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Strengthening the capacity of least developed countries to develop evidenceā€based, coherent and well financed strategies to implement the 2030 Agenda

This project aims to support four least developed countries to build capacities needed to develop and implement an NSDS, including the investment strategy that enhances
implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. The project seeks to leverage the expertise of several UN DESA divisions to assist these countries with addressing the capacity gaps, challenges and recommendations that they have identified in their respective VNR for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and with formulating concrete, actionable and effective solutions to address them. This capacity development support will contribute to effective monitoring, programming and financing of the NSDS as well as promote policy coherence in support of the 2030 Agenda, and therefore links with Belt and Road Initiative priorities 1 (policy coordination) and to some extent 3 (trade) and 4 (financing). UN DESA will work with the four target countries who either prepared and presented VNRs in 2016, 2017, and 2018 or will prepare a VNR in 2019. Existing VNR reports of these countries have identified a range of gaps, challenges and capacity building needs for effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda that UN DESA can help to address. These countries have also expressed interest in receiving UN DESA support to address them.

Enhancing policy coherence for the SDGs through integrated assessments and institutional strengthening in Africa

All governments from developing countries confront the challenge of designing coherent policies that can simultaneously accelerate growth, reduce poverty and inequality, preserve and improve the environment, and help adapt/mitigate to climate change. To successfully achieve these objectives, countries need both i) sound institutional arrangements for policy integration; and ii) quantitative analytical capacities to assess policy options. The ultimate aim is to foster a cohesive policy formulation process that incorporates development objectives across the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

In response to the Government requests from Cameroon, Ethiopia and Senegal, this project aims to support policy coherence through stronger inter-agency collaboration and coordination, while building integrated assessment methodologies and capacities to address the inter-linkages and trade-offs among policies, goals and the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. A climate, land-use, energy and water systems integrated assessment (CLEWS), including socio-economic aspects, will be developed in each country within the framework of improved cooperation among institutions and public administration and integrated whole-of-government approaches. Capacity building activities will be provided to government officials, in order to address the challenges and particular policy scenarios discussed with official government counterparts, to inform evidence-based policy discussions.

The Project will result in enhanced institutional capacity and inter-agency cooperation within target countries for developing integrated approaches and tools to support evidence-based policy-making to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Strengthening geospatial information management in developing countries towards implementing the 2030 Agenda

The project focuses on improving and strengthening the national geospatial information management capacities of developing countries in two beneficiary regions, namely, Africa and Asia and the Pacific, towards implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and evidence-based policy and decision-making. The 2030 Agenda recognizes that timely and accessible geospatial information and statistics, and their combined analyses, are a prerequisite for good policy-making and supporting and tracking development progress. However, there is still a lack of awareness, understanding and uptake of the vital and integrative role of geospatial information within national circumstances, particularly in developing countries. The project supports identified countries in the beneficiary regions to develop and strengthen their national technical capacities and mechanisms through the provision of frameworks and guides that recognize national circumstances through regional or sub-regional activities for: (a) the application of geospatial information to augment national statistical systems and inform the global indicator framework; (b) improving the integration of statistical and geospatial information through implementing the principles of the Global Statistical Geospatial Framework; and (c) improving data sharing and dissemination through appropriate consideration of legal and policy frameworks and guidelines. The project contributes towards improving the timeliness, availability and accessibility of geospatial information at all levels by national geospatial information authorities, thus improving and strengthening national geospatial information management and systems.

