Part A: Activities of Network Members during October – December 2014
Findings on Country-level Data Test presented in New York
Members of the Southern Voice on Post-MDGs International Development Goals network showcased the initial results of their country-level studies of Post-2015 Data Test initiative on 14 October 2014, in New York. Member states, think tanks, UN and civil society were also present in the event, which was organised by the UN Foundation (UNF) and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The purpose of the event was to present and analyse the initial findings from the Post-2015 Data Test initiative and their implications for both the post-2015 agenda and the data revolution.
Chair of Southern Voice, Debapriya Bhattacharya, along with Kate Higgins, Adjunct Professor, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA), officiated the opening session, chaired by Minh Thu Pham, UNF. The second session captioned “State of Data Availability and Quality at the Country Level” was chaired by John MacArthur, Brookings Institution and UNF. Presenters were Mehmet Arda, Turkey Research Team – Turkey; Samuel Braima, University of Sierra Leone – Sierra Leone; Lucas Katera, REPOA – Tanzania; Maam Suwadu Sakho-Jimbira, IPAR, Senegal, and Juan León, GRADE – Peru. Discussants were Willem van der Geest, UNDESA and Jessica Espey, SDSN.
Bhattacharya and Higgins also officiated the third session, where core issues addressed were what the studies depict about the prospects for implementing a global agenda at the national level; and the implications of the findings for national planning and policy-making. The discussants were Amina J. Mohammad, Special Advisor of UN Secretary General on Post-2015 Development Planning, and Ambassador Caleb Otto, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Palau to the UN.
In the fourth session on “Implications for the Data Revolution and the Post-2015 Framework,” chaired by Claire Melamed of ODI and Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development; presenters were Mustafizur Rahman, CPD – Bangladesh, and Shannon Kindornay, NPSIA. The discussants were Serge Kapto, UNDP, and Jenna Slotin, UNF. In the wrap-up session, chaired by Pham, speakers were Sarah Lucas, Hewlett Foundation and Peter Taylor, TTI, IDRC. At the end of the session, it was agreed that the Data Revolution and Southern think tanks will catalyse the post-2015 agenda.
Roundtable discussion in New York addresses delivery and implementation of post-2015 agenda
Members of the Southern Voice network participated in a roundtable discussion held on 15 October 2014 in New York to address the delivery and implementation of the post-2015 agenda, and present national-level perspectives by evaluating the prospects of implementing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at country-level. Participation from various stakeholders was noted, including the UN Secretary General’s Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution, diplomats from UN Missions in New York and UN staff.
Chair of Southern Voice, Debapriya Bhattacharya, along with Kate Higgins (NPSIA) and Minh-Thu Pham (UN Foundation) conducted the inaugural and introductory session. Bhattacharya also presented the second session, which deliberated on what policy and institutional infrastructure is required for the implementation of the post-2015 agenda at national level, what role could be taken up by diverse stakeholders from the private sector, academia, civil society, and international development partners; and whether there are adequate platforms for this engagement at the country-level.
Chaired by Tade Akin Aina, (PASGR) – Kenya, panellists of the second session were Fahmida Khatun, CPD – Bangladesh, Justinian Muhwezi Kateera, Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) – Uganda, and Asif Saeed Memon, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SPDI) – Pakistan. In the wrap-up session, chaired by Pham of UNF, key issues of discussion were summarised by Andrew Norton of ODI.
Launch Event of LDC IV Monitor’s Report held in New York
Chair of Southern Voice and LDC IV Monitor, Debapriya Bhattacharya and Minh-Thu Pham (UN Foundation) lead the launch event of LDC IV Monitor’s first set of reports on 15 October 2014 in New York.
The volume on Analytical Perspectives consists of 12 scholarly contributions, which address, and provide recommendations on – the articulation of a composite IPoA index, building of productive capacity, trade in goods and services, delivery of MDGs, flows of development finance and consequences of climate change, among other issues. The Synthesis Report, which is derived from the volume on Analytical Perspectives, reiterates its key findings and recommendations.
Think tanks from across the globe, UN and civil society partner organisations of the LDC IV Monitor participated in the event. H E Gyan Chandra Acharya, Under-Secretary-General and UN High Representative for the LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS addressed the event as Chief Guest.
Southern Voice collaborates with CPD to discuss challenges of implementing SDGs in Washington, D.C.
A roundtable discussion titled “Challenges of Implementing SDGs at Country Level: Data Issues and Beyond” was held on 17 October in Washington, D.C. with support from UN Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Initial results of the Post-2015 Data Test country studies were presented and implications for the data revolution and the post-2015 framework were identified.
Chair of Southern Voice, Debapriya Bhattacharya, facilitated the inaugural and introductory session. Bhattacharya also presented at the second session, where discussants were Daniella Ballou-Aares, U.S. Department of State; Samuel Braima, University of Sierra Leone; and Sam Worthington, Interaction.
