25 July 2019
Global Alliance Report Shares Three Key Findings on SDG 16+
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Political and financial investment is critical to accelerate progress on SDG 16+.

To achieve the SDGs and leave no one behind, SDG 16+ implementation will require a ‘whole of government’ and ‘whole of society’ approach.

The report finds that decision-making processes and governance institutions rooted in a human rights-based approach to development are critical to achieving SDG 16+ and ensuring no one is left behind.

19 July 2019: The Global Alliance for Reporting Progress on Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies released a report on SDG 16+ that summarizes key findings and trends on a set of relevant targets from several SDGs. The Global Alliance developed the report as a contribution to the 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development’s (HLPF) thematic review of SDG 16.

The Global Alliance Secretariat is co-facilitated by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), UN Women, the UN Global Compact and a UN Advisory Group composed of ten UN Agencies.

The report titled, ‘Enabling the implementation of the 2030 Agenda through SDG 16+: Anchoring peace, justice and inclusion,’ focuses on SDG 16 and SDG 16+, which refers to targets in other SDGs that also contribute to building peaceful, just and inclusive societies, such as targets included under SDG 1 (no poverty), SDG 4 (quality education), SDG 5 (gender equality), SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG 10 (reduced inequalities), SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) and SDG 17 (partnerships for the Goals). The report is based on findings from six regional multi-stakeholder consultations organized by UNDP between late 2018 and 2019. It features case studies from 25 countries, representing a range of development context and regions.

The report highlights three key findings. First, political and financial investment is critical to accelerating progress on SDG 16+. The report underscores the role of “visionary and committed national leadership” to accelerate progress and transform societies to prevent conflict, tackle inequalities, reduce injustice and enhance inclusiveness. The report further recommends partnerships between national statistical systems and regional and local governments, international organizations, civil society, academia, the private sector and youth organizations to enhance the ability of countries to collect, analyze and utilize data on SDG 16+ targets and indicators. The report showcases an example of the Infosegura project in Honduras, which is helping six Central American countries to strengthen institutional mechanisms to collect data to plan and implement policy efforts.

Second, the report finds that SDG 16+ implementation will require a “whole of government” and “whole of society” approach to localize and achieve the SDGs and ensure no one is left behind. The report underscores the role of local approaches in informing national SDG priority-setting, and recommends the adoption of the SDGs across regional and local governments and institutions. The authors identify multi-stakeholder partnerships and platforms as a critical mechanism for achieving SDG 16+, and suggest targeted efforts to ensure an enabling environment and build capacities for such collaboration. In conflict-affected and fragile States, the report finds that whole of society approaches are particularly critical in designing and implementing development policies. Case studies from Mauritania and Mongolia illustrate local governance participatory mechanisms and national implementation mechanisms, respectively.

Third, the report finds that decision-making processes and governance institutions rooted in a human rights-based approaches to development are needed to achieve SDG 16+ and ensure that no one is left behind. The report calls for “bold reforms in making governance institutions more people-centered, responsive, effective and accountable” in line with SDG 16+. The report suggests that national human rights institutions (NHRIs) can play “multiple roles” in ensuring no one is left behind, including serving as catalysts for sustainable development, helping to tackle discrimination and inequality, and contributing to inclusive data collection and analysis processes. NHRIs can help build trust between government institutions and people, and play an oversight role in SDG implementation to ensure alignment between SDG planning, implementation, and reporting and human rights standards. A case study describes how Denmark created a multi-stakeholder approach to the 2030 Agenda to improve civil society inclusion in SDG implementation.

The report provides policy and programming recommendations that different actors can take to accelerate achievement of SDG 16. The recommendations are organized in four groupings: effective implementation, whole of government approach, whole of society approach, and measurement and monitoring. To support effective implementation, for example, the authors recommend key actions to increase political leadership and investment to implement SDG 16+; make effective links between justice, peace and inclusion; implement and monitor mechanisms for SDG 16+; and use human rights mechanisms. Recommendations related to a whole of government approach focus on ensuring policy coherence in SDG implementation, including reforming institutional arrangements across sectors to work vertically and horizontally and investing in government and stakeholder capacities to work collectively; and involving sub-national stakeholders, including through local-level consultation mechanisms.

Recommendations on a whole of society approach propose opportunities for enabling consultation and civic space and ensuring that public-private partnerships are underpinned by governance principles, including accountability, transparency and inclusive engagement. To improve measurement and monitoring, the report recommends investments in data and statistics, inclusion of a broad range of data producers to address data gaps, and data disaggregation. [Publication: Enabling the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda through SDG 16+] [Key Findings] [Recommendations] [Blog Post]

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