The 2030 Agenda champions a new way of thinking about development that embraces the symbiosis between social, economic and environmental sustainability. Doing business as usual - focusing on one policy area at a time - is simply not good enough anymore.
That is why the 32 members of the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) have adopted ‘MAPS’, a common approach to help countries implement the 2030 Agenda and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Guided by MAPS, we’re supporting countries to translate the goals into national and sub-national plans and budgets, raising public awareness and establishing practices for monitoring and reporting (mainstreaming – the ‘M’ of MAPS); identifying country-specific actions that will boost progress across several SDGs (acceleration – the ‘A’ of MAPS); and providing thematic policy support (the ‘PS’ of MAPS).
UNDP has been busy advancing this work, not least through its global ‘MAPS project’. Over the last two years, UNDP has facilitated 26 missions, undertaken in cooperation with UN and other partners, to support national SDG implementation. The project also enabled UNDP and UN DESA to support 43 countries to prepare Voluntary National Reviews as a contribution to SDG follow-up and review. About 200 policymakers from 35 countries were trained on modelling tools to inform policymaking for the Goals. Twenty countries were supported in assessing the readiness of their national statistical systems for SDG implementation. And over 350,000 people from across the globe have already let us know via the MyWorld2030 survey how they perceive progress so far.
There is still a lot to do. Many countries have focused on integrating and mainstreaming the SDGs into their national plans and processes. This needs to continue as gaps remain, for example, in monitoring systems and SDG-sensitive budgetary planning. But now is also the time to ensure that the UN development system provides countries with tailored policy support to accelerate progress across SDGs, drawing on their priorities and programmes.
The 2030 Agenda contains the radical promise to leave no one behind. Today, roughly 800 million people still live in extreme poverty and inequalities are growing. UN support to SDG implementation needs to focus on these groups if we are to realize the ambition of the 2030 Agenda. We also need to reach the 1.4 billion people that live in fragile and conflict-affected settings. In 2018, we aim to further elaborate ways to leverage the Agenda for sustaining peace, and to provide tailored support in contexts where SDG implementation might not seem the most intuitive priority.
We need everyone to participate. Mirroring the 2030 Agenda, MAPS emphasizes the importance of a multi-stakeholder approach that harnesses the knowhow and capacities from all of society – meaning individuals, media, business, academia and civil society, alongside governments and the UN – to reach the ambitious targets in every context. The UNDP-managed UN SDG Action Campaign is one example where citizens and the UN are coming together to explore innovative ways of achieving the Goals.
The 2030 Agenda is a bold plan for humanity that requires equally bold changes to the UN development system. MAPS reflects this, and allows the UN to support countries by drawing on our expertise in all areas of development. UNDP is committed to continuing its efforts together with partners in 2018 and beyond to help ensure that the SDGs are achieved for everyone, everywhere.
About the authors
Catharina Klingspor is a knowledge and advocacy officer for the 2030 Agenda in the Strategic Policy Unit at UNDP.
Nicole Igloi is a policy specialist focusing on sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda in the Strategic Policy Unit at UNDP.
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Discover more results and resources related to UNDP’s MAPS project here.