In the decades preceding the turn of the new millennium, there were hopes and expectations that year 2000 would provide a magic wand that would provide solutions to many if not all of the intractable challenges facing humanity. It was a period where commonplace were slogans such as “health for all by the year 2000”, “education for all
by the year 2000”, “food sufficiency for all by the year 2000”, “housing for all by the year 2000”, “prosperity for all by the year 2000” and several other slogans. Poverty, hunger, starvation and diseases seemed to be the major challenges facing the developing nations while the developed economies seemed to be enjoying the benefits of
development including human rights, democracy, and good governance.
The United Nations indeed felt concerned about the plight of common people especially in the global south. In order to address the problem of poverty and promote sustainable developments, the 8 millennium goals were adopted in September 2000 at the largest gathering of Heads of States committing both rich and poor countries to do all they can to eradicate poverty, promote human dignity and equality, and achieve peace, democracy and environmental stability. By this commitment the world has an unprecedented opportunity to improve the lives of billions of people by adopting practical approaches to meeting the Millennium Development Goals.
The MDGs and related targets and indicators served as benchmarks of progress towards the shared vision of where we want to go and commitment to work together to get there. There were 18 targets and 48 indicators set to achieve the 8 goals by 2015. Three distinct characteristics of MDGs are that: it is people-centred; it is adaptable to SMART
test; and it involves the development partners, among others. There had been several initiatives, alliances, formations, coalitions, organizations including NGOs, CBOs, FBOs, trade unions, professional associations, student organizations, community groups, bilateral and multilaterals, and inter-governmental working worldwide alongside the UN and governments in order to attain the vision and mission of the United Nations on the Millennium Declaration. However, MDGs were fraught with some challenges.
CHALLENGES FACING MDGs
MDG was fraught with myriads of lacuna as there were some emerging developmental challenges that were not captured within the framework. One of these was governance and accountability. Thus evidently absent in the MDG framework were issues bordering on youth involvement in governance, tackling corruption and inequality, insecurity and conflict management, uneven distribution of resources, support for local technologies, institutional strengthening, and inadequate social welfare policies.
Population dynamics was also not captured in the MDG framework. Many developing countries have population policies which might not be known to the generality of the people while the policies do not address current dynamics, for example, of the upsurge in the youth population or inclement living conditions of people in the arid region. Similarly, the migration policies of some countries are inhumane, anti-people and gender unresponsive while respect for human rights and dignity of migrants are relegated to the micro dot of plans and programmes. Management of population data in some countries is very poor while the data are inconsistent in some countries. Consequently for lack of reliable data, there is lack of adequate planning in an attempt to address the underlying issues dispassionately and appropriately.
Even in education sector in most developing countries, MDG 3 faced the challenges of implementation in the area of recruitment of qualified teachers, lack of professionalism, inadequate incentive and motivation for teachers, low budgetary allocation, poor infrastructural and facilities, shortage of teachers in schools, lack of community
participation, insecurity in schools and dearth of technical and vocational schools where students could be trained on skills acquisition. Even some ministries, department and agencies of governments in some developing countries lack the absorptive capacity to manage their budget prudently as unspent funds sometimes are returned to the treasury
while some are shared as booty by government officials concerned. MDG 7 focused on ensuring environmental sustainability; but then it emphasized more on water and sanitation and less on climate change issues. Environmental issues such as flooding, erosion, desertification did not attract much attention despite the fact that MDG 7 is connected to all the other goals.
Most African countries could not attain MDGs in 2015 because by 2014 results of performance, many of them had not only derailed but also failed woefully.
RATIONALE FOR ESTABLISHING CSCSD
The need for all to look beyond 2015 MDGs was emphasised in the 2010 Annual report of the Secretary-General (11 July 2011) titled, “Accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals: options for sustained and inclusive growth and issues for advancing the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015”. The Millennium Development Goal summit requested the Secretary-General to make recommendations in his annual reports, as appropriate, for further steps to advance the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015. From September 2012 through 2013, many organizations including Beyond 2015 International, the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP), the International Forum of National NGO Platforms (IFP) etc convened national, regional, and community civil society deliberations in 40 countries in Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Representatives from thousands of CSOs took part. Nigeria’s Campaign2015+ International (now Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development) was appointed by Beyond 2015 International as the Lead Agency to coordinate grassroots deliberations in Nigeria. Imperative was the need for the CSOs to further engage governments in monitoring and evaluation so as to consolidate on and not to derail from the gains hitherto achieved provided MDGs were achieved. For this purpose, Campaign2015+ was set up. Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development was also conceived in order to fill the lacuna left by the 8 MDGs. Though the MDGs are people-centred and development focused, lacking are the essential ingredients of human rights, peace and justice which are the bedrocks of development. The issues of democracy, good governance, and human rights, are not expressly stated in the Millennium Declaration though they can be linked in some way. However justice, peace, and security especially global terrorism are
difficult to situate within the purview of the 8 goals.
