Slovak SDG Priorities

Slovak SDG Priorities

On 13 November we at the Pontis Foundation organized our annual CEE CSR Summit in Bratislava and also held a discussion roundtable on SDGs. The title of the roundtable was “SDGs – The New Era of Business” and the main purpose was to discuss how companies can cooperate with the state sector when fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals.

The leader of the roundtable was Sandra Salamonová, who heads the Department for Coordination of Agenda 2030 at the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office for Investments and Informatization.

Slovakia and the SDGs

In July 2018, Slovakia presented at the UN a progress report on Sustainable Development Goals. Three representatives of three generations of Slovaks presented their life experiences. Young people were presented through the view of an active high school student Daniel Bunda, who volunteers in an NGO called Eduma. The adults were represented by Ivana Maleš, a director of the Institute for Circular Economy. And the older generation was presented by professor Vladimír Krčméry, who leads medical and humanitarian projects in many parts of the world, from Kenya to India. 

Before the presentation at the UN, UPVII run a series of participatory meetings all around Slovakia to get feedback on 5 SDG priorities chosen for Slovakia by Slovak Academy of Sciences. A sixth priority was added by experts and citizens during the meetings – Rule of law, democracy and security.

The six priorities for Slovakia are:

  1. Education for a life in dignity
    2. Transformation towards knowledge-based and sustainable economy in the face of changing demography and global context
    3. Poverty reduction and social inclusion
    4. Sustainable settlements, regions and countryside in the face of climate change
    5. Rule of law, democracy and security
    6. Good health

UPVII is preparing the first draft of the Vision and Strategy of the Development of Slovakia until 2030 (further as Vision and Strategy). The first draft deadline was at the end of November 2018; the final draft should be ready by April 2019. Companies can comment on the draft.

There was also a meeting on 5th December between UPVII and the Statistical Office, where they agreed on the set of indicators to monitor in the Vision and Strategy.

How can companies contribute?

There was a meeting recently between Business Leaders Forum and the UPVII, where these topics were discussed: Via Bona Slovakia category for SDGs, certification process, micro grants, sharing of information, an offer of bilateral meetings, discussions and assistance with social impact measurement.

There was an offer to organize one more meeting with BLF this year. Michal Kišša is a member of the expert group preparing Vision and Strategy. There was a proposal of him serving as an intermediary and sharing information and news with BLF members.  

 Some of the points raised:

  1. UN Global Compact and cooperation with Business Leaders Forum. See e.g. SDG Compass .
    2. The main finding from a participation process is that reliable data are missing.
    3. The Vision and Strategy should be action-oriented and different from a typical document focused on analysis.
    4. UPVII wants to break silos and have a participation process where everyone is treated equally.
    5. Collective impact initiatives and examples from Poland and SK – Digital Skills within BLF as an example of an effort to share best practices between BLF members with the focus on training teachers based on the success of S(LOVE)CODE project by Accenture.
    6. Systemic change and scaling of some projects in cooperation with government (e.g. Slovak Telekom and Mobile Teacher for people with hearing loss).
    7. Various ways how to prioritize SDG targets for Slovakia – e.g. using dashboards and scorecards – SDG Index (Bertelsmann Stiftung) and/or Measuring Distance to SDG Targets (OECD) or focusing on bottlenecks and connections between SDGs (lowest common denominators like clean energy and sanitation, or maybe science education?) – World Bank paper

Conclusion

Slovak state officials want to use SDGs and Agenda 2030 as the cornerstone for national long-term planning and an umbrella strategy that will unite and coordinate current and future strategies and inform investments, including European Funds spending.

Slovak companies are interested in promoting SDGs internally to their employees, and also towards public. They are interested in ways how to incorporate SDGs to their CSR strategies, reporting and also measuring their social impact.    

Author: Jakub Šimek/Pontis Foundation

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