The adoption of the Agenda 2030 in September 2015 by the United Nations (UN), represented a firm commitment by the world leaders and UN member states to address the most challenging issues facing the world- poverty inequality and climate change.
Agenda 2030 is expected to influence the course of the history of humanity in the next fifteen years. It is a people’s focused agenda formed on the basis of ‘leave no one behind’ – the Goals will not be complete until all people have equal opportunities including the most marginalized, youth, women and children in society.
The implementation of the SDGs will require the participation of people from all sectors of society – state, civil society, education and private sector. Civil Society Organisations have a critical role to play in implementation of the agenda. Among other things, CSO’s can work with the state to integrate the SDGs with national development plans, formulating policies, resource allocation and monitoring and follow up.
In the first phase of the implementation of the Agenda 2030, to make sure that the agenda takes root at a local level, we ask each African country’s government and its leaders the following questions:-.
Will you develop a clear strategy on how the SDGs will be implemented?
Will the process be inclusive and participatory?
Will future spending reviews ensure a coherent cross-department SDGs delivery?
Will a Government Minister be appointed for day-to-day responsibility of the SDGs?
Will you allow and support progress to be independently reviewed by academia, business and civil society?
“We are resolved to free the human race within this generation from the tyranny of poverty and want” SDG statement by world leaders.
Social Inclusion is a key tenet of Sustainable Development yet rural communities have been left behind in development terms through a complex mix of social, political, technological, economic and environmental factors – it will be very challenging to implement the SDGs in these communities. Just a few months into the start of the SDG implementation period there are questions about how to localise these goals to community level – how do you measure progress in these communities and how do you converge country-specific national development priorities and programs and Agenda 2063 and agenda 2030? This roadmap believes that if the communities themselves are made aware of Agenda 2030 along with national development plans, they would be best placed to drive effective implementation of SDG in their community. This primary issue of empowerment needs to be addressed before anything else. How do you empower rural communities to drive Agenda 2030?
The Network of African Youths for Development (NAYD) has members throughout Africa active in rural community development many of whom are youth leaders of Community Based Organisations (CBOs). Whilst an individual CBO’s scope of development is restricted to a small number of communities in each country, the NAYD network stretches to many locations throughout the continent. This roadmap believes that encouraging CBOs to work together and share their networks with each other would substantially increase the impact in rural community development. With this in mind this roadmap has developed the following Mission:-
‘Our mission is to empower African rural communities to drive the implementationof the UN Sustainable Development Goals through youth-led collaborative initiative that informs effective implementation , monitoring and follow-up and advocacy campaigns”
The mission and will be achieved by the following objectives:-
Building Social movement by forming network of gender balanced, committed, and country focused teams
Supporting co-operation and partnerships in implementing SDGs in rural communities.
Identifying community/country based SDG priorities according to agreed criteria and indicators
Creating a platform on programme partnership on SDGs youth-led initiatives.
Promoting and ensure capacity building through SDG programme mentorship for youth-led organisations and initiatives.
Mobilizing resource for implementation of country activities
The actions required to achieve these objectives include:-
Popularising and localizing SDGs
·Understand how well the rural communities understand the SDGs
·Conduct community wide initiatives to create awareness
·Translate SDGs into local languages
·Map the SDGs into local experiences and activities that communities can relate to
·Identify together with the rural communities what issue is a priority to them in relation to SDGs.
·Use radio to reach as many people as possible in rural communities
Cooperation and Partnerships
·Collaborate with stakeholders locally, regionally and globally
·Ensure an open policy where input from all people at the community is valued
·Encourage active participation by women in the rural communities
ICT for rural communities
• Have a central office dedicated for each community, with solar panels and internet/mobile connections, to link all the communities to each other and to the world at large (Maybe have the office set up in existing CBOs already working with the rural communities
• Train rural communities on technologies they can use to address local development issues
• Encourage and nurture community-developed innovations.
• Breakdown SDGs into a language that speaks to the local communities
• Train teams on proposal writing and grant applications
• Train the trainers; equip the CBOs’ youth leaders with skills that they can transfer to the rural communities
• Form partnerships with national organizations and global organizations
• Train country teams on fundraising
• Seek to collaborate with local and national governments in local projects
Monitoring and Evaluation
• Use of mobile apps to monitor activities by the rural communities
• Devise ways that communities can self-report (through community meetings) and hold each other accountable
We believe this roadmap will be successful because SDG implementation will be driven by the communities themselves, a bottom-up approach empowered by youth-led teams of CBO’s, supported by local, national, regional, continental and global organizations. This IS the time for these communities to step up the ladder of prosperity, the time for them to be released from the cycles of poverty and hunger, the time when they will all have equal opportunities. By holding hands and working together this roadmap will work.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”―Nelson Mandela