CPD Distinguished Fellow Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya shared the implementation challenges of SDGs for Bangladesh at a media briefing on Monday, 5 October 2015.
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Published in The Financial Express
CPD finds 5 challenges for BD in implementing SDGs
The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) has identified five challenges for Bangladesh in implementing the sustainable development goals (SDGs) which the global leaders adopted late last month.
These are integration of the goals in national planning process, devising institutional mechanism for implementation, mobilisation of financial and non-financial resources, availability of data for monitoring, and participation of people from all strata of society and enforcement of accountability as challenges.
The CPD organised a media briefing titled ‘The agenda of sustainable development goals: implementation challenges for Bangladesh’ at a city hotel Monday.
CPD distinguished fellow Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya suggested for raising revenue collection, utilising foreign assistance, keeping pace in remittance earnings, and raising investment for employment generation to implement the goals.
Mr Bhattacharya said the 17 goals have been set based on the ideas the United Nations took into consideration in the past in various stages.
He said the SDGs are not a very fine agenda but reflect a global consensus of high aspiration, based on a fine political balance.
The goals have to be implemented through country-led initiatives instead of any global scheme in the way it was done in case of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), he said.
Mr Bhattacharya said the MDGs were for poor countries, but the SDGs have to be implemented in rich countries as well. Through the SDGs, the global leaders have pledged to ensure improved living for all.
He said the MDGs had mainly focused on education and health sectors but the SDGs have multi-dimensions which include economic, social and environmental transformation.
The SDGs, he said, give thrust to reducing inequality among people of a country and between the countries which is a totally new concept.
Mr Bhattacharya said the Goal 12 of the SDGs has talked about responsible production and consumption framework and the Goal 16 which speaks of peace and justice that have brought total perfection of the initiative. Through the Goal 16, the global leaders have pledged to establish legal order in the countries.
He pointed out that the implementation of SDGs has to be started from the unfinished agenda of MDGs where attention is required. In this case, Mr Bhattacharya pointed to low employment generation ratio, low share of women in wage employment in the non-agriculture sector, high maternal mortality ratio, lack of skilled health personal in births, contraceptive prevalence rate, and proportion of land area covered by forest.
Pointing to MDG target, he said by 2015, the employment-to-population ratio was targeted to be 100 per cent but it reached only 57 per cent.
During MDG implementation, the employment generation decreased, he said adding in 1991 the ratio was 68 per cent.
He also said during the last 15 years, proportion of land area covered by trees has also decreased significantly.
“For most indicators, progress has been made although the respective targets were not met,” he said adding, “MDG progress has also been uneven across different regions within Bangladesh. In case of SDGs, no one should be left behind.”
He termed inclusion of governance in SDGs as an epoch-making decision but said Bangladesh hardly gives importance to it.
Mr Bhattacharya said the additional global investment in the range of US$5.0 to $7.0 trillion per year until 2030 will be needed to implement the goals but half of the resources may be available.
“Financial provision will be an important issue with respect to SDG implementation,” he said.
He suggested that domestic resource mobilisation has to be increased and the illicit financial flow which is 1.2 per cent of gross domestic production (GDP) has to be contained.
Besides, he said, the official development assistance in pipeline which is around $20 billion has to be utilised as much as possible to help implement the SDGs.
Mr Bhattacharya said both local and foreign direct investment has to be increased and the flow of remittance needs to be maintained to this level.
“Implementation of SDGs is not possible unless participation of all is ensured,” he said.
Mr Bhattacharya also emphasised on political consensus for implementation of the SDGs saying that a comparatively less-prepared world has taken a big programme at a wrong time.
CPD executive director Dr Mustafizur Rahman also spoke on the occasion, which was also attended by, among others, its director Anisatul Fatema Yousuf and Additional Research Director Khondaker Golam Moazzem.
Dr Rahman said the SDGs are rights-based goals which need massive national level steps for implementation.
He said financing, institutional capacity building, and governance are among the big challenges for implementation of these goals.
