Support to Attain the Global Goals

Alignment of SDGs with the National Development Plan: The project played a critical role to brought together all significant government ministries/agencies and UNDP Bangladesh Country Team exploring the extent to which the content of the new global goals and its associated targets does indeed reflect the objective of better integration across national development 7thFive Year Plan. A four day-long “Inter-Ministerial Consultation Workshop on Integration of SDGs into the 7FYP” facilitated the process with engagement of all national key actors by: raising awareness of the emerging content and implications of the new agenda for the country, and initiating the dialogue on the key steps to set in motion the integration of the new agenda into national development plan, policy and strategies. An outcome document based on the findings of the workshop was shared with all senior officials from 41 ministries including 21 Secretaries.

Mapping of Ministries for SDGs implementation: The project helped GED to complete a mapping exercise that focused on the roles and responsibilities of government ministries, as implementing agency of SDGs, to which they are linked with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its associated targets. This would facilitate to set up a strong national collaboration and cooperation among government ministries/agencies in order to transform SDGs agenda into the national context as well as the successful implementation of SDGs. The exercise figured out that 49 ministries/divisions, including Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet Division are directly linked with the implementation process of SDGs in Bangladesh. The GED shared the document with the relevant ministries/agencies informing their level of engagement on implementation of goals and targets of SDGs.

National Action Plan for SDGs Implementation: As part of technical assistance, the project is continuing its support to the GED for playing a significant role of secretariat of the inter-ministerial committee for SDGs implementation headed by the Principle Secretary of PMOs.  An Action Framework consistent with the 7thFive Year Plan has been drafted and shared with all relevant ministries by the GED to prepare their respective implementation plan for achieving the SDGs targets. The framework highlighted that the SDGs and its associated targets should be reflected in ministries’ annual work plan as well as in newly introduced Annual Performance Appraisal (APA).

National Monitoring Framework for SDGs: Another initiative in the frontier of SDGs is designing a national monitoring framework. Five thematic groups have been identified considering linkages of SDGs goals and its associated targets for national level consultations after releasing final SDGs indicators by the UNSC. The GED’s plan is to finalize the framework with the technical support of SSIP through a series of consultations with all government and non-government stakeholders.

MDG achievement and Post MDG framework delivered

The SSIP project has given significant inputs and shared expertize with GED officials in the preparation of the MDG Bangladesh country report  2013 and 14  report. The project specialists worked very closely with GED officials and set a unique example of partnership between GoB and project officials in improving the quality of this report. The project experts helped GED analyze the data, interpret the results and prepare the final draft.

Bangladesh was one of the most successful countries in achieving MDGs targets. It is one of the front runner countries that contributed in the process of developing SDGs, specifically in proposing gender related goals. Bangladesh proposal was included as one of the SDG’s goal. This process was facilitated and supported by the SSIP.

Progress of the MDGs in Bangladesh and the Process towards formulating Post 2015 Development Agenda’

Prior to the UNGA 70th session, a brief for Bangladesh delegation titled ‘Progress of the MDGs in Bangladesh and the Process towards formulating Post 2015 Development Agenda’was developed and published for supporting the transformation of post 2015 DA. The report  consists of  three part  related to  MDG and SDGs are-(I) “progress 2015 Development Agenda and Implementation Challenges (ii) Post 2015 Development Agenda: Bangladesh Proposal to UN and brief on the SDGS text( Transforming our World: the 20130 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The project also helped the Government in setting the post 2015 Development Agenda. GED with the assistance of SSIP is leading the national dialogue process for assessing new and innovative means for   implementing the post-2015 agenda.

Web-based Data Repository System for Results Based M&E: To facilitate the results based monitoring system within Government, a macro-level data repository system will be developed in partnership with A2i project. It will include all relevant outcome and output indicators of the national development framework (e.g., Development Results Framework (DRF) of the 7thPlan and SDGs). The database will also capture other essential statistics that will provide the development context. In this way, the data repository system will help the government institutions particularly GED and BBS for results monitoring as well as contextual analysis of achieving the national development plan targets.

Policy planning

Support to Seventh Five Year Plan: SIP started its journey at the time of the initiation of the Bangladesh’s Seventh Five Year Plan (7FYP); and therefore had the opportunity to work very closely with GED to make the development blueprint of Bangladesh pro-poor and inclusive. The project deployed its full technical strength for preparation of ToRs (25) for background studies and supported 16 out of total 30 studies and directly financed to 9 studies. These background studies has enabled GED to assess benchmark situation of different development sectors prior to preparation of national development plan and address most priority issues both in national and international development context. As a result, the 7th FYP document was prepared in inclusive way and adopted pro-poor development strategy.

Linking MTBF and ADP for Achieving country's Development Goals

The SSIP Project Manager developed a policy report   for GED to create effective linkages between the MTBF and ADP (PIP) titled as-“Use of MTBF as an Instrument for Achieving country's Long and Medium Term Development Goals”.

This policy report  suggested that-"Policy, planning and budgeting exercises of the government should be interlinked and buttress each other for seamless steering of the course of the economy in order to maximize the impact of public interventions. Establishing linkages will not only ensure efficient use of scarce resources and reduce wastage but would also propel faster realization of economic development objectives. "

Strengthened Results-based M&E system for monitoring National Development Plan: With the technical support of SSIP, the GED of the Planning Commission developed an overarching strategy for a comprehensive results-based M&E system along with a Development Results Framework (DRF) for the 7thFive Year Plan of Bangladesh. This is for the first time that the DRF was prepared through a rigorous consultative process with engagement of all relevant government and non-government stakeholders.. The project successfully advocated and introduced RBM strategy that contributed not only strengthened M&E capacity of GED officials specially results monitoring system for the national plan, but also created a results monitoring culture and increased M&E coordination across government system.

