While the process of defining the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been relatively inclusive and consultative, it has been somewhat isolated from national political processes. Few national decision-makers are resourced to follow or act on the fast-emerging agenda, especially in low-income countries.
In 2014, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) carried out a study assessing the degree of alignment between national, regional and global priorities for the SDGs and post-2015 period. This report presents the findings and highlights gaps in both the scope and implementation of current policies, which would need to be addressed in order for Zambia to achieve the set of SDGs proposed by the United Nations Open Working Group (OWG) in 2014. The study, which focuses on food security, is intended to inform and inspire parliamentary debate and support more active engagement in the SDG process and enable definition of national implementation measures. It offers lessons for other southern African countries, and suggests ways to carry out similar national assessments.
The report highlights the need for countries at all stages of development to develop tools, and mobilize the means, to translate the common ambition of the SDGs into meaningful action. With only months remaining before implementation of the SDGs is expected to start, there is a need and an opportunity to make country-specific assessments of what would be required to achieve the proposed SDGs, and what adjustments are needed to align national policy, implementation and monitoring frameworks with the emerging global commitments.