Published in The Daily Star Business
PMO should take lead in sustainable development goals
CPD calls for a panel for implementation
Star Business Report
The Centre for Policy Dialogue yesterday suggested the government to form an inter-ministerial body under the leadership of the Prime Minister’s Office for proper implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The civil society think-tank also said it would form a platform involving similar organisations to help the country achieve the SDGs.
The comments came at a media briefing on the outcome of the SDGs adopted by the member nations at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York last week.
Debapriya Bhattacharya, distinguished fellow of CPD, made a presentation on the agenda of the SDGs and highlighted the challenges Bangladesh will face in implementing them.
Attainment of SDGs will require a strong and effective institutional mechanism involving all stakeholders, he said.
Many stakeholders, such as public representatives, government offices, private sector, civil society and development partners are involved in the SDGs process.
The government now needs to adapt the SDGs to national contexts and ensure that all ministries provide the right policy ingredients into the mix.
He urged the Prime Minister’s Office to take the lead role.
Heads of states and governments, together with leaders of the civil societies and the private sectors, adopted the 17 SDGs with 169 associated targets to replace the Millennium Development Goals that will expire at the end of the year.
The member states, including Bangladesh, have committed to work towards implementing the agenda within their own countries and at the regional and global levels.
But the agendas have been launched at a time when the world is passing a challenging time, including economic slowdown and wars.
New goals and targets will come into effect on January 1 next year to guide the international development agenda over the next 15 years.
The CPD identified five major challenges linked to the attainment of the SDGs.
They are: integration into the national planning process, institutional mechanism, financing, data for monitoring and participation, and accountability.
An ongoing CPD study has found that among the 17 SDGs, eight are better integrated into the existing national prioritisation processes.
But 20 percent of the targets are not currently reflected in the national priorities.
Integration of these goals into national planning and policies will be a major challenge.
The think-tank said Bangladesh must integrate Goal 10 (inequality) and Goal 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions), which, it thinks, are important for the country.
Achieving the SDGs in all countries will require additional global investment in the range of $5 trillion to $7 trillion per year up to 2030, according to estimates by the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing.
Developing countries will need between $3.3 trillion and $4.5 trillion a year to finance basic infrastructure, food security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and health and education, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
But at the current level of public and private investment, there will be an annual financing gap of $2.5 trillion, or 3.2 percent of world GDP.
The CPD said the funding issue will be the key challenge for Bangladesh as it already faces deficiency in its spending on social security, education and healthcare.
For example, the think-tank said the average share of healthcare in total public expenditure stagnated at 0.7 percent of GDP during 2003-2014.
As per World Health Organisation, the spending should be 5 percent of GDP. Similarly, budgetary allocation on education remains at 2 percent of GDP in Bangladesh instead of UNESCO-recommended 6 percent.
The think-tank said domestic resource mobilisation has to rise to 17 percent of GDP from the present 12.1 percent for implementation of the SDGs.
In addition, Bhattacharya advised the government to utilise low-cost foreign aid and attract foreign direct investment in this regard.
Illicit financial flow out of the country must be stopped, he said.
Replying to a query on how much money Bangladesh needs to implement the SDGs, Bhattacharya said it cannot be estimated now.
Accessibility, quality and timeliness of data will be critical for the implementation of the SDGs, he added.
CPD Executive Director Mustafizur Rahman said broad participation and accountability are essential ingredients in delivering the SDGs.
He said new areas of SDGs — cities and human settlements, ecosystem and biodiversity — will call for greater efforts and resources at the country level.
Goals have to be implemented by public-private partnership, Rahman said. Khondaker Golam Moazzem, additional research director of the CPD, also spoke.
Published in New Age
Data availability, coordination among ministries key challenges for SDGs: CPD
The Centre for Policy Dialogue, a civil society think tank, on Monday observed that data availability and coordination among so many ministries and agencies will be the key challenges for achieving sustainable development goals in Bangladesh.
‘Attainment of SDGs will require a strong and effective institutional mechanism involving all stakeholders including public representatives of both central and local governments, private sector, civil society, knowledge community and development partners,’ said Debapriya Bhattacharya, distinguished fellow of CPD.
The seventieth session of the UN general assembly on September 25 adopted the SDGs with 17 global goals that will provide the blueprint for the world’s development over the next 15 years.
