Georgia is willing to establish the SDG Tracker that will enable effective and transparent monitoring of the implementation of the UN SDGs.
This commitment targets a concrete and sufficiently narrow policy area and anti-corruption mechanism, which aims to ensure effective and transparent monitoring of the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) designed by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 2015.
The commitment identifies a clear, measurable action and a deliverable by specifying the establishment of the SDG Tracker to ensure effective and transparent monitoring of the implementation of the UN SDGs. Specifically, in the National OGP Action Plan of 2018-2019 Action Plan under Commitment 7: “SDG Tracker”, the Administration of Government committed to the following:
3a) “activation of the internal electronic system (the internal operations system will be accessible only for governmental agencies) [of the tracker];
3b) activation/functional setup of the SDG web-page, including SDG Tracker and other components, where the internal system data are generated;
3c) promoting the SDG Tracker as the governmental policy monitoring and assessment possibility;
3d) and activation of the information part of SDG Tracker web-page – placement of a schedule/information related to all the projects, ongoing or planned activities at a national scale.”
 Georgia’s National OGP Action Plan of 2018-2019, pp.16-17, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Georgia_Action-Plan_2018-2019_ENG.doc
This is a new commitment included in the 2018–2019 OGP Action Plan.1 The AoG committed to the following:
3a) “activation of the internal electronic system (the internal operations system will be accessible only for governmental agencies) [of the Tracker]”
According to the AoG representative interviewed for this report, in 2019, the AoG activated the SDG Tracker internal electronic system . The system was created by the Digital Governance Agency (DGA). Public agencies are responsible for entering data into the system, which is then finally verified by the AoG, which serves as the secretariat of the SDG Council. As the AoG representative noted, relevant public servants responsible for implementing the SDG objectives and indicators were trained on how to use the new tracker’s electronic system. Each indicator has a designated person from each agency who is responsible for reporting progress on the indicator. The SDG monitoring through this system started in 2020. Monitoring is done annually in February of each year.2
3b) “activation/functional setup of the SDG web-page, including SDG Tracker and other components, where the internal system data are generated”
After the AoG verification, data generated through the internal system is published on the tracker’s web page at sdg.gov.ge. This web page allows users to compare baseline and progress indicators across different attributes, such as gender and age, and analyse the presented data through a visualisation diagram. However, the up-to-date and disaggregated data on the progress of SDG indicator implementation, including those covering the fight against corruption, is missing on the tracker. Further, the module on projects is empty, while the calendar provides information about a handful of activities conducted. When browsing the SDG Tracker web page multiple times and failing to find the data needed, the user is likely to give up and stop using this page. Website analytics are not done and there is no available data on how many people use the portal.3
3c) “promoting the SDG Tracker as the governmental policy monitoring and assessment possibility”
There is the SDG Council4 and four thematic working groups on democratic governance,5 social inclusion,6 economic development,7 and sustainable energy and environmental protection.8 The published list of members9 indicate that these are multi-party working groups composed of public agencies, CSOs, international donors, private sector and academia. According to the published terms of reference,10 the group meetings are organised once a year. Each working group has a chair representing the public agency and two co-chairs from the specialised UN agency and the civil society organisation. The latter is a rotating position and is nominated from the group member CSOs. The first voluntary national review on SDG implementation was produced in 201611 and the second, more comprehensive one in 2020. The latter was focused on human capital, economic development and democratic governance.12 The challenge identified by CSO respondents and independent experts is that many, including students and other stakeholders working on public policy or public administration issues let alone the general public, are not aware that the SDG Tracker web page exists. Therefore, it is hard to tell if the tracker has had any impact on the fight against corruption.
3d) “and activation of the information part of SDG Tracker web-page – placement of a schedule/information related to all the projects, ongoing or planned activities at a national scale”
The section on information on on-going or planned projects is empty on the tracker’s web page while the calendar provides information about a handful of activities conducted.3
Overall conclusion: considering that the tracker’s internal system data that is only available to government agencies and is not fully generated on the tracker’s web page for public consumption, the information on on-going or planned projects is not included on the web page and the tracker has not been promoted to the public as committed in the 2018–2019 OGP Action Plan, this commitment is only partially fulfilled.
|Challenges to effective commitment implementation|
|According to an interview conducted for this report with a AoG representative, there is a technical problem in the tracker’s external system and that is why the full data is only available in the internal system. The representative also noted that the DGA is working on fixing this problem.
The absence of information on on-going or planned projects on the tracker’s web page and of the tracker’s public promotion could be attributed to the lack of dedicated staff and resources within the AoG.
|Opportunities to accelerate commitment implementation|
|Involving the private sector and local government representatives as members of the SDG Council and in the thematic working groups with the help of CSOs is a good opportunity to raise public awareness about the SDG Tracker and to enrich this platform with more comprehensive data on the progress on the implementation of SDG indicators. The AoG should involve businesses in the SDG Council work and thematic working groups to promote the SDG platform to the private sector and to contribute to improving corporate social responsibility among businesses. At the same time, local governments could use this platform to develop and implement needs-based policies to improve the lives of those in local communities.
The main recommendation for government agencies would be to proactively publish detailed data in real time on the SDG Tracker to show how they are fulfilling their commitments in accordance with the target SDG indicators. Specifically, internal government data should be automatically generated on the tracker’s web page, and interested organisations and individuals should be given an application programming interface (API) to link their own platforms to the tracker.
In addition, the AoG should organise more frequent meetings of the SDG working groups and make their work more inclusive by involving diverse stakeholders from different sectors, which should demonstrate the progress made in the implementation process. With the involvement of CSOs and the media outlets, a large-scale information campaign about the tracker should be conducted in universities across the country to ensure active use of the platform.
- Georgia’s National OGP Action Plan of 2018-2019, pp.16-17, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Georgia_Action-Plan_2018-2019_ENG.doc30 Dec 2021
- Interview with AoG representative, 12 October 202130 Dec 2021
- SDG Tracker, sdg.gov.ge30 Nov 2021
- SDG Council, https://sdg.gov.ge/text-page/3330 Dec 2021
- Democratic Governance Working Group, https://sdg.gov.ge/text-page/4130 Dec 2021
- Social Inclusion Working Group, https://sdg.gov.ge/text-page/3830 Dec 2021
- Economic Development Working Group, https://sdg.gov.ge/text-page/3930 Dec 2021
- Sustainable Energy and Environmental Working Group, https://sdg.gov.ge/text-page/4030 Dec 2021
- List of members of the Democratic Governance Working Group, https://sdg.gov.ge/helper/GetFile?fileStoreId=322z30 Dec 2021
- Terms of Reference of the Democratic Governance Working Group, https://sdg.gov.ge/helper/GetFile?fileStoreId=30730 Dec 2021
- Voluntary National Review 2016, https://sdg.gov.ge/helper/GetFile?fileStoreId=27630 Dec 2021
- Voluntary National Review 2020, https://sdg.gov.ge/helper/GetFile?fileStoreId=25930 Dec 2021