In preparing the 2020 Voluntary National Review, the Government of Uganda took into account lessons learned during preparation of the 2016 report. A key lesson was the need to strengthen the coordination frame- work to ensure that all structures play their role in shaping the SDG implementation process. While the 2016 report was coordinated by the National SDG Taskforce, technical leadership of the multi-institutional drafting team was carried out by the National Planning Authority (NPA), since the focus of the report was on institutional readiness and mainstreaming, which fell within the NPA mandate. The breadth of the 2020 VNR called for the involvement of all Technical Working Groups (which include planning and mainstreaming, communication, data and reporting) to lead on respective areas, under overall coordination by the National SDG Secretariat.
In 2019, the National SDG Taskforce, headed by the Permanent Secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister, established a multi-institutional Advisory Committee drawn from ministries, departments and agencies, Parliament, UN bodies, civil society organizations (CSOs) and the private sector, to provide oversight to all processes leading to the VNR report. The committee approved a comprehensive roadmap, an annotated chapter outline of the report, and all other technical engagements related to the process.
To facilitate deliberations on the VNR process, the National SDG Secretariat commissioned three main processes.
First was populating the national SDG indicator matrix to gather data, including at administrative level. This process was initiated by convening statisticians of ministries, departments and agencies to provide data, with back-end approvals by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS). This matrix was used by UBOS to update the SDG indicator matrix required to enhance the National SDG interactive Dashboard.
Second was the preparation of the 2019 SDG progress report highlighting goal-by-goal achievements, with a view to feeding it into the VNR. The report was presented at several fora, including: CSO SDG Core Reference Group meetings, the UN SDG Technical Working group, National SDG Task- force meetings comprising all heads of technical working groups, Permanent Secretaries, National Monitoring and Evaluation working group, and National Council for People with Disabilities, among others.
Third, for consultations to continue despite the prolonged lockdown imposed by the COVID-19 Pandemic, three online engagements were launched. One involved gathering the voices of young people and children using the U-report, which enabled 23,324 young people to share their views on SDG implementation and aspects that matter in their lives. To capture voices of the public, an E-platform was established and popularized on several platforms (social media, television, radio, email). More than 600 people across the country shared their views on: areas where Uganda is performing well in advancing the SDGs and aspects it needs to improve on; how the country can advance the principle of “leaving no one behind” in the implementation of the SDGs; the role of Local Governments in fast-tracking delivery of the SDGs; local innovative practices that have enabled achievement of the SDGs; and the opportunities that can be harnessed by government and non-state actors to accelerate progress towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.