Debapriya, also chair of South Voice on Post-MDG International Development Goals, while briefing media at a city auditorium suggested for forming an interministerial body under the leadership of prime minister office to coordinate implementation.
He also said that that integration of SDGs with their national planning process will also be a challenge. He said that among 17 SDGs, eight goals were better integrated in the existing national prioritisation process and about 20 per cent targets were not currently reflected in national priorities.
Debapriya suggested for giving emphasis on weaker areas of Millennium Development Goals, particularly productive employment, reduction of inequality and environment-related aspects.
He also said that finance and non-financial resources were also key components for successful delivery of the SDGs as at the current level of public and private global investment there would be an annual financing gap of US$ 205 trillion.
In Bangladesh context, Debapriya said that siphoning of money abroad, stagnant private investment and declining budgetary allocation for agriculture, education and health were a challenge ahead in achieving SDGs.
Debapriya said capacities of national statistics offices and other government offices to track the development progress would also be a big challenge as data for about one third indicators were not available in Bangladesh.
He also stressed the need for ensuring good governance, participation of people in development activities, strengthening accountability and legitimacy process for achieving SDGs.
There has to be engagement of the private sector, NGOs as well as parliamentarians and local government representatives to create a platform to make SDGs work.
Mustafizur Rahman, Executive Director of CPD, said that they were going to launch a platform with private sector and NGOs to make SDGs work.
Published in Dhaka Tribune
Integration of SDGs into national planning stressed
Centre for Policy Dialogue has stressed the need for integration of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the national planning process and institutional mechanism for their effective implementations.
The integration of SDGs is one of the five challenges identified by the CPD.
The five are inclusion of SDGs in the national planning process, financial and non-financial resources, institutional mechanism for implementation, data for monitoring and participation and accountability to implement the SDGs.
CPD distinguished fellow Debapriya Bhattacharya cited the challenges in his keynote presentation on “The Agenda of Sustainable Development Goals: Implementation Challenges for Bangladesh” in the city yesterday.
“It would be a big issue as to how the SGDs will be integrated into the national planning process, who will be included and how much it will be inclusive,” Debapriya said, calling for inclusion of all stakeholders in the process.
“Finance is a key component if the coming process is to successfully deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” said Debapriya.
To meet the financing, the government has to focus on domestic resources, to enhance tax and to ensure maximise use of it, he added.
According to the estimates in the final report by the Intergovernmental Committee of Exports on Sustainable Development Financing (ICESDF), achieving the SDGs in all counties will require additional investment in the range of $5tn to $7tn per year up to 2030.
The average annual additional investment requirement is about 3% of GDP in Bangladesh.
However, UNTCTAD estimates that out of this, developing countries will need between $3.3tn and $4.5tn a year in financing for basic infrastructure, food security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, health and education.
Stressing data monitoring, Debapriya said capacities of national statistics office and other government agencies will be built to prepare an updated data producing and financing plan.
An ongoing CPD study has found that among the 300 indicators proposed by UNStatCom, data for about one-third indicators are not available for Bangladesh, he said.
As per the CPD study, among the 17 SDGs, eight goals are better integrated in the existing national prioritisation process while about 20% targets are not currently reflected in national priorities.
Attainment of SDGs will require a strong and effective institutional mechanism involving all stakeholders including public representatives (central and local), government (executive and bureaucracy) and private sector, civil society, knowledge community and development partners, said CPD fellow.
One of the weaknesses of MDGs implementation was absence of dedicated institutional mechanism for implementation, he observed.
He suggested forming an inter-ministerial body under the leadership of Prime Minister’s Office to implement the agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The government may form a set of task forces involving both government and non-government experts and the national budgetary process should also be informed by the SDGs, he suggested.
Debapriya underscored the need for emphasis on weaker areas of MDGs achievement instead of focusing on stronger areas only.
The 193 member states committed to work towards implementing the 2030 Agenda within their own counties and at regional and global level for sustainable development.
