One month on from the first meeting of the #NAYDSDGs initiative led by leading African youth development activists Jan 2nd 2016, it is necessary to ask what progress has been made, what issues have been faced and what happens next?
There is no doubt we have come a long way in 5 weeks, A vision, mission, main objectives and key stakeholders have been agreed; this BLOG has been set up; the common hashtag #NAYDSDGs is being used; nearly 50 African countries have team leaders; many of these have formed teams; some have had their first meeting, assigned responsibilities and developed plans going forward,
Communication between members is being facilitated by a facebook chat and a facebook group and an on-line contact form. There are over 120 members in the chat - there doesn't seem to be restrictions in numbers and internet connectivity hasn't been an issue, nor using laptops, tablets or mobiles. Facebook provides an easy way of translating the chat between different languages by a simple right click. An easy translate is also available for Word documents in the facebook group through using the 'preview' button and then 'translate.'
The main issue faced has been developing a country plan. This is because most African governments have not developed their own SDG implementation strategy making it difficult to correlate a teams objectives with the country's objectives. There is also uncertainty with defining SDG indicators for each Goal - how can you plan what to do if you can't effectively measure where each rural community is relative to each SDG?
Team leads still need to be found for Angola, Chad, Libya, Mauritania, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, South Sudan and Swaziland.
A working group has been set up to develop an action plan blueprint which can then be adapted for country specific priorities. We will need to lobby governments to share their SDG implementation strategies. African Monitor(AM) will help progress this but team members should also work with AM to identify responsible Government Ministers. Data collection systems need to be developed - Guinea shared the one used for the Ebola epidemic and identified freely available mobile apps which can be adapted. A system of metrics for measuring and monitoring rural communities progress with the SDGs also needs to be developed. We have agreed to use the spirit of Ubuntu to help each country develop teams and move forward with this initiative.
The next meeting has been set for the first Saturday in March at 11am GMT. If you are interested in this initiative please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.