Localising the Sustainable Development Goals to suit Samoa

Jul 31, 2017

Samoa has been a leader in adopting and promoting the goals, being one of the first countries globally as well as the first Small Island Developing State to report voluntarily on its development progress through its National Voluntary Report in 2016. Photo credit: UNDP/2017.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) comprise 17 Goals that cover a range of development targets, including reducing poverty, promoting health and education, and combatting climate change. The UNDP Multi-Country Office in Samoa commenced work in November 2016 on an initiative aimed at localising the SDGs and tailoring them to suit Samoa’s unique development needs.  

Samoa has been a leader in adopting and promoting the goals, being one of the first countries globally as well as the first Small Island Developing State to report voluntarily on its development progress through its National Voluntary Report in 2016. Samoa’s national planning strategy, The Strategy for Development of Samoa has been fully aligned to the SDGs, and the Government is making steady progress in localising the SDGs in Samoa in close collaboration with the UNDP Multi-Country Office in Samoa commencing in January 2017. 

Under the overall coordination of the Samoa SDGs Task Force, government sectors responsible for achieving all 17 Goals, 169 targets and 230 indicators were involved in a joint consultation process led by the Samoa Bureau of Statistics and UNDP. From these initial consultations, it became apparent that there remained issues regarding the availability of data and its accessibility, and sharing this information. A second consultative meeting with Government sector coordinators, the Samoa SDGs Taskforce and UN agencies in Samoa was held from 10 – 14 July 2017 in Apia to consider a way forward on this work. A technical meeting with all sector coordinators was held to discuss key issues and recommendations in regards to the localisation process.

Both the Samoa Government and UNDP emphasised their commitment to achieving the SDGs for the benefit of the country. The Chair of the Samoa SDGs Taskforce, Peseta Noumea Simi, Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, stressed the importance of breaking down silos and working collectively. She also emphasised that the SDGs are an important way to bring UN agencies and the Government together to collaborate closer to support Samoa’s continued efforts towards achieving the SDGs. Moving forward, Ms. Simi expressed the view that the Samoa Government valued its relationship with the UN agencies and looked forward to working with the UN. Echoing these sentiments, UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Lizbeth Cullity noted that “This meeting was a fitting demonstration of the UN coming together to consult with the Government of Samoa on how it could further support its continuing work towards localising the SDGs and making it relevant to the people of Samoa.”