A little over a month after the launch of the SDG, the excitement and the media coverage has fallen sharply. Now is the opportunity to think with a cool head and without the effervescence of the moment. Now is the time for governments around the world, particularly for those countries where achieving these goals is a real challenge, to make a commitment to work for it. However, this commitment requires three elements to ensure its effectiveness:
- The SDGs strategy needs to be established as a state policy, not running government political program. Although it requires the political will of the present and future governments, the SDGs mustn’t become an element to campaign or to win political points.
- Resources. One of the main obstacles to the achievement of the SDGs is that the sufficient financial, human and technical resources aren’t allocated to work on their achievement. Many countries, including mine, allocate resources to circumstantial issues, in other words, to put out the fires blocking their way, or on short term priorities. Most of this governments still have trouble developing a medium and long term investment plans to address the structural causes of development problems.
- Robust and consistent monitoring, evaluation, research and learning – MERL frameworks that enable them to effectively monitor in real time the performance of the programs and projects to achieve the SGDs. This framework requires the formulation of impact indicators targeting the specific context and needs of each country. The granularity should be the key for this MERL frameworks.
In conclusion, SDG should not only stand for Sustainable Development Goals, but also for Strategic Decisions made by Governments, which will be key to announce in 2030 the expected success of the initiative that made world dream of a better future … or failure, as happened with the MDGs, which since its formulation were so ambitious and left so many local contexts outside that were meant to fail… But for now, I want to get ahead, or practice this growing trend called “antisappointment”, a mixed of anticipation and disappointment, created by these proclaimed futurists that announce, as jinx, the failure and mistakes of everything, but never propose any solutions.