Background: National parliaments have a key role in enacting legislation, allocating budgets, representing the voice of the people and ensuring accountability for effective implementation of national and global frameworks. One such framework is the 2030 Agenda for Development embedded in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Objectives:Question is “What is the state of preparedness of parliaments to engage and ensure realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals?”
Methods:In 2016, the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) designed a self-assessment toolkit for parliaments and legislatures. The self-assessment toolkit was launched in Kampala, Uganda on 3 March 2017 during the regional seminar on SDGs for parliaments of sub-Saharan Africa.
Results:The main objectives of the toolkit are to assist parliaments and their members to: assess their preparedness to engage with SDGs and identify additional strategies, mechanisms and partnerships to support implementation of SDGs more effectively.
The toolkit provides a framework for discussion by asking 8 self-assessment questions, these are: building understanding of the SDGs in parliament, bringing the SDGs from the global to the local level, mainstreaming the SDGs within parliamentary mechanisms, making laws in support of the SDGs, financing SDGs, monitoring SDG implementation, engaging with the public and ensuring the SDGs serve the most vulnerable.
Conclusions:Through the self-assessment process, parliaments in both developed and developing countries can discuss issues, gather information and answer questions that will help them make informed decisions about the most suitable and effective ways to engage in SDG implementation.
This paper unpacks the 8 self-assessment questions in the toolkit and sets an agenda for discussions on its application to assess the readiness of parliaments to engage with and commit to the aspirations of SDGs. The author strongly believes that the audience will be inspired to embrace the toolkit and apply it in their unique settings.