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Purpose

“The Dialogues call for governments to create spaces and mechanisms for engagement, not only as a way to strengthen people’s basic political rights but also because it helps to create better policies and generate better development outcomes.”

Post-2015 Dialogues on Implementation (UNDG 2014)

As evidenced by the quotation above, central to the legitimacy and quality of a society-wide agenda is the design of multi-stakeholder policy development and implementation modalities to encourage and facilitate partnerships between government and nationally and sub-nationally active stakeholder networks of civil society, universities, think tanks, the private sector, workers’ and employers’ organizations, other development actors, and national human rights institutions (UNDP-OHCHR 2012). In reaching out, it is important that actors reach out to all groups, including ones that are at times vulnerable and marginalised, such as refugees, internally displaced and stateless persons, in recognition that the SDGs are built on a principle of universality and a pledge that no one shall be left behind from sustainable development.

As further rationale, consider the conclusions of the Post-2015 Dialogues on Implementation with regard to participation and inclusion (UNDG 2015):

  • “The Dialogue on localizing the agenda pointed to the need for stronger engagement of local stakeholders in the definition, implementation and monitoring of the post-2015 development agenda, as the achievement of many of the MDGs depended on the work of local governments and stakeholders.
  • Community participation and ownership, rooted in local culture, are instrumental in development programmes, including for environmental protection, for sustainable urban development and for gender equality and women’s empowerment.
  • An engaged business sector is critical for innovation, technological advancement and sustainable economic growth.
  • Governments and civil society already have working models to tap into people’s desire and capacities for engagement; but these examples are too few and not yet fully institutionalized into how public policy is delivered.
  • While consultations are a good start, they should not be one-off events but, rather, mechanisms that provide for a continued dialogue with feedback loops that inspire ownership from various stakeholders.
  • The inclusion of the full diversity of stakeholders means paying specific attention to the inclusion of all voices, including women and children, with a particular focus on marginalized groups and individuals. People living in poverty, indigenous communities and other minorities, persons with disabilities, refugees, others forcibly displaced and stateless persons, children and young people, migrants and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community are some of the groups and individuals who are not necessarily included in policy- and decision-making processes.”

This section presents guidance for involving stakeholders in the process of adapting SDGs to the national context, and is applicable also at the sub-national and local levels.

Guidance

The need for multi-stakeholder approaches is ubiquitous across the eight guidance areas in this document. Four specific aspects are presented below to clarify the means by which Member States can engage an array of different stakeholders at different stages of mainstreaming The 2030 Agenda and SDGs.

It is recognized that all nations already have in place existing processes for planning, budgeting and monitoring, with varying degrees of stakeholder involvement. The guidance areas herein strive for transformation, to go ‘beyond governance as usual’ and match the transformative ambition of The 2030 Agenda.

  1. Initial multi-stakeholder engagement:  for increasing public awareness of The 2030 Agenda and SDGs;
  2. Working with national multi-stakeholder bodies or forums: for reviewing existing plans;
  3. Guidance on multi-stakeholder dialogue: to assist with the process of engagement;
  4. Fostering public-private partnerships: to leverage the ingenuity, scaling-up ability, and investment potential of business.

These guidance aspects represent successively deeper integration of The 2030 Agenda and SDGs, starting with sensitization of The 2030 Agenda (guidance aspect #1) and evolving to a purposeful analysis by formal multi-stakeholder bodies, forums and planning commissions for how the SDGs could be practically reflected in development strategies and plans at the national, sub-national and local levels (#2). For governments that are already about to engage in a visioning process for their national plan or are interested in a deep conversation with their citizens on how to land the global SDGs at a national, sub-national or local level, the guidance on multi-stakeholder dialogue (#3) will be useful.

Initial Multi-stakeholder Engagement for Increasing Public Awareness of The 2030 Agenda and SDGs

As a first stage of multi-stakeholder engagement for mainstreaming The 2030 Agenda and SDGs Member States with guidance from UNCTs can begin raising public awareness of the global agenda and also the country’s existing national development plan and planning process. Guidance in this regard was provided in Section B1, including the types of stakeholders that could be engaged and the content that would be useful to share at this early stage.

