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Business News of Monday, 30 September 2019


Institutional gap undermining SDGs progress – report

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Despite adopting an inclusive and multi-stakeholder partnership approach towards the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there exists an institutional gap with regards to the implementation process, between the national level and sub-national levels.

This is contained in the 2019 Civil Society Organizations’ shadow report on the Voluntary National Review (VNR) which measures the progress in implementing the SDGs in Ghana as the report indicated that over 60 percent of Ghanaians are unaware of SDGs.

Instructively, the report noted that there is a strong national level institutional framework towards the implementation of SDGs. However, the structures that operate at the national level have not been successfully translated to the sub-national level. This means that, activities related to SDGs at the local level are not well coordinated and this measure could potentially undermine accountability, inclusiveness and efforts at achieving the set targets.

According to the report, although the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) have integrated the SDGs into their local development plans, they have not done much “to promote local ownership” as well as awareness creation to actively engage other stakeholders on the implementation of the SDGs.

“This local ownership and coordination could be achieved by MMDAs by replicating the national level implementation structures, such as the Implementation Coordination Committee (ICC)”, the report states.

Article 42 of the Local Government Act 936, 2016 mandates District Assembles to facilitate the establishment of a structure for stakeholder participation in development processes initiated by the Assemblies.

This presents an opportunity and the legal basis for MMDAs to replicate the ICC model – this model presents a means of formalizing the collaborative arrangement, thereby creating a sense of ownership in the planning process and outcomes among all stakeholders.

As part of activities to accelerate progress in the attainment of the SDGs set targets, Civil Society Organizations are observing a global week of action geared towards creating awareness on SDGs, intensifying education and reminding government of its commitment in implementing the set target.

Last year during the launch of indicator baseline report, Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) expressed worry over Ghana’s inability and lack of capacity in monitoring all 232 indicators of the SDGs as it was noted that out of the 232 indicators, only 70 are being monitored as the country seeks to achieve the set 2030 targets.


A key difference between government’s VNR and CSOs’ shadow report is that while the former relied on secondary information and the review of official statistics generated by government agencies, the latter was to a large extent informed by primary information gathered from households and communities which directly reflects the citizens perspective and understanding of the SDGs.