'It starts with where you are and with what you have' - Judyannet Muchiri, NAYD social media editor

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Egypt, Morocco, Sierra Leone, Togo and Uganda - High Level Political Forum SDG progress report July 2016.

Egypt initially launched a National Strategy in March 2015 for sustainable development during the Economic Development Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh following a two years of a preparatory process. The final strategy, Egypt’s Vision 2030, was officially launched in February 2016. During the SDGs adoption in UNGA, Egypt’s statement stressed on the linkage between the SDGs and people’s uprisings in Egypt, noting that the right to development and providing a better standard of living was amongst the top priorities of the Egyptian people. The final Vision 2030 document covered economic, social, environment, energy and transparency dimensions, but lacked strategy by civil society groups in Egypt. They note that a worrying feature of the framework for Egypt’s national sustainable developmental strategy is the lack of a detailed roadmap to achieve several key goals, especially reducing poverty and unemployment and tackling the informal sector, for which it also lacks indicators. For the implementation of the SDGs, it is noted that efforts are underway to align the Strategy’s key performance indicators to the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. It is also noted that the Egyptian Government formally expressed to the UN systems in Egypt, including the UNDP, the need for coordination and technical support to advance the 2030 Agenda. This push for coordination includes stakeholder engagement, M&E, reporting, localizing the SDGs and data. Under the partnership established between the UNDP Egypt and the Ministry of International Cooperation (MOIC) a series of consultation workshops will be organized in June 2016 for officials, experts and other relevant stakeholders (to be selected by MOIC Secretariat). Members of the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND) are actively engaged in monitoring the implementation of Agenda 2030 and are undertaking national assessment reports particularly for Goal 1, 8 and 10. These reports look at the prioritization and localization of the SDGs, awareness raising activities on Agenda 2030 and the role of CSOs. The report highlights challenges and puts forward a set of recommendations. Many of these groups are registered to attend the HLPF, moreover, the groups contributed to the Social Watch 2016 reports that aimed at bringing Spotlight reports for selected countries from the region that identify challenges and recommendations for the implementation of Agenda 2030.

 In 2015 the High Commission for Planning published the National Report that assessed the situation in Morocco from MDGs to SDGs. The report focused on achievements and challenges for sustainable development in Morocco and noted that “a communication plan will be implemented to raise the awareness of decision-makers, NGOs and the public at large as to the results of the MDGs, and the new commitments to be taken up by our country for the post-2015 period”. The UNDAF in Morocco process is considered as opportunity to promote, discuss and mainstream the SDGs in line with the national priorities. This initiative engages more than 100 partners from the Government, parliament, private sector and NGOs. Under the SD2015 project funded by the European Commission, Morocco was among the countries where UN DESA Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) organized multi-stakeholder consultations. These capacity building events aimed to foster multi-stakeholder cooperation for accountability and transparency, and support national efforts to strategize future engagement with the implementation, follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda. A national consultation was held on civil society & other national stakeholder’s engagement in the development and implementation of the SDGs Roadmap on 5 May 2016. Morocco is also among the 8 pilot countries where UNDP, is mainstreaming the 2030 Agenda through its mainstreaming, acceleration, and policy support (MAPS) approach. UNSDSN, WBCSD and ICLEI engagement in the country is most apparent at the environmental level, in particular given that Morocco will host the COP22 in November 2016. Recently, during the Climate Action Summit in May 2016 a MoU was signed among the Moroccan Minister in Charge of Environment and these three stakeholders to prepare the organization of a conference to convene key players for deliver- 8 ing coordinated solutions to emissions reduction. The conference, bringing these stakeholders aims at enhancing global exchange and partnerships for technology solutions between all levels of governments, businesses, academia, and civil society organizations.

Sierra Leone
The implementation of the SDGs in Sierra Leone is being led by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. The ministry has begun engaging with non-state actors and plans to popularize the SDGs at district level in the local language of Creole, however engagement outside of the ministry has been very minimal. As of now there is a lack of information sharing, and civil society is unaware of the government’s official plans and strategies surrounding the SDG process. The state of civil society is currently weak in Sierra Leone, since the country is recovering from major obstacles such as the Ebola crisis. CSO coordination is not strong at a national level, which makes it difficult to advocate for inclusion in the drafting process of the SDG plans and implementation strategies. CSOs have begun strategizing on the creation of a national platform on the SDGs, to advocate for inclusion in the planning process led by the Ministry as it moves forward.

The implementation of the SDGs in Togo is being led by the Ministry of Planning and Development. The mapping process has begun with a seminar of the prioritization of SDGs and targets. Government representatives, local governments, and the private sector were invited, yet only a few CSOs were included. Although Togo has volunteered to be evaluated and to submit national reports at the HLPF, it does not seem that SDG implementation is a priority within the government due to other national issues. This is apparent when reading the first draft of the report as it is more focused on broad policy direction rather than practical implementation. Some of the major challenges of Agenda 2030 in Togo are financial support and capacity building on the concept of SDGs as most of civil society has yet to have a strong comprehension of the agenda. CSO consultations have been limited and have been quite exclusive thus far by the government and national planning committee. In efforts to create an open consultative process, a few CSOs are creating a national coalition to advocate for inclusion.

Uganda Civil society in Uganda is well organized under national platforms and has been very involved with the Ugandan government as well as with multiple stakeholder groups to facilitate an open SDG process. Uganda National NGO Forum hosts the National Core CSO Reference Group on SDGs. The group meets often both physically and online to update on the progress so far on their engagements on the implementation of the SDGs. Most CSOs in Uganda are already engaging with the various Government Institutions on the implementation of the SDGs such as the Ministry of Water, and the Ministry of Gender among others on clean water and women’s empowerment respectively. Furthermore, there has been close collaboration with the government. The Uganda National NGO Forum is part of the multi sector technical committee for the National Review report and as well as part of the 9 drafting team of the same report. This space is an opportunity for CSOs in Uganda to make contributions and also participate in the implementation of the SDGs. The institution also sits on the Communication and Advocacy Task group chaired by the Office of the Prime Minister which has opened CSO space in the implementation of the SDGs. The core reference group is also preparing a CSO report on Uganda’s readiness on the implementation of the SDGs ahead of the HLPF in July, this will be shared with the relevant authorities before July. The National Core CSO Reference Group is planning to run a massive awareness campaign, to encourage domestication and ownership of the SDGs; development of a Citizen Score Card as a means of monitoring the extent of implementation of the SDGs; and engaging the relevant authorities on how best to implement the 2030 Agenda The various CSOs involved in the will engage Government Institutions and Departments on the Goals through capacity building at both planning and implementation level, monitoring the implementation of the second National Development Plan, translating the Goals into local languages to ensure they are understandable to all citizens. These CSOs will also carry out several evaluation meetings with the implementers to assess progress of implementation of the SDGs and also devise the best way forward.

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