What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

In September 2015, while Uganda held the UN presidency, the 192 Member States of the United Nations (UN) again adopted a historic resolution committing themselves to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Agenda 2030 and its associated SDGs informs and guides global and national development.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 ambitious, transformative and universal Goals with a total of 169 targets and 232 indicators that will guide national and local development by 2030. They aim at eradicating poverty through a focus on partnerships, people, planet, prosperity, and peace.

DGs are different from all other international development frameworks considering that they are more ambitious, universal, holistic and inclusive as follows:

  • Ambitious: With 17 Goals, 169 targets and more than 230 indicators, the SDGs are the most ambitious development framework in the world to date.
  • Universal: Unlike the MDGs, SDGs are universally applicable and will be implemented by developing as well as developed countries all over the world.
  • Holistic: The Goals are interconnected, indivisible, and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development i.e. Economic, Social and Environmental meaning that to eradicate poverty, there must be economic growth, social protection and environmental sustainability.
  • Inclusive: SDGs are for all of us and can only be achieved through partnerships.  Government as well as all other stakeholders in Uganda including civil society and the private sector – riding high throughout the negotiations, have a shared responsibility of ensuring that no one is left behind by 2030.

Adoption of the SDG 2030 Agenda in Uganda

After the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, Uganda is one of the first countries that participated in the first High-Level Political Forum in 2016 where it prepared and presented its first National Voluntary Review Report. Uganda, therefore, holds a great symbolic position in the implementation and achievement of SDGs globally.

In 2016, the Government of Uganda developed a framework to guide the Coordination of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its associated SDGs under the leadership of the Office of the Prime Minister. This framework was approved by Cabinet and Parliament and it brings together all players both state and non-state actors including local governments to deliver on the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda.

The National SDG Coordination Framework provides for five multi-stakeholder Technical Working Groups (TWGs) comprising of Sector Working Groups (SWGs); Development Partners; Private Sector; and Civil Society. The TWGs are the backbone of the SDG Coordination Framework and they meet quarterly and submit the required reports to the SDG Secretariat to inform and drive SDG implementation in Uganda.

SDG Coordination Structure

    1. Policy Coordination Committee (PCC): This is the highest structure, and has the mandate to review implementation and provide policy guidance. It is chaired by the Prime Minister and it comprises of Members of Cabinet and Heads of Cooperation and Agencies.
    2. Implementation Steering Committee (ISC): This is responsible for reviewing progress and recommending policy proposals to the PCC. This committee is chaired by the Head of Public Service and Secretary to Cabinet and it is comprising of Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Agencies. ISC meets twice a year.
    3. National SDG Taskforce: This comprises of technical officers from lead agencies of the Technical Working Groups (TWGs) chaired by the Permanent Secretary of OPM.
    4. Technical Working Groups (TWGs): These include the following:

The SDG Secretariat

    1. In order to accelerate the implementation of SDGs in Uganda, Cabinet and the United Nations Country Team agreed to establish an SDG Secretariat in 2019 and designated the SDG Focal Point Minister, Hon. Karoro Okurut who is the Minister for General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister. The Minister provides overall political leadership for SDG through presentation of reports on SDG implementation and policy recommendations to Cabinet. 

    About the SDG Secretariat

    Opened in April 2019, the SDG Secretariat supports the government, United Nations, Civil Society, Private Sector, and Academia in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The Secretariat is headed by Dr. Albert Byamugisha as The Senior Technical Adviser. The SDG Secretariat is housed under the Office of the Prime Minister and is mandated to;

      • Steer the coordination function, support, oversee and harmonize the implementation of the SDG coordination framework;
      • Coordinate monitoring and assessment of local implementation and progress of the SDG 2030 Agenda in Uganda;
      • Build Strategic Partnerships with Private Sector on financing and innovation for SDGs;
      • Provide technical support, advice and expertise to the MDAs, private sector, civil society and academia to accelerate the implementation of the SDG agenda; and
      • Be the hub of SDG information and data for the government of Uganda and other stakeholders.

    The SDG Coordination framework is currently being supported by the government of Uganda and the United Nations Country Team through the Resident Coordinator’s office.