What are the Sustainable Development Goals?
In September 2015, while Uganda held the UN presidency, the 192 Member States of the United Nations (UN) adopted a historic resolution committing themselves to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Agenda 2030 and its associated SDGs informs and guides global and national development.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 ambitious, trans-formative and universal Goals with a total of 169 targets and 232 indicators that will guide national and local development by 2030. They aim at eradicating poverty through a focus on partnerships, people, planet, prosperity and peace.
SDGs are different from all other international development frameworks considering that they are more ambitious, universal, holistic and inclusive as follows:
INTEGRATION OF SDGS IN UGANDA PLANNING AND FINANCING SYSTEM
Policy and Planning Alignment
Uganda’s planning authority ensures that planning frameworks at all levels are well aligned with the SDGs. The NDPII, which has been the guiding framework for national development for the last five years, was 70 percent aligned to the SDGs and places Uganda in an advantageous position to lead by example by adopting and localizing the SDGs. This includes implementing projects geared towards achievement of the SDGs, particularly those that fit within the current national development obligations as well as East African Regional Integration and African Agenda 2063 development commitments. The SDGs continue to guide the determination of priority investment areas, to the extent that the NDPIII focus areas are Industry, Governance and Environment. These areas have been identified as accelerators for the attainment of NDPIII based on SDG modelling using a customized Uganda iSDG model and following a series of consultations with state and non-state actors to deliberate on the strategic direction that the plan would take for the next five years.
Aligning budgets to SDGs
To ensure conformity of the national budget with the NDPII and SDGs, the Government has maintained its innovative practice of assessing the quality of sector budgets to assess their compliance. This is complemented by the Certificates of Gender and Equity measuring the responsiveness of national and district budgets to gender and equity. The annual certificate of compliance indicated an improvement in SDG alignment from 60.9 percent in 2017/18 to 64 percent in 2018/19. Analysis of alignment of SDGs to the budget further indicated that SDGs 1, 4, 5 and 16 scored over 75 percent, while 6, 8 and 17 scored over 70 percent.
The good performance in SDG 1 was driven by, among other things, the social protection programmes that have had beneficial effects on several dimensions, such as food security, education, employment and productivity in the districts selected for the pilot. Improvements in land titling are benefiting women, though they are still disproportionately represented among the poor because of high domestic work burdens. SDG 4 scored well given that 63.3 percent of children under five years are developmentally on track in health and learning outcomes. Early childhood education shows great promise as an avenue to help children develop and learn basic skills, although only 26 percent of children have achieved basic literacy and numeracy skills at the age of six. Currently, 7 million adult Ugandans are non-literate. Under SDG 5, Uganda has almost eradicated FGM/C, with the proportion of girls and women aged 15–49 years who have under- gone FGM/C having reduced to 0.3 percent nationally. However, the practice is still common in the sub-regions of Sebei and Karamoja in Eastern Uganda.
Under SDG 11 Target 11.1, about 7 out of every 10 young people polled through U-Report reported that they live in safe accommodation (ranging from 66 percent to 73 percent across both sexes, all age groups and geographical locations). Under SDG 16, the feeling of safety increased significantly from 51 percent in 2013 to 94.3 percent in 2017 for those reporting feeling safe during the daytime.
Leaving No One Behind
At the time of adoption of the 2030 Agenda all Member States, including Uganda, pledged to ensure that “no one will be left behind” and to “endeavour to reach the furthest behind first”. In practice, this statement enjoins all Member States to take action to end extreme poverty, curb inequalities, confront discrimination, and fast-track progress to reach the furthest behind first. Leave No One Behind therefore emphasizes the critical distributional aspects of the global development agenda. The three mutually reinforcing “levers” identified as cornerstones that countries need to embrace include: 1) empower through civic engagement and voice; 2) enact through integrated, equity-focused SDG policies, interventions and budgets; and: 3) examine, through use of disaggregated and people-driven data and information.
End poverty in all its forms everywhere
End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Build resilient infrastruc-ture, promote inclusive and sustainable industri-alization and foster innovation
Reduce inequality within and among countries
Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Ensure sustainable con-sumption and production patterns
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Protect, restore and pro-mote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat deserti-fication, halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development