In the concluding session, a summary of key issues discussed was presented by Mustafizur Rahman, delegate from CPD, Bangladesh and Shannon Kindornay, Adjunct Professor, NPSIA.
Poverty rates in South Asia still high – says SV Chair at SAES VII in Delhi
Chair of Southern Voice for Post-MDGs, Debapriya Bhattacharya delivered the lead presentation at Plenary Session 7 captioned “Post-2015 Agenda: South Asian Perspectives” at the 7th South Asia Economic Summit (SAES VII) in New Delhi, held on 7 November, 2014.
Bhattacharya addressed the current status of the global post-2015 process, stating that it is at a transitional phase where discussions of the implementation issues (finance and non-finance) are gathering momentum. He reviewed the status of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) delivery in South Asia and noted that the region is on track for three, and an early achiever for five. He observed that Afghanistan and Pakistan have not been succeeding although India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are making progress.
He stressed the importance of a transformative agenda to deal with structural issues like productive capacities, value addition in different sectors, capacity building – leading to sustainable employment and income generation. He observed that poverty rates have reduced, but are still very high. The region still lacks an inclusive society and is fraught with gender-based discrimination.
Southern Voice Steering Committee member in Berlin urges promotion of Common African Position on post-2015 agenda
“Is the current consensus on the post-2015 agenda favorable to Africa?” inquired Ibrahima Hathie, Steering Committee member of the Southern Voice on Post-MDGs network and Director of Research at Initiative Prospective Agricole et Rurale (IPAR), Senegal, at a Dialogue Forum in Berlin on 08 November 2014. The Dialogue Forum was part of the project “African Perspectives on Global Challenges in the Post 2015 agenda process.”
Hathie discussed what post-2015 issues and proposals for the Sustainable Development Goals of the Open Working Group imply for Africa. He stressed the importance of the Common African Position (CAP) on the post-2015 agenda and addressed the inconsistences in its framework. According to him, in order to “Leave no one behind,” inclusion of all stakeholders is essential via the “Leave no voice behind” principle.
Southern Voice and CPD engage journalists in Bangladesh regarding post-2015 agenda
Chair of Southern Voice, Debapriya Bhattacharya, conducted a training session for more than 50 journalists in Bangladesh on MDGs, post-2015 development agenda, and SDGs. Participants were made to understand Bangladesh’s context and position in the matter through group work and open discussion.
Young and mid-level journalists, involved with economic, business, financial and diplomatic reporting, were shortlisted through a competitive process to receive training on contemporary macroeconomic management issues and issues related to MDGs and post-2015 international development agendas on 16 November 2014 as part of the Appreciation Course titled “Current National and Global Issues” organised by the Southern Voice and the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
Southern Voice calls for stronger preparation of LDCs at home to succeed in the Geneva negotiations
Debapriya Bhattacharya, the Chair of Southern Voice and Distinguished Fellow of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) highlighted LDCs’ need to reform domestic regulations with regard to the changing landscape of the global economy so as to keep up their interests in the multilateral trading system in the upcoming Geneva negotiations of WTO at an international dialogue. The dialogue titled “Recapturing the Momentum in the Post-Bali Process of the WTO,” was held in Dhaka on 22 November 2014, and jointly hosted by CPD and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES).
Bhattacharya noted that if the Doha Development Round (DDR) could be completed, it would galvanise fresh discussions to shift the focus to emerging issues connected to the investment and services sector since trade systems across the world have been transforming.
Southern Voice’s Data Test results discussed at ESCAP’s expert group meeting in Bangkok
Chair of Southern Voice presented the initial findings of “Post-2015 Data Test: Unpacking the post-2015 data revolution at the country level” in the preparatory Expert Group Meeting for the fourth session of the ESCAP Committee on Statistics on 9 December 2014, in Bangkok.
He stressed on the need for a universal and country-relevant framework, and for considering implementation challenges related to architecture, accountability and financing. He presented data availability and quality on sectors including education and governance, and observed that the achievement of global minimum standards in low-income countries is connected with sufficient resources and changes in global policy spaces.
Southern Voice’s partner organisation SDPI hosts post-2015 dialogue in Islamabad
One of the Southern Voice initiative’s partner organisations, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) hosted the Post-2015 National Consultation on Strengthening Capacities and Building Institutions in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms, Pakistan, and UNDP.
Held on 12 December 2014 in Islamabad, the objectives of the dialogue were to identify, share and review existing and novel approaches to tackling policy challenges to further the post-2015 agenda; stress on the importance of strong capacities and effective institutions; gather evidence and formulate perspectives, so as to contribute to ongoing local/international discussions, and help prepare local and global actors to implement the post-2015 agenda.
