SDGs- The Role of MDAs

SDGs- The Role of MDAs
Source: Ghana| Victor Owusu Boateng
Date: 05-10-2018 Time: 08:10:09:am
Victor Owusu Boateng is Demographer/Statistician at Ghana Statistical Service.

SDGs- The Role of MDAs

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have become a household name in global discussions on the development of countries.

Hence developed countries are to pull along developing countries to achieve a sustainable development in the area of; Health, education, environment, economic, strong Institutions.

Health and education form a basis for social development, and they thrive well in a medium called Environment. To maintain and sustain the social life of the people in an environment requires resources which are termed as economic.

Every country is structured in a way to support its development and sustain it. Therefore, relevant structures and institutions are put in place to help these sectors in every country.

In the case of Ghana, these institutions are in the form of

  • Ministries
  • Departments
  • Agencies

The above institutions are supported by the private sector to achieve the overall betterment of Ghana. Each of these sectors has a role to play in achieving the SDGs.

Therefore, the responsibility lies on the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to go through all the 17 goals, 169 targets and over 230 indicators to ascertain which of the indicators they can generate data to calculate or produce a particular indicator.

In certain institutions, the data is readily available but the indicator is not produced. In such situations, what can they do to produce an indicator from already existing data?

In another situation, data is already available, the indicator is already produced. In this situation, the institutions need to find a way to give such indicators to the appropriate body like Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) or National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) to compile these indicators.

On the other hand, a situation where data is not readily available, and the indicator is not produced, these institutions are capable of generating data which can help to produce an indicator under their jurisdiction.

This can be achieved if each institution strengthens its administrative data collection system in an area that can help the country to monitor and evaluate its achievement as far as SDGs is concerned.

The 230 and beyond indicators cut across social, environment and economic sectors of our country. The responsibility now lies on each institution to do their best to get the data needed to produce a particular indicator so that the GSS and the NDPC can monitor and evaluate the country’s performance.

Below are the SDGs. Individual institutions can determine how best they can work to support the country to achieve the desired results.

  1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  1. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  1. Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages
  1. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  1. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  1. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  1. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  1. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  1. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  1. Reduce inequality within and among countries
  1. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  1. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  1. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  1. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  1. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  1. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  1. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Finance.

Each and every sector of our economy can take time and see how best they can generate the necessary data to produce most of the indicators. Although some of the indicators are not clearly defined, we can still work around the clock to find out how best we can calculate each indicator into our local context. Itt can help Ghana to know the level of development around that area or sector of the economy. This may help the policy-maker to know the direction of the country.

As an MDA, our efforts to do more than usual depends on how best the policy maker uses the data generated and how best they can provide the necessary assistance so that the various MDAs would be very efficient and effective.

Among the various assistance needed by the MDAs include:

  • A reliable research and statistical office with qualified officers
  • Adequate motivation
  •  Availability of statistical packages to help in dissemination of the data

If data generated are not valued, data produces will not be interested and motivated enough to channel out more of such data needed to produce the accurate indicators as stated in the SDGs matrix.



Demographer/ Statistician

Ghana Statistical Service



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