Published in The Independent
‘Political unity must to accelerate growth’
CPD identifies 5 challenges for Bangladesh to attain SDGs
Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), a civil society think tank said the development of Bangladesh would expedite rapidly if political unity would prevailed among the political parties. “The success of development started when democratic government came to power after 1990. The credit goes to all political parties those were in power during last 20 years for bringing success in development,” said CPD distinguish fellow Dr Debapriya Battacharjya. However, CPD has found five challenges facing Bangladesh in terms of implementation of its agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “The challenges include integration in the national planning process; participation and accountability; financial and non-financial resources; data for monitoring; and an institutional mechanism for implementation,” said Dr Debapriya.
Dr Debapriya yesterday made a presentation on “agenda of sustainable development goals: implementation challenges for Bangladesh” at the BRAC centre in the city. Executive Director, CPD, Prof Mustafizura Rahman too spoke at the briefing. About SDGs, he said it was an ambitious global development partnership launched in the time of a challenging international environment. “Political will – global, regional and national – will be of critical essence. We need to have a strengthened accountability and legitimacy process,” he added.
Commenting on the SDGs agenda, Debapriya said, “It is not a very perfect agenda but expresses a global consensus in terms of high aspiration, based on fine political balance.” On the comparison between Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and SDGs, he said that SDGs were universal, transformative, inclusive and integrated and their attainment would require a strong and effective institutional mechanism that involved all stakeholders such as public representatives, the government, private sector, civil society, knowledge community, and development partners.
The CPD said an inter-ministerial body may be formed under the leadership of the Prime Minister’s Office. Referring to an ongoing CPD study, Debapriya said it had found that among 300 indicators proposed by UNSTatcom, data for nearly one-third of the indicators was not available for Bangladesh.
“Accessibility, quality and timeliness of data will be critical and fixing a reference year will be a challenge,” he noted.
SDGs were adopted by member states at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly on September 25, 2015 where 17 goals with 169 targets would come into effect on January 1, 2016 and would guide the international development agenda over the next 15 years.
Published in Daily Sun
Financing key challenge to executing SDGs: CPD
Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, Distinguished Fellow of CPD, speaks at a press conference on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in the UN General Assembly at Brac Centre Inn in the city on Monday.
Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), a private think tank sees financing as the key challenge for Bangladesh to implementing the agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in the UN General Assembly.
The other major challenges the country is going to face are coordinating the SDGs with national planning, ensuring everyone’s participation and accountability, availability of real statistics, monitoring, setting structural strategies and their implementation, according to CPD.
The research body’s observation came at a press conference in the city on Monday following the United Nation’s adoption of SDGs in its general assembly on September 25 to ensure better lives for its 193 member countries by 2030 by implementing 17 targets of SDGs.
Citing a report of inter-government committee’s report, CPD’s distinguished fellow Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya said implementing the SDGs will require five to seven trillion US dollars additional investment across the globe, where the developing nations will need investments of 3.3 trillion to 4.5 trillion US dollars in line with an UNCTAD report.
“But it is clear that international funds or assistance will be available for the job, for which financing should come from the internal resources,” he pointed out. He said Bangladesh is currently spending 2 percent of its GDP for social safety net schemes which should be increased to 3 percent.
Similarly, education expenditure should be raised to GDP’s 6 to 7 percent from the current 2 percent and allocations for women development to 4 percent from 2.6 percent apart from enhancing investments in agriculture and industries.
“But there is no clear direction about how these resources will come,” he said, adding that mobilising resources will be tough for Bangladesh in the context of slow foreign investments.
Mobilising additional resource is going to be really a very tough job for Bangladesh because of GDP’s 1 to 1.2 percent capital flight every year, while private investment remaining stuck in 22.1 percent for the last few years, and the country’s inability to utilise foreign assistance and FDI remain at 0.9 percent, Dr Debapriya said.
CPD also put special emphasis on maintaining political stability for achieving SDGs. In spite of political turmoil, lack of infrastructure and good governance, the country has done well in poverty reduction, child nutrition, primary school enrollment, gender equality, reducing child mortality rate, immunization, HIV control and ensuring safe drinking water.
