Nepal: Taking action for sustainable developmentJul 21, 2017
What are the bold actions being taken by the Government to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in Nepal?
The successful implementation of the SDGs relies on a country’s own sustainable development policies, and governments have the primary responsibility for monitoring progress made at the national level. Citizens also play a key role to watch and support their governments’ actions.
In Nepal, the Government prepared its first SDG country report, detailing and taking stock of its current development context, the starting line for the SDGs. This report is expected to guide the work plan and implementation of the SDGs in the coming years as Nepal aligns its periodic plans along with the 17 Goals and their targets. This made Nepal the first country in the world to publish its SDG country report and symbolizes Nepal’s commitment and readiness to execute the SDGs.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) supported the National Planning Commission to align its national monitoring and evaluation framework with the SDG and its targets. An SDG working group was also established to work alongside the Government and other stakeholders as countries all move ahead in developing and implementing development plans. A similar forum of Parliamentarians on the SDGs was formed within Nepal’s parliament to facilitate focused advocacy on the SDGs.
On the advocacy front, UNDP extended its partnership with the CSO Forum for the SDGs and Youth Alliance for the SDGs. Since the adoption of the SDGs, UNDP has conducted over 40 public lectures focusing on the Goals and a wide range of topics, including the role of youth in advancing the SDGs, climate change and adaptation, gender equality, youth and volunteerism, innovation, technology and development.
In addition, the UN Country Team also kicked off the SDG roadshow, spreading public awareness of the SDGs across the country. The aim of the roadshow is to reach out to as many people as possible with SDG messages, and to inspire every citizen to play their part to achieve the SDGs.
Why do the above actions matter to the people in Nepal?
Firstly, the aforementioned actions taken by UNDP have helped the Government of Nepal build its capacity to localize, execute and monitor the SDGs that directly decide the course of the future of Nepali people and their country. The support—in preparing the SDG national report and in aligning Nepal’s national monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework for its periodic development plans with the SDGs and its targets—builds a robust system to ensure accurate reporting on the progress against the targets. For example, over 21 per cent of Nepalis are still living under abject poverty line, and only 15 per cent of the total population has access to safe drinking water. Monitoring progress on SDG implementation at the national level is crucial to overcome those adversities.
Secondly, the initiatives such as the SDGs road show, lecture series and other awareness programmes, have not just helped enhance understanding and awareness about the SDGs among government officials, CSOs and the public, but also have created proactive communities and citizens that will hold the government accountable to implement the SDGs.
What SDGs have been particularly advanced?
The main focuses are on Goal 1 on Poverty, Goal 5 on Gender Equality, Goal 9 on Industry, Goal 10 on Inequality, Goal 13 on Climate Action and Goal 16 on Peace and Justice.
Download the pdf version of this article HERE