Tuesday, October 16, 2018 | ePaper

Power of partnerships in the fight against poverty

  • Print
Amina J. Mohammed :
The 2030 Agenda is the most ambitious plan governments have ever developed to eradicate extreme poverty and safeguard our planet. While it is a global agenda, it will only be achieved by addressing the multidimensional aspects of poverty and through ensuring ownership on the part of communities, local authorities and individuals.
There are many examples of local actors, cities and state governments in particular, that are creating new development pathways, overhauling their plans and budgets and taking other innovative steps to achieve the ambitious SDG targets.
Durban, South Africa and Cauayan City in the Philippines have aligned their development plans with the SDG targets, while local governments in Benin have made SDG progress a condition for accessing national funding.
Meanwhile, Kaduna State in Nigeria conducted a robust multi-level data exercise to analyze how all of its residents, particularly the most vulnerable, are faring in relation to each Sustainable Development Goal.
We need more of these local SDG leaders. At the 2017 session of the High Level Political Forum, it was revealed that local and regional governments have participated in only 57 per cent of the National Voluntary Reviews. We will not achieve the SDG's if such low engagement with local governments continues.
To achieve the SDGs, all communities must be engaged substantively.
We must also increase our knowledge of local conditions. All data must be disaggregated, capturing the lives of residents in the most rural areas and densest informal settlements. And we must act on that knowledge with finance that reaches the communities most in need. Global and national funds must be decentralized and new financial instruments developed in cities and states.
As a former minister, I know the important role of community-focused programmes and projects. In my current role, I see, even more clearly, the value of local actions in realizing global development efforts.
You know as well as anyone the conditions that can make or break efforts to expand development opportunities to everyone.
Across Nigeria, local initiatives led by state governments, civil society actors and financiers are making outstanding contributions to poverty reduction.
The Ekuri Initiative, for example, which is located in the Cross River State, seeks to sustainably manage the forest as a community asset, generating income, subsistence materials and food.
The Smallholders Foundation is using rural radio broadcasts to educate 250,000 farmers on modern agricultural and environmental management techniques, to provide up-to-date market information, and give farmers a platform on which to advertise their products.
Nigeria, like many African countries, is at a crossroads. The country has an opportunity to build on recent economic, political and social gains and to leverage its vast human and natural resources to eradicate poverty.
At the same time, many internal conflicts are challenging the genuine efforts of Nigeria's leaders, including the insurgency in the north-east, the issue of militancy in the Niger Delta and disputes between herders and farmers, thus undermining and reversing development gains.
To address these challenges, we must prioritize an integrated response to peace, security, human rights and development. And we must improve our efforts to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts while promoting inclusive, sustained and equitable development.
Harnessing the power of partnerships will be critical. We must deepen the joint and coordinated efforts of the federal government, state governments, local authorities, private sector and civil society organizations. Nigeria has taken concrete steps in this direction.
Under the leadership of the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria launched the first national Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's), to coordinate public-private partnerships and amplify locally-driven solutions to achieve the SDG's. The PSAG includes 13 diverse partners, including Lagos Business School, the Dangote Group, General Electric and the Sahara Group.
The Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa is another inspiring example of partnership mobilization to achieve the SDG's. Chaired by Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Aliko Dangote, CEO of the Dangote Group, the Center brings together national governments, civil society and private sector leaders to collectively devise SDG solutions such as advancing inter-country projects on sustainable infrastructure and development of new platforms to better connect communities to achieve the SDG's.
Meanwhile, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has stimulated inspiring partnerships between the Ministers, immunization and health experts in Nigerian States and private sector companies to strengthen vaccine cold chain infrastructure in Nigeria.
Together with initiatives such as Project Last Mile and Coca-Cola, the Foundation aims to increase the number of Nigerian children who can access life-ensuring vaccines, with the focus on the most vulnerable and hardest to reach children.
Similar work is underway elsewhere in Africa, such as in Ethiopia, where the Gates Foundation is supporting the advancement of national priorities and reinforcing government leadership in the areas of agriculture and health- through partnerships across the country that aim to improve agricultural productivity and increase the coverage of life-saving health and nutrition interventions.
UNDP is also partnering with the relevant authorities to promote SDG localization in Anambra, Benue, Kaduna and Kogi States, and to support implementation and monitoring of SDG-based State Development Plans.
The promise of the 2030 Agenda to leave no-one behind cannot be kept without translating global goals into local action. This requires concerted and coordinated efforts at all levels of decision-making, and the empowerment of local actors.
To eradicate poverty and ensure a life of dignity for all, we must work with the world's most vulnerable people at the level of their everyday realities to make extreme poverty a problem of the past.
(Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, in an address to the UN Commission on Social Development).

More News For this Category

Living standard of RMG workers should be enhanced

THE workers of readymade garment sector in Bangladesh earn poverty-level wages. Not only that, they continue to work excessively long hours for little money. Whereas, the government and the industry

Question paper leakage continues: Incompetence is everywhere

QUESTION paper leaks have become epidemic before all public exams, university admission tests, and job recruitment tests during the current administration allegedly by some students and unscrupulous teachers along with

A different way to measure our wealth

Kamal Ahmed :How do you measure the value and success of the economy?Traditionally, by reporting on gross domestic product - the amount an economy produces of goods like cars and

Going full circle for growth

Li Yong and Hong Joo Hahm :The business case for making our economy more sustainable is clear. Globally, transitioning to a circular economy - where materials are reused, re-manufactured or

Religion should not be used to sow divisions

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev :Religion has been, and remains, an immense spiritual  force for good in our world. The shared values which underpin all world's major faiths have positively moulded how we

Readers’ Forum

Save HilsaThe Hilsa - the national fish of Bangladesh - is a very important fish for us. Besides its great taste and flavour, it is also a great source of

Utility service providers must work under one umbrella

MOST chiefs of utility service providing organisations do not attend coordination meetings called by the Mayor of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) defying an order of the Prime Minister's Office.

Take seriously the promise made to the editors

The Editors' Council will form a human chain in front of the National Press Club today (Monday) to press for amendments to nine sections of the Digital Security Act. Earlier,

Parliament to govern the government

Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed :Parliament is the national legislative body having supreme legislative powers in the state. It can be termed; the symbol of democracy. Bangladesh is a newly born

Mother nature can help us deal with her water disasters

Vladimir Smakhtin :Almost every day we hear news about catastrophic flooding or drought somewhere in the world. And many nations and regions are on track for even more extreme water