The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been arisen as a further
improvement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Sustainable Development
Goals (SDGs) includes a set of seventeen aspirational “Global Goals” with 169
targets and 244 indicators between them. It is officially known as “Transforming
our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. It was adopted by
the 194 Member States of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.
The SDGs aim at
completing the unfinished task of the MDGs and also include targets on areas
that have deteriorated or become more challenging since the turn of the
century, including rising income disparities within countries, insecure and
low-paid employment, climate change and environmental degradation.
The Government of Sri Lanka anticipates achieving the SDGs by 2030
working towards the provision of basic needs of the people, progressive
alleviation of poverty, elimination of all forms of discrimination and
inequalities, and establishing a society based on social justice and human
security. The Economic Policy of the Government outlines the vision setting the
‘stage for a sustainable development journey’. The Policy aims to
develop ‘an economy that will promote the benefits of development among all. An
economy that will be friendly to all, beneficial to all. An economy that will
pave the way for sustainable development’.
While running to achieve the targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
every government will have to face for some issues and challenges. Plnr. Gayani
Ransingha, who is the expert in the planning field, was interviewed to identify
those clearly. She is a lecturer in Department of Town & Country Planning
Department in University of Moratuwa and work as Project Consultant of
Preparation of Disaster risk Reduction and Preparedness Plan. According to her
point of view identified key issues and challenges in Sri Lanka are as below.
1. Inadequate and no reliable data
well-informed decision-making and support the implementation of the 2030
Agenda, it is important to provide timely, relevant and high-quality
information that could foster and monitor development progress. Though it’s like that, critical data are still lacking and knowledge gaps
remain, with many people and groups, particularly the most vulnerable and
marginalized, still not being measured . It is
estimated that as many as 350 million people worldwide have been neglected by
household surveys. For instance, on the goal of
maternal mortality, only 11 percent of developing countries have available data.
Most of the time the data in institutions are expired
and they are not 100% correct, because when consider about population some may
not have registered their births and deaths. As well as the data collected by
surveys regarding to gender,
age, income, location, education or disability also
cannot consider as reliable data because there are many false and fake answers
given by public. Hence these non-reliable data policy makers will mislead and
will make wrong decisions and it would be an issue for achieving SDGs.
Changing and failures in economic policy
This is a common scenario which faces by public because of election. When
elected party come to the management they neglect the previous development
plans of former government and try to bring new economic policy into the action.
Every government thinks to rule the country longer period and therefore they
make economic policies for years. Unfortunately some parties defeat and have to
give up the power. This happens like a circle and most of the economic policies
couldn’t reach to its target and fail in the middle of the process. Therefore as
a country it would be barrier to achieve the goals of Sustainable Developments.
Uncertainties like disasters
sustainability, economic growth must also be “green”, simultaneously creating employment
and reducing negative environmental impacts. With the rapid physical
development people just think about only the profit not about the environment. Hence
natural disasters have increased with the time. As a country, the government
has an economic policy to develop the country. Sustainable Development Goals
always bound around the economic aspect of the country. With the happening of
natural disasters the growth of economy will be goes down and expected goals of
Sustainable Development won’t be able to achieve within the targeted time
period while others do.
Advancement of technology decrease the job
technologies have provided innovative solutions to many development problems,
they have also added new challenges and risks. Rapid technological change has
been destroying jobs faster than creating them, while polarizing work
opportunities and incomes. Despite high productivity and innovation, the median
income and number of jobs have fallen. Moreover, technological innovations pose
a risk of reducing or even replacing human labour. The global robot population
is expected to double to four million by 2020, which will affect economies,
businesses and societies globally. Robots and 3D printers in particular are
expected to replace many jobs in manufacturing, the automotive industry and the
sale and distribution of goods, while by 2025 computers could do the work of
140 million knowledge workers. Forecasts of labour market changes caused by
innovation in artificial intelligence suggest that 30 percent of middle-income
jobs could be eliminated. As a result of this income of the people will be shut
in. hence that poverty will be increase. So while reaching to one goal, the
other goals will goes down. So advancement of technology decrease the job
opportunities and it will affect severely to achieve SDGs specially a country
like Sri Lanka.
Limited access to social protection and basic
protection in terms of having gender equality, less aging population, less shrinking
labour forces by strengthening their social protection systems, including
pensions. In high-income countries, where improvements in life expectancy are
expected to slow down, policies may focus on ensuring universal access to
quality healthcare services that include prevention, cure and care, as well as
improvements in health-related behaviours. Though it’s like that, in Sri Lanka
still have some people who cannot access to quality health care services, quality
education services and decent employment opportunities. As well as gender
disparity also still can be seen in many parts of the Sri Lanka. This limited
access to social protection and basic services will be the directly affecting
challenge to impede of achieving SDGs.
Weak institutions and governance
proportion of people living in poverty have limited access to social protection
and basic services. The challenge here will be not only to provide resources
and services needed to raise people above the poverty line, particularly those
who are furthest behind, but also to ensure that they do not fall back and that
they remain out of poverty, particularly in times of crises and shocks. For
that there should be strong institutional support as well as good governance
with strong economy.
dimension of inequalities that has implications for sustainable development is
political inequalities, which entails disparities in the distribution of
political opportunities and power among groups. They also include inequalities
in people’s capabilities to participate politically, in human rights and the
rule of law. Due to this reason most of foreign investments have been abstain
to invest in Sri Lanka. So it’s been challenge to reach SDGs smoothly.