BD lags behind most SDG goals

Dhaka,  Thu,  20 July 2017
Published : 10 Jul 2017, 00:51:48
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BD lags behind most SDG goals

UN index revelation prompts govt to mull over action plan as accelerator
Mehdi Musharraf Bhuiyan


Bangladesh ranked 120th among 157 countries in progress report on the UN-designated universal development model called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), standing behind most regional peers even.   

Such a rating is revealed in the latest SDG Index prepared by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network that did a stocktaking of what nations attained in two years of their new journey with the second package of development goals.       

The country is notably in the 'Red' category on 10 out of the total 17 SDG goals, the report found, implying that major challenges remain in making progress on most of the goals coming under the UN global agenda 2030.   

Two years after the SDG flagship was officially launched by the United Nations, Bangladesh has attained a score of 56.2 in terms of achieving the 17 goals -- significantly lower than the regional average of 63.3.  

Bangladesh's SDG score is also lower than most of its regional peers, including India, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Only Pakistan and Afghanistan have fallen below Bangladesh standing on SDG Index.

Last year, the country ranked 118th out of 149 countries in the same index with a score of 44.4. This implies that although Bangladesh's SDG score has improved over the time, it has not kept the same pace as other countries during the time.    

Analysing the index, it was found that Bangladesh's score is especially low when it comes to SDG 9 which takes into account industry, innovation and infrastructure, as well as SDG 11 which measures sustainable cities and communities.

In addition, Bangladesh has also attained quite low score in some critical areas of Sustainable Development Goals, like SDG 2, which is concerned with hunger and food security, SDG 4 which deals with education and SDG 7 which is centered on affordable and clean energy.

The country's score is also less than 50 in areas of SDG 14 focused on conservation and sustainable use of oceans as well as SDG 17 which focuses partnership.

Overall, Bangladesh is in the Red for 10 SDG goals out of 17 while it is in the Orange category for 4 goals and in Yellow category for 3 goals.

Green denotes SDG achievement, Red highlights major challenges, while Yellow and Orange indicate significant challenges remaining.

Contacted over the regressive country situation over the latest universal global development paradigm, officials concerned identified data gap as a major challenge for the country's progress in terms of Sustainable Development Goals.

"Currently, there are enormous challenges in collection, analysis and disaggregation of data in the country," said Member of the Planning Commission Dr. Shamsul Alam.

While SDGs consist of 17 goals, 169 targets and 230 indicators, the government figures suggest that ready data are available for only 70 indicators and partial ones available for 108 indicators. And no data are available for at least 64 indicators.

Dr. Alam, however, noted that the Planning Commission had already conducted a Data Gap Analysis for SDGs to address this deficiency.  

The officials also informed that the government is preparing an Action Plan for implementation of the SDGs in line with the 7th Five-Year Plan while it also carried out an assessment of SDG-financing requirement.

Adopted by world leaders in September 2015, The SDGs, also known as Global Goals, built on the previously executed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) designed for the nations.

SDGs recognise that ending poverty must go hand in hand with strategies that build on economic growth and address a range of social needs: education, health, social protection, and job opportunities and so, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.

Established in 2012, The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network is headquartered in New York and Paris and it works under the auspices of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

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