Evidence-based eGovernment Policies for advancing information technology infrastructure, governmental service delivery and accountability

The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) face multiple development challenges with limited resources, capacities and access to technologies. E-government can be leveraged to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Targets . It is, therefore, critical that LDCs have the technical know-how to take advantage of this opportunity. Therefore, there is a need for knowledge transfer through development assistance, smart investments in information communications technology (ICT) infrastructure as well as flexible and effective use of e-government to bring about substantial returns on investment supporting the sustainable development agenda. Under the right conditions, such efforts will in turn deliver multiple benefits such as better access to essential services, including for the poorest and most disadvantaged groups. It can create savings by streamlining and simplifying government processes as well as enhance accountability and transparency.
In order to steadily build capacity in the area of e-government and identify areas of strength and weaknesses, LDCs need to measure their degree of e-government development. This requires using not just supply-side metrics but also demand-side metrics, such as the impact, usage and user satisfaction of online services in supporting the SDGs.
The objective of the Project 1617B is to support decision making to support the sustainable development agenda by building institutional capacity to collect analyse and use data on e-government. It is structured around two expected accomplishments, namely: (i.) to improve institutional capacity in target countries to collect, use and publish relevant e-government data and compile indicators for analysis, monitoring and evaluation of progress in e-government; and (ii) to strengthen institutional capacity, frameworks and approaches in target countries to implement e-government policies and strategies in support of selected SDGs and Targets and related decision-making based on data. Recipient countries will also be encouraged to participate and present their digital strategy and e-government initiatives in the annual review process of the SDGs through the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), as well as to feature their e-government tools to support specific SDGs and Targets through the Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM).

Implementation of national sustainable development strategies in selected countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America

There is often a large gap between stated commitments to sustainable development, as reflected in documents such as National Sustainable Development Strategies (NSDS) and their implementation in different sectors. This project aims to address two aspects of the challenging problem of implementation, by helping selected target countries (1) to develop participatory, multi-stakeholder processes, and (2) to support implementation of sustainable development in different sectors. It will build on the leadership and convening authority of ministries of planning and finance, and other key central government agencies. Under (1), it will assist countries to design effective multi-stakeholder processes, to benefit from the contextual and technical knowledge of different partners such as non-government organizations, academia and the private sector that can inform, and can actively lead, different aspects of NSDS implementation. Under (2), it will work to integrate sustainable development goals and targets in key sectoral strategies and programmes, and will initiate a programme to train sectoral ministry staff in sustainable development issues. The project will build on projects carried out under the Development Account’s 8th (1213D) and 9th (1415I) tranches, will be implemented in many of the same countries to continue support in working towards long-term results, and would apply outcomes of previous projects such as a toolbox of capacity development materials developed under project 1415I and a knowledge management platform developed under project 1213D, while under this 10th tranche project, engaging a wider range of partners and sectors in each target country. The project will also enhance and use the national and regional level partnerships developed in the preceding projects.

Monitoring and reporting on sustainable development objectives, goals and targets; enhancing institutional capability in selected developing countries

Progress of the Sustainable Development Agenda (i.e. post-2015) is conditioned in large measure by the ability of Member States to monitor, report on — and learn lessons from — the implementation of their National Sustainable Development Strategies (NSDS) and assess their effectiveness against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is thus critical for policymakers and other stakeholders to have access to effective statistics and data, monitoring and reporting tools, frameworks and systems in order to make timely, evidence-based policy decisions. Experience from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and a recent survey from the United Nations Statistical Commission illustrate the enormous challenges for, and capacity gaps remaining within, Member States, particularly developing countries, to establish and operationalize such national monitoring and reporting systems. As Member States move closer to adopting the post-2015 sustainable development agenda — which aims to be significantly more ambitious in the number of SDGs, targets and indicators, compared to the MDGs — many developing country Member States will need both capacity development and financial support to transform and enhance the capability of existing monitoring and reporting systems and government institutions (e.g. national statistical offices). This project seeks to address these capacity deficits by supporting and assisting national governments and stakeholders to design and adopt integrated frameworks for monitoring and reporting on sustainable development progress, including the achievement of the SDGs. It aims to do so by developing monitoring and reporting tools, guidelines, methodologies and case studies. The project will be informed by an analysis of capacity needs and gaps in the six pilot countries,followed with training workshops and advisory missions to assist governments to operationalize the SDGs. At the end of the project, an interregional workshop for up-scaling and sharing of early findings will be held.