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Sustaining and Enhancing the Monitoring of Development Goals: Policy Coherence and Multi-Level Governance in Philippine Bureaucracy

In achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2016-2030 (UN SDGs) and the national collective vision AmBisyon Natin 2040, the Philippines has encountered politico-administrative challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The deadlines of the UN SDGs and the Philippine AmBisyon Natin 2040 extend beyond the presidential executive term of office, highlighting the urgency of continuity and reform in the pursuit of development goals. The shift in political leadership resulting from the 2022 national elections and the transition to full devolution, compliant with the Supreme Court’s Mandanas-Garcia ruling, offer prospects for sustaining and enhancing the Philippine efforts to achieve the global goals, integrated with national and development goals. This paper examines the efforts of the Philippine government for executive policies and bureaucratic capacity, particularly in designating the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) for monitoring the SDGs implementation. Specifically, the paper analyzes the Voluntary National Reviews as performance reports and the government’s policy and institutional framework on the SDGs pertinent to the: (1) extent of performance and gaps indicated by the data-monitoring results; (2) design of development plans and policies, and; (3) areas for policy and bureaucratic interventions to enhance coordination and monitoring of progress on the global SDGs with national and local development goals. The paper takes a constructivist-institutional approach and analyzes policy coherence and multi-level governance in the monitoring of SDGs implementation results from 2016-2022. Monitoring and reporting on the SDGs results are vital to determining the need for policy change and bureaucratic capacity to achieve the goals and targets. Qualitative methods were used to collect and analyze the content of documents and key informant interviews. Amid social-political challenges, the Philippines will need to align and synergize its efforts and resources to achieve development goals by 2030 and beyond.


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