Bangladesh has made notable progress in achieving the 2030 Agenda, despite its very limited economic resources being a lower middle income country and being one of the world’s most climate-vulnerable countries. The country’s initiatives to achieve progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include an Inter-Ministerial Committee on SDGs Implementation, an SDG Tracker with 39 indicators to facilitate evidence-based policy making and a National Action Plan of Ministries/Divisions by Targets for the Implementation of SDGs, which promotes coordinated SDG implementation across ministries and divisions.
However, these initiatives to advance SDG implementation in Bangladesh need to enhance their engagement with stakeholders at the local level. As a result, disadvantaged groups, particularly in districts with comparatively low development performances, would be adequately supported.
Bangladesh’s GPEDC Action Dialogue on SDG Localization
Against this backdrop, in August 2022 Bangladesh held a GPEDC Action Dialogue on the topic of SDG Localisation through Development Effectiveness. This Action Dialogue contributed to Bangladesh’s work to advance the development effectiveness agenda and promote the effectiveness principles (country ownership, a focus on results, inclusive partnerships and transparency and mutual accountability) as part of its commitment to building a global partnership through the GPEDC.
Developed within multi-stakeholder working groups at the Action Dialogue, opportunities and challenges to increase the effectiveness of development co-operation to advance SDG localization and necessary policy changes were presented. It became clear that to enhance local level ownership of development in Bangladesh, there is a requirement for strengthened resource mobilization at the local level and coordination between all development actors – including local governments, civil society organizations, the private sector, the national government and development partners – with strong political will at all levels as a prerequisite.
The current Principal Coordinator of SDG Affairs, Ms. Zuena Aziz, stated that these results will help to formulate Bangladesh’s SDG Action Plan for Implementation of the SDGs at the local level.
A Summit Declaration that Calls for Strengthening Local Ownership of Development Co-operation Beyond Bangladesh
Beyond Bangladesh, there is also a strong emphasis on strengthening local ownership and leadership of development co-operation in the Geneva Summit Declaration of the 2022 Effective Development Co-operation Summit, which Bangladesh significantly contributed to as the Co-Chair representing dual country voices in the drafting process. The Summit Declaration points out: “Locally-owned and -led development may lead to results that are more likely to be sustained by local entities, if we maximise ownership, results, inclusivity, transparency, and accountability at the local level.”
Development actors at the local level – including local governments – are also among the stakeholders who will participate in the new monitoring exercise of the Global Partnership, which was launched at the Summit. After having participated in all past monitoring rounds of 2014, 2016 and 2018, Bangladesh has already expressed interest in the current (4th) monitoring round (2023 to 2026). During the Summit’s Plenary Session on the launch of the new monitoring, Bangladesh’s representative Mr. Abul Kalam Azad, Deputy Secretary, Economic Relations Division, Ministry of Finance, reiterated the country’s commitment to participate in the new monitoring, while encouraging other countries to do the same.
Please explore Bangladesh’s page on the GPEDC Global Dashboard for updated information on the country’s participation in monitoring processes, development co-operation policies, mechanisms and more.
©️ Photo credit: Switzerland Federal Department of Foreign Affairs / Sven de Almeida