Sindh’s journey to pursue Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) continues. Its SDGs Support Unit will be finalising its progress on various targets in the next month and will come up with a presentation on the SDG Framework.

The 17 SDGs involve 247 indicators and out of which 174 are provincially applicable. Data, however, is available only for 61 per cent of provincially applicable indicators until 2021. Two-point data that is considered important to gauge performance is available for 43pc of provincially applicable indicators.

In Sindh, 67pc of the indicators have progressed while 33pc show a downward trend

For provincially relevant indicators backed by two-point data, 67pc of the indicators have shown improved progress while 33pc have shown a downward trend, according to officials of the SDG Unit in the Planning and Development Board of Sindh government.

This two-point data, a project-related term, reflects upward or downward trends/progress between 2015-16 and 2018-19 on the targets and their indicators. Out of a total of 247 indicators, 174 directly pertain to the Sindh province and the rest are relevant in the federal context.

The recent results are based on the 2018-19 survey for the Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey (MICS), says project manager Mumtaz Halepoto of the SDG Unit. “And out of 174 indicators, progress on 61pc or 106 out of 174 provincially applicable indicators can be reported for Sindh,” he adds.

For instance, SDG-14 — Life Below Sea falls in the federal domain so the Sindh government is not supposed to look into it. “Three of SDG-14’s 10 indicators pertain to the province but we have simply no data available with us at this point of time,” he adds.

The progress achieved for different SDGs — some are sectors — is attributable to programmes like the Peoples Poverty Reduction Programme to eliminate poverty and the Accelerated Action Plan for the health sector. For example, SDG-8’s target is to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and by 2025, end child labour in all its forms. “As per MICS 2014-15, child labour has reduced from 26pc to 10.4pc in 2018-19,” he says.

SDG-3 Good Health and Well Being’s target is to end preventable deaths of newborns and children under five years of age by 2030. In 2014-15, Sindh’s data indicates that the under-five mortality rate at 104 per 1,000 live births improved to 46 per 1,000 live births by 2018-19.

Some indicators are worsening in Sindh. He referred to indicator 1.2.2 of SDG-1 No Poverty Goal where multi-dimensional poverty has increased from 43.1pc in 2014-15 to 47pc in 2018-19. However, the 1.1.1 indicator of SDG-1 — the proportion of the population living below the international poverty line — shows improvement as it was at 36pc in 2014-15 and now is at 29pc.

Likewise, a downward trend can be witnessed for SDG-4 Quality Education, where data relating to the 4.1.2 indicator reflects a decrease from 49pc in 2014-15 to 45pc in 2018-19. Similarly, the progress on SDG-5 of gender equality says that the marriage rate before 18 years of age has increased from 19pc in 2014-15 to 24pc in 2018-19. The relevant target is to eliminate all harmful practices such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

For SDG-8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, the unemployment rate has increased from 4.66pc in 2014-15 to 4.92pc in 2018-19 while the target aims to achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men by 2030.

Published in Dawn, The Business and Finance Weekly, September 27th, 2021

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