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Strengthening the capacity of least developed countries to develop evidence‐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.

Institutional arrangements for policy integration, coordination and stakeholder engagement in SDG implementation and reviews in Africa, and Asia and the Pacific

Countries face common challenges in moving from siloed elaboration and implementation of policies to the formulation of integrated policies reflecting the interrelations across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and addressing cross-cutting sustainable development issues such as poverty eradication, climate change and food security. To realize the vision of the Agenda 2030 of leaving no one behind and to ensure inclusive development, countries will also need to ensure more inclusive, accountable and participatory policy-making and public service delivery. This requires, among other things, organizing government and related institutions engaged in SDG implementation and making them effective, inclusive and accountable.  It also calls for strengthening public servants’ capacity to implement the SDGs through the development of new skills, attitudes and behaviours and through new ways of working together across organizational boundaries.

The objective of the Project is to strengthen the capacity of selected developing countries in Africa and Asia in organizing and mobilizing their institutions and public servants to enhance effectiveness and institutional coordination, public accountability, and engagement of key stakeholders in the implementation and review of the SDGs. The project is structured around two expected accomplishments, namely: (i) Improved capacity of beneficiary countries to mobilize public institutions and build their capacities for SDG implementation and review, according to country-specific circumstances and priorities, as well as ensure public accountability and engagement of key stakeholders; (ii) Enhanced capacity of beneficiary countries to formulate strategies and policies to strengthen the technical capability and skills of civil servants to support SDG implementation and review. Recipient countries will also be encouraged to participate and present their findings during the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), as well as to take part in other related divisional capacity development workshops.

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 of capacities of developing countries to provide Access to Information for Sustainable Development through Open Government Data

The objective of the project is to demonstrate the potential and benefits of using Open Government Data (OGD) in advancing transparency, accountability and sustainable development in selected countries of Latin America and East Asia regions, currently identified to be Bangladesh, Nepal, Panama, and Uruguay.
In partnership with the national counterparts , the project aims at developing a strategy for open data, particularly in thematic areas relevant to the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, including MDGs. Primarily, the government expenditure and budgeting data, environmental data, procurement data, demographic data, socio-economic indicators, healthcare data, geographical data and local transportation data.
The project aims at assisting with the development of a policy framework and technical infrastructure for implementation of OGD initiatives. It will strive at strengthening the open data community within selected countries. The target beneficiaries include, but are not limited to government officials responsible for data coordination in the country such as Chief Information Officers (or equivalent), Information Privacy Commissioners, Procurement Divisions and relevant government officials from ministries and governmental institutions responsible for selected policies (e.g. Ministries of Planning). Indirect beneficiaries include citizens and communities at large.
The project will also stimulate a south-south knowledge transfer and cross-fertilization of OGD by bringing together OGD-beginners with more OGD-advanced countries.International workshops, online training courses, and availability of workshop reports will increase the outreach of the project on a global scale, particularly for countries in regions most in need of such support.

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).