Working with National Councils or Forums on SDG Review and Implementation

“Arrangements for engaging stakeholders need to be flexible to take account of changing patterns of stakeholders’ organisation. But they can be strengthened by institutional arrangements to enable long-term engagement to flourish and deliver results. National Councils for Sustainable Development, Commissioners or Ombudsmen for Future Generations, Economic and Social Councils can all play a valuable part. Such bodies can develop expertise in the creation of strategies and the policies pursued within them and in the monitoring and review of progress. They can build crucial relationships of trust with all the parts of Government that are concerned and with the major stakeholder groups in society.”

Report to the European Economic and Social Committee by the Stakeholder Forum (2015)

Stakeholders have collectively made the call “for governments to create spaces and mechanisms for engagement.” In some countries these ‘spaces’ have already been institutionalized as some type of formal multi-stakeholder council or similar body and may  have a proven track record in facilitating national stakeholder dialogue on sustainable development issues. Notable examples from developed countries include the German Council for Sustainable Development and the Finnish National Commission for Sustainable Development (Stakeholder Forum 2015). [1] Examples of similar national councils can also be found in a number of developing countries from around the world, such as in the Philippines, Vietnam, Mozambique, Mauritius, and Dominican Republic (GN-NCSDS 2015).

In countries where multi-stakeholder bodies currently exist, or where planning commissions operate in collaboration with multi-stakeholder forums, such bodies represent a logical starting point for raising public awareness and creating a broader media or social marketing campaign (Section B1). Such consultative bodies are also the logical point of departure for reviewing existing development plans and the process of adapting SDGs to national contexts (Section B3), as well as a mechanism for facilitating ongoing national dialogue on the implementation of nationally-adapted SDGs.  In many countries, the tripartite social dialogue structures between governments, business and workers can serve as platform for the development of more comprehensive implementation and accountability mechanisms.

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Innovative Case Example: German Council for Sustainable Development and its SDG Statement to the Federal Government

The independently led The German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) has led several wide stakeholder engagement processes around highly substantial sustainability issues including corporate responsibility and the major energy transformation now in progress (the “Energiewende”), and helped to build national consensus on the way forward (Stakeholder Forum 2015). Since 2001, the German Chancellor renews the Council every three years and mandates 15 Members representing all parts of society. A State Secretaries’ Committee on Sustainable Development is in charge of the national SD Strategy.

In 2014 the German Government asked the Council to assess how a national implementation of the SDGs will impact the structures and institutions of Germany’s sustainability policy. The RNE responded in 2015 by engaging experts in and outside of government and submitted its statement to the federal government on ‘Germany’s Sustainability Architecture and the SDGs’.

Source: RNE (2015)

Where such formal bodies or forums do not already exist in a country, governments could convene a consultative forum for purposes of SDG review and implementation.

For example, at the EU level, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) recently instructed its Section for Agriculture, Rural Development and the Environment to draw up an information report on ‘Opportunities and processes for civil society involvement in the implementation of the post-2015 agenda in the EU’. A key proposal of the information report is “to establish a regular platform or forum for the EU sustainable development agenda.” Key guidance elements proposed for this regular forum include (EESC 2015):

