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14 December 2021

The Strengthening Institutional Capacity for SDGs Achievement in Bangladesh (SC4SDG)' Project of UNDP in collaboration with the General Economics Division (GED), Bangladesh Planning Commission and with the support of UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Action for Sustainable Development Goals project through the financial support of the Governments of Austria, Sweden, and the European Union has successfully organized a three-day workshop on “Annual High-Level Consultation on SDG Localization and Efficient Use of Ocean Resources” during 12-14 December, 2021.

Dr. Shamsul Alam, Honorable Minister of State, Ministry of Planning, has graced the event as the Chief Guest. Ms. Zuena Aziz, Principal Coordinator, SDG Affairs, Prime Minister’s Office, joined the event as the Special Guest. Dr. Kawser Ahmed, Member (Secretary), General Economics Division and Dr. Shahnaz Arefin, NDC, Secretary, Statistics and Informatics Division (SID), were present as the Guests of Honor. This workshop was presided over by Mr. Md. Mafidul Islam, Chief (Additional Secretary), General Economics Division, Bangladesh Planning Commission.

The workshop aspired to bring together policymakers, practitioners, and academics to exchange views on localizing SDGs in Bangladesh, focusing on development interventions at the local level, good practices, and knowledge exchange that promote inclusive and sustainable development to eradicate poverty in all its dimension and ensure that no one is left behind from the development process. Five key areas have been identified for discussion in the workshop. These are: (i) SDG Localization: National and International Experience; (ii) Data Governance: Integration of local data in the National Statistical System; (iii) Institutional Framework for SDG Localization from the lens of Leaving No One Behind (LNOB); (iv) Green Growth Approach and Efficient Use of Ocean Resources for SDG localization and (v) Financing the SDGs localization.

The workshop comprised an opening session, five technical sessions, and a closing session. Each technical session had a session chairperson, Special Guest, and a Chief Guest. After each presentation, the session chairperson opened the floor for questions and answers. All technical sessions were facilitated by the noted national and international experts with extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of the subject matter. Mr. Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh; Mr. Mukundan Krishnamachary, Team Leader, District Development Planning Project, Cox’s Bazar; Mr. Sayeed Mahmood Belal Haider, Director General (Additional Secretary), Oceanographic Research Institute; Professor Shibli Rubayet Ul Islam, Chairman, Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission; Dr. Bazlul Haque Khondoker, Professor, Dhaka University; Mr. Kazi Ashraf Uddin, Project Director (Additional Secretary), UGDP, Local Government Division; Mr. Ranjit Kumar Chakraborty, Advisor, Economic Policy Unit, UNDP; Mr. Munirul Islam, Joint Secretary-Prime Minister’s Office; Mr. Md. Alamgir Hossen FPO, SDG Cell, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, and Mr. A Z M Saleh, M&E Analyst, UNDP Bangladesh delivered brief presentations in each of the substantive sessions of the workshop. All the technical sessions of the workshop emphasized the need to strengthen various economic, social, and environmental approaches that would contribute to achieving SDGs at the local level.

The main participants of the workshop were people from pollical leadership, senior government officials, think tanks, academia, INGOs, and CSOs. In total, about 50 participants (12 Female/38 Male) from home and abroad (virtually) participated in the workshop. This workshop is the part of SC4SDG Project’s objective of extending support to the Government in formulating policy and institutional framework, developing data ecosystems, incorporating inclusive approaches, and scaling up innovative service delivery models to intensify the ongoing efforts of SDG localization at the Upazila level, with a focus on integrating the SDGs into the local decision-making process. The workshop gathered representatives from government, civil society, academia, and other stakeholders to take stock of the progress made in achieving the SDGs localization from home and abroad. The discussions of this workshop would be beneficial to undertake a set of actions that meets the local level development needs and priorities.