The South Asia Network on the Sustainable Development Goals (SANS) has been conceptualized to foster greater subregional cooperation by sharing good practices on sustainable development and act as a knowledge sharing platform among all South Asian stakeholders, including policy makers, subnational and local government representatives, think-tanks, development practitioners, civil society organizations and other stakeholders.
The SANS was initially proposed at the policy dialogue, “Unlocking the Potential on Regional Cooperation in South Asia for achieving Sustainable Development Goals: The Way forward”, held in New Delhi, India on 6th October 2018. It was recommended that the UNESCAP South and South West Asia Office (UNESCAP-SSWA) should facilitate this network and serve as a secretariat given its neutral inter-governmental character, multisector expertise, regional outreach, and the mandate for fostering regional cooperation for development. This was further endorsed during the Third South Asia Forum on the SDGs held in Dhaka, Bangladesh in December 2019. The criticality of a having a single platform to share SDG case studies/ good practices from the South Asian region was emphasized in many high-level meetings. The SANS portal was launched at the opening session of the Fourth South Asia Forum on SDGs held on 2-3 December 2020. It is expected that the web-portal of SANS would become a rich repository of the SDG good practices in the subregion and would facilitate their cross-learning and replication.
The success of the SANS will only be achieved if all the network partners proactively get engaged in its initiatives and guide the way forward in this regard. To discuss how SANS can be more effective, inform its future work and to enhance visibility of its work and network, a brainstorming session is being organized with all the members of SANS.