UNDP Playing its Integrator Role as Part of Accelerating SDGs Implementation in Botswana

November 9, 2020

L-R, The then Vice President, Dr. Mokgweeetsi Eric Masisi; Gaborone District Commissioner Grace Seitshiro; Reverend Gabriel Tsuaneng; The then Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Alfred Madigele; UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Jacinta Barrins at the launch of the Botswana Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Roadmap in Botswana, February 2018; Photo credit/ Statistics Botswana FB page

UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Jacinta Barrins at the launch of the Botswana Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Roadmap in Botswana, February 2018; Photo credit/ Statistics Botswana FB page

UNDP initiated a Project in mid -2018, to support the Government of Botswana to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The project focused on supporting the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MFED), as the coordinators of SDGs for Botswana. Four significant results were achieved as follows:

Result 1: The Role of the SDG Coordinating Ministry (MFED) Defined

The first phase of the support focused on clarifying the work of MFED as the lead/coordinating agency for the SDGs. In this context, a “Guidance Note on Executing the Coordination Role by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development” was developed, following extensive consultations with key stakeholders.  The Guidance Note unbundled the coordination role into seven (7) functions and mapped out specific actions to be carried out under each.  The seven include: 

i) Planning and Budgeting

ii) Advocacy, sensitization and awareness creation

iii) Implementation

iv) Monitoring, data collection, analysis and reporting

v) SDGs Research

vi) Stakeholder Coordination

vii) Resource Mobilization

These seven functions to be impledged by MFED are different in scope to similar functions that the  line miniseries  will undertake as part of SDG implementation. The former is focusing on providing overall guidance to line ministries on what to do to ensure an all of government approach.  The Project  developed a slide presentation of the 7 coordination functions. Assisting MFED to unbundle their coordination role helped them to leap frog their work  in advancing SDGs implementation in the country. Previously MFED role was seen  to be  about bringing  other  ministries  together to discuss  and report progress.  

Result 2: Tailored Made SDGs Planning Guidelines Developed and Rollout

Given that only 42 SDG indicators were included in the national Develop Plan 11, 2017- 2023, the Project supported MFED to develop tailored made SDG Planning guidelines to assist ministries to plan for the implementation of specific SDG targets and indicators, using a structured approach . The SDG Planning Guidelines and Tools are currently being piloted in selected ministries. The global approach to planning for the implementation of SDGs has been mainly about adopting an “alignment” approach. These planning guidelines are unique as they provide a structured 5 stage planning process on how to integrate specific SDG targets and indicators into ministries plans. Again, a great instrument to accelerate SDG implementation in a country.

Result 3: Status of SDG Implementation Defined Using Three Variables

UNDP undertook a study to assess the Status of implementation of the SDGs focusing on three variables as follows:

• the extent to which the Government and partners are implementing actions/programmes aimed at addressing each of the goals, targets and indicators considered relevant for Botswana;

• the extent to which specific SDG targets and SDG indicators have been integrated/mainstreamed in policy and planning frameworks, both at national and district levels; and

• progress made in the implementation of the Botswana SDGs Roadmap in line with the strategic areas considered critical for successful implementation of the SDGs.

The summary findings are captured in the following Table 1.

Table 1. Status of mainstreaming SDG targets and indicators into government plans and programmes *DIF: Domesticated Indicator Framework Stats Brief; **SDG 8: Please note that target 8b in DIF (page 33) is misaligned. For the purpose of this report, it is assumed target 8b and indicator 8b.1 are included in the DIF; *** includes repeating indicators and **** includes proxy indicators.

This nuanced approach to measuring status of SDG implementation, has allowed the country to take stock of the status of SDG implementation at  target/ indicator level and set in motion a more focused plan for accelerating SDGs as part of the decade of action

Result 4: Data for SDG Baseline Increased

By December 2018, only 55 indicators (34.8%)  of SDGs had baselines.  Baseline are important for planning purposes to define annual and/or long-term targets. They are also necessary to measure accurately SDG progress.  UNDP supported MFED and Statistics Botswana, (SB)  to undertake a study to map  the data available and not available  with respect to  46 SDG indicators that SB had classified  as  having “some data” available . This study is underway. Lots of lessons are emerging including the recognition that each baseline is calculated using a recognized formula that has many parameters.  Data for some of the parameters are available while others are not. Another lesson learn is about determining who will be   responsible to collect, analyze and store the data for each of the parameters, as this cannot be the responsibly of SB alone.  This study when complete will help line ministries and UN agencies to define what data they want to collect  as part of  increasing the number of SDG baselines  and for SDG target setting. Again, a nice example of UNDP playing its integrator role!