The parallel session, chaired by Professor Byeong-soo Yoon of the National Human Resources Development Institute (NHI), Korea, highlights the mechanisms by which government can engage other stakeholders, such as the private sector and non-profits, in attaining the SDG targets. The speakers for this session are: Ms. Eunju Kim, Korea Institute of Public Administration, Korea; Dr. Asima Siahaan, University of Sumatera Utara, Indonesia; and Dr. Paulito Nisperos and Mr. Divino Amor P. Rivera, Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University.
In her presentation, “Ensuring multi-stakeholder partnership for the SDGs: Institutional arrangements from the perspective of multi-level governance,” Ms. Eunju Kim noted the vagueness of international commitment targets such as the SDGs. According to her, ambiguities of SDGs can be both constructive and destructive: constructive because they allow more consensus-based and consultative decision making in defining targets and indicators; and destructive because the resulting overlaps and conflicting views on the importance of SDGs may delay policy formulation and implementation. Kim referred to the study being conducted by the Korean Institute of Public Administration (KIPA) on the national implementation of the SDGs. Data used to assess national implementation of SDGs in Korea was obtained through in-depth interviews with Korean officials in government agencies and was analyzed qualitatively. Results attributed the difficulty of implementing SDGs to goal ambiguity, which is largely because of the vastness of the goals. Consequently, planning for certain policies was difficult; it was not clear whether SDGs was a comprehensive international agreement or merely a follow-up of the Millennium Development Goals. Finally, some institutional arrangements between national government agencies were fragmented. Kim stressed the need to define or realign SDG priorities with the Korean context. A strategic sub-set of SDGs for Korea, as well as multi-stakeholder partnerships among ministries and other government and non-government agencies, is highly recommended.
A particular case of collaborative governance for SDGs is featured in Dr. Asima Siahaan’s study titled, “The Role of Faith-based Organizations Disaster Risk Governance: A Case Study of Mount Sinabung Eruption in Kabupaten Karo.” Here, Siahaan showcases the role of religious and faith-based organizations in post-disaster rehabilitation, which has rarely been discussed in disaster management studies. She specifically cited the case of Protestant Karo Batak Church (GBKP), one of the faith-based organizations involved in disaster response and rehabilitation post-Mount Sinabung eruption. It initially provided disaster training activities, but the goals of the organization were initially unclear. Eventually, however, the organization evolved into one of the prominent disaster-relief agencies in Kabupaten Karo, a village in Indonesia. GBKP focuses on collaboration and networking with both government and non-government institutions, and adopts an inclusive framework of disaster management and service delivery. Its programs and projects address areas such as women’s needs, provides technical support to communities, disaster awareness. Factors that made GBKP approaches effective are transparency, accountability, trust, and recognition and legitimacy. In concluding her presentation, Siahaan suggested that the government needs to provide an enabling framework for non-profits to articulate community needs in the area of disaster management and rehabilitation. This includes consideration and respect for the sociocultural and spiritual sensitivities.
Moving from the perspective of non-profits, Dr. Paulito Nisperos and Mr. Divino Amor Rivera’s paper on “Household Energy Consumption in Region I: Basis for Policy Agenda on Energy Conservation” provides baseline data and policy recommendations for possible partnerships from the government perspective. It focused on energy consumption in the Ilocos Region, Philippines, as basis for policy recommendations and articulation of energy needs in the region. This is through a Household Energy Consumption Survey (HECS), participated in by 1,133 respondents. Results showed that sociodemographic profile of the respondents was not significantly correlated with the efficiency in energy consumption among households. A bulk of the energy consumption in households was largely for basic lighting (90 percent) and entertainment (80 percent). Policy recommendations include greater focus on renewable energy, efficient energy consumption, and engineering innovations.