Implementing the SDGs by Subnational Governments: Urgent Need to Strengthen Administrative Capacities
PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND POLICY Volume 20, Number 2 Fall 2017
The international agreement on the Sustainable Development Goals signed in 2015 specify that the SDGs will be implemented by national governments and that countries should also embark on SDG implementation at subnational level such as municipalities or provinces. This paper focuses on SDG implementation at local authority level of large cities and explores the needed competences and capacities in goal attainment. Within the time span 2015-2030, changes of political leadership will be inevitable and hence continuity and policy coherence will be essential to make SDG implementation successful by 2030. The 17 SDGs are interdependent goals requiring effective inter-ministerial policy coordination and equally effective consultation with the private sector and civil society stakeholders. Developing effective mechanisms of coordination and consultations takes time and can be easily overturned subsequent to a change of government and administrators putting the sustainability of the society and gains from SDG implementation at risk. The authors describe the main features of the SDGs and of urban development and suggest that an application of ISO 18091 could be a practical method to ensure continuity of administrative performance needed to sustain implementation of the SDGs at local authority level.