Governance is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda

Mar 2, 2016


The Global Workshop on initiative to pilot illustrative work on governance in the context of the SDGs held in Nyamata, Rwanda, ended with  a unanimous call to recognise governance as the heart of the  2030 Agenda, and therefore the need to scale up frameworks for measuring and monitoring its successful implementation. The two day workshop drew over 60 participants from primarily the five SDG piloting countries of Rwanda, Albania, Indonesia, United Kingdom and Tunisia, to take stock of the piloting phase and map pathways to implementation. Other countries represented included Zambia, Cape Verde, and Sierra Leone. The workshop was organised by UNDP Rwanda and New York, the Government of Rwanda, and the Rwanda Governance Board.

The Minister of State in Charge of Economic Planning, Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana, had earlier at the opening ceremony, set the tone for the centrality of governance to the development agenda by highlighting how good leadership and governance were central to the successful implementation of the Millennium Development Goals in Rwanda, of which all but three indicators were met. Citing Rwanda as a model country, Dr Ndagijimana called for effective planning, zero tolerance to corruption and fully integrating SDGs in the national vision, planning and budgets, as mechanisms of maintaining Rwanda’s record in successfully implementing global development agenda. Speaking about Rwanda’s experience in the transition from MDGs to SDGs, the CEO of Rwanda Governance Board, Prof. Anastase Shyaka argued that the work of RGB in promoting evidence-based governance provided proof that governance was measurable. He cited the Joint Governance Assessment and the Rwanda Governance Scorecard as successful measurement tools that have incorporated a broad range of indicators to measure governance in Rwanda. Citing some of the key success factors that the SDG implementation framework could borrow from the MDGs, Mr Godfrey Kabera, the Director of National Planning and research pointed to a result-oriented culture based on a performance contract system, nurturing local innovations and effective coordination as having been at the core of the success story of the MDGs in Rwanda.

The UNDP Rwanda Country Director, Mr Stephen Rodriquez noted that the strong correlation between governance and development called for wide consultative process that involves not only government but also civil society in mapping the trajectory of the development agenda. He emphasized the need to localise the SDGs to fit the country contexts within which they will be implemented.


Participant sharing ideas through group discuss sessions

Through various presentations and discussions, a number of issues addressing the key factors to ensure a smooth transition from piloting to implementation were raised. Key among these was the need to fit the SDGs and their indicators to local contexts by identifying the interfaces between the global and local indicators and how they are connected. The challenges associated with generating and utilising data and statistics in measuring and monitoring governance was also raised, with a call for not only integrating national statistical bodies within the implementation frameworks, but also ensuring that data is used to inform and influence public policy. Participants also pointed to the need for a strong accountability mechanism in building partnerships and co-ordination to ensure effective flow of information among stakeholders.

Some of the issues agreed on as a way forward included the nurturing of political will as a necessary factor in the successful implementation of the SDGs, building strong and diverse partnerships to ensure broad support, and ensuring local ownership of the development process.

Closing the workshop, the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission Mrs Madeleine Nirere emphasized the importance of broad consultations by mapping different stakeholders involved in the implementation to ensure full representation. The workshop took place at the Golden Tulip Hotel, in Nyamata, Bugesera, from 23 -24 February 2016.

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