Advocacy in Pakistan sets the beat and everyone should be dancing
“Let´s be together, let´s be inclusive, let´s be united and leave no one behind / Hold hands in hands and move forward / Leave no one behind, say this together”.
This is how the song of the “Leave no one behind” campaign begins. Its original language is in Urdu, the official language of Pakistan and it was broadcasted through radio and social media across the country. Policies- to-action forums were also organized across the country, as a campaign during the last 500 days of the Millenium Development Goals (MDG) and to help kick off the post-2015 consultations with different stakeholders including governments, academia, companies, media, students and the most marginalized and socially excluded groups like religious and sexual minorities. Almost all of them were unaware of the MDGs and wanted to be part of such transformative agenda.
Based upon the “Leave no one behind” campaign and findings of the consultations, the team developed a documentary and a song in Urdu to popularize the MDG/SDGs agenda to the masses. AwazCDS/PDA is now the only leading platform in the country that has mobilized the people from all walks of life for better understanding and implementing the SDGs through better governance and greater accountability. This initiative has also sensitized the parliamentarians in Pakistan who have been engaged in SDG taskforces at national and provincial levels to oversee the implementation of the goals.
The national government has institutionalized the creation of SDG Units at planning and development levels in order to introduce the 2030 Agenda in annual and multiyear developmental and financial plans. AwazCDS/Pakistan Development Alliance is now in the process of carrying out a mapping / gap analysis of the CSOs/ private sector engagement in the implementation of SDGs by the national and provincial governments. The mapping will help the team develop a robust advocacy plan for pushing both governments and private sector/ CSOs to join hands together for achieving the commitments made under the 2030 agenda.
Moreover, the project has also conducted a national survey in Pakistan to prioritize the SDGs and interestingly Goal 16 was recommended as the top priority of various stakeholders and governments too. The campaign has also pushed the national Government to join the Voluntary National Review (VNR) process and there is a commitment from the Pakistani leaders to conduct a VNR in 2019.