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Impact Conclave sets stage for measuring impact of SDGs

Apr 27, 2016

NGOs, social businesses, think-tanks, donors, academia and Government representatives deliberate on various aspects of Sustainable Development Goals.

New Delhi: Going forward from assessing the impact of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the recently held two-day Impact Conclave - 2016 focused on efforts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Organised by Sambodhi, the Conclave was held on April 21-22 in New Delhi.

Amitabh Kundu from the Institute for Human Development and Senior Fellow at Delhi Policy Group made a presentation on ‘Measuring Inequality and Envisioning Social Parity’. Saying that India has been able to meet the target of halving poverty, he pointed out that the success rate has been much lower with regard to other human development indices such as Under 5-Mortality Rate. He also added that education and health inequality are much lower compared to income disparities in the population.

Dr. Vikram Patel, Former Director of the Centre for Global Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, emphasized that health is a central cross cutting issue and that we cannot realize a billion dreams unless we ensure the right to health for a billion people. He cited many points such as weak public primary care system, low government expenditure on health, weak governance and accountability as some of the reasons for ailing healthcare system.

Further speaking on Innovative Strategies in Public Health, Dr. Harish Kumar of NIPI Newborn Project and Dr. Rajmohan Panda of Public Health Foundation of India identified strong donor support and constant government engagement as imperative for the success of any healthcare policy.

Later, speaking on microfinance and livelihoods, Vijay Mahajan, Founding Chairman of BASIX Group, shared his experience of working in the field of rural development in Bihar and urged the new generation to cast a new theory of development.

In the session on ‘Fostering Development through Communication’, the stage was shared by five outstanding women from different organizations who spoke about the importance of effective communication strategies in achieving SDGs. Caroline Den Dulk from UNICEF shared her organization’s efforts towards achieving Open Defecation Free (ODF) India and urged the youth and the middle class to take initiatives to ensure that everyone has access to toilets.

Drawing from her experience and speaking on the issue of gender-based discrimination and violence, Sonali Khan from Breakthrough commented that communication should not be forced but rather continuous, open and non-judgmental for effective dissemination. She also urged for a shift in communication strategy from Information, Education and Communication (IEC) to Social Behavioral Change Communication (SBCC).

Along with showcasing the many successes and challenges in achieving the MDGs, the Conclave also sought to measure as well as identify alternate methods to track the impact of various development initiatives. Most of the participants also agreed that gender mainstreaming, income parity and greater community participation would be essential to achieve the SDGs.

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