POST TIME: 7 December, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Local governments can help achieve SDGs

Local governments can help achieve SDGs

At a seminar in the capital it has been rightly pointed out that the country’s local governments are best suited to implement 2030 Agenda of SDGs. After the successful implementation of MDGs, for Bangladesh the challenge is now to make real the SDGs. There are 17 SDGs which are primarily a collection of global and national targets, and there is little doubt that local level action is at the heart of them, just as in the case of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). 2030 Agenda for SDGs is a universal call to action to eradicate poverty and hunger, achieving good health and well being, clean water and sanitation, gender equality, etc. and protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

To achieve this task is indeed very difficult, but proper planning and involving the local governments at different tiers would bring good result since the local communities and actors are best placed to understand the collective needs, challenges and capacities of a given area. Local governments therefore can act as key partners to achieve this agenda.

In the seminar titled “Let the Grassroots speak: Localising SDGs for inclusive development” jointly organised by Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) and Oxfam, experts convincingly pointed out that community leaders can address the needs of households and individuals, particularly for those who are at the risk of falling behind. Local governments are for local development. Their direct contact with people of a given locality gives them an added advantage.

As the linchpin of good governance to attain political, economic, and social welfare, local governments can pertinently, for example, address the health needs of local people. For achieving SDG in health, individual health cost must be brought down to 30 percent to the extant 67 percent. Raising government allocation on health sector is surely a way to attain this goal, but the government ought to make increasing allocation in the coming years especially for the grassroots people.

If the health service delivery system at the union level can be strengthened through funding and adequate manpower, health needs of the community people can be effectively addressed. In Bangladesh’s case in particular where poor people mostly live in backward rural areas with malnutrition and ill health, local community action is essential for the simple reason that as the rung of administration it is nearest to the people.