Final report on illustrative work to pilot governance in the context of the SDGs

19 Apr 2016

In the latter part of 2014, a group of countries started on an initiative to pilot illustrative work on governance in the context of the discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At the time, SDG “Goal 16” as we now know it did not exist, but the fundamental aspects of peaceful, just and inclusive societies under discussion in the UN Open Working Group (OWG) were already of significant interest to a number of countries.


Member States willing to champion such a goal and targets, raised the following questions: if we could start now, to work on the aspects of peace, justice and institutions under consideration in the OWG, where would we start and what would we prioritise?


That was the start of an interesting initiative that UNDP has been proud to support in the five pilot countries – Albania, Indonesia, Rwanda, Tunisia and, at a later stage, the United Kingdom – who volunteered to address these questions.


The process of showcasing the feasibility of measuring governance-related targets through the pilot work, including in global and national consultations, helped to confirm the importance of including Goal 16 in the overall SDG framework. Similarly, as the Inter-Governmental Negotiations progressed during 2015, Pilot countries merged initial thinking more and more closely to take account of the actual contents of Goal 16 and to prepare more deliberately for implementation.


Global workshops were convened in Tunis in April 2015, and in Kigali in February 2016, to review challenges and lessons learned from the five countries undertaking the initiative, and to consider the transition from piloting to implementation, as well as putting activities into the context of the overall MAPS framework for implementation of the SDGs, and emerging work on localisation.


The Pilot countries have emphasised that whilst measuring Goal 16 is a challenge, more data is available on peace, justice and institutions than is often assumed. Difficult as it may be, working with goals, targets and indicators at the national level for promoting peaceful, just and inclusive societies is certainly not an impossible task.


In addition to presenting the different phases of the Pilot Initiative, the report draws out the main lessons learned from the Pilots experience, and identifies some guidelines for work on implementation of aspects of Goal 16.  Annex 1 of the report also provides summary tables showing a list of possible indicators for Goal 16 identified independently in each of the five pilot countries.