SINGLE COUNTRY PROFILE
Tuesday, 18 August 2020
Ireland’s first Sustainable Development Goals National Implementation Plan was published in 2018. It provided a framework for Ireland to work towards implementing the SDGs, including through the support of national policies, which contribute to meeting the Goals, and the facilitation of multi-stakeholder participation.
Ireland’s Second SDG National Implementation Plan 2022-2024 was published on 5 October 2022. It was developed in collaboration with all Government Departments, key stakeholders, and based on input from two public consultation processes. The new Plan builds on the structures and mechanisms set out in the first Sustainable Development Goals National Implementation Plan.
It sets out Ireland’s SDG implementation strategy for 2022-2024 and forms part of a series of consecutive Implementation Plans, each building on the previous iteration, to work towards achieving the SDGs
The overarching national governance, coordination and monitoring framework for the SDGs is set out in this document. The detailed policy approaches to progress individual SDGs and targets are addressed in relevant national policies, as captured in the SDG Policy map.
Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications
No information available.
Ireland has adopted a whole-of-government approach to SDG implementation, with each Minister having specific responsibility for implementing individual SDG targets related to their Ministerial functions. The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications has responsibility for promoting the SDGs, and for overseeing their coherent implementation across Government.
Ireland’s Second National Implementation Plan for the Sustainable Development Goals sets out five strategic objectives and 51 actions, with 119 individual measures. The plan was developed in collaboration with all Government Departments, key stakeholders, and based on input from two public consultation processes held over the last year.
The Plan also contains 22 case studies to showcase some of the valuable initiatives and examples of best practice projects and programmes being progressed by a variety of organisations, institutions and sectors across the country.
1. To embed the SDG framework into the work of Government Departments to achieve greater Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development
The Plan aims to build capacity, raise the profile of the SDGs, better mainstream Agenda 2030 across Government Departments and enhance cooperation and coordination between national policy makers.
2. To integrate the SDGs into Local Authority work to better support the localisation of the SDGs
The Plan aims to raise capacity and build on the role of local government in respect of the SDGs, including embedding the SDGs in governance, reporting and local planning frameworks and through community engagement.
3. Greater partnerships for the Goals
Reflecting the fact that the SDGs belong to everybody, the Plan includes a substantial new chapter relating to sectoral stakeholder engagement and identifying opportunities for greater partnerships. It is intended that this chapter and the groups included therein will be further developed in subsequent iterations of this Implementation Plan.
4. To further incorporate the principle of Leave No One Behind into Ireland’s Agenda 2030 implementation and reporting mechanisms
A commitment given in the 2022-2024 National Implementation Plan is to open a collaborative and inclusive dialogue to explore the concept of Leave No One Behind and what it means in an Irish context. This will form the focus for discussion at the next SDG National Stakeholder Forum meeting.
5. Strong reporting mechanisms
The Plan includes actions to introduce robust reporting mechanisms to monitor progress on the SDGs and SDG targets as well as on the status of the actions set out in the Plan.
Overall political oversight for national SDG implementation is provided through the Cabinet, with each Government Minister having specific responsibility for implementing individual SDG targets related to their Ministerial functions. For this reason, each of the 169 SDG targets has been assigned to a lead Government Department. The choice to assign Ministerial responsibility for each target was taken to ensure that individual Departments take ownership of those SDGs most relevant to their work and to provide additional clarity to stakeholders.
All ministries are involved.
While Ireland’s political and administrative systems are relatively centralised by international standards, local government has a crucial role to play in translating national policies into tangible practical actions that can help to deliver the SDGs at the local and community level. Integrating the SDGs into Local Authority work to better support the localisation of the goals is an important task during the lifetime of the SDG National Implementation Plan 2022-2024.
Ireland established structures at official level to facilitate implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
An SDG Senior Officials’ Group [SOG], made up of senior officials from all Government Departments, has been established to provide strategic coordination and to report as required to Cabinet.
This Group is chaired by the Department of the Taoiseach [Prime Minister], with support of the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.
The group is assisted by an SDG Interdepartmental Working Group [IDWG], again comprised of representatives from all Government Departments. The IDWG is responsible for developing national policy in relation to SDG implementation, preparing Ireland’s VNRs and other SDG reports, and developing national arrangements for stakeholder engagement.
Ireland presented its second VNR at HLPF 2023 and provides an assessment of progress achieved in the last four years.
At national level, progress on the actions and measures set out in the SDG National Implementation Plan 2022-2024 will be reviewed annually.
