A NEW TRANSFORMATION PATH
Bangladesh, as part of her commitment to implement the SDGs, decided to take part in the Voluntary National Review at the UN High Level Political Forum. Bangladesh has an inspiring story to tell. We have earned many international accolades for our achievements in MDGs. While embarking on the journey to implement the SDGs, we drew inspiration from the ideals of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who envisaged a prosperous Bangladesh with equal opportunities for all. The Government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina envisioned transforming Bangladesh into a middle income country by 2021 and a developed country by 2041. Bangladesh has already become a low middle income country. We have already translated this vision, pronounced at the highest political level, into an actionable agenda by formulating Perspective Plan (2010-2021) and two Five Year Plans (FYPs) associated with this. Bangladesh integrated the 2030 Agenda in its 7th FYP (2016-2020). This offered a tremendous opportunity to implement the 2030 Agenda, while reflecting the priorities of the SDGs in the national plan. The Government has adopted “Whole of Society” approach to ensure wider participation of NGOs, development partners, private sector, media and CSOs in the process of formulation of the Action Plan and implementation of the SDGs. To spearhead the process, ‘SDGs Implementation and Monitoring Committee’ has been formed at the Prime Minister’s Office to facilitate and implementation of SDGs Action Plan.
MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION
- Mapping of Ministries: Bangladesh has clearly identified the responsibilities of the ministries and agencies to achieve the SDGs. Bangladesh has mapped out lead, co-lead and associate ministries against each target of the SDGs. This mapping exercise is expected to reduce duplication of efforts, enhance synergy and help formulate action plans.
- Data gap analysis: Bangladesh Planning Commission conducted a review of various means of data generation in the country. It reveals that Bangladesh has data for 70 indicators and partially available data for 108 indicators but need to devise new mechanism for data mining for the remaining 63 indicators.
- National Monitoring & Evaluation Framework: We are in the process of finalizing a Monitoring & Evaluation Framework for SDGs implementation. This framework will have a macro level web based data repository system to facilitate data collection, analysis, progress tracking and reporting.
- Action Plan to achieve SDGs: The Government is preparing an action plan for implementation of the SDGs in alignment with the 7th FYP. Respective ministries are working towards translating the particular targets into actionable projects/programmes/activities in this regard. The Action Plan for SDGs will be finalized by June 2017.
- Needs Assessment and Financing Strategy: We are at the final stage of determining the financing needs for SDGs implementation with a view to mobilizing internal and external resources.
- Assimilation of SDGs targets in Performance Agreement: Bangladesh has introduced Annual Performance Agreement (APA), a results-based performance management system, across the whole spectrum of public sector assessing individual and ministries/agencies performance.
- Resource Mobilization: SDGs are all encompassing requiring huge resources for implementation. Traditional sources of funding are not going to be sufficient to implement the SDGs. We need to find innovative ways of financing from both the public and the private sectors, development partners and ensure effective and efficient ways for utilization.
- Stakeholders’ Engagement: SDGs implementation requires a multi-stakeholder approach involving private sector, NGOs, CSOs, Media and Major Group of Other Stakeholders. Bangladesh has been working out how to enhance participation of all the stakeholders in its efforts to implement the SDGs.
- Data Availability and Management: There are enormous challenges in collection, analysis, disaggregation, and dissemination of data. The country needs to build collaboration at bilateral, regional and global levels for capacity building and sharing of best practices.
- Localization of SDGs: Localization of SDGs targets and indicators for contextualizing the 2030 Agenda appropriately with local development plans and strategies is of utmost importance and emphasized.
SDGs demand concerted and collective efforts with strong political commitment at all levels. The 2030 Agenda comes at a time when Bangladesh has already kicked off its journey towards an upper middle income country by 2030 and a developed country by 2041. Bangladesh has incorporated priorities of SDGs in all her development policies. The Government has adopted an inclusive approach to development so that the poorest and the most vulnerable section of the country can be integrated into its national development efforts. As the country moves ahead, challenges in several areas, including in resource mobilization and data management, will have to be addressed. Bangladesh is confident to set the example of a leading SDGs achiever.