Uganda is a country that is making progress. Although slow, it is working towards creating a more sustainable future based on the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are a set of 17 objectives that sufficiently help countries contribute toward a globally sustainable future. As of 2021, Uganda’s overall score in the U.N.’s SDGs is 54.9, a steady increase of 7.22 over the past 20 years. However, the country still faces many challenges in achieving SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals. Here are updates on SDG 17 in Uganda.
A Slow Start
SDG 17 focuses on collaborations between and within nations, as a means of realizing the other 16 goals. Despite the challenges that Ugandans have with SDG 17, the country has made a small and unsteady improvement in relation to its Statistical Performance Index (SPI). SPI is a subset of SDG 17 which measures data monitoring and collection. For a country where 21.9% of its population lives below the poverty line, data is essential to work in partnership with other stakeholders and move toward a sustainable future.
A lack of accurate data may affect updates on the SDGs. The progress of SDG 17 in Uganda is dependent on data that partnerships can share. One of the governing principles behind the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is “Leave No One Behind.” It necessitates data collection to identify communities and populations that need aid, as well as recognize inequalities they face. Ghana is another sub-Saharan country that has made big investments in data collection. This has significantly impacted its work to alleviate poverty. The example of Ghana could be a lesson to Uganda on the importance of data on SDG progress. With improved data collection, qualitative nature will inform work between Uganda and other stakeholders.
Mapping a Future
One way in which partnerships are being developed in line with SDG 17 in Uganda is through projects like Community Mapping. The project collects geographical data from the north of the country. It allows people to know where and to whom to deliver aid to. Community Mapping is an online platform that allows anyone around the world with access to a computer to generate maps of the north of Uganda. Jamie Huck, a Geographer at the University of Manchester, England, developed this program. Community Mapping has helped stakeholders to, for example, provide prosthetic limbs to citizens, which in turn allows those people to step back into the workforce. The accumulation of data also allows partnerships to form and improve development.
Improving the Future
Another way in which SDG 17 in Uganda is progressing is via community health programs that global partnerships funded. For example, the global COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Partnership, which seeks to support countries who have been struggling to provide vaccines to their citizens has been funding Uganda since July 2020. This partnership has allowed local medical professionals to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to rural communities, which many often overlook. This, in turn, has allowed children to return to school with fewer hurdles, like illness and lockdowns. With accurate data about communities and rural areas, there can be a more equal and equitable distribution of vaccines.
It is essential that the world moves toward a sustainable future, in line with SDG 17 as there is an interconnection between several stakeholders. To improve its SDG 17 score, Uganda must prioritize data collection, as it can positively affect development. People can return to the workforce and children can go to school. When people are accounted for, countries and communities can work together to create a sustainable future.
– Eloïse Jones