  • “The Committee strongly believes that participatory governance requires a political framework and an organisational and procedural structure in order to become operative. Stakeholder engagement in long-term sustainable development works best if it is organised as a continuous process rather than being conducted on an ad-hoc basis or through unrelated one off engagement exercises at different points of the policy cycle. A structured process enables stakeholders as well as governments to plan ahead, to assemble evidence, reports and other material to make well-researched contributions at the appropriate time in the policy cycle. Standing institutional arrangements allow the capacities of civil society representatives to be strengthened over time and the trusting relationships of support and cooperation to be built up.
  • This forum will bring together, on a regular basis, policy actors from EU institutions with a broad range of civil society representatives, including the private sector. The process must match with the EU Semester cycle as well as with the UN SDG monitoring intervals.
  • The forum will provide the required regular, stable, structured and independent framework for civil society dialogue and debate at EU level:
    • The Committee recognises that for such a framework to be effective, it should include all the core EU decision-makers on economic and financial policies, including the Commission’s First Vice-President and the Commissioner responsible for the EU Semester as they need to engage in the debate on sustainable development policies. This will create the environment that will enable civil society representatives to be able to hold the decision-makers to account.
    • The Committee recommends that the participation structure for civil society must include the whole spectrum of organisations representing sectors of relevance for the sustainable development agenda, including industry, micro, small and medium-sized businesses, trade unions, farmers as well as development, social and environment NGOs.
  • The Committee knows from long experience that participatory governance must be based on transparency, knowledge and monitoring. Regular progress reports on the implementation of the SDGs provided by the Commission and Eurostat are therefore an important prerequisite for organised civil society to play an active role in the monitoring.”

Excluded groups, including women, children, adolescents, people with disabilities and ethnic minorities often lack adequate forums in which to build consensus and articulate demands for their social, economic and other rights, and UNCTs may wish to examine how to foster the development of new stakeholder groups, where necessary.

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Innovative Case Example: Somalia

The development and implementation of a compact in Somalia under the ‘The New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States’ framework is a good example of applying a multi-stakeholder approach to implementation of the SDGs.

In 2013, with the adoption of a new Constitution, formation of a new Parliament and selection of the President, a window of opportunity for a new phase of stabilization and peacebuilding in Somalia was presented. In order to help manage the transition process, the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), with civil society, parliament and other Somali stakeholders, and the international community agreed to develop a Compact, guided by the principles of the New Deal.

As part of the Compact, which was produced on the basis of a fragility assessment, the FGS and international community defined mutual roles and responsibilities including a financing architecture and setting up of overall framework for advancing peacebuilding and state-building in Somalia. The compact was the result of an inclusive process and strong partnership between the FGS, the United Nations, the World Bank, EU and donors and other key partners. The FGS and partners made sure there was strong alignment between international assistance and the Somali Compact priorities and partnership principles. With support from the UN, the government established an Aid Coordination Unit for effective coordination and implementation of the compact.

Source: UNICEF.

Guidance on Multi-stakeholder Dialogue

Some countries may already be poised for deeper dialogue on the integration of SDGs, for example, if it is about to engage in a national visioning process. In such instances, guidance on how to conduct large-scale multi-stakeholder dialogues will be helpful to Member States.

To inform the Post-2015 ‘World We Want’ Global Conversation initiated in 2012, the UNDG issued guidelines to UNCTs for conducting national consultations (UNDG 2012). The national dialogues were designed to “stimulate an inclusive, bottom-up debate on a post-2015 development agenda in order to complement the existing intergovernmental process.” In the context of the dialogues, the guidelines provided “ideas for how to promote inclusive consultations with government representatives, NGOs, civil society, community-based organizations (CBOs), indigenous peoples, women’s and social movements, youth and children, and the private sector, among others (UNDG 2012).”

Two core process principles were put forth as a foundation for the consultation guidelines:

  • INCLUSION: Efforts should be made to open the consultations to all stakeholders in the country who will be affected by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with particular focus on effectively involving those who are commonly underrepresented or marginalized in decision-making processes; and
  • ACCOUNTABILITY: Efforts should also be made to ensure that people who participate in the consultations have access to relevant information and can provide feedback and influence the results and the process of the consultations. More specifically, a critical aspect of accountability in any kind of consultation process has to do with who controls the information that is generated, how that information is analysed and how it is subsequently used. Another very important aspect of accountability is transparency — not just about how the results of the consultation are arrived at, but also transparency in how the consultation itself will relate to the wider process of decision-making about the 2030 Agenda.

