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Georgia

Promoting and Monitoring SDGs (GE0089)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Not Attached

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Parliament of Georgia

Support Institution(s): UNDP

Policy Areas

Open Parliaments, Participation in Lawmaking, Public Participation, Regulatory Governance, Sustainable Development Goals

IRM Review

IRM Report: Georgia Transitional Results Report 2018-2019

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: No IRM Data

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

1. Promoting and Monitoring the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the Parliament of Georgia
Lead Agency Parliament of Georgia

Partners Public Institution
Civil/International/Private Sector Initiator: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP);
Current Situation and Challenges United Nations Development Programme (UNDP):
Since joining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Government of Georgia defined country-adjusted targets and indicators to implement the Goals at the national level. The Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 unequivocally recognizes the significant role of Parliaments in the implementation of SDGs, which includes the implementation of the SDG 16 (16.6 – “Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels”; 16.7 – “Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels”). Simultaneously, ensuring maximum openness, transparency and accountability of the process is crucial for ultimate success in this endeavor. The first steps were taken with the support of the European Union and UNDP:
• A new component was added to the action plans of Parliamentary Committees, which determines the compliance of the activities defined by the Committees’ action plans with the respective SDGs and demonstrates close connection between the national policy and the global agenda, thus also increasing the awareness of various stakeholders on SDGs in the process;
• A number of Committees have already committed through their action plans to hear the reports of relevant Ministries on the progress made towards implementing the SDGs.
Besides, in June 2018, with the support of the Swedish Government, UNDP and Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), and based on the IPU/UNDP methodology, the Parliament conducted a self-assessment exercise to check SDG readiness. The Exercise defined the role of the Parliament in the fulfillment of 2030 Agenda and outlined possible actions for SDGs implementation.
At this stage, the Parliament shall elaborate an action plan based on the results of the above self-assessment which shall include the introduction of parliamentary mechanisms and activities related to the Parliament’s lawmaking, oversight and citizen engagement functions. This will increase the involvement of the Parliament in SDG implementation and monitoring and ensure the institutionalization of this process in the Parliament.

Main Objective Increase Parliamentary involvement in the SDGs implementation and monitoring through civil society engagement and based on openness and transparency principles.

OGP Challenge Improving Public Services

OGP Principles Access to Information Accountability
Citizen Engagement
Technologies and Innovation

√ √ √
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) the Commitment addresses
Addresses All (17) Sustainable Development Goals
Milestones New/Old Commitment Start Date: End Date:
1.1. Elaboration of the SDGs Strategy/Action Plan of the Parliament
1.2. Implementation of the SDGs Action Plan of the Parliament 06/2018

11/2018 10/2018

12/2019
Indicators
1. Parliamentary Strategy/Action Plan on implementation and monitoring of SDGs has been elaborated and approved;
2. 60% of the Strategy/Action Plan has been implemented.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

Commitment 24: Promoting and Monitoring the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the Parliament of Georgia

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:

“Since joining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Government of Georgia defined country-adjusted targets and indicators to implement the Goals at the national level. The Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 unequivocally recognizes the significant role of Parliaments in the implementation of SDGs, which includes the implementation of the SDG 16 (16.6 – ‘Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels’; 16.7 – ‘Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels’). Simultaneously, ensuring maximum openness, transparency and accountability of the process is crucial for ultimate success in this endeavor. The first steps were taken with the support of the European Union and UNDP:

  • A new component was added to the action plans of Parliamentary Committees, which determines the compliance of the activities defined by the Committees’ action plans with the respective SDGs and demonstrates close connection between the national policy and the global agenda, thus also increasing the awareness of various stakeholders on SDGs in the process;
  • A number of Committees have already committed through their action plans to hear the reports of relevant Ministries on the progress made towards implementing the SDGs.

Besides, in June 2018, with the support of the Swedish Government, UNDP and Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), and based on the IPU/UNDP methodology, the Parliament conducted a self-assessment exercise to check SDG readiness. The Exercise defined the role of the Parliament in the fulfillment of 2030 Agenda and outlined possible actions for SDGs implementation.

At this stage, the Parliament shall elaborate an action plan based on the results of the above self-assessment which shall include the introduction of parliamentary mechanisms and activities related to the Parliament’s lawmaking, oversight and citizen engagement functions. This will increase the involvement of the Parliament in SDG implementation and monitoring and ensure the institutionalization of this process in the Parliament.”

Milestones: 

  1. Elaboration of the SDGs Strategy/Action Plan of the Parliament
  2. Implementation of the SDGs Action Plan of the Parliament

Start Date: June 2018

End Date: December 2019

Editorial note: For the full text of this commitment, please see https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/georgia-action-plan-2018-2019/.

Context and Objectives

In 2015, Georgia adopted its United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be implemented by 2030. [121] To advance the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs, the Government of Georgia established the Sustainable Development Goals Council. [122] It also committed to develop an Electronic Monitoring System and an SDGs Tracker. [123] These tools would be used for internal and public monitoring of the implementation progress.

