For the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to meet the ambition of being truly transformative, the monitoring and accountability framework, spanning from the local to the global levels, must be peoplecentred, inclusive, transparent and participatory. An accountability framework has the potential to transcend the weaknesses in follow-up and accountability of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and to improve the credibility, ownership and effectiveness of the Post-2015 agenda.
The extensive consultation process undertaken by the United Nations at the global and national levels has informed the conceptualisation and discussion of the SDGs, and provides a solid foundation for an inclusive, transparent and participatory SDG accountability framework. Lessons learned from the MDG framework highlights the need for the Post-2015 agenda to be accompanied by a sufficiently robust accountability framework to ensure that states and other duty-bearers are held accountable.
While experiences vary by country, national monitoring and review processes have not been used systematically to support or actively seek the input, voice, or influence of people living in poverty, including children and marginalized groups. The UN Secretary-General has noted that a lack of accountability is one of the reasons for shortfalls in progress to achieve the MDGs.
This brief highlights why the principles of transparency, accountability and participation (TAP) are critical to effective Post-2015 monitoring and follow-up, and provides recommendations on how these principles can be integrated into a meaningful system of accountability at local, national, regional and international levels.