Experts Report on Public Institutions’ Readiness to Implement SDGs
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In advance of CEPA 17, DESA issued organizational documents and experts’ reports on ‘Readying Public Institutions for the Implementation of the SDGs'.

Topics covered by the reports include: promoting policy and institutional coherence for the SDGs; building capacities and effectively mobilizing, allocating and managing budgetary resources for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda; and building the awareness, competencies and skills of civil servants at the national and local levels.

CEPA 17 will take place from 23-27 April 2018, at the UN Headquarters.

April 2018: The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has started the preparatory phase of the 17th session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA 17), with the issuance of organizational documents and experts’ reports on ensuring the readiness of public institutions in implementing the SDGs.

CEPA 17 will consider the theme, ‘Readying Public Institutions for the Implementation of the SDGs,’ and will convene from 23-27 April 2018, at UN Headquarters in New York, US.

According to the draft programme of the session, Committee members are expected to hear a presentation on the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), and on the review of the implementation of SDG 16 (Peace, justice and strong institutions) and the role of CEPA in the UN system. They should also discuss: policy and institutional coherence among the SDGs to be reviewed in-depth by the HLPF in 2018 and other SDGs; principles of effective governance for sustainable development, building on the work of CEPA 16; strengthening capacities and effectively mobilizing, allocating and managing budgetary resources for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; building the awareness, competencies and skills of civil servants at the national and local levels; participation and engagement in implementing the SDGs and contributing to progress; the nature and challenges of misconduct and corruption in the public sector; and supporting the transformation of societies required under the 2030 Agenda by enhancing and equipping institutions in urban and rural communities.

In advance of CEPA 17, DESA issued a series of reports prepared by Committee members on the topics to be discussed.

Among these documents, a report on promoting policy and institutional coherence for the SDGs notes the importance of rethinking the way institutions are organized and the way they make, deliver and review policies, to build on the synergies between the various Goals and targets. It also notes the need for “effective leadership” to build institutions and policies for domestic resource mobilization, accountability and transparency. The report indicates that all countries are facing very similar challenges with regard to policy and institutional coherence for the SDGs, and provides examples of good practices. It also highlights recommendations for better coherence, including recommendations based on “principles,” “planning, design and implementation,” and “learning.”

A report on building capacities and effectively mobilizing, allocating and managing budgetary resources for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda recommends governments to, inter alia: improve tax systems; incorporate modern technologies where needed; promote the use of analytical tools and data sources; foster international aid for low-income countries with low fiscal capacity; implement effective regulatory impact assessments; establish effective public-private-civil partnerships; adopt sound anti-corruption measures; and ensure well-organized accountability mechanisms, including systems of internal and external control and audit systems in the public sector.

“Awareness is the entry point to building momentum for cross-sectoral action.”

On building the awareness, competencies and skills of civil servants at the national and local levels, a report on the topic states that “awareness is the entry point to building momentum for cross-sectoral action” on the SDGs in national and subnational contexts, since knowledge and understanding of the 2030 Agenda enables the civil service to establish pathways to achieve SDG targets, and increases the chances that the government will prioritize the integration of the SDGs into national development plans and allocate sufficient resources for implementation. It provides examples of awareness raising initiatives in countries and outlines the need for civil servants in developing countries to translate “the best industry practices” in the use of data analytics and digital technologies for public service delivery improvements.

A paper prepared by the UN Secretariat under the guidance of some CEPA members provides a draft of “basic principles” of responsive and effective governance, based on elements discussed during the 16th session of the Committee. The voluntary principles are included under the categories of effectiveness (competence, sound policy-making, cooperation); accountability (integrity, transparency, independent oversight) and inclusiveness (non-discrimination, participation, subsidiarity, inter-generational equity, and leaving no one behind). They would apply to all public institutions, including the administration of executive and legislative organs, the security and justice sectors, independent constitutional bodies and State corporations. They would also be internationally recognized and provide helpful guidance to countries in addressing a broad range of governance challenges associated with the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the paper notes.

DESA has also recently issued the World Public Sector Report 2018 (WPSR) on ‘Working Together: Integration, Institutions and the Sustainable Development Goals.’ An event showcasing the 2018 WPSR is planned for 26 April, on the sidelines of CEPA 17.

The CEPA was established by ECOSOC in 2001 and is comprised of 24 members who meet annually at UN Headquarters in New York. The Committee reports to ECOSOC and provides guidelines on public administration issues related to the implementation of the SDGs. The UN Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) in DESA serves as the UN Secretariat for the Committee. [CEPA 17 Website] [Promoting Policy and Institutional Coherence for the Sustainable Development Goals] [Building Capacities and Effectively Mobilizing, Allocating and Managing Budgetary Resources for Implementation of the 2030 Agenda] [Building the Awareness, Competencies and Skills of Civil Servants at the National and Local Levels] [Elaborating Principles of Effective Governance for Sustainable Development] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on WPSR 2018]


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