Under this commitment, the Parliament of Georgia, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Georgia, [124] plans to introduce a parliamentary strategy and an action plan for monitoring and supporting implementation of the SDGs. As stated by an interviewed UNDP representative, the SDGs strategy and action plan will utilize all the available parliamentary mechanisms, such as policy making and lawmaking, oversight, budget, and citizen engagement. The action plan would be based on the results of the Parliament’s self-assessment. [125] That assessment was developed with the financial support of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the United States Agency for International Development’s Good Government Initiative (USAID GGI), and UNDP and it was carried out according to IPU/UNDP methodology to measure Parliament’s capacities, gaps, and opportunities for supporting Georgia in achieving its national SDGs goals. [126]

Overall, the commitment aims to increase parliamentary involvement in the SDG implementation and monitoring through its legislative, oversight, budgetary, and representative competences. This participation will contribute to greater government accountability to the Parliament for the national SDGs goals it has identified. However, the link to public accountability and civic participation remains unclear, as the commitment text does not specify how Parliament plans to engage citizens in SDG monitoring. The link to the OGP value of access to information is observable. Some of the parliamentary committees that have already made SDG monitoring part of their action plans will be involved in proactively publishing implementation reports on the new parliamentary webpage as part of Commitment 26 in this OGP action plan.

As stated by the UNDP representative, [127] elaboration of the parliamentary strategy and the action plan could make the SDGs a priority in the legislative body and foster Parliament’s role in overseeing SDG implementation across government branches. In addition, the UNDP representative believes that emphasis on budgeting in the SDG strategy can strengthen Parliament’s role in reviewing government-proposed expenditures and ensure that adequate financial resources are allocated to achieve the nationally aligned goals. For example, according to the State Audit Office’s 2019 Efficiency Audit Report, [128] SDG indicators and relevant budgetary data are only partially represented in the Basic Data and Directions (BDD) document of the country. Prioritizing SDG monitoring in the Parliament could contribute to more comprehensive reflection of SDG-related budgetary data into BDD documents.

Overall, this commitment could provide a more in-depth assessment of policies, laws, and programs. It could also provide recommendations on how to improve SDG implementation based on the findings. This assessment is in line with the judgment of an interviewed National Democratic Institute representative, [129] who noted that the institutionalization of these mechanisms in Parliament could improve government accountability to the Parliament and mainstream SDGs into the policy making agenda. According to stakeholders, this commitment could also contribute to increased awareness about SDGs in general among members of Parliament and Parliament staff. Thus, the commitment could strengthen parliamentary oversight of SDG implementation. [130] Stakeholders also believe that this commitment could bring positive benefits for every resident, as strong parliamentary monitoring could improve implementation of the policies and thus increase the quality of life entailed in the 2030 SDGs.

Next steps

Stakeholders recommend that to fully utilize the Parliament's oversight potential in monitoring Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) implementation on the national level, it is important that the Explanatory Note of a bill, along with the budgetary implications and compliance with the European legislation, provide information about the relevance to the SDGs and the national adjusted targets. This note could provide important information if the specific draft-law aligns with the SDGs’ adjusted targets on a national level. By including such a note, Parliament could increase its monitoring capacity and contribute to mainstreaming the SDGs in the policy-making agenda.

Although the Parliament of Georgia is actively engaged in the implementation of the SDGs adjusted agenda, the IRM researcher advises that Parliament maximize its efforts. It can do this by raising the competence of members of Parliament and committees’ staff regarding the SDGs and the overall implementation processes. This capacity building could have a significant positive impact on Parliament’s capacity to work successfully toward the SDGs’ national implementation. Parliament’s training center could be engaged to provide relevant workshops, seminars, trainings, and more.

To strengthen civic participation and bring external expertise to the SDGs’ monitoring and implementation, the IRM researcher also recommends engaging civil society in parliamentary strategy development and the implementation process.

[121] United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, “About the Sustainable Development Goals,” https://bit.ly/2jHjQmD.

[122] UNDP, “Georgia Marks Progress Towards Sustainable Development,” 13 July 2019, https://bit.ly/2NP3Eif.

[123] Open Government Partnership, “Georgia National Action Plan 2018–2019,” https://bit.ly/2XLXiju.

[124] UNDP, “Strengthening Parliamentary Democracy in Georgia,” https://bit.ly/2LklPdT.

[125]Parliament of Georgia:Self-Assessment Report, 22 October 2018, https://bit.ly/2JElEqz.

[126] Sopo Guruli, Project Manager, UNDP Project: Strengthening Parliamentary Democracy in Georgia, interview with IRM researcher, 10 June 2019.

[127] Guruli interview, June 2019.

[128] State Audit Office of Georgia, Performance Audit Report—SDGS, 2019, https://bit.ly/31Vxzaq.

[129] Tamar Sartania, Deputy Chief of Party, National Democratic Institute, interview with IRM researcher, 11 July 2019.

[130] Sartania interview, July 2019.


Commitments

Open Government Partnership