As governments gather in New York during the remainder of 2015, seeking to agree a new global agenda, they should keep in mind one of the key lessons we learned from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): namely, the importance of national and local contexts. The Dialogue on localizing the post-2015 sustainable development agenda emphasized the critical role of local governments, the diversity of local stakeholders and how they relate to each other, and the need to invest in capacities and resources at the local level for ownership, implementation, monitoring and accountability.
The Dialogue on capacities and institutions also emphasized the importance of national-level actors, signaling that a transformative development agenda requires transformed institutions. The implementation of the new development agenda is likely to be more successful if the full diversity of stakeholders is captured (e.g. governments, civil society, business etc.), with policies and actions tailored to the specific national context. Processes to strengthen capacities should align with national development plans, and efforts should be made to concretely measure progress using innovations in data sources and measurement approaches.
Embedding participation as a principle in the new agenda will help align it with human rights approaches, but will also improve the quality of policies over time, thereby strengthening implementation. Investment in statistics, as well as advances in technology and new forms of ‘big’ data, can be used to strengthen participatory monitoring and accountability. But mechanisms need to build on existing initiatives, and from the ground up.
Read the full report:
United Nations Development Group. 2014. Delivering The Post-2015 Development Agenda: Opportunities At The National And Local Levels. New York: UNDP.