Lack of data a barrier to attaining SDGs: expert
Agencies working to attain the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Bangladesh are facing five major challenges, Muhammad Muslim Chowdhury, finance division secretary, said yesterday.
Unavailable data, lack of development capacity, absence of ownership among the implementing agencies, policy gap, and implementation gap are major challenges to implement the SDGs, he said.
He was giving a presentation at a session of a three-day “National conference on SDG implementation review” organised by General Economic Division (GED) under the Planning Commission in the capital's Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.
Some 26.14 percent of the information relating to 241 indicators of SDGs is not available with Bangladesh, according to a study by the GED released in January this year.
The report said data availability would be a daunting challenge as merely 29 percent data was readily available in the existing system and 26 percent data is not at all available.
The GED study revealed that data related to 70 indicators was readily available in the existing system, while data related to 63 indicators is not available at present. Some 108 units of data are partially available.
Bangladesh would need $928 billion in additional investment till 2030 to achieve the SDG's targets.
It will also require $2 billion to $6.91 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) per year to fill the investment gap to attain the target of SDGs.
The finance secretary stressed the need for public private partnership (PPP) to mobilise additional funds to implement the SDGs. Addressing the programme, Mohammed Farashuddin, former governor of Bangladesh Bank, suggested taking initiatives to reduce inequality.
Shafiqul Azam, secretary to the Economic Relations Division (ERD), said 15 percent of the additional investment would come from external resources. Out of the external resources, 5 percent will be official development assistance and the rest is expected to come as FDI, said Azam.
However, he said the increase of cost of foreign loans due to graduation to a lower middle income country would be lower than the domestic loans.
He further said the development partners would like to continue their support to implement the SDGs.
M Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, chairman of the National Board of Revenue, and Yunusur Rahman, senior secretary to the bank and financial institutions division of the finance ministry, gave presentations on their ministry initiatives regarding the SDGs.
Earlier at the opening session MA Mannan, state minister for finance and planning, urged public servants, NGOs, development partners and international agencies to work more diligently with the government like in the past to help attain the SDGs.
Prime Minister's Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman spoke at the inaugural session as a special guest while GED member of the Planning Commission Shamsul Alam also spoke on the occasion. “Without the support of the international community, we won't be able to meet the additional resource gap,” Rahman said.
“If the international community and development partners join hands together with us, we will be able to fulfil the gap of additional financing.”
Rahman, however, reminded all to keep in mind the “emerging need of the hour”, which was the Rohingya issue.
Principal Coordinator on SDG Affairs at the Prime Minister's Office Md Abul Kalam Azad moderated the function.
He said the government has confidence on its development partners and the other stakeholders on the development process of the country.