RIS and NETRA Webinar series: Experts deliberate on Localization of SDGs in NE State

Agartala, Jul 26, 2020, ENEWSTIME Desk

Research and Information System for Developing Countries and NETRA Foundation, Guwahati in collaboration with the Department of Political Science, Sikkim University as Knowledge Partner has organised a Webinar on Localisation of Sustainable Development Goals: Perspective from North East India with special reference to Sikkim on 25.07.2020. The aim of the webinar is to discuss and deliberate on the issues and challenges pertaining to localisation of SDGs. The webinar also aims to increase the awareness for the involvement of the local level when implementing the SDGs and to recommend concrete steps on how local government and other stakeholders can take part in the achievement of 2030 Agenda.The webinar was attended by participants from India and abroad.

The opening address and welcoming remarks were given by Professor KanakHaloi, President, NETRA Foundation. He announced the theme of the Webinar and introduced the Chairperson of webinar Professor T.C. James, Visiting Fellow, RIS. He also introduces Professor Mahindra P Lama,Centre for South Asian Studies, JNU, Dr.SandhyaThapa, Head, Department of Sociology, Sikkim University, Dr. Durga P Chhetri, Head Department of Political Science, Sikkim University and Dr.SaralaKhaling, RegionalDirector, ATRE the panelists of the webinar.

Professor Mahendra P Lama in his deliberation discusses inclusive development and SDGs in Sikkim.He also reiterated the failure of the state in getting recognized role of stakeholders like CSOs, NGOs and other local institutions in the process of inclusive development. He felt that local stakeholderscould play an instrumental role in the overall development of the state. He suggested bottom-up approach for inclusive development in Sikkim

Dr.SandhyaThapa made a comprehensive presentation covering a broad range of aspects including, gender, health and education in Sikkim. In her presentation, Dr Thapa gave some crucial comparative data on the status of health, education and gender equality in Sikkim vis-à-vis northeast states of India. She suggested various steps, which if followed in the true spirit can lead to the achievement of SDGs in Sikkim

Dr.Durga P Chhetri spoke at length about the localisation of SDGs through local government in the context of Sikkim. He said that a multi-level governance approach or ‘whole government approach’ is one of the new solutions to achieve SDGs in a prescribed period.The presentation also gave an insight into the devolution index’s status of Sikkim and government measures to integrate local government in the implementation of SDGs. He concluded his presentation by remarking that devolution measures with more autonomy to local government can contribute to the SDG localisation movement in Sikkim.

Dr Sarala Khaling in her presentation highlighted the need for strengthening the cooperation and coordination betweenCSOs and state government in the implementation of SDGs in Sikkim.She deliberated upon the role of CSOs in localisation of SDGs in Sikkim and recommended for the active involvement of CSOs in the design, implementation and monitoring of SDGs.

Professor James in his presidential remarks emphasises on the proper coordination between different stakeholders in the implementation of SDGs. He endorsed various issues and concerns, which were raised by Prof. Lama and Dr. Chhetri in their presentation. Apart from that, Professor James commented that fund scarcity of the local bodies is the major challenge in the proper implementation of SDGs. He felt that there has to be secure and dedicated funding for localisation of SDGs. He observed that every stakeholder is responsible for the proper implementation of SDGs.

The next webinar will take place on Saturday, August 1, 2020 at 4.00 PM IST.