A survey conducted by the West Africa Network for Peace building (WANEP), a regional civil society organisation has revealed that 64.7 per cent of Ghanaians want Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 16 prioritized.
The SDG 16 seeks to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
The study dubbed “National review of progress on Implementation of SDG 16+ Peace Goals in Ghana and role of Civil Society Organisations”, was carried out from January to March this year in nine regions: Volta, Oti, Greater Accra, Ashanti, Bono, Ahafo, Savannah, Northern and North-East.
Findings of the study was unveiled on Tuesday in Accra by Madam Beatrice Brew, a Programme’s Officer, Researcher and Capacity Builder and Mr Albert Yelyang, National Network Coordinator, at a stakeholders’ validation meeting on the research on Voluntary National Review (VNR) of the SDGs.
The study, which had 394 respondents; used the Mixed Method Approach: Quantitative (Survey Questionnaire) and Qualitative (Focus Group Discussions and key informant interviews).
It involved 14 key informant interviews, 12 focus group discussions and administered approximately 390 survey questionnaires.
It must be noted that each of the 17 SDGs were treated separately in the survey.
Therefore the individual goals were not compared to each other and do not add to a 100 per cent sum.
The findings revealed that Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (SDG 16) had the highest ratings, recording 64.7 per cent, representing 255 “Yes” responses out of 394.
Of the 394 respondents, 183 (46.4 per cent) wanted SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being prioritised while,172 (43.7 per cent) wanted Decent Work and Economic Growth of Goal 8 prioritised.
With regards to SDG 6, Clean Water and Sanitation, 159 (40.4 per cent wanted it prioritised over the other goals.
While for SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, 105 respondents were of the view that it should be prioritised.
Out of the 394 respondents, 98 (24.9 per cent) wanted SDG 5: Gender Equality to prioritised; while for the rest of the SDGs, 31 (7.9 per cent) out of the 394 were in favour of their prioritisation.
With regards to awareness creation on the SDGs, 73.9 per cent of respondents said government had not created enough awareness whilst 18 per cent said the government had created enough awareness; with eight point one per cent saying they were not certain.
Madam Brew said the objective of the study was to identify progress made in the implementation of the SDGs, cross-cutting challenges of the SDG review and the national implementation challenges.
She said it was also to identify prospects including coordination of tailored awareness and civic education mechanisms and to support the consolidation of Multi-Stakeholder, multi-dimensional SDG Partnerships (MSPs) in Ghana as those relate to Goals 5 and 16.
Mrs Levinia Addae-Mensah, Programme Director and Deputy Executive Director of WANEP, said leaning on the “Leave no one behind” principle, with focus on SDG Goal 16, WANEP and the Global Partnership for Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) undertook a shadow assessment on the implementation of the SDGs, which focused on the operationalisation of Goal 5 and 16 at the local level.
She hailed the government for taking the bold step to undergo VNR process, which seeks to review the level of progress in the implementation of the SDGs.
Mr Yelyang said the study revealed that despite a lot of positives, in terms of implementation and meeting the targets in Ghana by 2030, the SDGs were up there in Accra, Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs), but might not be localised at the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
He recommended that a national SDGs implementation Agenda should include awareness, outreach and monitoring frames on implementation and achievement of targets.
Madam Kristina Miletic, Project Assistant Knowledge, Policy and Advocacy of GPPAC, who gave an overview of SDG VNR in Cameroon, said the ongoing conflict in Cameroon was hampering efforts to achieve the SDGs by 2030.