UNDP, SDC sign agreement with govt to achieve SDGs

  • Two-year cost-sharing pact amounts to $500,000

ISLAMABAD: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) on Tuesday signed an agreement that would help ensure that Pakistan’s efforts to achieve its Sustainable Development Goals are guided by evidence, research and open policy dialogue.

The two-year cost-sharing agreement, amounting to $500,000, would support the publication of the National Human Development Report and the Development Advocate Pakistan, a UNDP’s quarterly publication which showcases high-quality research-based analysis.

UNDP Country Director Ignacio Artaza said that the sustainable development depends upon high-quality evidence-based research. “The agreement with SDC will create a platform for policy dialogue to support Pakistan’s achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Dr Stefanie Burri, head of international cooperation at the Embassy of Switzerland in Pakistan, said that the SDC welcomes this opportunity to showcase the hard-won lessons “we have learned over the years, and to ensure Pakistan’s impressive bank of knowledge and expertise is deployed in support of its development goals.”

Building on the success of the ground-breaking National Human Development Report focusing on youth concerns and prospects in Pakistan published in May this year, the next issue of the report will focus on the persisting inequality that hampers social mobility and sustainable development.

The report would examine in detail inequality of opportunity in Pakistan, whilst also reflecting on income and consumption inequality. The Development Advocate Pakistan, launched in 2014 and published quarterly ever since, has consistently provided informed analysis and commentary on key national issues such as civil service reform, water security, and FATA mainstreaming.

In 2018, the periodical will focus son technology and development, the agenda for the new government, drivers of inclusive growth, and urbanisation. Dr Adil Najam, the lead author of the National Human Development Report on Youth, and Shakeel Ahmad, assistant country director for Development Policy Unit at UNDP, also spoke on the occasion.