 2015). For example, the Millennium Institute’s Threshold 21 model has been applied by governments in the national planning process to generate “scenarios describing the future consequences of the proposed strategies (MI 2015).” In Mali the T21 model was applied to support the country’s poverty reduction strategy and analyze the coherence between the strategy and the MDGs (MI 2015). In Kenya the model was used to analyze the risks of climate change on multiple economic sectors (see the Innovative Case Example below). A companion model has recently been developed by the Millennium Institute, iSDG, which “simulates the fundamental trends for SDGs until 2030 under a business-as-usual scenario, and supports the analysis of relevant alternative scenarios (MI 2015).”

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Innovative Case Example: Integrated Modelling to Support National Development Planning in Kenya

The Millennium Institute’s Threshold 21 (T21) model was applied by the Kenyan Government to “develop more coherent adaptation policies that encourage sustainable development, poverty eradication, and increased wellbeing of vulnerable groups within the context of Kenya’s Vision 2030 program (MI 2015).” In particular, the T21-Kenya model was customized to “enable simulations of policies to attain selected MDGs and specific aspects of Kenya Vision 2030 particularly on the economic and social pillars (MI 2011).”

From: UNDP (2012)

Customization of the T21 model for Kenya used a multi-stakeholder participatory process involving participants from diverse sectors. Development of the model was also accompanied by in-depth training of the participants in System Dynamics modelling and model development. The T21-Kenya model was used by Kenya’s Macro Planning Directorate, Ministry of State for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030, where a core team of 12 modellers were trained to maintain T21-Kenya and use it for policy scenario analysis, with a larger group of 25 government official were also trained in the more general use of System Dynamics and T21. [Source: MI (2011)]

Economy-wide models are another type of integrated modelling approach that governments can use (Sánchez 2015). Examples include the World Bank’s MAMS model (Maquette for MDG Simulations) which is a “dynamic Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model that has been extended to cover the generation of outcomes in terms of growth, MDGs, and the educational make-up of the labor force, as well as the interaction of these outcomes with other aspects of economic performance (World Bank 2015).”

Additionally, UNDESA has used integrated macro-micro modeling with the objective to “strengthen the capacity of policymakers to formulate countercyclical policies that may help mitigate the adverse impacts of the global economic crisis and other external shocks and put countries back on track to timely achieve the MDGs by 2015 (UNDESA 2013).”

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Innovative Case Example: Decision Theatres – The Future of Evidence-based Policy-making

There is a growing trend in the construction of ‘Decision Theaters’ for bringing together the benefits of integrated modelling with multi-stakeholder deliberation in a visually-immersive environment. Decision Theaters have been referred to as the future of evidence-based policy-making (Cornforth et al. 2014), with facilities operating in the United States (ASU 2015), Canada (UBC 2015), and China (HUST 2015).

Decision Theater at Arizona State University

Source: ASU (2015)

Arizona State University was a pioneer in the development of Decision Theaters. With two facilities situated in Arizona and Washington, D.C., ASU provides “meeting rooms with large-format displays and on-site computer systems, tools and personnel that can provide specialized geographic information systems (GIS), systems modeling, business intelligence, 3D spatial modeling and simulation (ASU 2015).” The ASU Decision Theater has assisted with a range of policy issues in the U.S. including pandemic preparedness, energy grid planning and sustainable water use.

Toolkit

UNITAR National Briefing Package

Integrated Policy Analysis Tools

  • Bhutan GNH Policy Screening Tool (GNH Centre 2015b).
  • Swiss Sustainability Assessment at Federal and Canton level (ARE 2015).
  • Framework for Cooperation for the system-wide application of Human Security (UNHSU 2015).

Institutional Coordinating Mechanisms

Network Mapping Tools

  • Pajek (Slovene word for ‘spider’) is a windows-based program for the analysis of very large networks. This program was used by UNDESA in its social network analysis of the SDGs and targets. (Mrvar and Batagelj 2015).
  • Sentinal Visualizer is a program for “advanced link analysis, data visualization, geospatial mapping, and social network analysis (FMS-ASG 2015).” It has been used by the UN Office for Sustainable Development to map the connections among knowledge networks.
  • A Reader’s Guide to Social Network Analysis (SNA) Softwareprovides a website link to a comprehensive listing of network mapping software (Huisman and van Duijn 2011).

