Advocacy Training Workshop for LDCs in Achieving MDGs as Part of the Implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action

16 Oct 2013
Kathmandu, Nepal

Organized by ESCAP and National Planning Commission, Government of Nepal

The regional Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) report 2010/11 “Paths to 2015: MDG Priorities in Asia and the Pacific” prepared under the ESCAP/ADB/UNDP regional MDG partnership showed that none of the countries of the region will reach all the targets by 2015 and that several countries, particularly amongst countries with special needs (CSN) (i.e., the least developed countries, the landlocked developing countries, and small island developing states), are off-track in achieving the MDGs. The Asia-Pacific Regional review of Brussels Programme of Action, among other things, also concluded that the least developed countries have, in general, lagged behind others in achieving the MDGs and other internationally agreed development goals.

The recent ESCAP/ADB/UNDP Regional MDG report 2011/12 “Accelerating Equitable Achievement of the MDGs” also pointed out that the Asia-Pacific region has registered impressive progress on many MDG indicators, especially in reducing poverty and achieving gender parity in education. But the region is lagging on some important targets, particularly those related to health. For South Asia (excluding India), the report indicated that although the subregion has made good progress on nine indicators, it is progressing only slowly on many others. The subregion is on track for poverty and for TB incidence it is an early achiever, but it is progressing slowly on the provision of clean water, basic sanitation, maternal mortality and primary education, and regressing on forest cover and CO2 emissions. In the case of Nepal, the report indicated that it has made good progress on 10 indicators and is progressing slowly on 9 indicators. There is need for greater interventions to address three goals in particular: goal 1: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; goal 2: achieve universal primary education; and goal 5: improve maternal health, particularly on reducing maternal death. For goal 6, particularly TB prevalence and goal 7 particularly on forest cover the country is shown to be regressing/no progress made. The report, however, concluded that Nepal has made impressive progress in some MDG indicators (goal 3: promote gender equality and empower women and goal 4: reduce child mortality especially under 5 mortality and goal 6: it is early achiever to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases and for goal 7: it is early achiever for protected area and safe drinking water. To reach the goals by 2015, Nepal will need to step up its efforts to replicate good practices and learn lessons from early achievers in the region. In addition, the roadmap of the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) for LDCs for the Decade 2011-2020 called for mainstreaming the IPoA into LDCs’ national development plans and strategies.

In addition, the economic and financial crises that began in 2008 have created complications by potentially pushing millions of people back into poverty and by disrupting the growth process. Furthermore, the frequent natural disasters – the Japan earthquake and tsunami being the latest – keep creating more disparities and downward risks to an otherwise robust growth outlook as the Asia-Pacific region emerges as the growth pole of the global economy.

In view of the above and to assist the developing countries, particularly Nepal being a LDC, in delivering their MDG commitments, an advocacy training workshop is organized involving various national stakeholders such as policymakers, civil society, private sector, media, academia and practitioners from Nepal as well as selected experts from early achievers in the Asia-Pacific region. The key objective of the advocacy training workshop is to promote policy options and good practices in integrating MDGs in national development strategies, plans and programmes identified at the Sub-regional Workshop for LDCs in Achieving MDGs as Part of the Implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (South-East Asia/East and North-East Asia), which was held on 14-16 September 2011 in Incheon, Republic of Korea.

Objectives and purpose of the proposed meeting:
This workshop will focus on critical issues of relevance to Nepal, where MDG disparities remain a major challenge and will identify solutions from other countries (early achievers) from Asia-Pacific region.

The main objectives of the Advocacy Training Workshop are:
To focus on government, civil society, and private sector perspectives on the challenges and opportunities in integrating MDGs in national development strategies;
To share experiences drawn from good practices and lessons learned in the Asia-Pacific region;
To promote integration of MDGs into national development plans and strategies as part of the implementation of IPoA in Nepal; and
To identify concrete action plans to integrate MDGs in national development strategies in Nepal, particularly in reducing hunger, reduce child mortality and improve maternal health and improve water and basic sanitation.
Proposed activities

The advocacy training workshop will be organized in collaboration with the National Planning Commission (NPC), Government of Nepal, UNCT and relevant members of regional cooperation mechanism (RCM), targeting policymakers, other development partners, and general public through media. The workshop is designed to comprise:

Plenary session to stock-take of Nepal’s MDG progress towards 2015;
Roundtable sessions to share views and perspectives of various stakeholders from Nepal and in the sub-region in developing and implementing MDG-based national development strategies, plans and programmes; and Identifying policy options for Nepal in making progress on selected MDG targets.
The Advocacy Training Workshop will be organized into five sessions, namely: Session 1: MDGs in Asia and the Pacific – Trends and Prospects; Session 2: Challenges and opportunities in achieving the MDGs in Nepal: Perspectives of Stakeholders; Session 3: Lessons learned from early achievers in the sub-region; Session 4: Improving Basic Service Delivery and Session 5: Action plans for moving forward. There will also be Parallel break-out sessions on (a) Goal 1: Closing poverty and hunger gaps; (b) Goals 4 & 5: Reducing child mortality and improving maternal health and (c) Goal 7: Improving access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

Expected outcomes/outputs:
Improved capacities of policymakers and practitioners of Nepal to integrate MDG-based strategies in national development frameworks; and
The synthesis of the proceedings (action plans) – as inputs into the regional publication series jointly produced by ESCAP, ADB, and UNDP.
Target audience

Mostly senior – mid level policymakers, civil society, private sector, media, academia and practitioners from Nepal. The government officials could be MDG focal points and/or from PMO office, Planning Ministries, officials from other line agencies.