Campaigning towards and beyond 2015 is the major thrust of the Coalition. Some of the challenges against achieving MDGs are: low political will; governments’ misplaced priorities; lack of inclusive policies and programmes; poor management of resources; lack of transparency and accountability; limited and conditional aids; gender inequalities; war; political instability including terrorism etc. The main purpose of this Coalition is to present the lessons learnt from the implementation of MDGs and support the governments to tackle those challenges that may hinder the
attainment of SDGs in Africa and other parts of the globe and campaign on implementation of SDGs with special focus on popular participation, good governance, human rights, justice, development and global security.
A society whose centre-stage is justice, peace, fulfillment of human rights and development in all ramifications.
CSCSD, in partnership with other civil society, the poor and the marginalized, the donors, the development partners, and international community, gingers at pressuring governments and other stakeholders to account to SDGs and give the lives of people a meaning through upholding justice, human rights and development. Our campaign
theme focuses on:
- Fulfillment of all economic, social and human rights
- Aid and financing for development effectiveness
- Global and national security
- Development issues
- Public accountability
- Debt cancellation
- Just governance
- Gender equality
- Trade justice
CSCSD collaborates with other like-minded CSOs around the world to promote public debates and discussions on economic and social issues including human rights. A priority in the agenda of CSCSD, among other actions, is campaigning for pro-poor global and national policies that can accelerate broad-based economic growth, poverty
reduction and public accountability, as well as the call for immediate action to reduce the debt burden of poor countries and institute fair trade policies and practices, and ODA development effectiveness among the OECD and other developed countries around the globe.
- To serve as an engagement platform at the national, regional and international levels ensuring that governments achieve and exceed the SDGs by 2030 and account to the people.
- To support the 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.
- To build an alliance with and facilitate the participation of other CSOs both in Africa and other regions so as to ensure that citizens lead the process of good governance and service delivery within the framework of Agenda 2030.
- To work with vulnerable groups including the marginalized, the physically challenged, the less privileged women, children and youth so as to bring to the front burner of discourse their development prioritization.
CSCSD membership is free and cuts across coalitions and networks including but not limited to NGOs, CBOs, FBOs, trade unions, professional associations, student organizations, community groups (the poor and the marginalised), disability groups, bilateral and multilaterals, development partners, and intergovernmental agencies working worldwide on development, human and socio-economic rights, justice and peace.
INTERNATIONAL NETWORK PARTNERS
- CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen’s Participation
- Together 2030
- SDG.Club Berlin
- Transparency, Accountability and Participatory (TAP) Network,
- Africa Working Group on SDGs
- Civil Society Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE)
- Non-Governmental Liaison Service
- Action for Sustainable Development
- United Nations Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform
CSCSD CORE VALUES
“Democratic Governance, Transparency and Accountability, Solidarity with the Poor, Inclusiveness and Partnership”
- Democratic governance: CSCSD believes in the principles and practices of democratic governance which necessarily promotes dividends for the people.
- Transparency and accountability: CSCSD promotes transparency and accountability in its operations and therefore challenges government to be transparent and accountable to the people in all their dealings especially in response to poverty eradication and injustice.
- Solidarity with the poor: CSCSD has passion for the poorest of the poor and the marginalized, identifies with them, and campaigns with them challenging governments to give their lives a meaning.
- Inclusiveness: CSCSD believes that the society is comprised of various groups and stakeholders. Ensuring that no one is left behind, there is the need to involve all groups in its operations including the poor, the marginalised, persons with disabilities, people living with HIV/AIDS, women, youths, children, minority groups and other vulnerable groups.
- Partnership: CSCSD considers all the stakeholders including the poor, the maginalised, the minority, and development agencies as co-partners who have an important but collective role to play on the attainment of the SDGs agenda, and upholding of human rights, justice and peace.
- Equality: Since CSCSD believes in equity and equality, it enjoins the stakeholders to consider gender equality, social inclusion, and just global governance as essential for achieving transformation.
- Environmental Sustainability: CSCSD values conducive environment and thus strongly believes that all development must happen within planetary boundaries, while corporations must be held responsible for the
environmental destruction they cause.
- Campaigning/Mobilization using traditional and social media
- Research, Documentation and Information Dissemination
- South-south and Triangular Cooperation
- Legislative/Social Policy Intervention
- Capacity Building
- Monitoring and Evaluation
- CSCSD ON SDGs
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)
CSCSD is founded on the three elements of development – social, economic and environment – and also believes in the fulcrum of SDGs including dignity, people, planet, partnership, justice and prosperity.
