LILLONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The 2022 People’s Report clearly shows that Malawi is off track in implementing 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) arguing that it will be difficult to achieve goals by 2030.
In September 2015, Malawi was one of the 186 United Nations Member States that adopted and ratified the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The report shows that Malawi has only scored 35% of the goals since 2015.
With eight years remaining for SDGs deadline, the report shows that Malawi is scoring badly on goals 1, 2, 6 including no poverty, zero hunger and affordable and clean energy with 4%, 10% and 6% respectively.
The report shows that Malawi’s poverty levels has worsen with little efforts to address challenges people are facing.
CONGOMA with support from World Vision carried the survey to assess how SDGs are fairing on Malawian people.
The report comes out yearly in September for global leaders to take action on agreed commitment towards uplifting peoples livelihood.
Malawi and rest of the world publicize the reports in the Global Week of Action yearly in September.
The country however is making good progress on goals 6 and 17 of clean water and sanitation, and partnership with 58% and 54% respectively.
The report which has peoples voices show that despite Malawi having good policies, frameworks, plans and strategies, implementation remains a big challenge.
“Citizens acknowledge Government’s zeal to put in place policies and frameworks to achieve SDGs. Despite the favorable policy and legal terrain, the citizens note weaknesses in the implementation process.
“They cited lack of commitment from duty bearers to actualize what the instruments dictate to address the challenges they face. Government is yet to demonstrate serious commitment towards disclosure of public
information as stipulated in Malawi’s Access to Information Act,” reads part of the report.
“The National Budget allocations to some high performing sectors such as social protection remain meager compared to the number of vulnerable citizens that deserve the interventions.
Limited awareness on the national instruments has exacerbated poor implementation of development programmes,” the report says.
It adds, “Civic participation and empowerment remain feeble. This status quo implies limited lack of monitoring skills for public services among citizens, calling for conceited efforts in citizen empowerment through dissemination of the legal and policy instruments and translating them into local languages.
“The decentralization and devolution drive has not been entirely embraced as most development planning is still happening at the central level. Being a top down approach, less impact is expected at the local level”.
The report shows people in communities value the Village Action Plans and Area Development Plans as they feed into the District Development Plans.
However, citizens indicate they no longer see the importance of development plans which are not prioritized when it comes financing. In their view, it is important for the district councils and Central Government to declare levels of financing for particular districts and ask them to develop relevant plans.
Corruption continued to erode confidence of citizens in the way public services are offered.
They observed that corruption is happening through bad procurement and demanding funds for free public services.
This has denied citizens from accessing public services and resulted in sub-standard services being offered.
Citizens are being subjected to inhumane conditions in an era inequality is getting worse due to corrupt individuals in privileged positions.
A call for serious review of public systems was made to reverse the trend, including building capacity of oversight institutions such as the Anti-Corruption Bureau, Financial Intelligence Unit, Fiscal Police, Auditor General and Office of the Ombudsman.
It is hoped that adequate capacity of these institutions might contribute to prudent utilization of
The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the lives of citizens and national development cannot be overemphasized. The pandemic disrupted and affected development efforts over the reporting period from 2021/2022 in all sectors including education, health and agriculture.
Consequently, mobilisation of resources by public institutions was affected, which is likely to impact on implementation of the SDGs. However, citizens have indicated that duty bearers should not use the
pandemic as an excuse for failing to provide basic services to them.
The devaluation of the Malawi Kwacha which has triggered rise in prices of goods and services
is impacting negatively on the citizens.
Most citizens indicated failure to meet basic needs, a threat to achieving the SDGs by 2030. The report
shows many groups are being left behind including citizens in remote areas, women, girls, persons
with disability, refugees, the elderly persons, chronically-ill and children. Deliberate efforts are
hence required to avoid the leaving these groups behind.
Politicization of development programmes is derailing implementation. The rights holders point out that other areas are being neglected on the pretext that they hold dissenting views on the political front.
Additionally, there is poor harmonisation and fragmentation of programmes at local level due to competition for visibility, resources and beneficiaries; and lack of enforcement among partners to adhere to available development instruments such as the VAPs, ADPs and DDPs.
Such situations not only affect joint implementation and monitoring of programmes, but also weaken systems for capturing data for reporting at local and national levels
In an interview with CONGOMA’s Programms Manager Simekinala Kaluzi agrees with the report that goals are unattainable based on the implementation pace.
Kaluzi disclosed that some goals including 11, 12 and 16 of Sustainable cities, Responsible consumption and production, and Peace and justice respectively have insufficient data that can not be a report on them.
“These are the voices of people on the ground on how are viewing SDGs but when we check with government on the same is always assures us that the goals are achievable.
“With eight years remaining at the average score of 35% for the entire goals, its however a daunting task for Malawi to meet the target by 2030,” casts doubt Kaluzi.
World Vision Malawi’s Director for communication and advocacy Charles Gwengwe expressed worrisome on the goals pace implementation.
Gwengwe expects Malawi government to pull up socks in addressing gaps the report has outlined.
“We supported the survey that people of Malawi voices’ be heard on SDGs that policy holders starting weighting their commitment of the goals than lip–services”, says Gwengwe.
Malawi also failed miserable on vision 2020 and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).