The 2030 Agenda is a development framework comprised of seventeen aspiration goals and one hundred sixty-nine targets upon which global development will be measured over fifteen years, from January 2016 until 2030. Several issues remain critical as United Nations member states progress through successful implementation and delivery on the agenda.
During the formulation and throughout the initial implementation of the 2030 agenda, the Government of Uganda has continues to demonstrate commitment towards realizing sustainable development. Earlier in 2016, Uganda voluntarily participated in the UN readiness review focused on assessing preparedness of national development structures to deliver on the 2030 agenda, establishment of a coordination mechanism for the 2030 agenda with leadership from the Ministry of Finance, the National Planning Authority, the Office of the Prime Minister, and Uganda Bureau of Statistics.
However, there has been growing concern on the participation of civil society, including citizens, in the coordination of the 2030 agenda at national level. The Uganda National NGO Forum led efforts to implement and deliver on the agenda. Earlier in 2016, UNNGOF was selected to represent CSOs on the government led SDGs coordination mechanism as it hosts the Agenda 2030 core reference group through which CSO efforts to implement and monitor the SDGs are coordinated.
According to the National Planning Authority, Uganda is 69% ready to implement the 2030 agenda. This means there is still work to be done especially in the areas of driving the agenda to grass root communities, special interest groups such as women, people with disability, the elderly and fragile settings in the country. UNNGOF has taken this stride by working with other CSOs to organize regional dialogues aimed at educating masses and mobilizing most marginalized populations to appreciate, promote and demand participation in implementation, review, and monitoring of the agenda. A total of three dialogues were organized in Central, Western and Northern Uganda under the phrase “Tondeka Mabega”, which was curved out of the UNGA inclusion slogan for the 2030 agenda.
Similarly, UNNGOF organized a national dialogue on citizen’s participation and accountability in the 2030 Agenda held MacKinnon Suites in Kampala on December 8. The dialogue provided a space for CSOs, Members of Parliament and development partners to reflect on key concerns affecting citizens’ equal participation in development processes and specifically the 2030 agenda. Various speakers at the meeting including the UNNGOF Executive Director, the UNDP representative, and Development Initiatives representative emphasised the need for inclusivity and highlighted major entry opportunities for CSOs to engage and support citizens’ participation countrywide. Regional networks of CSOs from Central, Western and Northern Uganda shared some of the emerging issues such as poor health, low quality education and the need for mechanised agriculture as vital for sustainable development through the regional dialogues. Youth, adolescents, people in fragile settings including post conflict areas of Uganda, the elderly and women and girls topped the most excluded groups. It also emerged that some regions, particularly North Eastern Uganda, harboured the biggest share of the Country’s poorest and therefore most excluded population groups.
UNDP committed support to UNNGOF and urged CSOs to strengthen coordination of their efforts on the agenda 2030 to attract funding and leverage impact. Similarly, the UNNGOF Executive Director encouraged CSOs to continue strengthening collaboration especially through the Core Reference group on the 2030 agenda for better learning and resourcing for the agenda.
Story By Esther Nakayima