National reports

Kenya: Governance is the key to sustainability “Devolution” is a key governance issue in Kenya to overcome “rampant corruption and impunity”, identified by civil society as the major obstacle to the realization of the SDGs. The “handshake”, a political alliance between the President Uhuru Kenyatta and the main opposition leader and former Prime Minister Raila Ondinga, has cooled the political temperatures that led to violence after the 2017 election. Nevertheless, the decentralization promised in the Constitution of 2010 has been affected by “ absence of consultation on matters that affect County Governments, little technical support for the implementation of functions, insufficient allocations and delayed disbursements of funds to Counties by the National Treasury, lack of capacity and skills to deliver services, corruption, lack of public participation, and gender inequality”. The shadow report on SDG implementation, submitted by SODNET & Ujeengo Global Community Consortium (Consortium on International Development Projects in Kenya -CIDPK) explains that “with devolution, each county has an equitable share of government resources, governed by a set of criteria that include: economic disparities within and among counties and the need to remedy them; the desirability of stable and predictable allocations of revenue; and the need for economic optimization of each county and to provide incentives to optimize its capacity to raise revenue. Among the problems identified, the report studies the fate of youth, economic and gender inequalities, food insecurity and unpaid care and domestic work.
Jordan: Protests get results As a result of longstanding failures in dealing with internal and external challenges, and in particular conditionalities imposed by IMF loans, Jordan has faced a large series of social and political protests in recent years. In the wake of increasing deteriorations of the economic situation, the demonstrations have received an enormous upswing and received public support from all segments of society. The alternative report on Jordan, prepared by the Phenix Center for Economic Studies, describes the dynamics and the leading role of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) during the demonstrations, and takes a look at the aftermath of the protests and upcoming challenges. The numerous protests in Jordan achieved sustainable social and economic improvements in terms of better wages, working conditions and the dismantling of unjust regulations. The unexpected outbreak of the Corona Virus is another challenge for the Jordanian health care system, and the for the productivity of the state itself. Mismanagement could exacerbate the already tense socio-economic which particularly affect the vulnerable population (such as migrants, informal workers and uninsured) who do not have the capacity and financial resources to seek medical help or unemployment benefits.
Hungary: The dismantling of democracy Supported by a supermajority in parliament and three landslide elections, in 2010, 2014 and 2018 the government of the Fidesz party, led by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has severely undermined the system of checks and balances, eliminated political and professional autonomy of most of the state institutions and allowed the capture of the state by influential groups – oligarchs and political players. In October 2019, after years of paralysis and disarray of the Hungarian opposition, they obtained a surprise victory at the municipal elections, announcing changes that are still too early to predict. Hungarian performance towards the SDGs is relatively good in the indicators of poverty and decent work, thanks to economic growth. However, significant challenges remain, in relation with the quality of education and of health services. Simultaneously, the low energy efficiency of housing and polluting residential heating methods make air quality worse. Greenhouse gas emissions from transport have increased strongly over the last five years and emissions are projected to continue increasing under current policies. Water quality and supply remain concerns. Hungary is only at an early stage of moving towards a circular economy and institutional issues impede more effective implementation of environmental laws and policies.
Finland: Social security with inequalities and big footprint The presentation by Finland of its second VNR in 2020 initiated a new kind of cooperation between state authorities and civil society, with non-governmental actors presenting their assessment in the official report. Both views are largely in line, but civil society is more critical. There is no extreme poverty in Finland and a comprehensive social security covers the whole population. Still there are challenges in relation to poverty and inequality. A crucial problem is that increasing in inequalities and social exclusion seem to accumulate and extend across generations, causing intergenerational transmission of poverty. While gender equality situation is considered “good”, Finland is the second most violent EU country for women. As many as 47 per cent of Finnish women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence. The biggest challenge of Finland is the consumption of raw materials. It is high in relation to gross domestic product and per capita, the highest in the world. Total energy consumption was 1.38 million terajoules in 2018, and 40 per cent of fossil fuels. Finland’s economy produced 0.21 kg of carbon dioxide per EUR 1 of GDP, more than double that of Sweden or Switzerland. The average material footprint among Finns is over 40 000 kg per person a year, and the trend is rising. The accounting of greenhouse gas emissions does not consider the impact of Finnish consumption beyond its national borders. “Ecological footprint of Finland is more than three times larger than the global average and our consumption has negative effects abroad”, concludes the Finnish civil society report.
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