Sector Alignment: Four decades old anomaly has been removed between Planning Commission and Finance Ministry to allocate public resources for different implementing ministries, as a result of project initiated assessment of development sector classification. Under the leadership of the Hon’ble Planning Minister, an inter-ministerial committee formed in line with the recommendations of the assessment, decided that the country’s Seventh Five Year Plan would have 14 sectors; and both the Finance Ministry and Planning Commission will follow this divide while allocating resources under fiscal budget. Consequently, SSIP supported GED to restructure the Seventh Five Year Plan document into 14 sectors.

Sector Action Plan: As part of continuation of SSIP efforts to improve policy and planning regime, SSIP helped GED and Programming Division of the Planning Commission to prepare a standard framework for all Sectoral Action Plans (SAP) related to 14 identified sectors of the 7th FYP. SAP will play critical role for linking programmes and projects for achieving national economic and social development goals and targets. A technical committee, headed by the Member (Senior Secretary) GED, has been formed to prepare sector action plan for the ‘Education & Technology’ and the ‘Governance’ Sector. These two sector action plans will guide other Divisions of the Planning Commission to prepare the rest of the sector action plans in the same framework to maintain consistency.

Environment and Climate Change (CC) Policy Gap Analysis for Inclusive &Environmentally Sustainable Planning: The project has identified some critical environmental and climate change hotspot cases to sensitize policy planners. In 2015, the project organized a workshop at the Sundarbans, to analyze environment and climate change policy gap in the world’s largest mangrove forest and in 2016, the SSIP has organized a workshop on ‘Environment and Climate Change (CC) Policy Gap Analysis in the Haor areas’ for better understanding of the livelihood issues of the poor dependent on these large and resourceful wetland while maintaining their biodiversity. Through arranging field visits and on the spot stakeholders’ consultations, public policy planners’ are being sensitized about the urgency of preparing  inclusive and balanced development plan and programme for the ecologically sensitive areas.

Research Papers: The project conductsregular researches in order to sensitize policy planners and to provide inputs for policy reform/interventions for the GED/GoB. One research paper titled “Dynamics of Regional Poverty and Real wages: policy implications for development intervention “wasconducted in collaboration with Professor Shamsul Alam, Member GED has already been published as a book chapter from UK. The paper was jointly presented at the conference on ‘Eradicating Extreme Poverty in Bangladesh’ organized jointly by GED and DFID.

Another research paper is in final stage of preparation in collaboration with Bangladesh Bank. The title of this research work is “Access to Formal Banking Services and Poverty Reduction: Evidence from Sub-district Level Data from Bangladesh” A comprehensive panel data for the period 2008-2015 at the sub-district level on the banking variables has already been collected and compiled. The final paper is expected to be completed by October, 2015.

An important off-shoot of this research is a full-blown atlas of the banking penetration in Bangladesh. Like poverty maps, the atlas will contain 54 maps of several banking variables at the sub-district level. This will be an important development planning tool for inclusive finance and growth. This atlas is also expected to be completed by October, 2016.

CEPT and Advisory Committee: There are many actors in government system who are directly involved in promoting growth and alleviating poverty and inequality in Bangladesh. To promote better coordination between GoB actors, a Core Economic Policy Team (CEPT) of 13 members from GED, FD, BB, BBS, BIDS and SSIP project has been formed. The 1st and the 2nd meeting of CEPT were held on 24 March 2015 and 10 August 2015 accordingly. An Advisory Committee (Panel of Experts) of 26 members comprising of Government, Private Sector, Civil Society, NGOs, and academics has also been formed to work on economic and social development issues, management and policy responses.

Capacity Development

A Course on Macroeconomics: One of the thrusts of the SSIP is to build capacity of the officials from the GED and other government agencies involved in economic policy planning. The Senior Economist of the project taught a six-month long course on basics of macroeconomics to 16 GED officials in 2014-15. The purpose of this course was to prepare the GED officials, who are from various academic backgrounds, forthe advanced courses on macroeconomic management and also help them connect text book models with reality of the Bangladesh economy.

Training on Poverty Measurement: In order to build capacity at GED, a 3-day long training workshop on “Measuring Poverty” was organized with 20 participants from GED, BB, BBS and BIDS in May 2015 to acquire knowledge on different methods and statistical packages for measuring poverty.

Training for relevant GoB official on "Mainstreaming Environment, Climate Change and DRR into Dev. Planning”: A total of 200 Public Planners associated with preparation and revision of national development programs and projects enhanced their knowledge and skill on mainstreaming Environment, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction into Development Planning. This project supported comprehensive training programme increased the capacity of national planning officials to design and implement appropriate adaptation and mitigation actions. Conducted through the National Academy for Planning and Development (NAPD) – a public institution - contributed to increase institutional capacity of NAPD to deliver such a comprehensive training programme on environment and climate change issue for this first time.

Manual on Macroeconomics: In order to retain institutional memory, draft of the manual on “Introduction to Macroeconomics: with Application from Bangladesh” has been prepared. It has 13 chapters. It will help GED officials learn about basics of macroeconomics in the context of Bangladesh economy and prepare better national plan.

Training on “Implementation of National Plan and SDGs: Project Identification and Design”: The prime objective of this training program is to enhance the capacity of the government officials so that they can use the plan effectively to identify and design a project. The concept note and the program of the four-day training have been prepared. The training is scheduled to be held in first week of November.

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