Sustainable Development Goals and the post-2015 agenda: Why does participation matter? | Veerle Vandeweerd

18 Mar 2013

 women in India Elected women representatives in India use locally available resources to draw social maps and other micro planning tools. (Photo: Sephi Bergerson / UNDP India)

The MDGs have been a powerful tool in influencing the policy agenda with a strong human development focus. During the next 1000 days until the MDGs deadline, we will focus on helping countries to accelerate MDGs progress. In order to help countries identify bottlenecks and accelerate results, UNDP introduced the MDG Acceleration Framework (MAF) in 2010. The MAF has been applied in 46 countries with considerable success.

As we approach the MDGs deadline, the UN embarks on the most comprehensive global consultation ever undertaken. The post-2015 process is a truly global conversation, involving and engaging both developed and developing countries, civil society, youth, the private sector, parliamentarians, the poor and the marginalized.

The next development framework should build on lessons learned through the MDGs so as to make sure that the forthcoming Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are adequately appropriated by national institutions and the civil society.

The ongoing consultations have been raising a number of important aspirations for the SDGs. Firstly, there is a clear message calling for the full incorporation of the three strands of sustainability – the social, the economic, and the environmental. Secondly, there is a strong call for moving beyond GDP as for adequately measuring human wellbeing and progress.  Addressing inequalities and focusing on effective governance have also been pointed out as key priorities for the SDGs.

There is also an emerging discussion on thinking beyond traditional international aid for financing development. The Official Development Assistance (ODA) might play a catalytic role, while the large transformative investments will need to be raised from public national budgeting, private sector and international investments.

It is of critical importance that we continue the conversation with civil society until the end of 2015 in order to build shared ownership of the goals.  We will ensure that the public voice is heard and reflected and that an engaged citizenry effectively contribute to the definition of the next development framework for humankind. The global conversation has just begun.

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