Nagrik Dialogue

Strategic framework for achieving sustainable development goals for India

193 countries around the world unanimously adopted the most ambitious Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) agenda, commonly known as Global Goals 2030, in 2015. Significance of India’s participation and her success in crafting successful sustainable development agenda has a major impact in this global initiative.

It is well understood that to achieve success, meaningful multi-stakeholder partnership is imperative. These partnerships would be built around cooperation between public entities, governments, civil society, businesses and academia with citizens as the focal point as the end beneficiary. Mantra for success would be “Include everyone and leave none”.

These inclusive partnerships would be based on shared principles and values, vision and goals that place people and the planet at the same level. Another important aspect is to develop a strategic framework which shall set the direction for formulation of focused and effective plan for implementation and monitoring the progress at basic local level, state level and finally at national level to undertake corrective measures and efforts needed to ensure the success in time bound manner.

Sustainable development is one of the greater challenges in the current time which calls for responsible decisions to be made by each stakeholder to build a new world worthy of inhabiting future generations.

A framework, which includes economic factors respecting nature and environment, while balancing social factors aligned with principles of sustainable development is desired to be developed. Such framework shall ensure sustainable economic growth based on collaboration and competitive advantages with equal access to the benefits of development for all social groups without leaving any one behind and ultimately improving the quality of life of each citizen. It shall also be built around the values which have been part of the culture of our nation. The framework shall set the priorities, directions and actions till 2030 with milestones defined at definite intervals. Our experience, past achievements and best practices should constitute the capital that can be used in the process at national level for building and consolidating sustainable development.

On the basis of objectives and needs as explained above, a triangular model for sustainable development can be developed linking the three angles as Social Level, Economic Level and Environmental Level encompassing all SDGs as the central theme.

Of the three levels mentioned above, we can analyze each one separately.

Social Level:

At social level we need to develop a plan, which shall focus on –

  1. Reducing
    • Social exclusion
    • Poverty
    • All kinds of inequality
  2. Focus on development of human and social capital through access to knowledge and education.
    • Improving Competencies
    • Enhance social cohesion

Economic Level:

At economic level, following areas need to be under focus –

  1. Building a strong and modern industry
  2. Supporting entrepreneurship
  3. Investment in innovation and development of new technologies
  4. Promoting Indian brand abroad

Environmental Level:

The focus on environmental area should be governed by improving the state of environment and sustainable management of resources through

  • Achieving higher water quality
  • Effective waste management
  • Improving air quality
  • Sustainable development of natural resources

Enablers of the framework:

Above defined framework would need to be supported by –

  • State level efficiency and its institutions, improving the quality of legislation and efficient administration
  • Improving the strategic management system for development process and
  • Breaking the practice of operating in silos because- Collaboration is the key to success in this process.

In addition to above enabling system and processes, focus on cooperation, partnerships and joint responsibility with ownership of public entities, businesses and citizens would be the critical factor for the entire developmental process. There would be need for shift from an administration system to shared management and shared responsibility to bring transformational changes. It would be important to build social dialogue around the crucial projects and broad social support and trust between public entities and their partners in order to achieve developmental goals.

Broad Action Plan for implementation:

Following key elements need to be included while formulating action plan for implementation of SDGs agenda.

a) Identifying strategic development projects by Government with each SDG, implementation of which can contribute towards achieving specific goal.

b) Analyzing the examples of good work practices under projects implemented by local government units, NGOs, entrepreneurs or local communities.

c) Formulating plans for future with focus on social and economic areas and public policies, which enable early success.

d) Developing National Indicators necessary to measure the effects of actions under SDGs

e) Improving resource efficiency by moving away from linear management to circular economy.

Ajay Kumar Dwivedi

It is in this context that initiative of Nagrik Foundation and Dr Ambedkar International Centre (DAIC) in partnership with key stakeholders, by way of launching SDG Choupal is praiseworthy and transformational. It aims to connect one of the most important stakeholders, which is Rural India, by empowering it to power through spreading awareness and ensuring its engagement in implementation of national agenda of SDGs.

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Nagrik Dialogue is the face of Nagrik Foundation’s communication skills that comes in the form of a monthly magazine. It will work as a bridge for those working at the grass roots level and those who support them in any form and manner.