Recording of DeLoG, ADB and LOGIN Asia's Webinar on "Creating an Enabling Environment for Localizing SDGs in Asia and the Pacific" Now Available

On the 15 th of October 2020 from 09:00 am to 10:30 am CEST, the DeLoG Secretariat, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and LOGIN Asia conducted a webinar on "Creating an Enabling Environment for Localizing SDGs in Asia and the Pacific". The inputs for the webinar were given by Edgardo Bilsky, Director of Research, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), Barcelona, T.R. Raghunandan, Fiscal Decentralisation Expert, India, Bimal Pokharel, Executive Director of National Association of Rural Municipality in Nepal (NARMIN) and Rachana Shrestha, Public Management Specialist, Governance Thematic Group, Asian Development Bank (ADB). Overall the webinar was attended by 60 participants from around 19 countries. The recording of the webinar is now available here.

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To view the recording of the webinar, click here.

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Background

Despite the serious implications of the Covid-19 pandemic on social and economic development, and therefore on the prospects of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 as had been anticipated, there is nevertheless a global consensus that the 2030 Agenda (in conjunction with other global agendas such as the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the 2015 New Urban Agenda) will remain the most important roadmap for rebuilding and improving social and economic systems in the region. In this context, putting in place the appropriate legal, political and fiscal enabling environment for subnational governments has taken on a renewed urgency as the Covid-19 pandemic has once more underlined the significance of subnational governments – e.g. for crisis responses, for mitigating social and economic consequences on citizens and business, and for maintaining a constructive relationship between the state and the citizens.

The term “enabling environment” has been used repeatedly in the context of debating the localization of SDGs in the Asia-Pacific. The webinar explores in more detail what the elements of such an “enabling environment” are, how they need to be structured to allow subnational governments to contribute in a meaningful and tangible manner to the achievement of national SDG strategies, and what governments, development partners, local and regional government associations and other stakeholders need to do to create such an enabling environment.

 

Speakers and Panelists:

  • Moderation: Sebastian Bartsch, Consultant, Germany
  • Edgardo Bilsky, Director of Research, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), Barcelona
  • T.R. Raghunandan, Fiscal Decentralization Expert, India
  • Bimal Pokharel, Executive Director of National Association of Rural Municipality in Nepal (NARMIN)
  • Rachana Shrestha, Public Management Specialist, Governance Thematic Group, Asian Development Bank (ADB)

 

The following issues were raised by the panelists and discussed further with the participants:

  • What is the status of “localizing SDGs” in Asia, according to the various assessments which had been prepared in the run-up to this year’s High-Level Political Forum (HPLF)?  What are key issues and constraints which hinder subnational governments in the region to make a full and meaningful contribution to the national SDG agendas?
  • Availability of financial resources is a key requirement for the localization of SDGs. What is the current status of fiscal decentralization in Asia and the Pacific? What needs to be done to improve the financial situation of subnational governments (also considering the likely significant loss of revenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic)? What can the various stakeholders involved (such as governments, development partners, local government associations) do to improve the fiscal arrangements?
  • How can local government associations at national and regional level facilitate and strengthen the involvement of subnational governments in national SDG debates? What are factors constraining them from taking part in national review processes, in policy decisions on national 2030 Agenda issues, and in defining localizing SDG strategies?
  • What is the role of International Financial Institutions in creating an enabling environment for the localization of the SDGs? What can the Asian Development Bank in particular contribute?