Integrated Models

Some examples of integrated models include:

  • Threshold 21 (T21) and iSDG (MI 2015)
  • CLEWs – Climate, Land-use, Energy and Water Strategies (Howells et al. 2013)
  • MAMS (World Bank 2015)
  • Integrated micro-macro modeling (UNDESA 2013)

Employment and labour market modelling

  • ILO Dynamic Social Accounting Matrix (ILO 2011)
  • Computable General Equilibrium modelling of regional integration and labour market impacts (ADB and ILO 2014)

Gender Mainstreaming Guidance

  • Gender Mainstreaming in Development Programming – A Guidance Note (UN Women 2014)

Decision Theatres

  • Arizona State University Decision Theater in the U.S. (ASU 2015)
  • Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China (HUST 2015)
  • Decision Theatre at the Center for Interactive Research on Sustainability, University of British Columbia, Canada (UBC 2015)

References and Links

ADB and ILO (2014). ASEAN Community 2015: Managing integration for better jobs and shared prosperity. Asian Development Bank and the International Labour Organization.

ARE (2015a). Assessing sustainability within the federal government. The Swiss Federal Office for Spatial Development (ARE).

ARE (2015b). Assessing canton and municipal projects. The Swiss Federal Office for Spatial Development (ARE). Available at: 

ASU Decision Theater Network (2015). Arizona State University Decision Theatre.

Bertelsmann Stiftung (2013b). Winning Strategies for a Sustainable Future. Page 65. Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung: Gutersloh. 

Bertelsmann Stiftung (2013c). Winning Strategies for a Sustainable Future. Page 109. Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung: Gutersloh.

Crawford, J. (2015). Sustainable Development Planning and Strategy Formulation: An Integrated Systems Approach. Presentation delivered at the UNDESA Workshop on Integrated Approaches to Sustainable Development. 

Dalal-Clayton, B. and B. Sadler (2014). Sustainability Appraisal: A Sourcebook and Reference Guide to International Experience. Routledge: New York. pp 370.

ESDN (2012). Switzerland Country Profile. European Sustainable Development Network (ESDN).

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

FMS-ASG (2015). Sentinel Visualizer: Advanced Link Analysis, Data Visualization, Geospatial Mapping, and Social Network Analysis. FMS Advanced Systems Group.

GNH Centre (2015a). Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness (GNH) approach. Bhutan’s GNH Centre.

GNH Centre (2015b). The Gross National Happiness Policy Screening Tool. The GNH Centre. 

GNH Centre 2015c). The Gross National Happiness (GNH) Commission

GNH Commission (2015). Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Commission

Howells, et al. (2013). Integrated analysis of climate change, land-use, energy and water strategies. Nature Climate Change 3, 621–626.

Huisman, Mark and van Duijn, Marijtje A.J. (2011). A reader’s guide to SNA software. In J. Scott and P.J. Carrington (Eds.) The SAGE Handbook of Social Network Analysis (pp. 578-600). London: SAGE. Listing of software for social network analysis supporting the chapter.

HUST (2015). Decision Theater Setup at Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

ILO (2011). Dynamic Social Accounting Matrix (DySAM): Concept, Methodology and Simulation Outcomes. The case of Indonesia and Mozambique. International Labour Organization.

MI (2011). Strengthening Institutional Capacity for Integrated Climate Change Adaptation & Comprehensive National Development Planning in Kenya – Final Report. Millennium Institute. 

MI (2015). Historical Development and Applications of the T21 Model. Millennium Institute.

Mrvar, A. and V. Batagelj (2015). Pajek, version 3 and 4: Programs for Analysis and Visualization of Very Large Networks – Reference Manual

Otte, E and R. Ronald (2002). “Social network analysis: a powerful strategy, also for the information sciences”. Journal of Information Science 28: 441–453.

Sánchez, M. (2015).  Modelling tools to support evidence-based policy decision making for sustainable development. Presentation delivered at the Workshop on Integrated Approaches to Sustainable Development, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Sustainable Development, New York, May 27-29. 

UBC (2015). Decision Theatre at the Center for Interactive Research on Sustainability, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

UNDESA (2013). Strengthening Macroeconomic and Social Policy Coherence through Integrated Macro-Micro Modelling (2011-2013). 

UNDESA-DSD (2015b). Towards integration at last? The sustainable development goals as a network of targets. UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.  DESA Working Paper No. 141. 

UNDG and UNDP (2015). Retreat report on early Country Experiences in Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support (MAPS) for the 2030 Agenda. United Nations Development Program., New York, 1-3 December 2015. Available at: 

UNDP (2012). Kenya Threshold 21 Dynamic Model Report. United Nations Development Program – Africa Adaptation Program

UNHSU (2015). Framework for Cooperation for the system-wide application of Human Security. Prepared by the United Nations Human Security Unit.

