Bangladesh*
Voluntary National Review 2020

Bangladesh has adopted a people-centred development approach under the visionary and dynamic leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Since assuming office in 2009 with a landslide popular mandate, the Government has invested heavily to build a humancentred inclusive modern democracy as envisioned by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Bangladesh has achieved the highest cumulative GDP growth globally in the last ten years and maintained strong macroeconomic stability, resulting in impressive socio-economic development, increased per capita income, and reduced poverty. Bangladesh fulfilled all three criteria for graduation to a developing country in March 2018.

The government adopted a comprehensive response plan embracing health and socioeconomic recovery measures to control and contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Hon’ble Prime Minister announced stimulus packages of around US$ 11.6 billion (3.3% of GDP) to be implemented in three phases- immediate, short and medium, until FY 2023-24.

The VNR process of Bangladesh is led by the “SDGs Implementation and Review Committee”. Our Whole-of-Society approach in implementing the SDGs has integrated the views of relevant stakeholders from central to the local levels.

The initiatives taken by the Government after VNR 2017 are as follows: (i) Preparing SDGs Action Plan with new projects and programmes, (ii) Launching SDGs Tracker to monitor implementation in terms of indicator-wise data updating, (iii) Finalizing SDGs Financing Strategy which included updating of the financing needs with an estimated additional amount of US$ 928.5 billion being required for the FY 2017 to FY 2030, (iv) Convening the 1st National Conference on SDGs Implementation Review participated by representatives from the government, NGOs, CSOs, private sector, and DPs, (v) Forming National Data Coordination Committee to harmonize data generation, (vi) Developing a framework of collaboration between the Government and the UN agencies in Bangladesh, (vii) Approving 40 priority indicators for localizing SDGs; 39 of them will reinforce the implementation of the other indicators. The additional (+1) local indicator is to reflect the “Leaving no one behind”, the vulnerable issue where each District and Sub-District is lagging behind.

Under-five mortality and neonatal mortality have reached the target set for 2020. Prevalence of current tobacco use, family planning needs and reduction rates of poverty and hunger are on-track. The Government’s commitment to social protection is evident in the enhanced budgetary allocation and extensive coverage. Gender parity in primary and secondary education has been achieved. The annual growth rate of real GDP per employed person and manufacturing value-added as a proportion of GDP has crossed the target set for 2020. Access to electricity is 96% on track with the commitment to provide electricity to every household by 2021. Numerous initiatives have been taken to ensure the safety, well-being, and security of vulnerable sections of the society including women and children.

However, the VNR 2020 has identified some challenges. Sustained GDP growth has not resulted in reducing income inequality. Although the health sector has shown notable success, attaining Universal Health Coverage remains a challenge. Same is true for ensuring quality education at multilevel educational streams. Ensuring sustainable urbanization remains a challenge. The climate vulnerability will continue to be a threat to our economy. More target-oriented efforts are needed to facilitate domestic resource mobilization at the desired level.

The VNR of Bangladesh incorporates several good, innovative and collaborative practices that other countries can benefit from. We are also interested to learn from the experiences of others to address our challenges.

We attach much importance to meaningful international cooperation for attaining the SDGs. The global partnership is required in the form of finance and technology to implement National Social Security Strategy, Health Financing Strategy, and Introduction of the national voluntary pension scheme, integrated water resources management, innovative domestic resources mobilization, and introduction of modern and commercial agriculture focusing on smallholder farmers. We also need to allocate resources for human capital development and institution building. While enormous efforts are being made to transform Bangladesh digitally to ensure good governance, enhance efficiency, reduce wastage, we need greater cooperation in technology transfer to seize the opportunities created by the 4IR phenomenon.

Our efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda complement our endeavours to achieve our national aspiration of becoming an upper middle income country by 2031 and a developed country by 2041.

