Leaving no one behind in SDG16+ engagement
Civil society can play a key role in leaving no one behind in SDG16+ engagement by focusing on vulnerable groups and supporting their empowerment and participation.
The pledge to “leave no one behind” and to “endeavor to reach the furthest behind first” at are the heart of the 2030 Agenda.1 They are also at the heart of many of the SDG16+ targets, especially those that seek to address exclusion and discrimination.2 Population groups at risk of being left behind by SDG progress include women and girls, children, adolescents and youth, older people, people living in poverty, people in rural areas, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities, refugees and migrants, internally displaced and stateless persons, and gender and sexual minorities. In many cases, the groups that are the furthest behind experience multiple and intersecting disadvantages.3
Civil society actors can play a key role in leaving no one behind in SDG16+ implementation and accountability processes. Leaving no one behind in SDG16+ engagement means:
Efforts to ensure that no one is left behind can advance the overall 2030 Agenda, as well as make a significant contribution to those SDG16+ targets focused on building inclusive societies.
There are a number of practical ways in which you can leave no one behind in your SDG16+ engagement, including the following:
a. Providing information on SDG16+ in local languages and accessible formats;
b. Developing strategies to overcome the physical, financial, linguistic, logistical, technological, age, gender or other barriers to participation in SDG16+ processes, in consultation with vulnerable and marginalized groups;7
c. Engaging with existing mechanisms, platforms or entities that represent specific vulnerable and marginalized groups (e.g. National Youth Councils);
d. Establishing new mechanisms or platforms to support the engagement of vulnerable and marginalized groups in SDG16+ processes, in consultation with such groups;
e. Identifying opportunities for vulnerable and marginalized groups to participate in national and local SDG16+ planning, budgeting and decision-making processes, as well as processes to follow-up and review SDG16+ at local, national and global levels;
f. Facilitating regular engagement and dialogue between vulnerable and marginalized groups and key decision-makers and government officials;
g. Using digital technologies and social media to amplify the voices of vulnerable and marginalized groups, taking into account the digital divide;8
h. Conducting consultations and workshops – online and offline – with vulnerable and marginalized groups to assess SDG16+ progress for those furthest behind; and
i. Advocating for and supporting the participation of vulnerable and marginalized groups in local and national government consultations on the SDGs, including Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs).
a. Data – Support the collection and use of disaggregated data on vulnerable and marginalized groups, including by: producing citizen-generated data that reflects grassroots communities and hidden populations; and monitoring progress on SDG16+ targets for vulnerable and marginalized groups.
b. Programming – Ensure that civil society programs on achieving peace, justice and inclusion focus on the most vulnerable and marginalized groups.
c. Targets – Advocate for the identification of national equity ‘stepping stone’ or interim targets for vulnerable and marginalized groups – in consultation with such groups – in order to track SDG16+ progress for those furthest behind.9
d. National policies, plans, strategies and budgets – Advocate for national policies, plans, strategies and budgets for SDG16+ implementation to address the situation, needs and rights of vulnerable and marginalized groups.
e. Reporting on SDG16+ progress – Work to ensure that both government reports and non-government spotlight or shadow reports on SDG16+ implementation address the progress of vulnerable and marginalized groups.
Empowering Indigenous Women in Mexico to Access Information and Unite Their Communities
In 2002, the Government of Mexico created the Freedom of Information Act that enables citizens to demand information from public authorities and obligates the authorities to disclose proactively information of public interest (SDG target 16.10). ARTICLE 19 Mexico (Articulo 19) and the El Colectivo Feminista la Casa de la Mujer Ixim Antsetic applied this citizens’ right to information to start a ground-based project with the women of Indigenous communities in the northern jungle of Chiapas. The project taught the women how to request relevant information about their medical services to improve healthcare in their communities, ultimately empowering them to protect their communities and children and to become more involved in decision-making and participatory processes that historically had only included men.
Amplifying the Voices of People Living with Disabilities for the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda
Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development (CSCSD)
Between April and June 2020, Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development (CSCSD) conducted a grassroots spotlight interview and focus group discussions with people living with disabilities in Nigeria. This aimed to gauge their opinions on how the SDGs have affected them and to elicit information on their expectations for the Government of Nigeria, to inform policy decision-making that affects people living with disabilities. CSCSD organized two physical workshops, one in Ibadan and one in Lagos, to complete a spotlight report on people with disabilities, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. A Spotlight Report was produced for the 2020 Voluntary National Review (VNR) of Nigeria and featured during the 2020 United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).
This paper provides a framework that governments and stakeholders can use to take action to leave no one behind in a way that enables and accelerates progress to achieve the SDGs. It identifies five factors that are key to understanding who is being left behind and why, and discusses how these factors can be applied.
Available at: https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/librarypage/poverty-reduction/what-does-it-mean-to-leave-no-one-behind-.html
This resource provides an analytical framework and tool to enable governments and other stakeholders to examine and strengthen the quality of their stakeholder engagement practices. It is based on a matrix of three key principles – inclusiveness (non-discrimination and accessibility), participation (access to information and influence in decision-making) and accountability (transparency and responsiveness).
Available at: https://www.sdg16hub.org/topic/what-good-practice-framework-analyse-quality-stakeholder-engagement-implementation-and-follow
This publication adapts the content of an e-learning course developed by UN DESA and UNITAR and is designed for government officials and stakeholders interested in enhancing participation and inclusion in the implementation and follow up of the 2030 Agenda at all levels. It contains key information about participatory approaches in SDG implementation and provides concrete tools and methods.
Available at: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/StakeholdersGuide
This call to action, developed by young people and presented at the Rome Conference on SDG 16 in preparation for the 2019 HLPF, provides key recommendations in five priority areas: i) peaceful societies; ii) just societies; iii) inclusive societies; iv) youth meaningful participation in SDG 16 monitoring, review, follow-up and accountability; and v) equal partnerships and financing (linkages with SDG17). It urges all stakeholders to take bold and strong action on SDG 16 and empower young people.
Available at: https://www.youth4peace.info/basic-page/rome-youth-call-action-sdg16