Southern Voice’s Chairs attend high-level meeting of OECD DAC in Paris
Members of the Southern Voice and its other partner organisations commissioned to produce the 5th European Report on Development (ERD) participated on 15 December 2014, in Paris at a high-level meeting of OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) to discuss the role of finance and other means of implementation in a transformative post-2015 context.
Chair of Southern Voice, Debapriya Bhattacharya, presented a synthesis of key findings from six ERD country illustrations on financing for development, with a focus on domestic resource mobilisation, at a session in the meeting.
Presentation of LDC IV Monitor’s Report as part of OECD “DEV TALKS” Series in Paris
Chair of Southern Voice and LDC IV Monitor, Debapriya Bhattacharya presented the main findings of the LDC IV Monitor Report and its relevance in the implementation of the IPoA by 2020 at the OECD headquarters in Paris, on 18 December 2014. Other presenters were Patrick Guillaumont, President of FERDI, H E Mithat Rende, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the OECD, and Suzanne Steensen, Senior Policy Analyst, Development Co-operation Directorate.
After key findings of two volumes of the report were presented, an open debate was held. Multiple stakeholders participated in the event, including H E Hans-Jürgen Heimsoeth, Permanent Representative of Germany to the OECD and Chair of the OECD Development Centre Governing Board; Owen Barder, Senior Fellow and Director for Europe, Center for Global Development (CGD); and Petra Krylová, Programme Coordinator for Europe, CGD.
Part B: Publications of Network Members during September – December 2014
Articles in Print Journals & Reports
Bhattacharya, D., Khan, T.I., & Salma, U. (2014). A Commentary on the Final Outcome Document of the Open Working Group on SDGs. In Croft, C., French, D., Guzman, S.Z., & Thanhauser, B. (Eds.), SAIS Review of International Affairs, Vol. 34, No. 2 (pp. 165-177). Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press. Also retrievable from http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/sais_review/toc/sais.34.2.html
Bhattacharya, D. (2014). South-South Cooperation in Post-2015 Framework. Global Development Goals: Partnerships for Progress on the post-2015 development framework. UNA-UK report. Retrieved from http://cpd.org.bd/index.php/south-south-cooperation-post-2015-framework-debapriya-bhattacharya-cpd/
SV Occasional Paper Series
Ali, M.A. & Bhattacharya, D. (2014). Post-2015 International Development Agenda: Exploring Issues Related to Means of Implementation. Southern Voice Occasional Paper No. 16. Retrieved from http://southernvoice-postmdg.org/post-2015-international-development-agenda-exploring-issues-related-to-means-of-implementation/
Southern Voice (2014). Dialogues on South-South Cooperation in the context of Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. Southern Voice Occasional Paper Special Issue No.2. Retrieved from http://southernvoice-postmdg.org/dialogues-on-south-south-cooperation-in-the-context-of-global-partnership-for-effective-development-cooperation/
Policy Briefs and Blogs
Ali, M.A. & Bhattacharya, D. (2014). The SDGs – What are the “Means of Implementation”? New York: Future United Nations Development System, Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, CUNY Graduate Center. Retrieved from http://cpd.org.bd/index.php/sdgs-means-implementation/
Khatun, F. (2014). Implementing Post-2015 Agenda in Bangladesh through Domestic Resource Mobilisation. Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) blog posts. Retrieved from http://cpd.org.bd/index.php/implementing-post-2015-agenda-bangladesh-domestic-resource-mobilisation/
Kindornay, S. (2014). Universality Post-2015 – The Good, the Bad and … the Necessary. Southern Voice Blog. Retrieved from http://southernvoice-postmdg.org/universality-post-2015-the- good-the-bad-and-the-necessary/
Lucas, S. & Quint, R. (2014). 4 Key Takeaways from the Post-2015 Data Test’s Presentation of Initial Findings. Southern Voice Blog. Retrieved from http://southernvoice-postmdg.org/4-key-takeaways-from-the-post-2015-data-tests-presentation-of-initial-findings/
Lucas, S. & Quint, R. (2014). The Power and Potential of Southern Think Tanks for the Post-2015 Agenda. Southern Voice Blog. Retrieved from http://southernvoice-postmdg.org/power-potential-southern-think-tanks-post-2015-agenda/
Norton, A. (2014). Delivering and Implementing the Post-2015 Agenda at the Country Level. Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Dhaka. Retrieved from http://cpd.org.bd/index.php/delivering-implementing-post-2015-agenda-country-level/
Slotin, J. (2014). Implementing Post-2015 Development Agenda: Bringing Country-Level Perspectives to United Nations. Southern Voice Blog. Retrieved from http://southernvoice-postmdg.org/implementing-post-2015-development-agenda-bringing-country-level-perspectives-to-united-nations/
SV Study Cited
Hayes, A. (2014). Ready for Data. Bangladesh: The Dhaka Tribune. Retrieved from http://www.dhakatribune.com/op-ed/2014/oct/28/ready-data