Toward an Accountability Revolution? Citizen Participation and the SDGs
This Working Paper will appear as a Chapter in the book, From Summits to Solutions: Innovations in Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals, edited by Raj Desai, Hiroshi Kato, Homi Kharas, and John McArthur, and to be published by Brookings Institution Press in 2018
Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah, Secretary General of CIVICUS, the global civil society alliance
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will not be achieved without significant public awareness and engagement. It is citizens who will hold governments accountable to the promises they made in 2015, and we need to find innovative ways of raising public pressure to deliver a more just and sustainable world by 2030. Only through such an “accountability revolution” will we have any chance of achieving the commitments made in the SDGs, and the lynchpin for that revolution is citizen participation.
Citizens and civil society have been actively involved in the SDGs since before they existed. They have raised awareness about the importance of the “post-2015” process through nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) and actively contributed to the drafting of the goals through the Open Working Group.