“INCLUSIVE PARTICIPATION IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS: OYO STATE AS A PILOT STATE”. A Concept Paper By Civil Society Coalition On Sustainable Development
SDGs are a veritable development tool that could transform the society by impacting positively on the generality of the people provided the operators are committed and focused. The SDGs’ focus on human development coupled with the time-bound target makes them amenable to evaluation thus easily subjecting them to SMART test within the time frame. Since both the governments of the developed and developing countries are committed to SDGs achievement by 2030, then SDGs become a tool that members of the civil society could constantly use to ask their respective governments to account to since they did not sign the 17 SDGs under duress.
It has often been said that the development of a nation hinges not only on the government but also on individuals and organizations. In other words, in the face of current global economic recession, governments alone cannot be solely saddled with the development of a nation because of the scarce resources at their disposal. Opportunities arise from an array of the availability of stakeholders such as the governments at all levels (with political will), the media, private sector, the development partners, donors, academia, politicians (with the interest of electorate), and civil society (NGOs, CBOs, FBOs, professional associations etc)
STAKEHOLDERS’ INCLUSIVE PARTICIPATION IN SDGS
There is much hope that the post-2015 development framework is likely to have the best development impact as it emerged from an inclusive, open and transparent process with multi-stakeholder participation. This is a reflection of what happened in most countries before the adoption of the 17 SDGs in September 2015 in New York. In line with the UN Secretary-General’s mantra of “leaving no one behind” and central to achieving SDGs in Nigeria by 2030, is inclusive participation involving all stakeholders such as CSOs, FBOs, CBOs, private sector, development partners, professional associations, trade unionists, the marginalized groups such as women, youth and persons with disability. Unfortunately, many of these Nigerian stakeholders could not participate effectively during the post-2015 deliberation process that led to the adoption of SDGs. This is already a challenge.
Those stakeholders above are necessary if we need to attain SDGs by 2030, and if we do not want SDGs to suffer the same fate that MDGs suffered. Inclusive participation is critical and can be addressed now especially when we consider government finances. Can government finance development projects alone? Things have changed from the past when over 90 per cent of government revenue was got from petroleum resources. State governments are shouldering so much burden especially in the areas of overhead costs and implementing capital projects become an albatross. Therefore, all hands must be on deck to rally round government in other to deliver dividends of democracy. In this regard, development partners and private sector operators are going to play a critical role beyond their normal Corporate Social Responsibility maxim by voting substantial part of their earnings to help government in bringing about socio-economic development in line with the injunction of the United Nations. However, though development partners are aware of this role but many of the private sector operators are not aware of this critical role! How will they be aware? The need to have a stakeholders’ summit on Sustainable Development Goals is imperative.
OYO STATE AS A PILOT STATE
Oyo State is going to be used as a pilot state for this project so that other states could learn the best practice from them. As a matter of fact, no State Government in Nigeria has ever thought of an all-inclusive project like this with focus on Sustainable Development Goals. Oyo State is to be likened to North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany which is the best state in Germany that has the best SDGs implementation programme. As a result of SDGs best practice in Germany, the country is given the rare right of hosting of the UN SDGs Action Campaign.
GOAL AND OBJECTIVES
The overall objective is to strengthen the participation of the critical stakeholders in the implementation of SDGs in Oyo State so as to promote transparency, accountability and good governance and show-case Oyo State as the leading light for other States in SDGs implementation in Nigeria.
Specific objectives, among others, are to:
- create awareness on inclusive participation in the implementation of SDGs from the earliest stage as a lesson learnt from the pitfalls of MDGs ;
- develop Sustainability Strategy for Oyo State fashioned after North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany;
- strengthen inter-ministerial understanding of the role each ministry needs to play in the implementation of SDGs in Oyo State;
- improve the coordination and communication mechanism among the technocrats (permanent secretaries) so as to provoke policy discussions with a view to identifying and attenuating the possible challenges facing the implementation of SDGs in the Oyo state;
- strengthen the advocacy skills and engagement strategy of the civil society/the media so as to increase partnership and effective engagement in critical SDG lines;
- launch a community interactive process with the legislative assembly so that there could be cordial government-community relations.
Some of the proposed activities for this project include but are not limited to the following:
- Permanent Secretary’s/OSSAG/SDGs’ (and other selected stakeholders’) participation at the Festival of Ideas from 1st to 3rd March 2016 in Bonn, Germany (https://globalfestivalofideas.org);
- Formation/Launching of technical committee for Oyo SDGs strategic implementation with OSSAG/SDGs taking the lead;
- Stakeholders’ Summit on SDGs Road Map in Oyo State;
- Baseline survey/Situation analysis of Oyo State in the implementation of SDGs;
- Sustainability Strategy document for Oyo State;
- Consultation seminar/breakfast meeting with the private sector on financing for development;
- Donors’ conference;
- Workshop on strengthening inter-ministerial understanding of SDGs implementation;
- Policy dialogue consultations with Oyo State House of Assembly;
- Capacity building of Stakeholders on policy advocacy for effective engagement with government;
- Multiple media launch for show-casing the SDGs activities of Oyo State government (press conference, serialised newspaper articles, Website, facebook etc);
- Quarterly reports of implementation of SDGs.
TARGET KEY STAKEHOLDERS
- Ministries, Department and Agencies (Ministry of Planning and Budget as the lead Ministry with technical support from OSSAG/SDGs)
- Oyo State House of Assembly (House Committee on Planning and Budget as the lead Committee)
- Private Sector
- Development Partners
- Civil Society and the Media
Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development (CSCSD) formerly known as Campaign2015+ International (www.campaign2015plusinternational.org) is a coalition of over 190 registered civil society organizations and individuals committed to citizens’ empowerment, human rights protection, development and peace in Nigeria within the purview of Sustainable Development Goals. It is the only officially registered national coalition of organizations purposely created to be working on the monitoring of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in six geopolitical zones of Nigeria. It is an engagement platform at the national, regional and international levels collaborating with and ensuring that governments achieve and exceed the SDGs by 2030 and account to the people. It also aims at supporting governments at all levels and in all ramifications especially in mainstreaming SDGs into their plans and programmes, and monitoring the implementation of SDGs for accountability and results.
Specifically, Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development (www.CSCSdev.org ) coordinated and organized deliberations across Nigeria’s six geo-political zones on the post-2015 development agenda that led to the publication titled: “A Compendium of Deliberations on Post-2015 Development Agenda” We are also members of the recently inaugurated UN-led Nigerian Civil Society Strategy Group on SDGs which members of the House Committee on SDGs were part of. It is on record that we organized in the southwest a training on CSOs’ role in SDGs monitoring for the CSOs in August 2016 while individual NGOs have been empowered to be engaging their governments at states level. Our members have attended various SDGs training especially on mainstreaming SDGs into national plans and programmes organized by UNDESA in New York.