SDG Overview and the High-Level Political Forum

As outlined by the UN Sustainable Development website, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is “a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity.” Moreover, it emphasizes the importance of how “all countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement this plan.” The goals and targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) focus in particular on:

  1. People
  2. Planet
  3. Peace
  4. Partnership

One of the most important areas in the success of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is regarding the means of implementation. The Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform focuses on “solidarity with the poorest and with people in vulnerable situations.” In terms of engagement, the platform explains how “it will facilitate an intensive global engagement in support of implementation of all the Goals and targets, bringing together Governments, the private sector, civil society, the United Nations system and other actors and mobilizing all available resources.”

My project addresses and seeks to target the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

  • SDG 6 Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
    • b Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management
  • SDG 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
    • 1 By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums
    • 7 By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities

As described in the platform, engagement between all levels is key for these Sustainable Development Goals and targets to be met. In the case of Kibera, it is important to assess whether engagement is currently at the appropriate level. In looking at the engagement between Kenyan government and civil society, there is definitely room for improvement. In one important article in my relevant literature, Understanding the Grassroots Dynamics of Slums in Nairobi: The Dilemma of Kibera Informal Settlements, we are given insight into the government negligence in its engaging with Kenyan informal settlements, which are part of Kenyan civil society. In fact, engagement becomes almost impossible since the government had for the longest time deemed settlements as illegal. As a result, the government would provoke conflict through the conducting of actions such as forced evictions. There is a strong framework in addressing key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but practical implementation faces some several challenges because of systemic flaws in engagement posing a risk to the means of implementation.