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Innovative Case Example: National Post-2015 Consultations Across Africa

The post-2015 consultation processes in Africa largely benefited from the legacy of formulating long-term development plans (vision documents) and short- to medium-term plans (poverty reduction strategy papers, PRSPs, and national development plans, NDPs)—processes which have demanded broad consultations with different stakeholders.

The post-2015 consultations, therefore, built on this foundation and included new forms of consulting stakeholders and bringing in other groups that would not normally participate in national planning processes. The methodologies used were largely similar, with a few exceptions. Most of the consultations in Africa were organized by the various UN country teams (UNCTs), national governments (mainly ministries/departments of planning or finance) and key actors of civil society, including women and youth groups, people with disabilities, people living with HIV/AIDS, academia and the private sector.

Face-to-face meetings in various formats dominated consultation methodologies in all the 30 countries conducting national consultations. To increase inclusion and accountability, however, focus group discussions, stakeholder interviews, radio phone-in programmes, television panel interviews and specific group and expert group meetings were used. In addition, on- and offline surveys were used in several countries including MY World surveys and the use of text messaging, which managed to obtain feedback from 17,000 young people in Uganda.

In total, close to 350,000 stakeholders were consulted on the post-2015 agenda in Africa. Many of the countries conducted consultations in selected districts, regions, provinces or zones as representative samples of entire countries followed by consultations and validation at the national level.

Source: UNDG (2013)

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Fostering Public-Private Partnerships

“Private business activity, investment and innovation are major drivers of productivity, inclusive economic growth and job creation. We acknowledge the diversity of the private sector, ranging from micro-enterprises to cooperatives to multinationals. We call on all businesses to apply their creativity and innovation to solving sustainable development challenges. We will foster a dynamic and well-functioning business sector, while protecting labour rights and environmental and health standards in accordance with relevant international standards and agreements and other on-going initiatives in this regard, such as the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the labour standards of ILO, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and key multilateral environmental agreements, for parties to those agreements.”

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (para 67)

Partnerships with the business sector will be a crucial part of implementing The 2030 Agenda. Businesses around the world have experience with integrating sustainable development and corporate social responsibility (CSR) principles into planning and reporting practices through the adoption of volunteer guidelines such as the Global Reporting Initiative, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP 2015) and Greenhouse Gas Protocol, UN Global Compact (UN-GC 2015), the ‘Equality Means Business’ Women Empowerment Principles (UN Global Compact & UN Women, 2010), Principles for Responsible Investment, and the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (2011), just to name a few. The innovativeness of the private sector can bring new insights to the solution of systemic sustainable development issues and the ubiquitous nature of supply chains represents a leverage point for scaling up the impact of sustainability practices. Combined with the investment potential of the private sector in driving local, sub-national, national and global development, the necessity of public-private partnerships for implementing The 2030 Agenda is clear.

Given this context, Member States with the support of UNCTs where required can endeavor to include the private sector in awareness raising efforts (Section B1) and as valued stakeholders in adapting SDGs to national, sub-national and local contexts (Section B3), creating horizontal and vertical policy coherence (Sections B4 and B5), budgeting for the future (Section B6), monitoring, reporting and accountability (Section B7), and in assessing risk and fostering adaptability of plans and policies (Section B8).

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Innovative Case Example: Public-Private Partnerships: UNEP/GEF’s en.Lighten – A Global Efficient Lighting Partnership

The initiative is a public/private partnership between the United Nations Environment Programme, OSRAM and Philips Lighting, with the support of the Global Environment Facility. The National Lighting Test Centre of China became a partner in 2011 and the Australian Government joined to support developing countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific in 2013.

Interested countries make a dedicated pledge signaling the intent to work with en.lighten to design and implement a set of policies and approaches that will enable the transition to energy-efficient lighting quickly and cost-effectively. Emphasis is placed on an integrated approach for designing policy measures so that the transition can be sustained by the domestic market without continued external support or resources.

Source: UNEP-GEF (2015).

