Promoting national development policy in Guatemala
Title: Institutional strengthening of the Segeplan planning authority in monitoring the national implementation of the AGENDA 2030 development priorities (Agenda 2030 project)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Secretariat for Planning and Programming of the Presidency
Overall term: 2018 to 2020
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in 2015 combine poverty reduction and sustainable development in a single agenda for the first time and target social, economic and environmental aspects. The aim is to achieve the goals by 2030. The signatory states have pledged to implement the agenda, which focuses on the needs of the poorest and disadvantaged population groups. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) supports various countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe with meeting this obligation.
Guatemala has already taken important steps towards implementation. For example, the SDGs were compared with the goals of the K’atun 2032 National Development Plan, and ten national development priorities were derived from this. Support is now needed above all in planning and monitoring the implementation of these priorities.
The performance capacity of the planning authority SEGEPLAN (Secretaría de Planificación y Programación de la Presidencia), which is responsible for monitoring national development policy, is improved.
In a first step, the employees of SEGEPLAN will receive training to ensure mainstreaming of the national development priorities in the various individual departments. To ensure that the individual ministries perform their activities throughout the year in accordance with the plan, cooperation with the supreme audit institution (Contraloría General de Cuentas) is also planned to complement the work with SEGEPLAN. In contrast to the advisory function of the planning authority, the supreme audit institution performs a checking and auditing role and verifies that the budget planning and actual expenditure correspond.
In parallel with this, the monitoring capacities within SEGEPLAN are being reinforced. A new monitoring and evaluation department was recently founded and now requires expert support. A particular challenge here is the wide range of indicators and, correspondingly, data that needs to be collected and systematised. One of the features of the 2030 Agenda is its ‘leave no-one behind’ principle. In Guatemala, this means in particular considering people in urban slums, the indigenous population, women, children and young people – the groups that have the hardest time escaping poverty. It is therefore essential to involve not only ministries and other government agencies, but also civil society, academia and the private sector. This is achieved through the national development council system SISCODE (Sistema de Consejos de Desarrollo).
Many other institutions – including universities and research institutes, economic committees and civil society observatories – already collect data that could help SEGEPLAN with monitoring. Coordination with these actors needs to be improved and cooperation formalised.
The project also provides support with compiling reports on the implementation status. These reports are intended to serve as a decision-making aid for the government cabinet at national level, and will also be presented to the United Nations as part of the official reporting on the 2030 Agenda. The recommendations of civil society, academia and the private sector should be included here to provide SEGEPLAN with well-founded arguments to give evidence-based advice on future policy formulation.
One goal of the project is to support the government with creating substantiated monitoring reports and recommended actions for political decision-makers. A summary of the national country report was compiled during the High-level Political Forum 2019. In July 2019, Guatemala presented its second country report at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. The report identifies the progress made and challenges faced in implementing the K’atun National Development Plan and the 2030 Agenda. It also highlights where the new government (in 2020) should set priorities for implementing the SDGs. The project has created a brief summary in Spanish and in English together with the partner and incorporated feedback from civil society into the report.