The launch of a ground-breaking Joint Programme (JP) to accelerate SDG through digital transformation will mitigate the risk of increasing inequalities due to challenges of access and affordability of digital connectivity and strengthen community resilience says Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (PIANGO) Board Chair Marstella Jack.
While speaking at the launch in Micronesia on July 12, Ms Jack said the joint programme should not only limit its support on the programme implementation level but ensure that women and girls are safer and have better access to economic opportunities through digital literacy.
The Digitalization Programme brings together seven participating UN Organisations led by ITU, including FAO, ILO, UNOPS, UNESCO, UNICEF, and UNODC, under the overall leadership of the UN Resident Coordinator Multi-Country Office Micronesia, financed by the UN Joint SDG Fund, supporting digital transformation initiatives, solutions, and policy framework developments to digitally empower Small Island Developing States (SIDS) across the Pacific Islands.
Ms Jack who is also a board member of the FSM Alliance of NGOs (FANGO) said the programme speaks well to SDG17 in Partnerships for the Goals that will provide the necessary partnership values and principles to work together with Civil Society as an equal partner to impact the wellbeing of the Micronesian people and empower the resilience of its communities.
“Each of the partners will bring their expertise to support initiatives for transformative impact contributing to achieving multiple SDGs,” she said.
Since 2016, about 14 of our Pacific Countries had reported on the implementations of SDGs of which five of that were from Micronesia. PIANGO supported the engagement of Civil Society in that process, mostly highlighting the implementation of SDG 16 and 17 that speaks to the recognition of Civil Society as Development Actors in our own right and the critical role they play in promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels as in SDG 16.
Ms Jacks is hopeful the digital transformation to strengthen the community resilience is accompanied with equal access and cheaper connection across Micronesia to ensure that they respond to the digital divide experienced during covid 19 that still bring to the fore the need for enabling policies on freedom of information and accountability mechanism to accompany our ambition for digital transformation.
#Action4SD, Commonwealth Foundation, UNDP in the Pacific, UNICEF Pacific.