Thursday, August 28, 2014

Accountability 'key to achieving Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals'

By Ochieng' Ogodo


[NAIROBI] Accountability framework will be key in achieving the Post-2015 the Sustainable Development Goals that will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), stakeholders say. 

The stakeholders that met at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa this month (21-23 August) are saying that should be based on a set of core principles, accompanied by bold goals and targets and a plan on the means of implementation.

The stakeholders from the African Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) spectrum, the media, the international CSOs as well as government representatives met to deliberate and propose measures for ensuring an accountability framework for the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

The forum, proposed key elements for an accountability framework, which is expected to feed into the Secretary-General’s report to the General Assembly in September.

Ambassador Marjon Kamara, Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, who chaired the meeting underscored the importance of statistics in determining an accountability framework. She called calling for “concerted action, genuine commitment, and empowerment of African society, including youth, women, faith-based organisations, as well as the business community”.

AU Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Anthony Maruping, stated that Africa was not starting from the scratch when it comes to accountability mechanisms since the continent had experiences with other regional, sub-regional, national accountability frameworks, such as the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM)”.

The ECA’s Deputy Executive Secretary, Abdalla Hamdok, stated that the objective of the consultative meeting gave participants’ “wide-encompassing deliberations [needed] to identify key elements to build an accountability architecture for the post-2015 development agenda that is aligned from the global to continental to national levels”.

Eugene Owusu, UN Resident Coordinator, UNDP/Ethiopia advised participants to play a role in “demanding real accountability for one billion people, emphasising participatory mechanisms, in which it is possible for the people to hold their leaders accountable”.

Amina Mohammed, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Post-2015 Development Planning told the participants that there was a significant momentum for this new agenda that comes with a high political mandate. She stressed the importance of crafting an accountability framework that is “fit for purpose” for the Africa region.

Participants unanimously agreed that an accountability framework for the Post-2015 and the Sustainable Development Goals, which will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, should be based on a set of core principles, accompanied by bold goals and targets and a plan on the means of implementation. 

They emphasised the need for an accountability framework to be implementable across the broad spectrum of society in a “bottom-up and people centered” approach. The participants also called for country-level commitments to action skilfully led by a multi-stakeholder partnership represented by public, private, civil society and citizen interests.

The forum also talked of the need for a strong culture of reporting, based on accurate and timely data – making a case for evidence-based accountability to provide the basis for measuring progress and also mobilise citizens and civil society to hold institutions and partners accountable towards their commitments.

Ochieng’ Ogodo is a Nairobi-based journalist whose works have been published in various parts of the world including Africa, the US and Europe. He is the English-speaking Africa and Middle East region winner for the 2008 Reuters-IUCN Media Awards for Excellence in Environmental Reporting. He is the chairman of the Kenya Environment and Science Journalists Association. He can be reached at, or

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