Kabul, 21 November 2020 – UNDP Afghanistan together with the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Afghanistan co-hosted a hybrid (physical and virtual) side event on how to monitor the progress towards achieving the Afghanistan Sustainable Development Goals (A-SDGs).
The side meeting on A-SDGs was part of a series of events leading to the Geneva Pledging Conference on Afghanistan later this week. The main objective of the SDG side meeting was to discuss and agree on a practical way for the development of an integrated monitoring, reporting and evaluation system for the national SDG targets and indicators already integrated into the Afghanistan Partnership Framework (APF) and the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework II (ANPDF II).
The event was co-hosted by UNDP Afghanistan and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Kabul. The meeting was opened by UNDP Resident Representative for Afghanistan Mr. Abdallah Al Dardari, followed by opening remarks by the Royal Norwegian Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Mr. Carl P. Salicath and Deputy Minister of Economy Mr. Mohammad Nabi Sroosh. Senior Government officials, representatives of UN agencies including UN Afghanistan Resident Coordinator Mr. Ramiz Alakbarove, donors, academia and research institutions attended the meeting. The event included an open panel discussion on practical ways for monitoring the progress on SDGs and alignment of national development priorities with SDGs as reflected in Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework.
“We in UNDP are thrilled that the government of Afghanistan took a courageous step by integrating the Sustainable Development Goals in the Afghanistan Peace and Development Framework” said UNDP Resident Representative Abdallah Al Dardari. “This will require from all of us to work together in support of the government to ensure we have the best planning and budgeting of SDGs alongside with the national priority programmes and ensure measurable progress towards achieving SDGs.”
Norwegian Embassy’s Deputy Head of Mission Mr. Carl P. Salicath also stressed upon his government’s continued support for the people and government of Afghanistan to achieve the SDGs and emphasized on establishing robust systems to ensure implementation and monitoring of the progress. “Now that the SDGs are included in ANPDF and other national plans, it makes sense to build a strong monitoring and reporting system to assess progress and ensure sustainability." He added “Afghanistan has adopted the 2030 agenda and the SDGs, but this cannot warrant successful attainment. We need to build the required capacity for implementation, monitoring, reporting to ensure effectiveness of these programmes.”
The government of Afghanistan welcomed the initiative as a step towards self-reliance and an integral part of the national development programmes of the country. “By aligning the values of constitution with the SDGs, especially equality between men and women which responds to SDG5 – that is Gender Equality – it will enhance the trust between the citizens and state and a step towards prosperity for the citizens of Afghanistan” said Deputy Minister of Finance Naser Sediqi.
A strong and integrated monitoring and reporting system for SDGs integrated into the ANPDF will enhance accountability through monitoring and reporting on the mutually agreed development results for Afghanistan. The practical entry point for the UN in Afghanistan to support this, will be the development of a SDGs Dashboard through data innovation and the application of modelling tools, ranging from economy-wide models, microsimulation methodologies and systems dynamics models, to provide critical insights on the interlinkages between all the national SDG goals, targets, and indicators.
UNDP has committed to provide these tools to the government of Afghanistan and provide the necessary technical and capacity support for the relevant government institutions to implement and monitor progress.