Save the Children (SC) has closely collaborated with the African Union Commission (AUC). More specifically it has actively engaged the department of Economic Affairs and the division of Strategic Planning on the overall advocacy work of the SDGs and Agenda 2063. The work was mainly anchored along three key pillars: integrated implementation, accountability and fair financing.
- INTEGRATED IMPLEMENTATION
SC has advocated for the integrated implementation of Agenda 2063 first ten-year implementation plan and the 2030 Agenda to prevent duplication of resources and efforts. We have undertaken a study on the overlap of the two frameworks which has been widely distributed among stakeholders. This advocacy effort yielded results when the annual Conference of Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (March 30 – April 5) co-organized by the AU Commission and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa looked at the theme “Towards an Integrated and Coherent Approach to Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation of Agenda 2063 and the SDGs”. Ultimately, the AUC and UNECA agreed to adopt an integrated approach to the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the SDGs and Agenda 2063. The agreement was endorsed by AU Ministers during the conference.
- ROBUST REGIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY
SC called for an effective regional accountability structure which draws on national reviews and contributes to follow-up and review at the global level and based on the key principles of: transparency; equity and participation. The ministerial conference has also deliberated on adopting a single monitoring and accountability framework. SC has specifically recommended the APRM, AU Human rights bodies and the ARFSD to play an accountability role at the regional level. We have successfully advocated for the African Committee of Experts on the Right and Welfare of the Child to integrate child specific SDGs targets in state party and CSO reporting. The Chair of ACERWC has invited SC to co-lead the process of establishing a task force to facilitate the work of integrating the various mechanisms.
- FAIR FINANCING AND INVESTEMENT IN CHILDREN
Fair financing and investment in children are priority areas which SC has advocated for at various levels. The Third Financing for Development conference, which took place in July 2015 was a viable platform which enabled SC to call for a clear commitment on financing. One of the major gains of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda was paragraph seven which states, “investing in children and youth is critical to achieving inclusive, equitable and sustainable development for present and future generations”, and member states “reaffirm the vital importance of promoting and protecting the rights of all children, and ensuring that no child is left behind”.
SC has an extensive working relationship with the AUC’s various departments, particularly with regards to SDGs and Agenda 2063. However, there are some challenges which hindered the advocacy work:
- Shrinking CSO space at various AU Summits
- Some discrepancies between the deliberations and decisions made at the AUC level and the implementation of these decisions at national and grassroots level.
- Uneven levels of integration of both frameworks and their domestication at national level.
- While the Africa regional forum on sustainable development is designed to be the accountability framework for both agenda, the AUC believes it has to have its own.
- Support the identification of a robust regional accountability mechanism
- Work closely with champion Member States which can showcase the effective implementation and monitoring of both frameworks while being driven by the principle of leave no one behind.