Voluntary National Review 2017
A New Transformation Path

Bangladesh, as part of her commitment to implement the SDGs, decided to take part in the Voluntary National Review at the UN High Level Political Forum. Bangladesh has an inspiring story to tell. We have earned many international accolades for our achievements in MDGs. While embarking on the journey to implement the SDGs, we drew inspiration from the ideals of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who envisaged a prosperous Bangladesh with equal opportunities for all. The Government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina envisioned transforming Bangladesh into a middle income country by 2021 and a developed country by 2041. Bangladesh has already become a low middle income country. We have already translated this vision, pronounced at the highest political level, into an actionable agenda by formulating Perspective Plan (2010-2021) and two Five Year Plans (FYPs) associated with this. Bangladesh integrated the 2030 Agenda in its 7th FYP (2016-2020). This offered a tremendous opportunity to implement the 2030 Agenda, while reflecting the priorities of the SDGs in the national plan. The Government has adopted “Whole of Society” approach to ensure wider participation of NGOs, development partners, private sector, media and CSOs in the process of formulation of the Action Plan and implementation of the SDGs. To spearhead the process, ‘SDGs Implementation and Monitoring Committee’ has been formed at the Prime Minister’s Office to facilitate and implementation of SDGs Action Plan.

Means of Implementation

  • Mapping of Ministries: Bangladesh has clearly identified the responsibilities of the ministries and agencies to achieve the SDGs. Bangladesh has mapped out lead, co-lead and associate ministries against each target of the SDGs. This mapping exercise is expected to reduce duplication of efforts, enhance synergy and help formulate action plans.
  • Data gap analysis: Bangladesh Planning Commission conducted a review of various means of data generation in the country. It reveals that Bangladesh has data for 70 indicators and partially available data for 108 indicators but need to devise new mechanism for data mining for the remaining 63 indicators.
  • National Monitoring & Evaluation Framework: We are in the process of finalizing a Monitoring & Evaluation Framework for SDGs implementation. This framework will have a macro level web based data repository system to facilitate data collection, analysis, progress tracking and reporting.
  • Action Plan to achieve SDGs: The Government is preparing an action plan for implementation of the SDGs in alignment with the 7th FYP. Respective ministries are working towards translating the particular targets into actionable projects/programmes/activities in this regard. The Action Plan for SDGs will be finalized by June 2017.
  • Needs Assessment and Financing Strategy: We are at the final stage of determining the financing needs for SDGs implementation with a view to mobilizing internal and external resources.
  • Assimilation of SDGs targets in Performance Agreement: Bangladesh has introduced Annual Performance Agreement (APA), a results-based performance management system, across the whole spectrum of public sector assessing individual and ministries/agencies performance.

Challenges Ahead

  • Resource Mobilization: SDGs are all encompassing requiring huge resources for implementation. Traditional sources of funding are not going to be sufficient to implement the SDGs. We need to find innovative ways of financing from both the public and the private sectors, development partners and ensure effective and efficient ways for utilization.
  • Stakeholders’ Engagement: SDGs implementation requires a multi-stakeholder approach involving private sector, NGOs, CSOs, Media and Major Group of Other Stakeholders. Bangladesh has been working out how to enhance participation of all the stakeholders in its efforts to implement the SDGs.
  • Data Availability and Management: There are enormous challenges in collection, analysis, disaggregation, and dissemination of data. The country needs to build collaboration at bilateral, regional and global levels for capacity building and sharing of best practices.
  • Localization of SDGs: Localization of SDGs targets and indicators for contextualizing the 2030 Agenda appropriately with local development plans and strategies is of utmost importance and emphasized.

Conclusion

SDGs demand concerted and collective efforts with strong political commitment at all levels. The 2030 Agenda comes at a time when Bangladesh has already kicked off its journey towards an upper middle income country by 2030 and a developed country by 2041. Bangladesh has incorporated priorities of SDGs in all her development policies. The Government has adopted an inclusive approach to development so that the poorest and the most vulnerable section of the country can be integrated into its national development efforts. As the country moves ahead, challenges in several areas, including in resource mobilization and data management, will have to be addressed. Bangladesh is confident to set the example of a leading SDGs achiever.
Focal point
Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations
820, 2nd Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY-10017
Phone-212-867-3434
Fax- 2129724038
Email: Bangladesh@un.int, bdpmny@gmail.com
Documents & Reports

National Reports
Report Topics covered Process
National Report - Bangladesh Rio+20;

Partnerships & Commitments
The below is a listing of all partnership initiatives and voluntary commitments where Bangladesh* is listed as a partner in the Partnerships for SDGs online platform.
Statements
18 Jul 2017
17 Jul 2017
7 Jun 2017
22 Jun 2012
20 Apr 2005
12 Apr 2005
12 Apr 2005
29 Apr 2004
United Nations