UNITAR (2015b). Module 3: Working Together on the Sustainable Development Goals. In Post 2015 National Briefing Package[UNCTs can log in as guest and use password “unitar”].

UNOSD (2014). Report of the 2014 Sustainable Development Transition Forum. United Nations Office for Sustainable Development. pp 13.

UNOSD (2014).  Incheon Communique – 2014 Sustainable Development Transition Forum. 9-11 April, Incheon, World Bank (2015). Maquette for MDG Simulations – MAMS. World Bank. 

UN Women (2014). Gender Mainstreaming in Development Programming – A Guidance Note. 

Wikipedia (2015). Social Network Analysis.

Related Blogs and Country stories

Silo Fighters Blog

Powering up data collection systems in Palestine

BY Subhra Bhattacharjee | July 11, 2018

In 2016 we prepared a Common Country Analysis (CCA) for Palestine. A CCA is UN speak for a detailed analysis of a country in preparation for a multi-year action plan of the UN. It identifies key development challenges and where the UN needs to focus its development investments. For our analysis this time, we decided to look at people. In hindsight it appears to be the obvious thing to do, but we were not the first to think of this. The Nepal UN Country Team did it before us. For our CCA we asked ourselves two questions: Who are the most vulnerable groups in Palestine? What are the structural drivers of their vulnerability? We thought if we could identify the most vulnerable groups and analyze the structural drivers of their chronic vulnerability, we will have a good sense of what it will take to ensure that our sustainable development investments leave no one behind. The first call for ideas brought out 61 proposed groups, each backed by passionate arguments as to why they are the most vulnerable. We merged some groups, reduced duplications, clarified categories, tinkered with definitions, and after extensive discussions, honed our focus to 20 vulnerable groups. This gave us a window to the factors that keep some groups in Palestine systematically at a disadvantage. Next, we did a deep-dive to understand why development was leaving some groups behind. For some groups, including out-of-school children and children in the labour market, the lack of adequate data makes it difficult for government to formulate specific policies and programmes for these groups. Alternative data collection methods for groups that are small compared to the population After a comprehensive exercise to account for the data, especially looking at Sustainable Development Goals indicators, we noted that relevant data on smaller groups couldn’t be collected only through existing surveys. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) uses representative samples for each geographical area of the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), and even though it produces high quality data consistent with international standards, there is a lack of up-to-date and periodic disaggregated data on several smaller groups. Take for example, the fishermen of Gaza. There are some 4,000 registered fishermen in Gaza, accounting for 0.2 percent of Gaza’s population of two million. If PCBS samples 1,000 people from Gaza for one of its quarterly labour force surveys, it will have at most two fishermen in its sample. We cannot draw any reliable conclusions about the socio-economic conditions of fishermen in Gaza from a sample of two people. And if PCBS included more fishermen in their sample, the percentage of fishermen in the sample will be larger than the percentage of fishermen in Gaza’s population. To create a large enough sub-sample for fisherfolk, PCBS will need to do a new level of sub-sampling by profession or sector on top of the two layers it is already subsampling. This would significantly increase its cost of surveys. Are you still tracking with us? Keep reading.   Flash surveys to the rescue So, for the smaller groups, we at the UN looked for an approach to gather data that would not cost too much, would not create too much additional work and most importantly, that is able to produce good quality data. The first thing we tried is a series of flash surveys – with small samples, and short questionnaires. These flash surveys had several benefits over the more traditional surveys with bigger samples and longer questionnaires: They allowed us to test our systems for collecting primary data and iterate quickly and cheaply if necessary to work out the flaws in the system. They enabled our enumerators to get hands-on training at a relatively low cost to us. They are also particularly suitable for understanding the smaller groups that don’t get adequately represented in the bigger surveys. We chose four vulnerable groups: adolescent girls, children in labour, the elderly and persons with disabilities as pilot cases. UNFPA took the lead in this. They engaged the Sharek Youth Forum, a non-profit, and one of UNFPA’s implementing partners to conduct the surveys. OHCHR, FAO, UNRWA, helped with the quality control. 