Civil society organizations have launched public consultations on reports related to SDG 7 on affordable and clean energy, SDG 13 on climate action, and SDG 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions.
Other recent contributions focus on the role of data and indicators in implementing SDGs 16 and 10 (reduced inequalities).
5 February 2017: Civil society organizations (CSOs) have launched public consultations on reports related to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 on affordable and clean energy, SDG 13 on climate action, and SDG 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions. Other recent contributions focus on the role of data and indicators in implementing SDGs 16 and 10 (reduced inequalities).
On SDG 16, the Transparency, Accountability and Participation (TAP) Network announced plans for a SDG 16 global ‘Spotlight Report,’ beginning with a questionnaire-based consultation to gather perspectives on progress toward the Goal. Aiming to complement official UN and government reporting on SDG 16, the TAP report will use an expanded set of indicators and incorporate civil society data and assessments to illustrate progress. The report also will examine progress towards better data coverage of SDG 16, data limitations and the use of SDG 16 data to drive change. The TAP Network is producing the report with the SDG 16 Data Initiative. The consultation runs until 8 March 2017.
Also on SDG 16, Saferworld, the TAP Network and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) released a summary of a workshop on the role of data and indicators in implementing SDG 16. The workshop convened on the sides of the Fourth Open Government Partnership (OGP) Summit, held in Paris, France, on 6 December 2016. The summary, titled ‘Making them count: using indicators and data to strengthen accountability for the SDGs,’ highlights participants’ agreement on: the importance of developing complementary and supplementary national-level indicators for SDG 16 based on country priorities; the role of better data in providing more detailed information on where to focus resources and attention; and the potential of nationally-created and nationally-owned indicators for driving accountability and changing decision-makers’ incentives. On international accountability, the document recommends efforts to strengthen the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) as a credible and comprehensive accountability forum.
In other opportunities for public consultation, the Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) has launched a survey on priorities in rural transport to include in its project, ‘Promotion of Sustainable Rural Access in the Implementation of the 2030 Global Agenda on Sustainable Development.’ The project aims to promote sustainable rural access as a critical component of implementation strategies for achieving the SDGs and sustainable transport and rural development. The survey asks participants to prioritize among 12 suggested topics related to interaction between rural transport and development, transport as precondition for rural access, financing and maintaining rural roads, rural transport and climate change adaptation, and measuring rural transport as well as inviting suggestions on additional topics. The survey runs until 15 February 2017.
The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) are conducting a public consultation on a briefing note, titled ‘How Oil and Gas Companies Can Help Meet the Global Goals on Energy and Climate Change.’ The note: addresses the inter-related challenges of climate action and access to energy; presents steps that oil and gas companies can take to contribute to SDGs 7 and 13; and discusses long-term strategies for oil and gas companies to plan for a net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions future, increase deployment of alternative energies and new technologies, and strengthen their resilience and adaptive capacity to climate change impacts. The consultation runs until 15 March 2017.
Only six of the 22 VNR countries had not yet defined a body responsible for SDG coordination and steering.
On implementation, the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) reviewed the 22 Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) presented at the 2016 session of the HLPF, and has concluded that “many uncertainties remain with regard to SDG implementation.” In a blog article, IDDRI highlights that only six of the 22 countries have not yet defined a body responsible for SDG coordination and steering. Further, countries have not clarified how their strategic SDG documents, such as national sustainable development strategies and national development plans, will be used to transform actions and achieve the SDGs. IDDRI identifies the areas where governments have advanced the least, noting that: few countries have reported on gap analyses; stakeholder involvement varies widely; and mechanisms for monitoring progress and commitments are “still at an embryonic stage.” Moreover, in an issue brief titled ‘SDG Implementation: What are the countries doing?,’ IDDRI finds that countries have “made little headway in the use of SDG indicators and targets to assess progress to be made, to define public action priorities or to monitor progress over time.” They identify Norway as a good example of a country with high-level political support for the SDGs and real efforts to ensure coherent SDG implementation. The authors also highlight that few of the 22 VNRs provided details on the modalities for stakeholder involvement.
On inequalities, IDDRI published an issue brief that identifies domestic inequalities as a key challenge for sustainable development. The brief, titled ‘Reducing Inequalities within Countries: Converting the Global Debate into Action,’ assesses the SDGs’ contribution to policy change, their potential to increase political will and “peer pressure” for such change, and the SDGs’ potential as a platform for comparing policy performance across countries. The brief recommends clarifying the relationship between the SDGs and trade, investment and fiscal agreements, in order to ensure consistency with long-term sustainable development strategies. [Consultation on SDG 16] [SDG 16 Data Initiative] [Saferworld Workshop Summary] [SLoCAT Survey] [SDSN Press Release] [How Oil and Gas Companies Can Help Meet the Global Goals on Energy and Climate Change] [IDDRI Blog on Implementation] [SDG Implementation: What are the countries doing?] [Reducing Inequalities within Countries]