Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Jamaica's systematic approach to SDG monitoring 

09 July 2021

 

Jamaica is pursuing a very systematic approach to monitoring the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local government level. This initiative comes from ALGAJ – the country’s national Local Government association, and is supported by CLGF and the EU.

 

ALGAJ and CLGF had earlier collaborated on localising the SDGs with EU funding, through its strategic grant agreement to strengthen local government’s role as a partner in development. Guided by the signal for partnership, ALGAJ is taking the next step to directly engage the country’s national planners and municipal leaders at the political and administrative levels. 

Local sustainable development plans

Municipal councils in Jamaica are mandated to have Local Sustainable Development Plans (LSDPs). ALGAJ has therefore assigned a three-member team, headed by an experienced Local Government administrator, to review the LSDPs for alignment to the national development plan - Vision 2030, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

 

ALGAJ intends to provide the country with standardised data-collection tools and monitoring and evaluation instruments to track the implementation of the SDGs in a localised manner, within the 14 municipal jurisdictions. By the end of this year municipal staff will be trained to use these tools. 

 

The national local government association has also formed a cross-functional technical advisory team, comprised of mayors, municipal planners and administrators to oversee this exercise; ensure the effort is sustained nation-wide; and continuously improves over time. The SDGs and Jamaica’s Vision 2030 are time-framed for achievement by 2030.

Benefits of project

Consultations have already been held with nine of the 14 municipalities and all the stakeholders agreed on the need to put into practice indicators that will be developed by the project. They identified benefits to be derived from the project such as: 

 

  • more accurate data;
  • more accurate budgeting assumptions; and
  • improved information to make proper policy decisions. 

 

The municipal councils are excited by the prospects that their strategic plans would be reviewed by the project team, and inputs would be provided to them on how to better align their strategic objectives to the national goals and the UN SDGs. This is important to note because some local authorities do not have the resource required internally.

 

CLGF’s Programme Manager in the Caribbean, Ms Sandra Singh, said: “We very much welcome this approach which, as the following comments show, is seen as a great benefit to councils in Jamaica by a number of senior local government officials.”

 

"The project can be a beneficial one to the organisation and can allow for better tracking of activities that are being done by each department. The information will be good in informing the development of the strategic plan going forward."

CEO, Manchester Municipal Corporation

 

"The data is going to be important to determine how financing happens in a more informed manner."

CEO, Trelawny Municipal Corporation

 

"Obvious benefits to be gained by the Local Authorities, which could ultimately increase the capacity of the overall municipality to be efficient."
Superintendent Road & Works, Westmoreland Municipal Council

 

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