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SDGs at the centre of the future development policy in Catalonia

6 abril 2018

Catalonia wants to benefit from the Agenda 2030 to renew its contribution to world development through participatory, innovative and ambitious policy planning.

Planning has been one main principles of Catalan development cooperation since the inception of this public policy in 2001, with the formulation of four quadrennial master plans extending from 2003 to 2018. Development cooperation master plans specify geographical and sectoral objectives, means of implementation and financial perspectives for the 4-year cycle. They also incorporate international innovations and lessons learned regarding effectiveness in the delivery of Catalan Official development assistance (ODA).

However, not only the world of ODA has undergone deep changes in the last years, but also the planning function itself has to be reconsidered in the face of continuous change and uncertainty in the international and domestic environments. This evolution is clearly visible in the Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by the United Nations in 2015. With its 17 goals relating to five strategic areas (people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnerships), the new Agenda sets a new benchmark for development efforts at the global level. It combines universality (a programme for both the North and the South), inclusivity (involving all actors), national political leadership and international accountability.

Clearly, achieving the Agenda results by 2030 goes well beyond the power of development cooperation policies and ODA financing, but that does not mean that this policy should play a minor role in it. While SDGs are indeed a framework for domestic actions and international reporting, its progress depends also on ample multi-actor engagement at home, and on productive exchange and cooperation abroad. The Agenda 2030 provides some insights on what types of international cooperation and what means of implementation are more relevant for its ambitious ends.

Specifically, the Agenda 2030 contains provisions and recommendations on conventional ODA allocations: it retains the 0,7 GDP ODA target, of which one third should go to least developed countries (LDCs). But the stress also laid on other key issues like, inter alia, policy coherence for development, mobilization of additional SDG-oriented funding (public, private, blended), development data acquisition and processing, the building of technical capabilities, or the promotion of innovative partnerships. These are all aspects on which decentralized cooperation are already leading the way, and ever may have a more relevant part to play in the future.

For all these reasons, Catalonia considers that the new Agenda provides a very adequate framework for a new reflection on its contribution to global development. This framework will be used for both the creation of a 2030 Vision, through an ample mapping of local actions and actors that are key for SDG achievement, plus a shorter planning cycle (2019-2022) fixing the budget, the sectoral and geographical priorities and the means of implementation for the next 4 years. SDGs are thus expected to become a productive framework for planning and for action, allowing the engagement of actors and partners of Catalan development cooperation, its alignment with the global goals, and global reporting of results.