37 university students (28 from the West Bank and 9 from Gaza) were recruited from Sharek’s network and trained as enumerators by an expert. The survey questionnaires in Arabic were uploaded on KoBoToolbox, a free and open source suite of tools for collecting data. Many of the young enumerators owned smartphones so they downloaded the app on their phones and entered the data for each person they surveyed into their smartphones. Sharek provided the others with tablets. A village, a town and a refugee camp were selected in each governorate. Sharek’s enumerators visited schools to survey adolescent girls, reached out to the elderly in their local communities, and found persons with disabilities through support groups. ILO provided information on the areas with high concentration of child labour. The enumerators collected the data over a period of two weeks, and, in some cases, they used paper forms to collect the data and documented problems as they arose. The enumerators collected data on a small number of key demographic variables for each group. For the data on the four groups produced by Viz for Social Good, click here, here, here, and here. Before even looking at the data, we noted a few things. First, we now have 37 trained enumerators who can be deployed again at short notice to conduct other flash surveys. The investment in training and the hands-on experience they got has started the process of creating systems to collect data on vulnerable groups. Second, we need to finesse our sample selection if we want to use the surveys to provide baseline indicators and monitor progress. Third, we need to think through how to combine the data from smartphones and paper surveys. Fourth, we need to figure out how to identify our target groups based on more rigorous definitions. For instance, not all work done by children should be classified as child labour. According to ILO, child labour refers to work that “deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development”. Fifth, flash surveys need more quality control if they are to serve the same purpose as traditional surveys. This is because with smaller samples of flash surveys, the choice of location will need extra attention to ensure that the sample is indeed representative. This year, we will work through these wrinkles. Engaging people in their own data analysis In data circles, we often hear the idea of engaging communities to collect and use their own data. But the instances of it being done in a meaningful, low cost, sustainable way to generate usable data are few and far between. Could we pull it off? We decided to experiment with combining data collection and empowerment for one of the most vulnerable groups in the oPt, namely, Area C communities. Area C accounts for 60 percent of the West Bank. It has some of the most fertile agricultural land and almost the entirety of Palestine’s natural resources. An estimated 300,000 Palestinians live in Area C and a greater number depend on its resources for their livelihoods. Area C is controlled by the Israeli military,  which has exclusive control over land, planning and construction. Significant portions of Area C land are allocated for Israeli settlements and declared as Israeli state land. Only about 30 percent of Area C is available for Palestinian construction, but so far Palestinians have been issued permits to build on less than one percent of the land. Since construction permits in Area C are closely tied to Israeli spatial plans, spatial plans driven by Palestinian communities have been used in recent times to empower communities, and to rally the Israeli Civil Administration to issue permits to Palestinians for construction. In addition to Israeli military orders, land ownership in Area C is governed by a complex legal framework resulting in insecurity of land tenure and confusion about ownership and user rights of private land. Consequently, land registration has been a long-time priority of local and international development actors in the oPt. As the next activity of our project, we integrated a community-driven process to map land ownership and user rights. UN-Habitat took the lead in developing a system called the Social Tenure Domain Model. This participatory tool is a pro-poor, gender responsive system based on free and open source software, which means that all the data collected and stored is available to the communities and owned by the users. The system is based on information and evidence shared by local communities making them a part of the decision-making process. The system records and analyzes the social tenure relationship of people and land, and the social services/amenities that available to the inhabitants of a location. It fits the oPt’s highly complex tenure system, because it supports a continuum of land rights ranging from formal to informal. An Arabic interface was created for the system so it can easily be deployed in other Arabic-speaking countries. UN-Habitat also provided training for the Palestinian Land and Water Settlement Commission staff. This system for community mapping of land rights with a special focus on women and youth will help us empower the community, build social cohesion, and generate data on land rights. The resulting database will serve as a shadow land register, support land valuation, raise awareness about land governance in Area C, and inform advocacy efforts to defend land rights of Palestinian communities. These efforts are supported by the ‘Road Map for Reforming Palestinian Land Sector’ of 2017. Right now, the background work is still ongoing. The model will be piloted in 2019. Will this actually work? We don’t know. For now, we know that we now have the systems in place to replicate or update the data collection of smaller groups through flash surveys, we can engage communities participate in collecting and analysing their own data and integrate a community-driven process to identify land ownership and user rights, at a lower cost than in the first run. And we will use whatever we learn from these initiatives to finesse our methods in our next set of data collection initiatives in 2018.

