Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Iraq is crucial to ensuring the country’s prosperity and long-term development. requires synergy of all efforts on  local and national levels, not only in the capital and but the country.

impact  citizens in covered by the 17 goals, UNDP an initiative to engage local partners including universities and research centers in the governorates most in need of development.

launched the Local Partners Engagement Initiative at the beginning of 2019 in Basra, Al-Anbar and Karbala as a key step towards the SDGs in partnership with government institutions, planning departments and statistics offices given their critical role in implementation and monitoring. Three state universities were involved including the universities of Basra, Karbala and Anbar to assist in planning, analysis and needs assessment in line with the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development.

These three governorates were chosen due to the different challenges faced by their local communities. Al-Muthanna Governorate was at the beginning of 2020 after consultations between UNDP and the Ministry of Planning the poverty rate in the governorate reached 52% based on the latest data of the Central Organization for Statistics.

The initiative focuses on involving all sectors in policy-making and planning in the targeted governorates based on analyzing data related to the challenges facing the governorates. inding solutions to these challenges and developing plans will improve the services provided to citizens, reduce poverty rates and achieve long-term development. The importance of involving universities lies in encouraging cross-fertilization of ideas between policy and decision makers and university academics the importance of using all economic and social research studies and analyses the local situation and setting priorities in line with the development agenda.

“Activating the 2030 Agenda will have a positive impact on the services provided to the governorates’ citizens, reducing poverty rates especially in Al-Muthanna which suffers an acute shortage of services and a high poverty rate. However, achieving the SDGs requires involving the private sector, policymakers and planning departments in finding innovative solutions and benefiting from the learned lessons and this is what the UNDP is aiming to achieve,” said Sundus Abbas, SDGs Project Manager UNDP Iraq.

between universitiesacademic centersdecision-makers and planning departments is crucial to achieving the SDGs  the governorate level. The university studies and analyses can provide  with the information required to develop plans and design polices. initiative seeks to bridge the gaps to accelerate SDGs, set priorities and build real partnerships with all parties to find innovative solutions to development challenges.

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