by Pradeep Baisakh (GCAP) and Amitabh Behar (OXFAM India)
This paper focuses on the discussion around the role of civil society in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), starting from its framing to implementation, and on different mechanisms of monitoring and accountability. It aims to evaluate the contribution of civil society in SDG implementation, and make recommendations to achieve the goals.
The Agenda 2030, which is popularly known as SDGs, was adopted by the United Nations in September 2015 involving extensive process of consultation with various stakeholders, including the civil society and reckoning the learning from the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The civil society played a key role in the drafting phase by advocating with the governments and the UN systems, and by undertaking mass actions. The paper briefly discusses about progressive provisions and shortcomings of the SDGs. India has shown adequate commitment at the top level for its execution; and structures to carry out the implementation have been put on place. However, things are hardly changing on the ground. While some of the policy initiatives are in line of the SDGs, many are not in sync with the leave no one behind (LNOB) slogan. Civil Society has been active in many ways in influencing the implementation process, monitoring and seeking accountability. The paper finally makes some key recommendations vis-à-vis the role of the civil society for better implementation of the SDGs.