Engaging parliaments on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs: representation, accountability and implementation

A handbook for civil society

This handbook aims to provide guidance to civil society organisations (CSOs) on how to engage with parliaments and parliamentarians to promote, support and track the implementation of the United
Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the 2030 Agenda). The 2030 Agenda is not solely a government agenda and cannot be delivered by governments alone. Civil society actors can position
themselves as partners along with other stakeholders to help make the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a reality. While operating at different points in the political spectrum, legislatures and CSOs both
contribute to national development and can support each other in helping to realise the SDGs.

Chapter 1 briefly presents the main features and functions of parliaments and explains their relevance to SDG implementation. It shows how the constitutional responsibilities of parliaments provides a forum for CSOs to raise concerns, share inputs and discuss the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the national
and sub-national levels.

Chapter 2 discusses entry points into parliamentary activity for civil society actors seeking to integrate the SDGs into political decision-making and policy implementation in their country. It also identifies the inputs and interventions CSOs can make in parliamentary debates to influence policies, laws, budgets and parliamentary oversight. This chapter, in particular, outlines a number of ways in which the powers of parliaments and individual members of parliament (MPs) can advance the SDGs in real terms.

Chapter 3 is the most action-oriented part of this handbook. Drawing on experiences and lessons learnt, it addresses three key questions:
(1) How, when and who should CSOs approach when working with parliament on the 2030 Agenda and
the SDGs?
(2) What engagement strategies are most valued by MPs themselves?
(3) What challenges can civil society actors encounter and how can these be addressed in order for
parliament to prioritise the 2030 Agenda?

Source: Together 2030