Silo Fighters Blog

Making money move: New financing to achieve the SDGs

BY Richard Bailey | July 3, 2018

“Money doesn’t grow on trees.” Regardless of where you grew up, we all learn about the importance of securing every penny, rand, real, euro, yen, ruble, or rupee. And the saying is particularly relevant today since development organizations like the United Nations (UN) must mobilize more than US$3.0 trillion every year if we hope to achieve the ambitious goals laid out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Official development assistance (ODA) is still an important finance mechanism but only $140 billion are secured each year. If we, the UN, intend to accelerate progress so no one is left behind, ODA needs to be used more strategically, and other sources of finance must be secured. There also needs to be an organizational shift from strictly funding programmes and initiatives to an approach that involves “funding and financing” to tap into international, national, private and public financial flows. Perspective shift: from funding to financing A growing number of blended finance sources have helped advance development aims in recent years.[1] Private sector guarantees, syndicated loans, and shares in collective investment vehicles mobilized $36.4 billion,[2] while socially responsible investing exceeded $6 trillion between 2012 and 2014. Impact investors and development finance institutions created a new investing asset class that is projected to grow to $400 billion by 2025. When it comes to financing, the rules are changing, and the UN is looking at new ways of aligning financial flows and attracting new investors. UN Country Teams (UNCTs) in Kenya, Indonesia and Armenia explored ways of helping national governments and local partners secure broad, non-traditional funds for development purposes. They mapped out challenges, unlocked new types of financing and used resources in a timely and innovative manner. The three most successful tools adopted were impact investing, Islamic financing, and sector-specific fund modalities. Impact investing in Armenia In the last few years, Armenia has turned into a thriving tech start-up hub and financing initiatives have followed two major trends: venture philanthropy and impact investing. To capitalize on these new forms of funding, the UNCT set up a country platform for SDG implementation that is aligned with national reform and SDG efforts. The collaborative space allows the UN, development partners and civil society to strengthen relationships and develop new ones with international financial institutions, donors and philanthropists. Other innovations: SDG Innovation Lab, the Kolba Social Innovation Lab, ImpactAim Venture Accelerator. Islamic financing in Indonesia Home to the world’s largest Muslim population and the tenth largest economy, the Government of Indonesia recently turned to inclusive and ‘green’ financing to accelerate the SDGs. The UNCT saw the potential and embraced new forms of finance to support sustainable development initiatives. Good practices include employing blended finance instruments and Islamic financing (Baznas).[3] In 2017, UNDP channelled zakat (charitable funds) for a micro-hydro energy project to improve access to water, renewable energy and livelihoods in some of the most remote parts of Indonesia. Other innovations: Financing Lab, “Bring Water for Life” and #TimeforTigers crowdfunding campaigns. Primary health care financing in Kenya One million people in Kenya fall into poverty every year because of a fractured health care system,[4] which is why the national government prioritized rolling out Universal Health Care in the “Big 4 Action Plan.” The UNCT supports the government by working with private sector partners on the Private Sector Health Partnership Kenya initiative and SDG Philanthropy Platform. Bringing together the private and public sectors together has opened doors to new cross-sectoral opportunities in the health, tech, early childhood development, nutrition, and technical and vocational training sectors. Make it rain: harnessing the potential of innovative financing The cost of solving the world’s most critical problems currently runs into the trillions, forcing development financing into a new era. There are no other options if traditional development aid no longer makes the grade. The UN has to pivot and embrace the changes taking place or risk becoming redundant and irrelevant. Luckily there are many opportunities to seize, and the UN has plenty of comparative advantages to bring to the table. The organization has a long, successful history of bringing together partners, training and recruiting experts, scaling up projects, and imparting technical knowledge. UN staff are skilled in advising, brokering knowledge, innovating, analysing data, and measuring impact. As we have seen in Kenya, Armenia and Indonesia, capital can be mobilized through impact investing, attracting early investors, or securing funds for larger investments in sectors identified by the central government. Embracing the latest tech innovations (e.g. e-health or mobile diagnostics) can turn unattractive investment areas into “bankable propositions.” Perhaps the most important takeaway is to not “let perfection be the enemy of the good.” Change may take time but UNCTs can’t wait for everything to be in place before embarking on new initiatives or adopting innovative types of financing. Steps to secure the right kind of capital have to be taken because time is running and “business as usual” no longer works—the numbers tell the whole story. Societal progress involves taking calculated risks, and achieving the SDGs is no exception. Unlocking new sources of funding is one way the UN can make sustainable gains and help governments make returns on the 2030 Agenda. ---- [1] Discussed in detail in “Financing the UN Development System. Pathways to Reposition for Agenda 2030” (September 2017), Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation in collaboration with the MPTF Office, http://www.daghammarskjold.se/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Financing-Report-2017_Interactive.pdf. [2] Amounts Mobilised from the Private Sector by Official Development Finance Interventions: Guarantees, syndicated loans and shares in collective investment vehicles’, OECD working paper, 2016. [3] Baznas was established by the government based on Presidential Decree 8/2011. The agency is responsible for collecting and distributing zakat at the national level. [4] Thomson Reuters Foundation, February 2018, http://news.trust.org/item/20180209112650-s1njv/.