NPC calls on local bodies to own SDGs

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 2, 2017-

The National Planning Commission (NPC), the apex body that frames country’s development plans and policies, has referred to newly-formed local bodies as key players in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and has called on the central government to make adequate funds available to the grassroots units so that various programmes could be rolled out to meet the United Nations-backed goals.

Nepal’s new constitution has given significant power to local bodies, enabling them to frame and implement development programmes on their own. These local bodies can also frame guidelines and procedures on their own to govern themselves. With these authorities in place, the central government will never be able to meet all the SDGs unless local bodies align their plans, policies and programmes with the SDG roll-out plan of the NPC.

This means local bodies will have to own the SDGs, says NPC’s latest ‘National Report on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’. Also, resources need to be allocated properly, otherwise “implementation of SDGs at local level will be difficult”, adds the report.

“Therefore, a strong partnership between three tiers of government—federal, provincial and local—is extremely necessary to integrate the SDGs into local level structures,” the report further says. “Also, consultation, workshops and trainings will be required to ensure that SDGs are incorporated in provincial and local plans. It is also equally important to ensure effective participation of women, youth and other marginalised groups in planning and implementation of SDGs at local level.”

SDGs-a follow-up on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expired at the end of 2015-are a set of 17 goals and 169 targets covering a broad range of sustainable development issues. These goals framed by the UN have to be met by 2030.

One of the primary objectives of SDGs is to end poverty and hunger from the world. SDGs also aim to promote well-being of all the people, sustainable industrialisation, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, and employment and decent work for all. 

Other goals include: reducing inequality; making cities inclusive, safe and resilient; ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns; and taking urgent actions to combat climate change and its impacts.

In short, SDGs aim to bridge inequality of all forms, raise access to basic public services, ensure access to justice and promote sustainable economic development. 

But attaining SDGs will require huge funds.

Implementation of SDGs will require at least $1.5 trillion a year at the global level, according to the World Business Council. 

It is not known how much the government of Nepal needs to invest to achieve SDGs by 2030. But what is known is that the government’s own financial resources will not be enough.

“Therefore, Nepal is trying to manage financial resources from a triangular partnership which includes the public and the private sector as well as development meeting SDGs is a shared responsibility of the national and international communities,” says the NPC report.

But what is worrying, according to the report, is the declining official development assistance from development partners.

The flow of official development assistance in Nepal including the grant, loan and technical assistance nearly tripled in last 15 years. But its share in the country’s gross domestic product declined from 4.8 percent in 1999-2000 to 2.6 percent in 2014-15. Also, each Nepali on average received only $33 in the form of official development assistance in between 2001 and 2005, which fell to $28 between in between 2006 and 2010 and increased marginally to $31 in between 2011 and 2015.

“Current level of official development assistance is not sufficient for Nepal to meet development expenditure required to meet SDGs,” says the report, adding, “Nepal needs to explore new partners and areas of cooperation for SDG implementation.”

Published: 02-08-2017 08:03

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