In addition, a separate annual SDG-target reporting mechanism was introduced as part of the SDG National Implementation Plan 2022-2024 to centrally capture policy and data-based updates on progress.
Ireland has presented its second Voluntary National Review (VNR) at the UN High Level Political Forum in July 2023, which provides an assessment of progress achieved in the last four years. The theme of the report was Building Back Better while Leaving No One Behind. This progress report reviewed Ireland’s progress towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including the commitment to Leave No One Behind.
The identification and management of national data needed to meet Ireland’s SDG reporting requirements is undertaken by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). The CSO has direct responsibility for sourcing, developing and quality assuring the data for the Irish SDG Indicator set. To be effective in this role, the CSO assesses the availability of data for global indicators within Ireland, namely to:
- identify data providers and data sources for SDG indicators
- identify data and methodological gaps
- consider data disaggregation requirements
Due to their cross-cutting nature, the monitoring and reporting of SDG progress requires close collaboration between the CSO and national policy makers. Under the previous Implementation Plan, the SDG data governance board (SDG-DGB) was established to source, develop, and report on the statistical data for the Indicators in each of the SDGs and interlinked targets.
The SDG-DGB is chaired by the CSO, and membership comprises of representatives from each of the Government Departments and Agencies. The SDG-DGB meets quarterly.
The second VNR presented in 2023 uses the UN indicators.
The CSO has also published a series of individual SDG Goal reports on UN SDG indicators data for Ireland.
Reflecting the fact that the SDGs belong to everybody, the Irish Government is committed to working in partnership with society to achieve the SDGs. The SDG National Implementation Plan 2022-2024 places a large emphasis on partnerships for the Goals. Work towards achieving the SDGs will be carried out through international partnerships, partnerships across national and local government, with civil society and communities and with key sectors and groups.
The National Implementation Plan includes a substantial new chapter relating to sectoral stakeholder engagement reflecting the contribution of key groups to the SDGs and identifying opportunities for greater partnerships. It is intended that this chapter and the groups included therein will be developed further in subsequent iterations of the Implementation Plan (the next Plan is due at the end of 2024).
The national SDG Stakeholder Forum was established to provide a mechanism for stakeholders to discuss innovative ideas and solutions to further development of the national SDG framework. Including representatives from civil society, NGOs, academia, business, community groups and Government, the Forum aims to facilitate open and inclusive engagement, and develop collaborative partnerships in support of Agenda 2030.
As part of the National Implementation Plan 2022-2024, an SDG Forum Committee will be established to redesign an improved Forum format based on Stakeholder feedback. Consisting of representation from all stakeholder groups, the committee will help identify the most appropriate forms of collaboration to ensure stakeholders feel a sense of ownership of the forum and can contribute to the successful implementation of Agenda 2030.
A new SDG National Stakeholder Forum Committee has been set up and members appointed for a 12-month period. The Committee consists of representation from a wide variety of stakeholder groups and will assist in redesigning an improved, more accessible and more inclusive SDG National Stakeholder Forum format. DECC hosted successful SDG National Stakeholder Forums in January, April 2023 with the next iteration due to take place in November. For the 2023-2024 Programme, 26 champions have been selected, consisting of 22 newly appointed organisations, along with four former SDG Champions who have chosen to continue the role cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic. Champions have been selected from across the public, private, community, voluntary, youth and NGO sectors and are represented by larger, national organisations and smaller, community groups. More information can be found here.
Established in 2019, the SDG Champions Programme was developed to raise public awareness of the SDGs and to demonstrate, through the examples provided by Champions, that everyone in society can make a contribution to Agenda 2030.
Ireland has opened its call for expressions of interest in the 2023 SDG Champions Programme. As part of the 2023 programme, 20 organisations and groups from across the country will be appointed 'SDG Champions' to raise public awareness of the SDGs and to demonstrate, through example, that everyone in society can make a contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Ireland strongly supports stakeholder participation in the 2030 Agenda process and a collaborative and participatory approach was therefore taken when developing the second Voluntary National Review. A number of key initiatives have been progressed to provide national stakeholders with the opportunity to input into Ireland’s 2023 VNR process and to have their voice and assessments captured in the report, including through:
• Two SDG National Stakeholder Forum meetings, attendance of which was open to all;
• A specific youth consultation process;
• The invitation to key stakeholder groups to submit a chapter for inclusion in this report;
• The invitation for public submissions for inclusion in the compendium of stakeholder contributions in Chapter 9 of this report; and
• An SDG Junior Art Competition.
No information available.