MBRSG launches Arab Region Sustainable Development Index and Dashboard 2023/2024

MBRSG launches Arab Region Sustainable Development Index and Dashboard 2023/2024

The Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG), in collaboration with the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), has launched a special edition of the Arab Region Sustainable Development Index and Dashboards.

This initiative comes as part of its role as a knowledge partner of the World Governments Summit (WGS) 2024, which is being held in Dubai under the theme "Shaping Future Governments".

The data-driven report reveals that seven out of 22 Arab countries have succeeded in completing two-thirds of the journey towards achieving the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals. It recommends that all countries in the region need to accelerate efforts while the frontrunners face the challenge of achieving their remaining developmental objectives, which are typically the most challenging in each local context.

The report warns that the Arab region is facing heightened climate change risks that are projected to exacerbate the region’s existing socioeconomic and environmental vulnerability and urges bold action and proactive policy interventions to hasten just green transitions.

Dr. Ali bin Sebaa Al Marri, Executive President of the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government, said,

“The School, from its position as a knowledge partner of the World Governments Summit 2024, seeks to support the platform’s goals and efforts, which include setting the agenda for leaders and policymakers to debate on how the next generation of governments can harness data and evidence to solve the challenges facing humanity."

He continued,

"Over the past 10 years, the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government has made a wide-ranging knowledge contribution to the pool of knowledge transferred by the World Governments Summit from the UAE to the world. This has been achieved through more than 15 local and global activities that have had a profound impact on improving outcomes and maximising their effectiveness. Additionally, the School has supported the agenda of the World Governments Summit through numerous publications, expert participations, and global councils.”

Al Marri emphasised,

"This report reflects the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government's commitment to empowering governments around the world and assisting them in crafting responsive policies that can elevate governmental performance to new horizons. This is achieved through finding data-driven and forward-looking solutions to various challenges."

The report highlights the various developmental challenges facing the Arab region, especially for the least developed countries. It also provides a practical tool to guide targeted interventions aimed at achieving positive change across the region on all sustainable development goals.

Despite several positive regional initiatives, the report points to the continued existence of significant obstacles across various developmental sectors in the Arab region. It calls for intensified efforts and the adoption of regional strategies to address existing gaps and drive progress towards a more sustainable future.

According to the report, the fifth goal of the Sustainable Development Goals (gender equality) stands out as a major regional challenge, with all Arab countries scoring low. At the same time, the effects of conflicts in some Arab countries have posed a significant obstacle to achieving the 16th goal (peace, justice, and strong institutions).

Dr. Fadi Salem, Director of Policy Research Department at the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government and co-author of the report, stated,

"Moving towards just transitions is an urgent, yet challenging, policy direction for all countries in the region. The launch of this special edition of the Index primarily aims to provide a data-driven practical tool for governments and policymakers to enable informed decisions in their aim to implement just transitions and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals."

The index highlights positive trends in some Arab countries regarding the third goal, which is good health and wellbeing. This is especially evident in terms of key health outcomes, such as newborn and under-five mortality rates. The report also observes improvements in some sectors related to the fourth goal, which is quality education.

The report indicates that data availability remains a challenge, hindering the monitoring of progress in certain countries. It highlights significant data gaps in the region, particularly concerning the first goal, which is eradicating poverty, and the 10th goal, which is reducing inequality.

The index consists of 113 indicators covering the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals, each of which has a score (0–100) and a colour (green, yellow, orange, or red) to indicate performance. The arrows indicate trends in progress over time. Additionally, the report includes 29 new indicators that fill gaps and capture issues specific to the Arab region.

Lama Zakzak, Principal Researcher at the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government and co-author of the report, stated,

“The report utilises data-driven approaches to highlight main challenges and opportunities for the Arab region’s pathways towards just transitions by calling for urgent measures to realise climate-related targets, support and protection for workers in sectors adversely affected by green transitions, better economic inclusion for women and youth, increased economic diversification and regional integration as well as better data collection to monitor progress on SDGs.”

The Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government has launched important regional research on sustainable development policy measures, which are available on its research website:

The launch of the report stems from the commitment of the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government, the specialised academic research institution in government administration and public policy at the Arab level, to support the journey of government excellence in the UAE specifically and the Arab world in general. This is achieved through providing an integrated system of educational and training programs, research, and studies, documenting the distinguished Emirati experience, and reproducing and exchanging knowledge among governmental institutions in the UAE and Arab countries.

More than 4,000 participants from the public and private sectors will participate in 110 interactive sessions at WGS 2024, including 200 speakers from 80 international, regional and intergovernmental organisations including the UN, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Health Organisation, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Arab League. It will also welcome eight Nobel prize winners, and provide a platform for 23 ministerial meetings in the presence of more than 300 ministers. In partnership with a select group of knowledge partners, the Summit will launch more than 25 strategic reports, focusing on the most important practices and trends in vital sectors.

News Source: Emirates News Agency

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