Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

 Photo © UNDP Afghanistan / S. Omer Sadaat / 2016


On September 25, world leaders from 193 nations including Afghanistan endorsed an ambitious agenda for global change called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  The SDGs represent a fifteen-year agenda (2015-2030) to guide the international community in our shared efforts to achieve three objectives: end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and protect our planet. At the UN General Assembly, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, on behalf of the Government of Afghanistan, committed to pursuing these goals together with Afghanistan’s development partners.

Afghanistan continues to face major challenges in its pursuit of a better life for its people. Yet despite everything, over the past fifteen years, with the Millennium Development Goals as the backdrop, Afghanistan has witnessed some encouraging and noteworthy successes. For instance, there are more than 8 million children—boys and girls— in school today compared to a mere 70,000 in 2001. Life expectancy has increased from 45 to 62 years during this period. In 2001, one in four Afghan children would die before the age of five; today, it is one in ten – still an extremely high number when compared to other parts of the world, but a marked improvement from 15 years ago.

With the approval of the Afghan ministers cabinet on 7th October 2015, the Ministry of Economy (MoEc) has been designated as the lead ministry and focal point to take lead in coordinating, planning, monitoring and reporting on SDGs.


 UNDP and the Afghan Red Crescent Society organized a volleyball tournament for young women at Kabul University this month - part of the global 16 Days of Activism campaign against gender violence. © UNDP Afghanistan / Omer Sadaat / 2016

The SDGs project will contribute to achieving one of the current Country Programme Document’s outputs: developing national development institutions capacities so that they can assess, plan and budget and respond to development priorities.

With support from the project, the Ministry of Economy will strengthen its institutional capacity so that it can fulfill its mandates as the focal point of SDGs in coordinating, planning and monitoring the goals.

The project works with the ministry to nationalize the SDGs based on the country's priorities and sets coordination structures at national levels. The project will help with aligning the Nationalized SDGs with the national development strategies, planning and budgeting process. It will also enhance capacity at the Ministry of Economy to serve as the central repository for monitoring and reporting on SDGs. Further support will be provided on the policy advocacy front to generate awareness on SDGs among all stakeholders: government, non-government, private and development partners.

The project is expected to achieve these outputs:

Output 1. MoEC is structurally organized to lead on SDGs coordination and planning

  • Support in carrying out functional analysis of General Directorate of Policy and Result Based Monitoring & Evaluation with emphasis on its role on coordination, planning, and monitoring SDGs.
  • Establish national level SDGs Coordination Committee to guide and coordinate SDGs in the country.

Output 2: SDGs are successfully nationalized, aligned with the national development plans and linked with the budgeting process 

  • Formulation and finalization of national SDGs targets and indicators.
  • Align the Nationalized SDGs with the national development plans/projects and link with the budgeting process.

Output 3:  MoEC has a strengthened M&E system to effectively monitor, report and undertake advocacy for the SDGs

  • Develop SDG monitoring and data management mechanism and institutionalize it within the Ministry of Economy.
  • Develop capacity at the Ministry of Economy to conduct policy studies and advocacy campaigns on SDGs.  

What we have accomplished so far

  • Established an SDGs Board within the Ministry of Economy, chaired by H.E. Minister or Deputy Minister of Policy, as a platform for key directorates and units engaged in the process of implementing the SDGs.
  • Workshops have been held to coordinate and introduce SDGs to line ministries at central and provincial levels and determine the responsibility of each ministry/agency.
  • All the targets provided by line ministries and agencies are validated by the Central Statistics Office for accuracy.
  • Organized the First National Youth Symposium on SDGs, chaired by H.E. the First Lady and H.E. the Minister of Economy. It was held in Kabul in April 2017 with over 400 youth representatives from 34 provinces in attendance.
  • In December 2016, more than 300 participants, including 130 women, attended presentations on SDGs at Dunya University. Presentations were delivered by the representatives from the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Parliament and UNDP.
  • In February 2017, 330 students, including 180 women, were presented with the targets and indicators for 9 of the SDGs at Kabul University. Students were divided into 9 groups to conceptualize projects that the government can implement and achieve the relevant SDGs.
  • Consultation meetings with civil society representatives were held in the ministry of economy. Civil society representatives committed themselves to taking part in the nationalization and implementation of the SDGs.
  • Consultation meetings with the private sector were held at the Ministry of Economy. 

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