In May 2014, the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) assumed the role of national focal point for the Post-2015 Development Agenda. This arose from its lead role in the process of monitoring the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Internally, the PIOJ designated the Social Policy Planning and Research Division (SPPRD), specifically the Population and Health Unit, to lead the process on its behalf. In collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT), the PIOJ facilitated the establishment of a multi-ministerial working group to coordinate the national process.
The global process, on the other hand, can be conveniently categorized into three distinct phases. Phase 1 involved the process of intergovernmental negotiations which was launched at the beginning of the 69th Session of the General Assembly in September 2014. This culminated in the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015. Phase 2 involves a process of formulating an agreed system of indicators for monitoring the implementation of Agenda 2030. Phase 3 involves the formulation and implementation of strategies for the 17 Goals for sustainable development and monitoring their progress.
Arising from these processes, a National Outcome Document was prepared, through a highly consultative process, which aligned Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan with the post-2015 development framework. Vision 2030 Jamaica was utilized as the framework agenda and priority setting for the local multi-agency consultations on the post-2015 development agenda. This approach facilitated a seamless integration of the agreed outcomes and targets of the post-2015 development agenda into: (i) the national development planning framework; and (ii) the systems for monitoring and evaluation of the achievement of development outcomes. During this exercise, it became evident that the proposed global goals were aligned with the 15 national outcomes of Vision 2030 Jamaica.
Through this process, Jamaica contributed to the finalization of the 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A concerted effort was made throughout the deliberations to ensure that all proposed goals and targets were in keeping with existing national policies, programmes and legislation. Careful consideration was also made to identify as well as align targets to those reflected in Vision 2030 Jamaica and the Medium Term Socio-Economic Policy Framework (MTF) 2015–2018. The proposed goals sought to address new and emerging developmental challenges based on global consultations. The National Outcome Document was used as the negotiating framework for all national delegations to the meetings and negotiations for the post-2015 development agenda.
Post- September 2015
The second phase (post-September 2015) of the process was the formulation of an agreed global indicator framework to monitor the SDGs which will require a “solid framework of indicators and statistical data to monitor progress, inform policy and ensure accountability of all stakeholders” . The indicator framework will provide the foundation for a robust follow-up and review mechanism for the SDGs. The UN established the Inter-Agency Expert Group on SDGs (IAEG-SDGs) which has been given the mandate to develop an indicator framework for the goals and targets of the SDGs at the global level, and to support its implementation. Jamaica, through the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), is a member of the IAEG-SDGs as one of two representatives from the Caribbean region. Using national statistical offices to lead on this phase is part of the global approach to empower and build capacity.
The national consultations on SDG indicators in March 2016, also provided another opportunity to sensitize stakeholders, as well as consult on the 230 proposed indicators to monitor the implementation of the SDGs at the national and global levels. STATIN, with coordination support from the PIOJ, led this aspect of the SDG process, and compiled feedback on these indicators relating to feasibility, suitability, relevance and availability of data for their monitoring within our national context. The national inputs informed the deliberations and ultimate approval of the indicators by the UN Statistical Commission. Importantly, this will also begin the formalization of the process of the national monitoring and evaluation framework for the SDGs.
The next stage of the SDGs process is focused on developing implementation strategies to achieve the SDGs and the establishment of a coherent, efficient and inclusive follow-up and review process at all levels —national, regional and global. This holistic approach is new in the global community and is anticipated to have a dramatic impact on the transition to sustainable development. This integrated, inclusive, coherent and comprehensive approach must be operationalised at the national level to realize the intended impacts. At the national level, governments are called upon to:
- Integrate goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda into national priorities, actions, plans and budgets as a critical first step towards national ownership and implementation.
- Ensure there are strong institutions and coordination mechanisms to translate plans into progress. This will require necessary resources to ensure effective implementation. Strong coordination mechanisms within government are the drivers of change.
- Strengthen data systems and produce high-quality disaggregated statistics essential for effective monitoring to ensure no one is left behind.
- Be accountable for the goals and targets as a stepping stone to successful implementation.
Successive MTFs of Vision 2030 Jamaica will be the implementation mechanism for the SDGs in Jamaica (Go to www.vision2030.gov.jm)