The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is developing a toolkit that will help African countries develop an integrated approach in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs) and Agenda 2063, Africa’s 50-year development plan.
Speaking in Abuja, Nigeria during the policy dialogue on development planning in Africa, Bartholomew Armah, Chief of the Renewal Planning Section in the Macroeconomic Policy Division, said the integrated nature of Agenda 2063 and the SDGs calls for an integrated approach to their implementation and reporting hence the development of the new toolkit.
The toolkit will harmonize the domestication of the SDGs and Agenda 2063 to enhance efficiency and reduce transaction costs of reporting, facilitate integration of both agendas in national development plans and track performance on the two agenda.
“The toolkit idea emanated from the work we have been doing with our partners on the post-2015 agenda and now we have Agendas 2063 and 2030. So last year we requested funding to support member States integrate the two agendas into their national development plans and to support evidence-based policymaking allowing us to develop this platform,” said Armah, adding the toolkit is comprehensive and flexible.
The toolkit is an electronic platform which can be accessed on the web. It is also portable and can be downloaded onto desktops and can be used both online and off-line.
“The toolkit puts the SDGs on the electronic platform together with Agenda 2063 and walks policymakers through a series of questions on whether they have integrated the two agendas into their plans, and if so whether this has been done fully using the exact or proxy indicators,” Armah added.
“We do this because we want to be able to identify if there are some challenges that the member States are meeting in mainstreaming the SDGs and Agenda 2063 into national development plans so the ECA can then follow-up with the member States and try to work with them in trying to address those challenges and gaps.”
After going through the processes on the platform, it generates a report summarizing the responses and shows what type of integration a particular country would have reached, whether it met the economic, social or environmental dimensions of the SDGs.
“Essentially it gives you a mapping of whether the integration is at the three levels such that there’s no skew towards one dimension or the other. Basically it validates the quality and extent of integration,” he said, adding the tool also tracks progress on any given country’s national development plan.
The tool also identifies reasons for non-integration, providing the opportunity for the ECA and its partners to have further discussions with the member States for support.
It can also serve as an input into country preparations for national voluntary reporting to the High Level Political Forum and for national policy dialogue on the implementation of national development plans.
“Of course ours is not the only toolkit around but our distinguishes itself from existing ones in that it looks at the two agendas and its flexible to track progress in other agendas,” he said, adding SDG convergence with 2063 is high hence integration is made easier by the toolkit.
Mr. Armah, whose presentation to the meeting was titled: “An integrated Approach to the Implementation of International Commitments: Features of ECA’s Integrated Planning and Reporting Toolkit”, said the target for the tool is Africa’s national planning commissions.
The toolkit has already been tested in Ethiopia and is being fine-tuned ready for deployment end of June.
In Africa, SDGs are being implemented concurrently and in an integrated manner with the First 10-year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063, Africa’s 50-year strategic framework for socio-economic transformation which seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development.