Focus on transparency: Open Working Group on SDGs

Today (17 April 2013) the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) starts a three-day meeting to discuss thematic issues confronting sustainable development in the twenty-first-century.

The meeting is the beginning of a process designed to look at how the actions agreed at Rio+20 can be combined with the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals so that key targets can be set in areas such as climate change, health, education and poverty eradication. In short, it is no exaggeration to say that the OWG has the chance to create a set of goals which can address both key environmental challenges and end poverty in our lifetime.

Calling for transparency and accountability

Development Initiatives has co-signed a letter to the OWG on Sustainable Development Goals along with Integrity Action, International Budget Partnership, ONE, Publish What You Fund, Publish What You Pay UK, Tearfund and Transparency International.

In the letter we state our belief that transparency and accountability is an issue that must figure prominently if a transformational post-2015 framework for development is to be achieved. Transparency and accountability are the best means for listening to people’s priorities, empowering them with information, and building a solid governance foundation.

“A data revolution”

Post-2015 discussions have already shown governance, transparency and information to be a priority. The UN My World Survey, which has consulted approximately 200,000 people, has an “honest and responsive government” among their top three asks for what future global development commitments should address. The Bali communiqué of UN High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on post-2015 stated the need to “invest in stable and accountable institutions, fight corruption, [and] ensure the rule of law” and has called for a “data revolution.”

The OWG has the opportunity to support these efforts by setting out a clear vision in its forthcoming discussions and decisions that ensures that the final goals are measurable, with good data being made available so that policymakers and the public alike can track the development process all the way from resources to results.

Andrew Palmer is Senior Engagement and Advocacy Adviser at Development Initiatives @andrewepalmer #post2015HLP #post2015 #opengoal