|Colombia - Achieving the MDGs at the local level
guests Case Story ID: 49342
Primary thematic focus: Sub-national capacity development: local solutions, national strengths
In a Nutshell:
We promote MDG achievement at the local level. The CO follows the Public Policies Cycle, and works with all actors involved in it, empowering them through quality information and knowledge that allows them to fulfill their role and implement effective public policies.
Colombia, as with other developing countries with a high development index, appears well on track to meet the MDGs. However, at a closer look we find that inequality threatens the achievement of the MDGs and some regions and population groups are falling behind the national averages.
For this reason, UNDP-Colombia’s strategy for MDG achievement focuses on closing the gaps, and gives special attention to local governments, as they are responsible for providing key services to improve quality of life in their territories. The CO believes that reliable information is fundamental for electoral debate and as input for the design of public policies that respond to the actual needs of the territory. The CO follows the Public Policies Cycle, PPC, and works with all actors involved in it, empowering them through quality information and knowledge that allows them to fulfill their role and implement effective public policies.
The CO works with local governments, academics, the media, the private sector and the public in general, to foster political will with the MDGs and to develop local capacities as follows:
UNDP-Colombia works with local governments following the PPC, strengthening, coaching and training the local technical teams. UNDP-Colombia:
• Begins its work with the candidates running for office, encouraging them to include the MDGs in their political platforms,
• Follows the cycle providing support to the elected candidates, helping them to translate their campaign proposals into governmental plans that include MDG focus and MDG targets,
• Supports the materialization of Public Policies, incorporating the initiatives devised in the governmental plans,
• Completes the cycle when thematic projects, that include the initiatives previously committed to, are implemented.
The CO empowers teams at local universities and research centers so they can take an active role in the design and monitoring of public policies, by training and involving them in research and debate on social and economic issues.
• Training: Teams of both teachers and students are trained in how to use information systems to monitor the progress of the MDGs at the subnational level and to improve the design, monitoring and evaluation of projects and policies. With the support of UNDP, they draft and publish local MDG Reports. All our partner local universities are capable of carrying on this work independently and even training new teams in other regions with none or little UNDP support, securing ownership and sustainability.
• Engaging: Through partnerships with universities across the country, UNDP-Colombia delivers the Millennium Lectures, a series of talks on the Millennium Development Goals featuring guest speakers from UN agencies and UNDP thematic experts. The main goal of the lectures is to raise awareness on the importance of the MDGs and promote public debate around economic and social issues.
UNDP partners with the media, not only to promote Colombia’s achievements and challenges in terms of MDGs but also to seek the consolidation of a network of journalists and the media engaged in monitoring public policies for MDG achievement. The network will involve the public both in the discussion and follow up of national and local social policies.
Journalists, opinion columnists and community radio hosts participate in conferences and training workshops where they learn about the MDGs and have coaching sessions to sharpen their journalistic skills. Short training programs are taught in association with UNIC, including: what the MDGs are and how they are measured, and the selection and assessment of information to make reports and news programs. Thematic content is complemented with specific tools like audio techniques, how to edit a script to make it listener-friendly, and learning how to write reports on social issues.
Results and Critical Factors:
UNDP-Colombia’s support and technical assistance provided to local governments has improved the quality of decision-making in Public Policies drafting, has helped to include the topic of the MDGs on the political agenda and to mobilize important resources used to tackle the identified MDG challenges.
Eleven public policies incorporating MDG achievement have been drafted and approved in five departments and two municipalities. Thanks to UNDP-Colombia a total of US $346.672.750 were mobilized for these (coming both from their own resources and other donors). The funds will be invested in the needs of the most vulnerable populations of the selected intervention territories.
Consolidating networks of academics, journalists and entrepreneurs engaged in monitoring public policies for MDG achievement. Local teams were trained at the following universities and research centers: Universidad Tecnologica de Bolívar; Universidad Santo Tomas in Tunja; Universidad Autonoma de Manizales; Observatorio Caribe; Universidad de la Sabana; Universidad Sur Colombiana; Universidad de Nariño; Universidad Industrial Santander, Corporacion Universitaria Caribe and Universidad Cartagena.
UNDP-Colombia offers training on MDGs, statistical tools and methodologies, and provides technical support to academics and students in drafting MDG baseline reports and public policy. So far, twelve local MDG baseline documents have been published. In association with UNICEF, the CO has updated the database, Colombia Info 2.0, with the DevInfo system; the new database contains 46,805 entries, reporting information from years 2006, 2007 and 2008 at national and departmental levels.
The national strategy for poverty alleviation, Red Juntos, coordinates social programs and ensures that their assistance reaches the most poor. UNDP-Colombia works at the sub-national level to strengthen coordination with local governments.
UNDP-Colombia works closely with other UN agencies (such as UNIFEM, UNFPA, FAO, UNAIDS and IOM) providing technical support in drafting public policies and projects. UNDP works in collaboration with UNICEF adapting the Dev Info platform to country specific requirements and updating the Colombia Info database.
Name of Primary Contact Person: Fernando Herrera
Title of Primary Contact Person: Coordinator Poverty and sustainable development area