Background

There is broad agreement that, while the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) provided a focal point for governments – a framework around which they could develop policies and overseas aid programmes designed to end poverty and improve the lives of poor people – as well as a rallying point for NGOs to hold them to account, they were too narrow. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) follow and expand on the MDGs, which were agreed by governments in 2001 and expired at the end of 2015. The SDGs are a new, universal set of goals, targets and indicators that United Nations (UN) member States will be expected to use to frame their agendas and political policies over the next 15 years. These goals cover a vast range of issues spanning human activity on earth: water use, energy, food and agriculture, health, sustainable consumption and production, industrialization, urbanization, education, inequality, poverty, and gender issues.

The SDGs seeks to build on and complete the unfinished business of the MDGs; realize the human rights of all; achieve gender equality in all sectors and spheres of life; and importantly; strike a balance between economic, social and environmental dimensions of development. Within the SDGs, new goals and new sectors have been added and the number of indicators has more than doubled, placing new constraints and demands on policies at all stages- in planning, implementation and monitoring. Based on the recent experience from the MDGs, what are the key lessons learned with respect of Monitoring and Evaluation? How did Nigeria performed? What was the contribution of Government and partner’s intervention to the improvement of MDGs in achieving the targets?

Monitoring the SDGs must be accompanied by evaluation that addresses the complexity of the SDGs and how they are achieved. Evaluative thinking right from the start is required in implementing and domesticating the SDGs for Nigeria. More importantly, a national policy evaluation is key in supporting understanding of progress and contribution in achieving the SDGs targets in Nigeria.

In addition, the goals provides an opportunity for influencing policy, practice and theory in evaluation to ensure better SDG outcomes for Nigerian. To support this, OSSAP-SDGs, PwC, MNBP, UNICEF and key stakeholders have proposed a National conference on Evaluation to advocate for evaluation policy and SDG implementation in Nigeria.

The Conference Key Purpose

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls for follow-up and review processes that examine progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Such processes are needed at international and regional levels, but especially at the national level. To be maximally useful to policymakers and citizens, review processes must incorporate rigorous, country-led evaluations that examine policy and programme implementation and effectiveness. Currently in Nigeria, there is considerable focus on how to measure progress using indicators through monitoring, but there are little focus on evaluation for which is mainly donor led.  The adoption of SDGs will require that Nigeria Government(s) must go beyond measurement and monitoring to consider whether the progress Nigeria is making is equitable? Relevant? Effort and interventions Effectives and impactful? And above all sustainable. Such evidences will help demonstrate public sector accountability, Value- For-Money and justify spending and sacrifice made by Nigeria citizens and society and accelerate change by focusing attention on enhancing learning, innovation and informing budget allocation.  Evaluation and Policy: Building solid evidence for SDG requires not only measurement and monitoring but also evaluation that addresses the intricacy of the SDGs. The evidence from evaluations provide solid evidence for Policymakers and parliamentarians, as well as everyday citizens, make claims about SDGs outcomes. However, this requires that a national policy on evaluation is in place to ensure accountability and learning.

Importance of partnership: Involvement of partnership and International Development Partners in programme activities. Creating multi-stakeholder partnerships for the implementation of the SDGs agenda is the glue for implementation. If constructed carefully, multi-stakeholder partnerships can facilitate participation and voluntary engagement and draw on the assets and strengths of different actors. The partnerships must range from those that are internal- between the Federal, State and Local Government; between the Executive and the National Assembly; between MDAs; between government, civil society organizations and communities- to external partnerships between the Nigeria government and international aid agencies, private firms and foreign governments.

The role of the Private Sector in the implementation and achievement of SDGs. The role of business and industry in international development is not limited to mobilizing financial resources. It lies more fundamentally in the impact of their core operations on the issues covered by the proposed SDGs. The social and environmental impacts of these core business operations need to be monitored and reported, regardless of the country of operation. The most direct route to innovation, technological advancement and productive capacity is through healthy, engaged businesses, industries and finance houses. Effective private–public dialogue builds on local capacities and defines roles and responsibilities for all partners. An inclusive format of involving business and industry in national development planning is taking place in many country settings and this should happen in Nigeria.

 

Two days Conference – one day pre-conference workshops total three days

Conference Theme

The recently adopted SDGs will require massive evaluation capacity building; Formidable data constraints will have to be managed (with new information technologies); New methods will be needed as results chains and linear models are no longer adequate to address the need of conflict affected areas where evaluation capacities are weak; Policy evaluation will have to be mastered beyond aid; market led private sector evaluation gaps will have to be filled.

The proposed 5 strands of the conference cover the following key questions:

  1. National Evaluation Capacity: How Nigeria will organize itself –at federal and state and LGAs levels – to evaluate the SDGs?
  2. CSO Roles: What would be the Role of the VOPEs, and CSOs?
  3. Innovative Methods and Approaches: What Methods (existing or innovative) would be most appropriate for evaluating the different goals?
  4. Role of Private sector: How ready is the private sector in addressing the Public Sector needs in term of evaluation capacities?
  5. Conflicts and governance: How would the progress of SDGs be measured in Conflict affected Area?

 

Conference Objectives

Within the conference goals, the conference aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • Provide a space for evaluation communities (practitioners and users, academia, private sector and government officials) to come together to face the evaluation challenges posed by SDGs.
  • Following the national launch of the SDGs, lend a voice to the need for a plan of action for the Evaluation of the SDGs i.e. increasing advocacy for the institutionalization of Evaluation in Government including evaluation policy and the role of non-State Evaluation actors.
  • Create an avenue for knowledge sharing on current trends in Evaluation as it relates to Governance and the SDGs.
  • Spark up interest and lead the involvement of the private sector and their role working with Government for the achievement of the SDGs.

The conference will bring together relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that are responsible for monitoring and evaluation of the SDGs in Nigeria. The conference papers will consist of rich and diverse groupings of sessions, panel discussions, innovations showcase and open plenaries’ on critical issues related to Evaluation of SDGs in Nigeria. The conference will be an occasion to engage with the various partners towards achieving the SDGs.  The Conference will be closed by presenting the concrete step and engagement that Nigeria will take to effectively evaluate the SDGs .

Professional Workshop

Professional Development Workshop: Professional development workshops precede the conference on Monday, and focus on helping attendees to learn or refine their skills related to the field of evaluation and evaluation methodologies.

Contact: djobin@unicef.org and SDG Conference sdgconference2016@gmail.com


Contact for the Conference Committee

Director Monitoring & Evaluation Department,
National Planning Commission,
The Presidency, Nigeria.
Phone: 08023070030
Email: begharevba@gmail.com

 

Denis Jobin
Chief of M&E
UNICEF NIGERIA
djobin@unicef.org
Phone +234 7064189280

 

Joy Manus
Event Manager
SDG Conference sdgconference2016@gmail.com