Beyond business as usual
New and renewed partnerships for progressing Sustainable Development
UNDP Resident Representative, Roy Trivedy on how and why UNDP PNG is changing to advance SDGs and why new and renewed partnerships are vital
In an ever changing world partnerships and alliances are vital for finding effective ways of approaching ‘complex problems’.
In September 2015 when the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were agreed by Global Leaders, they recognised the vital importance of partnerships to address some of the critical challenges that our world faces over the next 15 years. This was articulated as Goal 17 of the SDGs. On the first anniversary of the SDGs, UNDP Papua New Guinea outlines some of the steps that we have been taking to build and renewing partnerships for effective development. Here are some of things that UNDP PNG has been doing:
1. Strategic support on SDGs implementation
To support Papua New Guinea in SDGs implementation, UNDP works closely with the Department of National Planning and Monitoring (DNPM) and helps it to take forward the Agenda 2030. With UNDP support, the Government is now in the process of “bringing SDGs home” — it is developing its national targets and indicators, looking how to mainstream SDGs into national strategic policies and plans. As part of this work, DNMP and UNDP brought together all relevant and strategic partners from the Government and its agencies and looked at existing national strategies and linkages to SDGs, as well as discussed a roadmap for SDGs implementation. UNDP also engaged with business community and civil society groups through extensive awareness workshop, and discussed innovative and integrated ways private sector and civil society can take forward the SDGs. UNDP is also supporting the review of the PNG’s Medium-Term Development Plan (III), key document that reflects Government’s priorities for the next five years, to make sure that SDGs are well incorporated to this strategic document.
2. Business and thought leadership
Business leaders are key in SDGs implementation. In Papua New Guinea UNDP has invested more time and resources in strengthening its engagement with the Business Council PNG, the Chambers of Commerce, leaders from key corporations/enterprises and academia. An illustration of how we are taking forward this area of work is our new partnership with Deloitte (one of the “Big Four” global companies that specializes in the provision of professional services worldwide). Together we are conducting a national workforce skills survey in Papua New Guinea. This aims to identify specific workforce skills needed by today’s employers, as well as identifying specific national and provincial barriers to human capital development in the country. The survey results will be made available to the public later this year and will enable better human resource planning, assist employers and potential employees and encourage job creation, skills enhancement for all as a contribution to SDG 4 (quality education) and SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth). This will be the first of a series of “thought papers” which we are planning to generate through this exciting new partnership.
3. Disaster Risk Reduction and network
To support Papua New Guinea in reducing disaster risks, we have invested in strengthening the network of humanitarian partners. We reached out to faith groups, national and provincial authorities, official development agencies and UN agencies to build a stronger network for disaster preparedness and response. This includes working with the Governments of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, European Union and the United States. We have engaged with church organizations and students from the University of Papua New Guinea as well as major Public Broadcast Corporations as our allies in awareness raising and information dissemination. Through this network, we are building a more coherent and orchestrated approach to help the country to be better prepared and more resilient to regular natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, drought and Tsunamis. We are also working with provincial and national authorities, such as the Conservation and Environmental Protection Agency and the Office of Climate Change and Development to implement climate change adaptation plans.
Today they have 10,000 seedlings that they distribute to villages around them for planting. They are proud of what they have done
4. Parliaments as key driver
Parliaments are uniquely positioned to lead key developments in the country including how the country can prioritise national development plans and the implementation of the SDGs. UNDP is working with the PNG’s National Parliament and the Bougainville House of Representatives to strengthen their capacities. This is being undertaken through organizing study tours to exchange ideas (within the Pacific region), hosting joint Parliamentary round table exchanges, supporting ICT upgrade, enhancing ICT use, knowledge and skills.
5. SDGs and Sport, Leisure and the Media
In Papua New Guinea rugby league is the most popular sport. Thousands gather to watch rugby league games every season, people — men, women, girls, children — look up to players as their role models. To utilize the amazing reach of rugby league and its ability to assist in raising awareness of development issues, UNDP is partnering with the National Rugby League to engage starring players as SDG champions. In its starting phase, the players are promoting the SDGs relevant to their own lives in a short video, and together we are planning to do more in-depth stories of the players and their personal stories of the SDGs. UNDP is also partnering with the Royal Papua Yacht Club to reduce the use of single-use plastic cups. Through joint advocacy we are working to help eliminating the use of single-use plastics in the Club and this is just a start. UNDP and the UN team are working closely with Media representatives to promote the SDGs. This includes Media club dedicated to SDGs, regular TV and radio programs on SDGs, media training programs and more.
We believe that with these and other partnerships in place, Papua New Guinea is better positioned to improve its development ranking and implement SDGs as part of the Agenda 2030.
Roy Trivedy, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Papua New Guinea