Raising awareness, mobilizing citizens, and providing a platform for advancing community development initiatives are other functions of civil society organizations. In a bid to contribute its voice to the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) implementation in Nigeria, the Center for Environmental Education and Development (CEED), a Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) cluster organization, organized a one-day SDGs Policy Implementation strategy meeting in Abuja on the 13th of May, 2016.
The workshop was organized with support from More and Better Network Rome, with objective “Support for the Project Building Capacities for Improved and Effective Engagement of NSAs on the Nigeria SDGs Agenda Towards 2030.” Promoted through its member network across the world, the workshop had the participation of representatives of media, civil society, and government.
SDGs are strategically determined options that build on the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and aim to go further to end all forms of poverty. The new goals are unique in that they call for action by all countries; poor, rich, and middle-income; to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs, including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.
Speaking during the workshop, on More and Better Network (M&B) Global Support to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Engagement at Country Levels, Mr. Raymond Nyayiti Enoch, CEO of Center for Environmental Education and Development (CEED), said that the time has come for CSOs and other critical stakeholders promoting the goals of the SDGs to take the advantage of the More and Better platform to create more awareness and demand accountability from the government, especially now the SDGs goals is at its formative stage. He went further to say that rural development and agriculture are highly critical goals of the SDGs. As such, CSOs must not lose sight of the engagement and must seek robust outcomes from the process. He then said that the workshop is called so as to stimulate discussions at country levels, so as to find a way of improving the resources government seek to commit to SDGs.
Other speakers at the workshop critically viewed the government investment, both its prospects and challenges. The critical role of the media as key in raising awareness and communicating the goals of the SDGs was also stressed.
Raymond Enoch and Richard Abubakar Umar making a presentation at the High-Table at the meeting on May 13, 2016
Commencement of the Meeting
The workshop started at about 10:05am after words of prayers from two volunteers representing faiths of participants in Nigeria.
Objectives of the Workshop
- To ensure that NSAs are consistently able to participate in policy-making, planning, implementation and accountability for the SDGs in Nigeria;
- To enhance awareness and further build the capacities of NSAs on basics of the SDGs Process;
- To help NSAs think through their responses and potential engagement with SDGs and in More and Better Network;
- To learn and share experiences and lessons with other key stakeholders (governmental institutions and MDAs) by getting updates on engagements, challenges so far, and developing plans to overcome them.
Cross-section of participants at the workshop
- All agreed that political will in securing the government proactive funding of the SDGs, especially in connecting the implementation process at the country level, is imperative.
- Participants agreed that there is always a lack of expertise and skills on some government MDAs, and as such, government must increase its effort in using skills and experts desirable to achieve the SDGs.
- It is also resolved and agreed that initiating the development of an App to track the implementation of the SDGs is important. CSOs and coordinating NGO CEED can approach More and Better with this.
- As a way of engagement and tracking the SDGs implementation, CSOs can approach development partners working in Nigeria for auctioned cars to enable CSOs to track the SDGs implementation in Nigeria.
- CSOs in Nigeria must strategically position themselves to respond to the challenges through advocacy to the OSSAP – SDGs, and so build on the existing discussions on SDGs in Nigeria for furthering CSOs engagement.
- CSOs will train themselves on knowledge and information gathering.
Banner of the workshop on display
Center for Environmental Education and Development (CEED) /National Committee for Family Farming (NCFF) appreciates More and Better for its gracious support in convening this workshop in Nigeria. We further appreciate More and Better for considering our request and we look forward to working with the network and other partners in our strategic engagements.