Toolkit

UNDG National Consultation Guidelines

In 2012 the UNDG issued national consultation guidelines for UN Country Teams to “facilitate post-2015 consultations …to stimulate discussion amongst national stakeholders, and to garner inputs and ideas for a shared global vision of The Future We Want.” These guidelines can be of use today in a country’s efforts to engage multiple stakeholders in a dialogue on how to improve an existing national strategy or plan through the integration of the global SDGs. The process-related guidance included the following areas (UNDG 2012):

  • Whom to engage? (a) Identifying stakeholders, (b) Considerations for selecting stakeholders
  • How to engage? Preparing an inclusive consultation. (a) Questions to ensure inclusiveness and accountability when planning, (b) Format (or ‘shape’) of the consultation process, (c) Designing of consultation activities
  • Which method should be used?
  • The role of the facilitator
  • Logistics: Preparing a consultation. (a) Preparations, (b) Venue of meeting, (c) Post-consultation

Human Rights Guidance

  • Toolkit for collaboration with National Human Rights Institutions. UNDP-OHCHR (2012)
  • UNDG Guidelines on Indigenous Peoples’ Issues. UNDG (2009)
  • Frequently Asked Questions on a Human Rights-Based Approach to Development Cooperation. OHCHR (2006)
  • Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework OHCHR (2011).

Information Report of the European Economic and Social Committee on CSO Involvement in the Post-2015 Development Agenda at the EU Level

The EESC information report on civil society involvement in the Post-2015 Development Agenda at the EU level provides guidance that is relevant to any country (EESC 2015).

Website of the Global Network of National Councils for Sustainable Development and Similar Bodies

The Global Network of National Councils for Sustainable Development and Similar Bodies (GN-NCSDS) aims to help strengthen national level sustainable development bodies through information exchange and collaboration. Operated by the UK-based Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future, the network’s website maintains a global database of existing national councils or similar bodies and provides links to useful research and guidance.

References and Links

Bertelsmann Stiftung (2013a). Winning Strategies for a Sustainable Future. Page 31. Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung: Gutersloh.

CDP (2015). The Carbon Disclosure Project

EESC (2015). Opportunities and processes for civil society involvement in the implementation of the post-2015 agenda in the EU. Information Report of the Section for Agriculture, Rural Development and the Environment, European Economic and Social Committee. Available at: 

OHCHR (2006). Frequently Asked Questions on a Human Rights-Based Approach to Development Cooperation.

OHCHR (2011). Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework.

PRI (015). Principles for Responsible Investment

Stakeholder Forum (2015). Building the Europe We Want: Models for civil society involvement in the implementation of the Post-2015 agenda at the EU level. Study by Stakeholder Forum for the European Economic and Social Committee. 

UN (2015). Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Outcome Document for the United Nations Summit to Adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

UNDG (2009). Guidelines on Indigenous Peoples’ Issues

UNDG (2012). Post-2015 Development Agenda: Guidelines for Country Dialogues – What Future Do You Want? United Nations Development Group.

UNDG (2014). Delivering the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Opportunities at the National and Local Levels. United Nations Development Group. 

UNDG (2013). A Million Voices: The World We Want, Annex 1: Process Description of National Consultations. 

UNDP-OHCHR (2012). Toolkit for collaboration with National Human Rights Institutions.

UNEP-GEF (2015). En.Lighten. United Nations Environment Program and the Global Environment Facility.

UN-GC (2015). United Nations Global Compact.

UN Global Compact & UN Women (2010). ‘Equality Means Business’ Women Empowerment Principles.

WRI and WBCSD (2015). The Greenhouse Gas Protocol. World Resources Institute and World Business Council for Sustainable Development. 

[1] It is worth noting that in some countries, such formalized stakeholder bodies have already come and gone for a myriad of reasons. Notable examples include the United Kingdom’s Sustainable Development Commission, Canada’s National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy and the Tasmania Progress Board (Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2013a). Perceived reasons for the dissolution of these bodies vary from fiscal pressures, to not reflecting current government policy, and to the perception that sustainable development is already sufficiently integrated within government.

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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/.