Understanding the Sustainable Development Goals
Why Do We Need SDGs?
Nowadays, the common and most important target of the world nations is to achieve equal and balanced development. The developing countries and the least developed countries (LDCs) have been making their earnest efforts to get inclusive growth throughout the country while the developed countries have been striving for maintaining their progress already achieved. The commonly accepted definition of Development is to acquire not only physical growth but also mental development, leading to promoting quality of life.
To enjoy equally the fruitful results of globalization all over the world when reaching 21st century, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were adopted as a Millennium Declaration. The goals were set to realized within 15 years from 2000 to 2015. However, many of the developing countries encounter difficulties in accomplishing MDGs and remained many unfinished tasks of MDGs. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted at United Nations General Assembly which was held on 28th~30th September, 2015 with the aim of finishing up MDGs as well as emerging the more detailed and comprehensive development programmes. SDGs came into effect on 1st January 2016 with 15 years long-term development implementation actions up to 2030.
When we look into the contents of SDGs, it is examined that goals and targets were set with wider scope and equal share opportunities to all citizens of the world. Though SDGs is comprised with 17 goals, 169 targets and nearly 232 indicators, countries are unnecessarily to implement all those goals and targets but need to be align with their national contexts and existing level of development. Indicators are needed to develop to determine the current status and progress while mainstreaming SDGs into National, Regional and Sectoral Development Plans. In order to make the judgment of goals and targets implementation and progress, most of the National Statistical Offices (NSOs) around the world are taking the role of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) of SDGs.
17 Sustainable Development Goals for World Nations
Goal 1: End Poverty in all its forms everywhere;
Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture;
Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages;
Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all;
Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls;
Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all;
Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all;
Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all;
Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation;
Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries;
Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable;
Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns;
Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts;
Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development;
Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss;
Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels;
Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
Myanmar and SDGs
Myanmar has been in the process of reforms that are in line with its national objectives and priorities. Among the priorities in the process of reforms, striking the right balance between economic development, social development and environmental protection is always the priority. Focusing on people-centered development, all aspects of human security that include, but not limited to, economic security, health security, food security, environmental security, personal security, community security and the political security of each and every citizen are taken into serious consideration.
Reviewing Millennium Development Goals achievement in Myanmar, it is vividly seen that there is still room for inclusive growth even in the basic rights of citizens such as health and education service despite the fact that some extent of development in the recent years. For instance, the action plans for reduction of poverty are still undergoing as the unfinished attempts of achieving MDGs. It cannot be ignored that the crisis on urbanization is rising while the government is addressing basis needs in rural area and emphasizing rural area development.
Myanmar being a member of the United Nations, fully recognizes SDGs as they are fully in line with Myanmar’s own development plans and goals, hence, the political will is strong for achieving these set goals. It is firmly believed that SDGs will assist Myanmar in achieving its sustainable development ambitions.
In order to graduate from the least developing country, it needs to improve the trade in gaining special trade rights, linking with the world economic infrastructure by using the privileges for LDCs. Necessary requirements have been performed to promote trade through marketing with fair competition, creating flexible and decent economic environment, establishing infrastructural institutions, reduction of poverty via taking aid for trade and taking technical assistance and support from abroad.
The most importantly, the country is in need of stability and peace to escape from LDC and to approach all round development. In connection with this matter, it is essential for close cooperation of all stakeholders in relevant affairs. It would be admit that SDGs concept is totally in line with nation's preset 12 points economic policy which is mainly focus on sustainable, equitable and inclusive development of the country.
Key Players of SDGs Achievement (Multi-Stakeholders Approach)
The Ministry of Planning and Finance would play an important role in the Coordination Mechanism for the Implementation of SDGs in Myanmar. In order to accomplish the SDGs goals, targets and indicators, such an efficient and effective coordination and cooperation mechanism is needed. Generally, National Statistical Offices (NSOs) all over the world are taking the role of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) on the progress of SDGs. It is the responsibility of relevant ministries and agencies to ensure that their development plans including regional and sectoral plans, are in line with the sustainable development concept by checking with the broad goals, targets and indicators of the SDGs.
