Over the past three years, we have worked with the federal and provincial planning institutions and national and provincial institutions to localize and integrate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in national policies and systems. SDG Support Units have been established in the planning institutions and national and provincial Parliamentary SDG Task Forces including a National SDG Secretariat in the National Assembly of Pakistan. These units are providing platforms for public and non-public entities to discuss, coordinate and collaborate on SDGs’ related actions.

The SDG Support Units have essentially advocated and provided technical support to the government institutions around four policy areas. First, it has endeavored that the national and provincial policies, plans and to some extent, legislations institutionalize SDGs as government priorities and ensure that SDGs attain adequate resources in the annual development plans at federal and provincial levels.

The second policy area has been developing capacities and systems for monitoring progress on SDGs by generating required data, developing online monitoring dashboards and exploring alternative sources for SDG data. The units have closely worked with the national and provincial statistics institutions to revise and align data collection tools and instruments to improve data availability for SDG indicators.

The third area of support focuses on financing for SDGs. It covers both public and non-public sources of financing for SDGs. In the public finance, the focus has been on alignment and tracking while on the non-public side of finances, the project has been exploring private capital including bonds, corporate grants for SDG financing.

The fourth focus area has been leveraging innovation for accelerating the achievement of SDGs especially from the angle of “leaving no one behind” and identifying solutions for some of the most wicked problems with cross-cutting nature.

It is clear that service delivery system is critical to the achievement of SDGs and hence, the need for SDG Integration going beyond policy and harnessing innovative solutions for SDG acceleration. In this regard, we recently held a consultation workshop on #NextGenerationSDG Integration in Pakistan. Prior to the consultations, an internal review was undertaken of progress so far which included lessons learnt and experience sharing with all the SDG units and government counterparts. The consultations were held to bring together the stakeholders to assess the effectiveness of project theory of change and to gather inputs and suggestions for any refinement to the content of a project. A collective outcome was achieved through the participation of policy experts, economists, Government representatives, academia, think-tanks, and other development stakeholders. Present also at the consultation were Dr. Muhammad Jehanzeb Khan Deputy Chairman Planning Commission of Pakistan, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Dr Hafeez Pasha and Jaco Cilliers, Head of Asia-Pacific Policy and Programmes, UNDP in Asia and the Pacific Bangkok Regional Hub.

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