Global goals: New approaches to reach Tanzanians

21Sep 2016
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Global goals: New approaches to reach Tanzanians

By Alvaro Rodriguez, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative in Tanzania
Travelling around the country I always ask those I meet whether they know or have heard of the Global Goals.

Alvaro Rodriguez, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative in Tanzania

Being a new agenda which is shaping the development landscape of many countries, one would want everyone to know at least something about them.

The Global Goals agenda is inclusive and requires everyone’s participation and given their 15-year duration, one would hope that youth would be especially interested in them.

In Tanzania, where over 60 percent of the population comprises young men and women, we are witnessing a revolution in the communications arena with social media becoming a more dominant and popular means of communication. This means we have a unique opportunity to raise awareness about the Global Goals.

The Global Goals require that we leave no one behind and that we focus on those furthest behind. With this in mind what are some of the priority issues we believe the UN should focus on?

The Global Goals area development issue, which I believe will be more attractive as a topic for youth if they are properly communicated and contextualized to their needs in a changing Tanzania. Realizing this, the UN in Tanzania has trained 50 Global Goals Youth Champions with the sole purpose of empowering them to raise awareness with their peers, families and communities. Who communicates better with the youth than a fellow youth?

I consider raising awareness through social media platforms as an important step change for the UN. Going through the UN Tanzania Tweeter and Facebook pages you will find information about the Global Goals which we hope will stimulate interest. We have even had several live tweeter chats to reach out to this particular audience for the timeliness effect which is very appealing to the youth.

Traditional and new partnerships

I appreciate the relationship that the government has with the UN family and we are deeply appreciative. Tanzania has mainstreamed the Global Goals into the recently-launched second Five Year Development Plan (FYDP II).

The UN launched its United Nations Development Plan (UNDAP II) to support the government’s FYDP II. In addition, an awareness raising training with over 180 members of parliament was conducted to inform them about the Global Goals and the role the UN can play.

But working with government is necessary, but not sufficient. I think you would agree that the private sector is increasingly an integral part of development dialogues worldwide. Earlier this year, the 1st African Sustainable Business Summit was held in Dar with the aim of encouraging a dialogue on, and the exchange of, ideas on sustainable business practices, experiences and innovative ideas for promoting a culture of sustainable business in Africa. Leveraging the private sector for participation in the implementation of the Global Goals is essential.

Other sectors of society such as faith based groups and community organizations are also important partners during the implementation of the Global Goals.

Community radios

Almost every household in Tanzania has a radio. It is generally accepted that radio is the preferred communications medium for communities. The involvement of local radios in education and outreach programmes has been essential in reaching Tanzanians in the rural areas with skills and information to stimulate discussions on different development topics that impact their lives.

As such, the Global Goals should also become part of the toolkit of community radios. Global Goals training for editors and radio presenters is also something we wish to do as a UN family during this 2nd year of Global Goals implementation.
Mobile phones

It is estimated that two people have a mobile phone in almost every household in Tanzania. Mobile phones have different uses for different people, but sending text messages and listening to radio are among the most popular activities among mobile users. This is an area of interest and for exploration as we move forward to enable technology to support our economic, social and environmental goals.

Looking ahead then, there are many opportunities for all of us and for the UN to further raise awareness about the Global Goals so that they can make a substantial impact and enable all Tanzanian men, women and children to reach their full potential.

September marks exactly one year since the launch of the Global Goals on 25th September 2015 when 193 world leaders committed to 17 Global Goals to end extreme poverty. Fight inequality and injustice; and combat climate change. The first anniversary for the Global Goals is being celebrated on the 20th September.

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