Since the Central Statistical Organization (CSO) is the National Statistics Office in Myanmar, it serves as the national focal point for SDGs Monitoring and Evaluation. CSO took the initiatives on the assessment of the National Statistical System to identify its capacity on producing SDGs indicators. Since the very beginning of 2016, the starting point of SDGs, there has been close collaboration with Development Partners (DPs). With the aim of establishing a Statistical Platform to provide the evidence-based data that reflect the actual conditions on the ground, the Committee for Data Accuracy and Quality of Statistics (DAQS) was formed.
SDGs demand harmonized and balanced efforts to be undertaken by different level of players such as the Government, Private Sector, International Community, Civil Society and so on to accomplish those set extensive goals and targets committed by world leaders.
Initiate an inclusive and participatory process of SDGs localization includes raising awareness of the SDGs at the local level, setting the stage for multi-stakeholder discussion and involvement, and prioritizing sustainable development through strong political leadership and integrated governance arrangements.
Regarding the setting the local SDGs agenda, SDGs localization is key to ensuring that no one and no place are left behind in shaping the more development and sustainable future. Cities need to adapt the global SDGs into an ambitious yet realistic local agenda, through evidence-based decision-making that is backed by public trust and support.
Planning for SDGs implementation, implementing the SDGs to be achieved by 2030 will require goal-based planning that adopts a long-term, multi-sectoral perspective, and is supported by adequate implementation capacity and financial resources, and multi-stakeholder partnerships.
In short, SDGs are interconnected to each other. Strategies and action plans to achieve a target under a goal may also be useful in achieving a target under another goal. However, it may not be possible to have a single policy to achieve a target, for multidimensional policies developed by multiple ministries are needed in most cases even to achieve a single target. Given the nature of SDGs, strong coordination is required among the stakeholders and boundary partners to develop comprehensive policies, strategies and action plans. It is also recognized that multi-stakeholders partnerships would be key driving force on the achievement of SDGs.
The Effort to Acquire the Data for SDGs
The report on “Readiness of Myanmar’s Official Statistics for the Sustainable Development Goals” was released in May, 2016 in both Myanmar and English versions. The report was jointly developed by CSO and UNDP after holding close consultation workshops three times with the concerned departments and agencies.
In this report, 288 indicators which are split based on national contents of Myanmar are categorized into 7 stages of readiness through internationally accepted indicators are only over 230. In defining the status of indicators, they are identified in different categories such as readily available, available after little efforts and available after more efforts.
Subsequently, the efforts are being made for developing Baseline Data Report for SDGs : Measuring Myanmar’s Starting Point for the Sustainable Development in collaboration with UNDP and it is now at the stage of final draft.
With the purpose of issuing baseline data report, training workshops for SDGs Methodology were held at CSO’s training room from 1-2-2017 to 8-2-2017 by inviting the participants from concerned ministries who are dealing with statistical tasks.
According to the finding of the report, 2016 is taken as the base year for SDGs. In this report, indicators for Myanmar are compared to those of ASEAN and World average and 61% of base year values are expressed. The report is expected to be released at the end of September, 2017.
Challenges Ahead and Ways Forward
As Myanmar is a developing country, many challenges have been encountered since the time of implementing Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). There are also unfinished tasks to be continued. When SDGs come into effect, it comes with wider range of ambitions with the concept of “No one left behind”.
Likewise, availability of adequate financial and human resources is also limited like other developing countries and it still remains as a big challenge. In addition, public awareness and interest on participation in the national development works are likely to be the big challenge also.
Central Statistical Organization under the Ministry of Planning and Finance will continue by its utmost efforts by serving as the National Statistical Coordination Agency among multi-stakeholders. Multi Workshops and Meetings have been organizing by thematic approach collaboration with Development Partners and concerned agencies.
As per international activities relating SDGs, the Director-General of CSO is appointed as the member of High Level Group of Partnership, Coordination and Capacity Building for Statistics for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (HLG-PCCB).
In addition, regional and international cooperation is to be assured by closely collaborating with UN agencies, ASEAN and other partners countries to be SDGs priorities are in line with national projects, and to ensure technical transfers for the tasks of SDGs data compilation, monitoring and evaluation and SDGs indicators dissemination.
|Readiness of Myanmar’s Official Statistics for the Sustainable Development Goals||787.3 KB|