On September 7, a few days before the start of the United Nations SDG Summit, Cepei presented the main results of its first Flagship Report, in which it analyzed the quality of 19 Voluntary National Reviews (VNR), the governance of Latin America and the Caribbean and the state of regional data ecosystems.
One of its main conclusions is that, although 75% of the targets agreed in the 2030 Agenda show insufficient progress, there are still opportunities to achieve the agreed goals. The basis for that to happen is the VNRs: these need to be improved to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The event included the participation of two relevant panelists in sustainable development, such as María Fernanda Espinosa, former president of the United Nations General Assembly, and Luz Keyla Gramajo, from the Secretary of Planning and Programming of the Presidency of Guatemala.
“The 2030 Agenda needs society to take ownership of it, which is why I think the report’s call to improve the quality of monitoring data to improve policies and strategies to redirect public investment towards data infrastructure in the region is important,” said Espinosa.
In a turbulent regional context, in which the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are still present, the Insignia Report found that governments and non-governmental actors in the region continue to consider the 2030 Agenda as a priority.
On the subject, Philipp Schönrock, Executive Director of Cepei, said that the objective of this work is “to show a precise analysis of the insertion of countries at the global, regional, and national levels in the monitoring of the SDGs. I believe we achieved a holistic view and identified lessons learned”.
The event was attended by members of relevant organizations and entities such as ECLAC, the Secretariat of Planning and Programming of the Presidency of the Republic of Guatemala (Segeplan), the Foundation for Social Development (Fudeso), and Propacífico. Each one allows multi-stakeholder work in its field of action, which is crucial for the acceleration of the SDGs and is aligned with one of the calls made by the Insignia Report, that is, to include as many actors as possible in the path to sustainable development.
Another of the document’s findings shows that, in terms of governance, there is also a road ahead with urgent opportunities for improvement. One of them is to strengthen the spaces created for the work of the 2030 Agenda, such as the Regional Forums for Sustainable Development or the High-Level Political Forum, as they have lost the capacity to exercise political guidance and concretize initiatives and projects aimed at action.
“The regional forums are practically forums of civil society organizations. It is difficult to find representatives from the private sector, academia and governments. There is a problem at the regional level in terms of attraction and participation,” said Javier Surasky, Cepei’s Research Director, during the event.
The document, therefore, seeks to open opportunities, bring voices together, but above all, produce the necessary knowledge to make decisions that accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
Main findings of the report
- There is a need to increase the quality of VNRs and the institutionality of monitoring and implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the national, regional and global levels.
- To accelerate the implementation of the SDGs, a clearer and more efficient participation of non-governmental actors in the construction of reports is required.
- All spaces, forums, or events should be directed towards action to achieve concrete and achievable proposals in the short term.
- The VNR Quality Index, which is part of the SDG VNR Quality Tracker tool, showed that Jamaica ranks first among the VNRs considered. Honduras and Barbados are in last place.