Is Africa Measuring up to its Goal 16 Commitments? The Road to HLPF 2019 and Beyond
Africa played a pivotal role in the adoption of SDG 16 – and continues to lead by example in the implementation and monitoring of this goal. This stock-taking of African preparations for the HLPF 2019, where SDG 16 on ‘peaceful, just and inclusive societies’ will be subject to an in-depth review, shows bold investments (political, technical and financial) and tremendous innovation across the continent to realise the 2030 Agenda’s vision for ‘inclusive’ and ‘country-led’ reviews of progress on each goal, including SDG 16. The strong political support for SDG 16 is evident in the considerable efforts invested to make it truly resonate at home, by tailoring global SDG 16 targets and indicators to national priorities collectively identified with civil society, the research community and all political actors. Some countries are also embracing SDG 16 as a means to reinforce national data sovereignty in the new domains of governance and peace statistics. After all, matters of governance and peace have direct and profound effects on the development trajectory of any country, and international governance indicators may not always fit the specificities of individual countries. Among the 51 countries that have volunteered to report at the HLPF 2019, more than a third (18) are from Africa – the largest-ever contingent from the region reporting at the HLPF. This massive turnout from Africa offers a vital opportunity to step up ambitions for SDG 16 globally: African countries are proving that the 12 targets under SDG 16 are measurable, and that good data on access to justice, violence and representation in public institutions, among other issues, can be a game-changer in terms of national planning and policy implementation. In this compendium we have compiled numerous examples of how this can be done, and we hope that some of these will resonate and lend themselves to further experimentation in other contexts.