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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Opia Kumah advises Nigeria to take advantage of MDG lessons in implementing SDGs


The Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) office in Nigeria, Mr. Opia Kumah has advised Nigeria to take advantage of lessons learnt from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to tackle implementation of the recently promulgated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), reports NaijaAgroNet.
Addressing the State-level workshop on ‘Data Mapping for the Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria” at the weekend in Kaduna, Mr. Kumah who was represented by the Economic Advisor in the state, Ojijo Odhiambo, described workshop as timely given its coming two months after the highly successful national-level meeting on the same subject held in Abuja and hardly two weeks after the Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDGs Indicators Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.
“As you are well aware, the Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators which brings together member states of the United Nations, Nigeria included, and regional and international agencies, was created by the United Nations Statistical Commission in March this year with the mandate of proposing a global indicator framework,” he said.
The results of this global initiative, he said, will be considered by the Statistical Commission at its 47th session in March 2016. He stressed that the work of the group has nonetheless become an important reference point and input into national level activities related to data for monitoring and reporting on the SDGs.

While the Inter-agency and expert group is yet to complete its work, he pointed out that it is now clear that the international community favours a limited number of indicators for monitoring progress towards the SDGs.
“In the area of poverty, for instance, the group has just adopted the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) as an indicator for measuring progress towards the SDGs,” he said.
Emphasising that this is a clear testimony of the desire of the international community to capture and measure progress towards the SDGs in more qualitative and comprehensive terms. 
“As we deliberate on the indicators for measuring progress in Nigeria over the next two days, we should therefore keep in mind the need to evolve and adopt those indicators which are broad, qualitative and contextually relevant to our unique national situation,” he charged.

According to Kumah, regarding data for the SDGs implementation, monitoring and reporting, the critical challenge facing Nigeria is not the lack of knowledge of what needs to be done but rather how to apply the available knowledge and lessons learnt from the MDGs implementation over the past fifteen years.
“The country has learnt invaluable lessons from the MDGs implementation process. We fully appreciate the challenges that the country faces with respect to data. We know what works and what does not. We know where the gaps are. We know where the bottlenecks are. We know which indicators are particularly problematic to measure. We ought to use this rich knowledge base to evolve the most plausible implementation strategies for tracking, capturing and processing the SDGs indicators in a comprehensive, coordinated and efficient manner,” Kumah said.

+Remmy Nweke (ITRealms) @ITRealms
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