The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are goals that were developed globally to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by the end of 15 years from 2016-2030(UNDP, 2018).
Begashaw and Sachs, 2018 defined Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a universal agenda, calling on all nations to pursue economic development, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability, on the basis of good governance(Begashaw and Sachs, 2018).
Previously, developing countries were referred to as nations that were related to having inflation but this was not defined as it meant either low-, middle- or high-income. World Bank viewed the term “developing countries” as not suitable. “For example, China, Bolivia, and Eritrea, which fall in three different income groups” are all referred to as developing(Fernholz Tim, 2016).
The World Bank Group reported that although poverty has declined rapidly over the past three decades, people still face urgent and complex challenges. Despite the rising prosperity in many countries, inequality and social exclusion are also rising(WBG, 2015).
Sierra Leone, Uganda, Madagascar and Togo are the four African countries that volunteered to conduct national reviews of their implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
The government of Uganda already started working towards achieving the SDGs through the development of 76% of the nation’s 2015/16-2019/20 national development plan in line with the SDGs. (UNDP, 2018).
The following are the feasible action points to achieve the SDGs:
Poverty is the failure of government and community to identify, mobilize and match existing resources with a set of priority needs in order to enable the populace to have an acceptable and the minimum standard of living that enhances well-being (Wooding, et al, 2012, p.1).
All forms of poverty can be ended through improving the accessibility of the people to essential goods and services, and the protection of vulnerable and disadvantaged people through incorporating appropriate new technology and financial services like microfinance as well as the implementation of nationally appropriate social protection systems(The et al., 2016).
There is a need for policy making, improving welfare, sustaining livelihoods and maintaining peace which will, in turn, strengthen domestic growth and promote structural transformation(Unctad, 2018).
Globally over 1 billion people still live in destitution, a state of affairs that is morally unacceptable given the resources and the technology available today(WBG, 2015).
Those experiencing extreme poverty, the majority of them are living in fragile and remote areas. Many people have difficulty to access to good schools, healthcare, electricity, safe water, and other critical services, which are often determined by socioeconomic status, gender, ethnicity, and geography. For the people who have been able to move out of poverty, the change is often temporary and are affected by economic shocks, food insecurity, and climate change which robs them of their hard-won gains and force them back into poverty(The World Bank, 2018).
A poverty assessment of Uganda in 2016 showed a significant reduction in the number of Ugandans living below the poverty line to have declined from 31.1 per cent in 2006 to 19.7 per cent in 2013(Hurtt Haley, 2017).
Zero hunger is a strategy to globally end hunger and achieve food security by 2030. This can be achieved in developing countries by ensuring that nutritious food is available and affordable is a basic need for all. This can be done by increasing the productivity of small-scale food producers; maintaining genetic diversity, improving rural infrastructures; stemming agricultural export subsidies, and limiting the volatility of food prices(The et al., 2016).
Good health and well-being.
There is a need for the governments of developing countries to ensure healthy lives and well-being for all people of all age groups, there is a need to prevent non-communicable diseases which are on a rise and are caused by poor lifestyles such as smoking, excess alcohol consumption, sedentary life, and poor eating habits.
This can also be achieved through the reduction of deaths caused by hazardous chemicals and pollution and the development of health risk warning systems.
Strengthened implementation of health policies in line with the World Health Organization Framework Directive and access to health care will also enhance achievement of healthy lives and well-being for all(The et al., 2016).
The governments in developing countries need to mobilize education and information campaigns with an emphasis on people with low income and low literacy levels through providing easy and equal access to universal pre-school, primary and secondary education to all learners in order to avail the people with skills to live sustainable lives(The et al., 2016).
The government of Uganda has worked towards ensuring inclusive and equitable education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all through putting up universal primary and secondary education(NDPII, 2019).
The universal goal to achieve gender equality and empowerment for all women and girls in developing countries is still a big issue in many developing countries, women are still denied their rights to either income, health care, land ownership or education. There is the need for policies that aim to achieve acknowledgement of unpaid and domestic work through provisions of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies(The et al., 2016).
The government of Uganda has strengthened gender equality and women’s empowerment through the formulation of a gender-responsive regulatory framework, development of policies and strategies. The research was done to get information for the institutionalization of gender planning in all sectors which resulted in an increased number of women in political leadership, enrolled girls at primary level and increased ownership of land by women.
Despite all the effort that has been put, there is still need for improvement in gender parity, women own only 27 per cent of the registered land and less than 20 per cent control the outputs and proceeds from their efforts even when 70 per cent of agriculture is carried out by the women(NDPII, 2019).
Clean water and sanitation.
The governments in the developing countries need to ensure availability and sustainability management of water and sanitation for all through;
• Ensuring that there is access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation, special attention to be given to the needs of women and girls.
• Ensuring protection of water sources by reducing pollution, untreated wastewater, water efficiency, and water resource management and protecting water-related ecosystems.
• The building of international cooperation to enhance technology exchanges and international river basin management.
• Support and strengthening of community participation in water and sanitation (The et al., 2016).
Affordable and clean energy.
For developing countries to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy, there is a need to increase power generation, extended distribution infrastructure and upgraded technology to enable the supply of modern and sustainable energy, including an increased share of electricity generated from renewable energy sources. For example, improvements in water, transport and telecommunications infrastructure can directly improve the living conditions of the people(Unctad, 2018).
Decent work and economic growth.
Achieving the goal of promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all in developing countries requires sound national development strategies which must be strongly geared towards a sustained acceleration of output growth, combining productivity increases with the creation of productive employment opportunities and an expansion of supply capacities which demand growth(Unctad, 2018).
Industry, innovation, and infrastructure.
Developing countries can achieve the above SDG goal through building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation through developing and implementing policies aimed at accelerating the signs of progress towards a higher share of the manufacturing industry where income and employment generation for the nationals must be complemented by measures to ensure that benefits go to all groups of society and that the modes of production and consumption are environmentally sustainable and climate-friendly(Sachs, 2015).
Reduction of inequality in developing countries can be achieved by addressing the need to adopt social protection policies. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2013 reported that there is still inequality among African nations and that it is higher when globally compared on average. Recently the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) also reported that reducing poverty and income inequality within each developing country will strengthen the domestic forces of growth. this can be achieved by developing policies that will bring about change in income distribution with the main aim to progressively achieve equality within the countries globally(Unctad, 2018).
The Sustainable Development Goals can be achieved in developing countries when the governances still have a gap in the reinforcement of the set policies and strategies that directly affect all people such as access to food, clean water, equality, healthcare, quality education, decent work and affordable and clean energy. Monitoring and evaluation of the projects put to reinforce the policies and plans will also enhance the achievement of the SDGs. Although a lot has been done, the end to extreme poverty is far from over, inclusive of many challenges.