Africa Case Studies Show Five Pathways to Speed Up, Scale Up SDGs
UN Photo/Mark Garten
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The Poverty-Environment Initiative of UNDP and UN Environment launched a report on progress made by African countries in fostering more coordinated and integrated approaches to development.

The report proposes five pathways to speed up and scale up integrated and participatory approaches to sustainable development and support achievement of the SDGs and Agenda 2063, related to: better evidence; breaking down institutional silos; involvement and empowerment; new finance and progress monitoring.

16 June 2017: The Poverty-Environment Initiative of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Environment Programme (UNEP or UN Environment) launched a report on African countries’ progress in fostering coordinated and integrated approaches to development. The highlighted approaches connect and address poverty reduction, inequality, employment generation, climate change, environmental stress, and water, energy and food security. The report proposes five “pathways” to speed up and scale up integrated and participatory approaches to sustainable development and support achievement of the SDGs and Agenda 2063.

The report titled, ‘Accelerating Sustainable Development in Africa: Country Lessons from Applying Integrated Approaches,’ finds that many African countries have already made progress in overcoming information and institutional barriers and fostering more coordinated and integrated approaches to development policymaking, planning, budgeting, implementation and monitoring. The report reviews efforts related to integrated national development planning, cross-sector coordination for pro-poor environmental mainstreaming, decentralization for sustainable development, measurement of multidimensional change in poverty and environment, among others.

The authors identify five pathways related to: better evidence; breaking down institutional silos; involvement and empowerment; new finance; and progress monitoring. They argue that better evidence on the linkages among the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development can motivate policymakers to achieve the SDGs. On dissolving institutional silos, the report recommends vertically and horizontally integrated approaches, with sector ministries taking responsibility for including environmental and poverty objectives within their sectors. On stakeholders, the report underscores the importance of involving and empowering local actors. On new finance, the authors recommend influencing more socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable private investments through screening mechanisms, investment codes and investment incentives, as well as public environmental and climate expenditure reviews and budget codes. On metrics and monitoring, the report supports inclusion of poverty-environment issues in national monitoring systems and efforts to broaden national metrics to more precisely reflect interactions among economy, environment and well-being.

The report features case studies from PEI’s work in Burkina Faso, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda and Tanzania, highlighting that these countries have institutions with the capacities, leadership, norms, rules and tools to enact building blocks for new ways of doing business and achieving the SDGs.

UN Environment launched the report during the 16th session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), which convened in Libreville, Gabon, from 12-16 June 2017, under the theme, ‘Investing in Innovative Environmental Solutions to accelerate implementation of the SDGs and Agenda 2063 in Africa.’ Over 50 participants from government, civil society and the private sector attended the launch event. In her remarks at the event, Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo, UN Environment, highlighted PEI work to foster collaboration between ministries of environment and ministries of finance and economics, among other stakeholders, to support progress on the SDGs in Africa. [PEI Press Release] [Publication: Accelerating Sustainable Development in Africa: Country lessons from applying integrated approaches] [AMCEN 16 Webpage]


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