- Dignity: determined to give the lives of people a meaning through promotion of self-worth, decent living and pride of labour.
- People: determined to end poverty in all its forms and to ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment
- Prosperity: determined to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature.
- Planet: determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations.
- Justice: determined to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development.
- Partnership: determined to mobilize the means required to implement this Agenda through a revitalised Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, based on a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focussed in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable and with the participation of all countries, all stakeholders and all people.
- Development that is not people-centred and devoid of social, economic and environmental purviews is nothing about them if it is not about them. The interlinkage of these three elements of development is shown in the diagram below while this fulcrum of SDGs is presented in the figure that follows:
Elements of development Fulcrum of SDGs
- Engagement with other stakeholders (private sector, donors, governments)
- Complementary role to government’s projects implementation and service delivery.
- Public policy influencing/lobbying: constitutional & electoral reform, health (C&MH, HIV/AIDS), agric, education, child’s rights, gender equality etc.
- Citizens’ empowerment and direct capacity building (voice-giving, information, training, livelihoods).
- Ombudsmanship (advocacy) and whistle blowing role in collaboration with anticorruption agencies like EFCC
- Holding stakeholders accountable to SDGs (pushing for horizontal accountability)
- Conducting action research and policy-informed research into SDGs implementation.
- Conducting periodic assessment and shadow reports to ensure we are on track to achieving the SDGs.
- Strive to establish Community Based Budget monitoring mechanisms at the local level.
- Campaigning and mobilization on critical SDGs and for enabling environment (anti-NGO bill), policies through coalition/networking e.g. CPDE/AWG/Together 2030/TAPN).
There are three levels of leadership: the General Assembly, the Board of Trustees; the National Executive Committee; Advisory Council.
The General Assembly brings together representatives of the CSCSD including all the officers and nominated members at the zonal and state levels. GA is the highest decision making body of CSCSD. The Board of Trustees holds office and property of the Coalition in trust for the entire membership of CSCSD though they hold office in perpetual succession. They give legal expression to the organization as they can sue and be sued. The BoT comprises between 10 and 15 members and has a Chairperson with a Secretary and other officers. The Advisory Council members are appointed both locally and internationally by the BoT and holds office at the pleasure of the BoT. Working together with the BoT, they are to be involved in giving advice to the BoT in connection with achieving the goals and objectives of CSCSD. The National Executive Committee members are elected by the members during a General Assembly. They are saddled with the day to day running of CSCSD in conjunction with the staff at the Secretariat which is headed by a National Coordinator.
NATIONAL AND REGIONAL OFFICES
NATIONAL: c/o COD at Plot 556, ACO Estate, Phase Two, Abuja Municipal AreaCouncil (AMAC), Off Shehu Yar’adua Expressway AMAC, FCT Abuja.
+234 8023039364, 8176358342,
REGIONAL: c/o CAFSO-WRAG’s office, Maria Ebun Foundation Building, Atanda Estate, End of Ajibola Adekemi Drive, Opp. Honors Filling Station, Klm. 5 Ibadan/Ile-Ife Expressway, Adegbayi Area, Ibadan, P.O.Box 15060, Agodi Post Office, Ibadan 20003,
Nigeria. +2348082008222 +2348030618326
BRIEF ON CIVIL SOCIETY COALITION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (CSCSD)
Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development (CSCSD) formerly known as Campaign2015+International is a coalition of over 150 registered civil society and nongovernmental organizations committed to citizens’ empowerment, human rights protection, development and peace in Nigeria. It is the only 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.
Towards the end of 2015, there were discussions on the need for the Campaign to have a change in its name so as to be in consonance with today’s SDGs campaigning reality. Thus by May 2016, the Corporate Affairs Commission granted it a certificate of operation as Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development. By this CSCSD is better positioned with legal backing to fully engage governments on SDGs implementation in Nigeria.
Since the adoption by the United Nations on September 27, 2015 of the 17 SDGs, CSCSD has sought partnership with relevant government agencies both at the federal and state levels and with international development partners working in the country. In addition to free distribution of copies of its over 260-page book “A Compendium of Deliberations on Post-2015 Development Agenda”, advocacy visits had been paid to the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs (OSSAP SDGS); the House of Representative Committee on the SDGs; and the Ministry of Budget and National Planning. At the level of Development Partners submitted are letters of introduction and collaboration with UNDP, USAID, DFID, PACT Nigeria, Oxfam, PLAN, World Bank to mention but a few.