Five ways to ensure accountability in Nepal for implementation of the SDGs

By Saurav Raj Pant, Founder of Garjan-Nepal, and a Fellow at Nepal Economic Forum as well as International Relations enthusiastic

The High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development offered governments to begin planning the follow-up and review process of the Sustainable Development Goals. Here are five ways to ensure accountability in Nepal for the implementation for the SDGs.

1) Integrate SDGs into annual planning

The successful implementation of the SDGs requires the new Global Goals to be fully integrated into the annual plans and budgets of the Nepal Government. Bureaucracy means it can be difficult to monitor the implementation of the SDGs , one solution would be to ensuring the new Global Goals are accessible and easily understood by all stakeholders will help. The SDGs are very broad and Agenda 2030 is a global document. To make Agenda 2030 accessible to all stakeholders, it is recommended that the Government of Nepal should produce their own format of Agenda 2030 in order to make it more interactive and easy as possible for the Nepalese public to understand – from children to senior citizens. The government can also help by encouraging all sectors, from private companies to civil society organisations who wants to contribute to work or develop papers on the specific themes of SDGs. It is important that non-profit organisations collaborate with different sectors including the private sector and small scale business enterprises (SME).

2) Use technology to map SDG progress

Using cutting edge technology to map the progress of the SDGs over the next 15 years is also something that would help improve national accountability. Tools like a geographic information system (GIS) would allow us to map and visualise the data which would also help build transparency and track SDG project progress. Technology would also appeal to young people. Currently we are not technology-friendly and using open-source technology would help appeal to young people who are one of the main mobilisers of these ambitious development goals.

3) Create a national body on SDGs

An independent body should be established in Nepal to work on the SDGs. This autonomous body should be removed from political influence and have representatives from different sectors including the public and the private sector. However, political instability always poses a concern and is a major hurdle to achieving this. Lessons should be learnt from the Millennium Development Goals. For example, the top tier of political leadership needs to engage with the transformative changes and implications behind the SDGS in order to upgrade Nepal to the income status of a middle income country by 2030.

4) Ensure strong plan for localization of SDGs after federalism

The proposed plans for Nepal to become a federal system means we must start working out how to integrate the SDGs into local level federal structures. Each province will be governed by their own acts and procedures and the elected representative must be responsible for integrated the SDGs in the day to day working mechanisms, government’s plan of action and annual budget. Consultation,

workshops and trainings will be required in order to ensure that the SDGs are incorporated into the new federal model and it will be equally important to ensure the effective participation and women, youth and other marginalised people.

5) Building local resources

Nepal relies heavily dependent on foreign aid. With the new UN global partnership for development we should review this dependency and look to other options. Nepal’s economy is stable in comparison to other fragile states. However, the National Political Commission should work on mobilising local resources including working with private companies, fundraising and collaborate with non-resident Nepalese living abroad.

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