DESA Synthesizes SDG Institutional Arrangements for 64 Countries
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DESA has released an updated and expanded version of a compendium that synthesizes institutional arrangements adopted by the 64 countries that presented their Voluntary National Reviews during the 2016 and 2017 sessions of the HLPF.

The document provides information on: national strategies and plans; national institutional arrangements; local authorities; parliaments; engaging and equipping public servants; civil society and the private sector; monitoring and review; supreme audit institutions; and budgeting.

20 April 2018: The Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has released an updated version of a compendium that synthesizes institutional arrangements adopted by 64 countries to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs. The document seeks to facilitate exchanges on institutional practices and lessons learned among governments and other stakeholders on SDG implementation.

The document titled, ‘Compendium of National Institutional Arrangements for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,’ covers the countries that presented their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) during the 2016 and 2017 sessions of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). It builds on an earlier version, released in July 2017, which covered the 22 countries that presented their VNRs at the 2016 session.

The synthesis notes that a “multitude of institutional arrangements” are used, and this suggests that “no single institutional model is intrinsically more appropriate than the others.” However, it outlines the importance of giving the institution leading SDG implementation sufficient clout, the ability to mobilize resources, and the vision and capacities necessary to plan SDG implementation in a comprehensive, coherent and integrated way and in the whole country. It also warns against perceiving the SDGs as restricted to a specific sector such as the environment, or as related only to foreign affairs or development cooperation.

The document includes a global synthesis of observations for all the countries analyzed, as well as a synthesis per country. It provides information on: national strategies and plans; national institutional arrangements; local authorities; parliaments; engaging and equipping public servants; civil society and the private sector; monitoring and review; supreme audit institutions; and budgeting.

Countries included in the compendium are: Afghanistan, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, the Republic of Korea, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, Uganda, Uruguay, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. These countries presented their VNRs during the 2016 and 2017 sessions of the HLPF.

The compendium indicates that in 49 of the countries analyzed, national development plans or national sustainable development strategies (NSDS) provide the national framework for implementing the 2030 Agenda. It suggests accounting for lessons learned from the implementation of the NSDS by many countries in the past 25 years to inform SDG implementation. At the local level, the compendium reports that a number of countries are engaging their local authorities around the SDGs through, inter alia: the formulation of local plans in alignment with national SDG implementation strategies; sensitization, dialogue and consultation efforts; participation of local authorities in the elaboration of national SDG implementation strategies; and associations of local authorities.

According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the compendium notes, only 13 of the countries analyzed engaged parliaments in preparing their VNR. The compendium adds that parliamentarian involvement takes various forms such as: including Members of Parliaments in structures such as multi-stakeholder mechanisms that support implementation and review; organizing parliamentary hearings for SDG implementation and monitoring; reviewing SDG related legislation and policies; and creating new institutional mechanisms to follow up on the 2030 Agenda such as the 2030 Agenda Parliamentary Observatory in Argentina.

In Mexico, each indicator has been assigned to a specific ministry for follow-up.

On civil society and the private sector, the compendium suggests to draw lessons from the experience of national councils for sustainable development (NCSDs) and other multi-stakeholder mechanisms established by many governments after the Earth Summit in 1992. On monitoring and review, it states that efforts are underway to set up reliable information systems with baseline data. The report notes that Mexico has developed indicators with civil society, academia and the private sector, and each indicator has been assigned to a specific ministry for follow-up.

Per the compendium, a few countries have engaged supreme audit institutions (SAIs) in SDG implementation and review. In the Maldives, the SAI participates in the technical committee for SDG implementation under SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions). The authors also discuss SAIs’ role in supporting governments’ efforts to raise awareness about the SDGs, and in conducting audits or reviews of SDG preparedness.

Research for the compendium was conducted between August 2016 and December 2017. The document was initially issued in July 2017 as a pilot version that covered the 22 countries that presented their VNRs at the HLPF in 2016. [Publication: Compendium of National Institutional Arrangements for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: The 64 Countries that Presented VNRs at the HLPF in 2016 and 2017] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Pilot Version of Compendium]


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