Public Private Partnership deemed necessary for sustainable development, CSOs

Civil Society asked Government for Their Meaningful Participation at Policy Level

Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) For sustainable development and achieving SDGs by 2030, experts termed collaboration between Government and non-government stakeholders and effective role of CSOs in advancing localization, implementation and achievement of SDGs as the real game changers towards success.

These thoughts were expressed by development practitioners, civil society members and education champions in a Post HLPF consultation session on Pakistan’ VNR Report 2022, presented by the Government in UN’s High Level Political Forum in July 2022. The session was organized was Awaz CDS – Pakistan and Education Champions Network.

Awaz CDS-Pakistan engaged with education champions/ECN member organizations and other CSOs of the country to prepare an analysis of Government reporting and CSOs perspective on that and the same was presented in the consultation session.
Highlighting priority SDGs especially SDG 4 and 5 on Gender Equality and Quality Education, Civil society members expressed their dissatisfaction on Government’s focus on these SDGs in the VNR report.  

Chief Executive, Awaz CDS, Zia ur Rehman briefed the audience on the background and process of development of the Voluntary National Review report. He appreciated the incumbent government’s presentation of official VNR at the UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF). He said that several concerns still exist on critical sustainable development goals (SDG) priorities in the absence of policy coherence, efficient implementation and review mechanisms.

According to him the report failed to capture and highlight the Citizens’ Voices on VNR process and progress on SDGs collected through stakeholders’ consultations. He stressed on the need of inclusion and participation of civil society representatives in the report making process for depiction of real on ground situation.

The Parliamentarians from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Saira Raza, Fauzia Abbas and Saira Jabeen participated in the event and appreciated the efforts and expressed need to put education and gender equality on priority and their plan to bring about a legislation and its implementation in this regard.

Program Manager-AwazCDS-Pakistan, Marium Amjad Khan, while sharing the CSOs perspective on official VNR 2022 and findings of the analysis of Government reporting said that Government has shared a number of good progress that has been made in recent times on SDG 4 and 5 but that’s not the complete picture. For example, in VNR reporting on SDG 4, Government is presenting the enrollment rate as a success while according to the UNICEF’s country profile 2022 adjusted net attendance rate for children of primary school age is only 62% whereas, it further drops at middle and secondary level to 33%.

CSOs representatives appreciated that there have been improvements in strategies action plans, policies and legal frameworks. However, the scale of these initiatives as well as monitoring and transparency mechanisms needs strengthening.
As far as SDG 5, Gender Equality, is concerned CSOs shared their perspective that several national and provincial legislations have been made for gender equality and women’s inclusion but these are not being practiced.

Civil Society representatives shared that Sustainable Development Ranking Report 2022 is showing that SDGs 4 and 5 are stagnant and not improving compared to last report. This also mirrors the lack of initiatives and financing to improve both sectors. Governments and all stakeholders should invest more in country’s 48% of population to minimize disparities to at least achieve near to half of the SDGs targets by 2030.