Still the country is lagging behind in job creation, reducing school drop out rate, increasing literacy and women wages, reducing mortality, uneven development and income inequality, and forestation compared with the previous MDGs, according to CPD’s observation. CPD suggested for keeping the SDGs implementation leadership to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) as it is linked to at least 14 national plans. Given the confrontational global situation, it thinks that development aspirations revealed in the SDGs are ambitious.
However, the country will be in a better position in 8 targets of SDGs, while it will be in a disadvantageous position in achieving 9 targets.
CPD’s Executive Director Prof Mustafizur Rahman, senior researchers Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem, Anisatul Fatema Yusuf, among others, were present at the press conference.
Published in News Today
CPD for inter-ministerial body to implement SDGs
Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), a civil society think tank, on Monday suggested formation of an inter-ministerial body under the Prime Minister’s Office to implement the agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in the UN General Assembly, reports UNB.
“As the SDGs are related to all most all ministries and sectors unlike MDGs that focused on a few sectors, including poverty, health and education, an inter-ministerial body may be formed to implement the 2030 Agenda,” CPD distinguished fellow Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya said. Debapriya came up with the suggestion in his keynote paper titled ‘The agenda of Sustainable Development Goals: Implementation Challenges for Bangladesh’ in a media briefing at the city’s Brac Centre Inn. “It’ll be difficult to implement the SDGs in the country if Prime Minister’s Office doesn’t lead…,” he said. He also suggested that the government may form a set of task forces, involving both government and non-government experts to implement the SDGs, adopted at the UN general assembly on September 25 last. The CPD distinguished fellow said the government can also involve the national parliament and local government institutions in the implementation process. Identifying five challenges for Bangladesh to implement the post-MDGs agenda, SDGs, he said mobilising financial and non-financial resources, and institutional mechanisms are the key challenges for the country to implement the SDGs. Three other challenges are integration of the SDGs in the national planning process, ensuring participations and accountability and building statistics or data for monitoring the implementation progress, he added. The 193 member states have committed to working for implementing the 2030 Agenda within the own countries and also at regional and global levels for sustainable development. In the SDGs, 17 goals and 169 associated targets will come into effect on January 1, 2016 and will guide the international development agenda over the next 15 years. However, some 300 indicators are likely to be finalised by the UN Statistical Commission in March and April next. An ongoing CPD study has found that among the 17 SDGs, eight goals are better integrated in the country’s existing national prioritisation processes, while the remaining nine goals are lesser integrated in the prioritisation processes. The eight better integrated goals are poverty, hunger and nutrition, education, gender equality, water and sanitation, energy, combating climate change, and global partnership. The nine lesser integrated goals are health, inclusive growth and employment, infrastructure, industrialization and innovation, inequality, cities and human settlements, sustainable consumption and production, conserve and sustainable use of oceans, sees and marine resources, and governance. About 20 percent of 169 associated targets are not currently reflected on the national priorities, the CPD study found. Dr Debapriya said, “I think two SDGs-reducing inequality and good governance (peace, justice and strong institutions)-are most important for Bangladesh. The two goals must be integrated in the national priorities.” He said some important sectors, including health, education, agriculture and social security are neglected in the country. The average share of health in total public expenditure stagnated at 0.7 percent of GDP during 2003-2014 period though the WHO stipulates that the allocation should be 5 percent of GDP, he added. Education budget has been hovering around 2 percent of GDP during the 2003-2014 period, but Unesco stipulates that the allocation should be 6 percent of GDP, he added. About MDGs, Bhattacharya said MDGs attainment in Bangladesh has been quite impressive in many areas, but further attention will be required for some unfinished agenda, including the employment target. About integration of SDGs in planning process, he said as preparation of the 7th Five Year Plan and the National Social Security Strategy (NSSS) 2015 are still under process, Bangladesh has more scope to integrate SDGs than many other countries in the world. According to the ICESDF estimates, achieving the SDGs in all countries will require additional global investment in the range of $5 trillion to $7 trillion a year up to 2030. Speaking on the occasion, CPD Executive Director Dr Mustafizur Rahman said Bangladesh needs to adopt an uninterrupted process for implementation of SDGs over the next 15 years.