Local bodies key players in pursuing SDGs: Nepal’s apex planning agency

September 15, 2017

Kathmandu: The role of newly formed local bodies as key players in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals has been identified by Nepal’s National Planning Commission (NPC), the apex body framing country’s development plans and policies. It has further asked the central government to make adequate funds available to these local units so that various programmes can be launched to achieve the United Nations-backed goals, according to a report in The Kathmandu Post.

Nepal’s new constitution has given significant power to local bodies, enabling them to frame and implement development programmes on their own. These local bodies can also frame guidelines and procedures on their own to govern themselves. This means local bodies will have to own the SDGs, says NPC’s latest ‘National Report on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’. Also, resources need to be allocated properly, otherwise “implementation of SDGs at local level will be difficult”, adds the report.

“Therefore, a strong partnership between three tiers of government—federal, provincial and local—is extremely necessary to integrate the SDGs into local level structures,” the report further says. It also added that workshops, training and consultation will also be required to ensure that SDGs are properly incorporated in local plans. Also effective participation of women, youth and other marginalized groups is equally important to ensure planning and implementation of SDGs at local level.”

Attaining SDGs requires huge funds. Implementation of SDGs will require at least $1.5 trillion a year at the global level, according to the World Business Council. “Therefore, Nepal is trying to manage financial resources from a triangular partnership which includes the public and the private sector as well as development partners as meeting SDGs is a shared responsibility of the national and international communities,” says the NPC report. But what is worrying, according to the report, is the declining official development assistance from development partners.

The flow of official development assistance in Nepal including the grant, loan and technical assistance nearly tripled in last 15 years. But its share in the country’s gross domestic product declined from 4.8 percent in 1999-2000 to 2.6 percent in 2014-15. Also, each Nepali on average received only $33 in the form of official development assistance between 2001 and 2005, which fell to $28 between 2006 and 2010 and increased marginally to $31 between 2011 and 2015.

“Current level of official development assistance is not sufficient for Nepal to meet development expenditure required to meet SDGs,” says the report, adding, “Nepal needs to explore new partners and areas of cooperation for SDG implementation.”

Source: http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2017-08-02/npc-calls-on-local-bodies-to-own-sdgs.html