, 22 November, 2019 / 12:45 AM
Four years after countries under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development encompassing 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a report by the development arm of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), Caritas Kenya indicates that the East African country is “strongly aligned” to the global targets on development.
The research considered four principles, which ground “the transformative aspirations of the 2030” SDGs.
The principles included inclusivity dubbed leaving no-one behind, dealing with inequalities, integrating the environment and development, and the principle of participation and dialogue.
“Our research found a strong alignment of Kenya’s development agendas with Agenda 2030 and the principle of ‘leave no-one behind’, with a range of policy interventions focused on addressing vulnerability,” states part of the report released Thursday, November 21 with the title, “Bringing Agenda 2030 to Life: Kenya Sustainable Development Report.”
Arising from six case studies carried out by Caritas Kenya in partnership with the University College of London (UCL) and the Catholic aid agency for England and Wales – Catholic Agency For Overseas Development (CAFOD) – the findings reported show that in order for no person to be left behind, “different forms of vulnerability require different types of intervention that might include resources or training but also community sensitization to reduce discrimination.”
On dealing with inequalities, while the study revealed overall alignment between the development agenda in Kenya and the Agenda 2030, more needs to be done in the areas of “public awareness and implementation of existing policies and legislation.”
To foster public awareness, the study has recommended “Civic education, public campaigns and public participation.”
To ensure the implementation of policies and legal provisions, a responsibility property to government agencies, the research recommended partnerships with relevant stakeholders.
“Partnerships between civil society, including faith-based organisations and NGOs, and communities themselves, were seen as a key way to hold those in power to account,” the report of the research shows.
While the case studies showed that the East African country “should be commended for its work in addressing climate change and integrating the environment and development at both international and national levels,” still, more could be done “to ensure that this collective responsibility is shared by all.”
“Our research and the case studies in this report show that for environmental protection to be sustainable it requires the involvement of local communities, supporting their livelihoods and raising their awareness at the same time as providing funding and training for alternatives. Economic growth and industry cannot be prioritised over the protection of natural resources,” the report has noted.
On the principle of participation and dialogue for which the Kenya Constitution (2010) provides strong frameworks through devolution, the research demonstrated that “for participation to be effective, it needs to be accountable to the constituent communities; work to popularise, improve structures and raise awareness of the county development funds.”
SDGs address global challenges in view of achieving “a better and more sustainable future for all.” Some of the challenges addressed include “those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice.”
The project dubbed “Bringing Agenda 2030 to Life” implemented in Kenya was part of, the published report notes, “a wider participatory research project coordinated by University College London (UCL), UK and the Catholic Agency For Overseas Development (CAFOD), UK, in partnership with Caritas Sierra Leone, the National Commission for Justice, Peace and Caritas Liberia (NCJPC), Caritas Kenya, Caritas Zambia and Caritas Africa.”
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa