PACJA Uganda SDGs Workshop 2020

PACJA-Uganda SDGs Workshop (Arch Apartments and Hotel, Kampala Uganda, 5th-6th March 2020)

About the Workshop

Florence Kasule, Chairperson of PACJA Uganda opening the Workshop

PACJA Uganda in collaboration with stakeholders from Tanzania and Kenya decided to hold a consultative workshop in Kampala to discuss ways in which SDG affiliated stakeholders could further work on the Sustainable Development Goals in line with the Decade of Action that states by 2030 all the 17 SDGs should have been achieved.

At the workshop, various presentations from the three East African countries present were made in order to provide a clearer picture of where each country is in terms of achieving certain goals and helping to push the agenda to their respective Governments. The various presentations were from key representatives such as SDGs Kenya Forum, The Kenya National Treasury & State Planning Department (SDGs Unit), The Ugandan Prime Minister's Office, Forum CC of Tanzania and PACJA Uganda.
The expected outcomes from the Workshop were to take stock and share each country’s experiences in implementing the project, identify synergies moving forward for the SDGs process at country level, regional and global level as well as facilitate the evaluation of the action taken so far to influence the project’s next steps. 

SDG Kenya Forum Presentation
When it came to Presentations, Kenya was called upon to present on the challenges, progress, lessons learned and achievements of the SDGS from 2019. Kenya’s achievements included producing a progress report on the SDGs in 2019, Local Media engagement among radio stations to advance the SDGs agenda, Inter Ministerial engagement and Citizen SDGs County Dialogues in 8 Counties.
Among the lessons learned from Kenya were the need to continuously foster synergy and collaboration among all stakeholders for SDGs implementation. In addition, local and Vernacular media being used as a very strong tool to advance awareness on SDGs at subnational level and Finally, Civil Society Organizations needing to deliberately seek partnerships with other stakeholders especially Government Agencies.
The challenges were few such as the project being short lived and could not allow deeper engagement and follow-ups among beneficiaries as well as minimum resources allocated that hindered a wider reach ideal in order to leave no one behind.

PACJA Uganda and Forum CC Presentations

Forum CC

Tanzanian MP, Immaculate Semesi sharing her views on behalf of Forum CC

Tanzania highlighted their achievements as Enhanced awareness of CSO members on SDGs and its associated process at national, regional and international levels, prepared on tools that can be sustainably used in the future and that mobilised non-state actors are to actively engage in the VNR. In addition, significant contribution to the VNR as relates to the SDGs (SDG 6, 13, 14, and 15). Finally, a co-facilitated successful preparation of CSOs’ “shadow” report on SDGs implementation and improved organisational capacity on sustainable development agenda.
The challenges faced included low awareness on SDGs and its process at the start of implementation, limited data on implementation of some SDGs, comprehensive harmonisation of collected information for CSOs shadow report and a Short-term vs. long-term integration must be accomplished.

PACJA Uganda

Head of Programmes, PACJA Uganda, Salina Sanou

Uganda made their achievements known such as raising communities’ awareness and understanding and was done during the project launch, the national dialogue, the sub national dialogues, the Radio and TV programs and the inter-ministerial meeting.
They also noted that pressure has been put on the Uganda Government to enhance its VNR process to report on the progress made on the SDGs implementation in 2020, and as a result, the Government established the SDGs secretariat under the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) in March 2019, and the SDGs implementation process was officially launched in October 2019 during the UN day celebrations.
Among the lessons learned at National Levels were that Leadership and ownership of SDGs should be more inclusive to involve all stakeholders including women, youths and PWDs, a need for more coordination between Ministries, Parliament, CSOs, Media, Development Partners and Private Sector among others to speed up the process and finally, The Ugandan Parliament lacks evidence based data which the Ministries and Technocrats can provide policy makers with that will enable them to effectively play a stronger role that will provide oversight to the implementation and effective monitoring of SDGs as well as regular reporting to Government.

Panel Discussion, Kenya and Uganda's Progress Reports

There was a panel discussion on some of the key issues or challenges found in each country's report and presentation. Among the issues was the need to have Monitoring and Evaluation present in each report moving forward so as to provide accountability. In addition, the topic of how to directly engage with the East African Community Secretariat instead of allowing to be delegated to individuals in Arusha has proven to yield no results. There is a need to answer questions through direct engagement.
Another issue was to clearly distinguish between Government and National reports so that there is no confusion and that collective responsibility must be emphasized. A follow up on the workshops once they end at Sub National Level was also raised because discussions do not progress past that stage. Lastly, a standardized report should be produced among the three countries on the progress of the 5 SDGS discussed (5,8,10,13 and 17) instead of putting together a presentation.

Kenya’s progress Report was delivered by Benson Kimani from the SDGs Unit of the Kenyan National Treasury and State Planning Department. In this report, specific goals like 10 and 13 produced tremendous progress. In addition, Using the SDGs Framework as a monitoring tool for Kenya’s Big 4 Agenda was also discussed, specifically dealing with housing and food security issues.

Recap of Workshop and Conclusions made

The recap of the workshop as done on the second and final day by the Workshop Rapporteur, David Mwayafu of the Uganda Coalition for Sustainable Development. Representatives were then split into groups to do some work on country level plans and come up with solutions and suggestions for the next workshop and for the reports and presentations. One key suggestion was to release an annual SDG pamphlet to be placed in magazines and newspapers in all the three countries so as to raise awareness on the goals. In addition, more translation of the SDGs to local grassroots languages was brought up as an important point.
Finally, Monitoring and Evaluation was stressed upon as being important to future reports to not only provide accountability but to move the conversation forward on how Governments can be pushed to support the goals with Agenda 2030 just a decade away from completion.




David Ringera