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Accelerating implementation of Sustainable Development Goals in Nepal

With the resolute commitment of Nepal to advance and integrate the global development agenda, the project aims to achieve the SDGs and the targets of 15th national development plan by creating enabling environment and capacity building through accelerated implementation. This will attempt to address critical development challenges of the country by mitigating SDG financing gaps and reconciling socio-economic development with environment management through two inter-related outcomes (i) planning, budgeting, monitoring and reporting systems at all levels of government are SDG responsive and functional; and (ii) resilient and innovative financing available for SDG implementation.


National Planning Commission, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Forests and Environment at Federal Government, Central Bureau of Statistics, Provincial Governments (Province 2, Karnali Province and Sudurpaschim Province) and selected local governments, Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce (FNCCI), Small and Medium Enterprises/Private Sector, Nepal Cooperatives Federation, Civil Society Organizations, and Public Enterprise.


Poverty-Environment Action for the SDGs initiatives through Accelerating implementation of SDGs in Nepal (AISN-Nepal) project will contribute to SDGs localization at provincial and local level, with expanded partnerships to private sectors, CSOs cooperatives and public enterprises to align budgets, finance and investment on SDG with poverty, environment and climate (PEC) and GESI objectives to accelerate SDG implementation.

Mainstreaming Context

Nepal is a landlocked country of 28 million people committed to graduating from the LDC status by 2022 and aspiring to become a middle-income country by 2030. Decades of political instability have come to an end with promulgation of the landmark constitution in 2015, creating further opportunities for economic development and prosperity. It has been implementing a republican, inclusive, competitive multiparty democratic federal system with three tiers of government: federal, provincial and local.

The Government of Nepal has adopted appropriate policies, programmes, and made institutional and financial arrangements to accelerate the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals in Nepal. The National Planning Commission is the focal point for SDG monitoring and has taken initiatives in the country for the achievement of SDGs by engaging all relevant stakeholders in the process. Nepal became one of the first countries to take stock of its status on the proposed Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, followed up by the SDG status and roadmap 2015-2030 and SDGs needs assessment, costing and financing strategy. The SDGs was incorporated in the country’s 14th Periodic Plan (2016/2017 – 2018/2019) and introduced SDG budget coding in the national budget system to monitor public program efforts to align with SDGs achievements. The national Medium-Term Expenditure framework is SDG responsive. Guided by the overarching national aspiration of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’, the 15th Development Plan (2019/20-2023/24) has mainstreamed the SDGs. The 25 Year Long-Term Vision 2044 also internalizes the goals, targets and milestones of the 2030 agenda. Nepal has firm commitment to advance SDG localization process at all levels and with participation and cooperation of all stakeholders to raise their ambitions to accelerate achievement of the SDGs in a comprehensive and holistic manner in all dimensions of the SDGs.

Nepal has observed some challenges in implementation of SDGs including mainstreaming in subnational level, resource mobilization, data management, coordination and monitoring and evaluation. The COVID-19 pandemic has been observed as a serious challenge in accelerating efforts to achieve the SDGs. Nepal is looking at how SDGs implementation can offer best options to reduce the worst impacts of COVID-I9 and devise recovery and financing strategies that channels investments toward socio-economic and green recovery efforts.

Main Activities
  • Mainstream SDGs into national, provincial and local level budgeting and planning systems which includes regular/annual audits of the programme and budgets from an SDGs perspective.
  • Strong collaboration between federal, provincial and local governments for SDGs implementation
  • Partnership between public, private, cooperatives, NGOs and development partners in policy formulation and Monitoring & Evaluation
  • Explore new avenues for mobilizing public and private resources for financing the SDGs.
Expected Achievements
  • Planning, budgeting and M&E systems at federal level are fully aligned with the SDGs
  • SDGs aligned planning, budgeting and M &E systems in place at Provinces and Palikas
  • The Intergovernmental fiscal transfer mechanism incentivizes provincial and local governments to integrate the SDGs
  • Cooperatives, CSOs and public enterprises show increased investment for SDG implementation focused on Poverty, Environment and Climate (PEC)
  • Private sector resources and innovative financing including global and vertical funds are mobilized for SDG acceleration focused on PEC
  • COVID-19 Financing and economic recovery plan/ strategy developed to mobilize public and private finance.
Lessons Learned

Institutionally, a challenge facing the government is establishing coordination and effective linkages between the federal, provincial and local governments (hereafter referred to as ‘Palikas’) which if not addressed in timely manner, will have implications for progress to achieving the SDGs.

To address its development challenges and accelerate sustainable economic growth, Nepal needs to mobilise more public and private finance, increased focus to localise finance and development, further improve the enabling policy environment, build or enhance capacity, improve systems and processes, and create partnerships to fulfil the vision described above.

The Way Forward

The Poverty-Environment Action on SDGs project build on the Government of Nepal achievements of SDG integration and localization process as well as lesson learnt from previous Poverty Environment Initiatives and SDGs implementation. This support with expanded scope, focus and partnership will accelerate SDGs localization at all levels of Government and raise ambition of all national stakeholders to align budgets, finance and investment with poverty, environment and climate (PEC) and GESI objectives for SDG implementation.

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