Thursday, 04 April 2024 04:28

COUNTIES MAKE STRIDES TOWARDS ACHIEVING THE UN 2030 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AGENDA

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In December 2023, 19 County Governments, including Homa-Bay, Nakuru, West Pokot, Taita Taveta, Elgeyo Marakwet, Mombasa, Nyeri, Embu, Makueni, Kakamega, Narok, Vihiga, Wajir, Kilifi, Kajiado, Nyamira, Baringo, and Bungoma, expressed interest in developing Voluntary Local Review (VLR) reports to showcase their efforts in implementing the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As a follow-up to this initiative, the Council of Governors collaborated with the State Department for Economic Planning as well as the UNRCO and UNDP to organize a three-day capacity building workshop from 10th to 14th March 2024 in Naivasha.
The workshop aimed at providing technical assistance to support development of the VLR reports, which will demonstrate each County's progress in promoting inclusive economic growth, social development and environmental conservation in alignment with the SDGs. The workshop aimed to assess where Counties currently stand in the VLR process, identify areas requiring further guidance, explore opportunities to create synergies between the localized VLRs and develop a roadmap to guide finalization of the VLR reports.
As Kenya gears up to present its 3rd Voluntary National Review (VNR) on the SDGs at the 2024 UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), it is important for Counties to ensure their VLR reports are aligned with the forum's global priorities. Organized under the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the 2024 HLPF has the theme "Reinforcing the 2030 Agenda and eradicating poverty amid multiple crises through sustainable, resilient and innovative solutions." The forum will conduct a review of SDG 1 No Poverty, SDG 2 Zero Hunger, SDG 13 Climate Action, SDG 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, and SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals. With these key SDGs under the international spotlight, it is essential that Kenya's Counties showcase their localized efforts and progress through well-crafted VLR reports that resonate with the 2024 HLPF's thematic focus.
The workshop also provided a platform for peer learning, with each County presenting their current VLR status and receiving feedback to troubleshoot challenges encountered. Technical sessions were facilitated by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics to guide Counties on priority SDG indicators and data sources for evidence-based reporting. There was emphasis on documenting replicable best practices that demonstrate innovation, sustainability and tangible positive outcomes when localized to each county's unique context.
Through direct engagement and group work, the Inter-Agency Technical Working Committee on SDGs ensured County VLR drafts comply with 2024 reporting guidelines while integrating all dimensions of sustainable development and the dynamic principle of leaving no one behind. Collaboration across sectors and inclusive stakeholder involvement were highlighted as key for impactful VLRs.
Counties now have a comprehensive roadmap outlining next steps to finalize their VLRs ahead of a follow-up workshop where draft reports will undergo further review. The State Department for Economic Planning together with the members of IATWC will then conduct a compliance check before the VLRs are incorporated into Kenya's 2024 VNR submission.

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