In 2017, the Czech Republic adopted the 2030 Strategic Framework (EN). This Framework was prepared partly in parallel to the the Agenda 2030 , which includes 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) . in 2018, in addition to the Implementation Plan of the Strategic Framework of the Czech Republic 2030, the implementation of the Agenda 2030 itself was prepared.
For the fulfillment of all SDGs, responsibilities were divided among different ministries. The first working evaluation of the fulfillment of SDGs objectives was planned for 2020 as a pilot, zero evaluation report “Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Czech Republic” and is currently delayed due partly to Covid 19 pandemic completion by ministries. This pilot report is intended to test the entire system of implementation and evaluation of progress towards SDGs objectives and targets.
The evaluation works with three types of information:
- The available information on the current validated global set of the Agenda 2030 indicators, approved by the UN Statistical Commission.
- The information from the ministries, from the coordinators of the individual SDGs to the evaluation of the key measures of Implementation of the Agenda 2030.
- The information retrieved in order to evaluate all SDGs targets that were found relevant for the Czech Republic in Implementation of the Agenda 2030.
The implementation process was compromised by governmental disruptive systematic changes to the internal structure of the ministries by replacement of contact persons. The second version of the draft report evaluates the implementation of individual SDGs targets, but in several cases it ultimately assesses the situation in fulfilling the targets more optimistically than results from the analysis itself.
By the end of December 2020, it is planned to complete the first official report on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda as an assessment of the fulfillment of all SDGs based on the currently prepared pilot report, including the indicators and the most important findings from the currently running evaluation of the implementation of the Strategic Framework of the Czech Republic 2030. It should also include an evaluation of the implementation of the Czech Development Cooperation Strategy 2018-2030 to complement the external dimension of SDGs objectives. However, the evaluation reports are delayed due to the COVID 19 state of emergency and too low priority given to them by the responsible ministries. The first official report on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda should then serve as the basis for the second Voluntary National Review (VNR) planned for 2021.
At the last meeting of the Government Council for Sustainable Development held in February 2020, on the basis of their insistence, the NGOs representatives were promised to prepare a national voluntary review with public consultation.
The first Voluntary National Review (VNR) was presented in 2017 with very optimistic ideas for the rapid progress of SDGs implementation. With further development in the Czech Republic and the new government & Prime Minister (Andrej Babiš) this focus has been discarded (see under resources the Social Watch Report 2018 and 2019). The agenda for the implementation of SDGs has been shifted to the Ministry of the Environment, which has slowed down the process considerably and it has become less important despite the consistent pressure from NGOs.
According to the project description, the awareness and involvement of the public in the whole process of implementation and evaluation of the fulfillment of strategic documents of sustainable development should increase (the previous government cooperated on the strategic framework with approximately 300 organizations and institutions), while now there has been a significant reduction even on the comments level of the pilot evaluation to a few representatives of NGOs in the Government Council for Sustainable Development and some of its reduced committees. Closer cooperation in the implementation of SDGs also no longer exists with „Měj se k světu“, despite the fact that this informal association of sectoral platforms and other umbrella NGOs has been active in the preparation of the Czech Republic’s 2030 strategic framework and offered assistance in implementing the Czech Republic Agenda 2030. ‘Měj se k světu’ published a manifesto that expresses the strategic priorities of sectoral platforms and professional non-profit organizations as a contribution to national, European and global sustainable development objectives. It largely expresses the vision of Czech NGOs towards sustainable development.
As an example of an international evaluation using 127 indicators covering 100 of the 169 targets of the 2030 Agenda we can use the evaluation of the Czech Republic’s distance from objectives and targets in the OECD study.
In the forthcoming EU programming period, the implementation of SDGs in the Czech Republic are in a risk if there is no EU support. It will depend on whether the implementation of the 2030 Agenda continues within the EU or whether there is an overwhelming effort to channel all means towards overcoming the coronavirus economic consequences in a classical way, regardless of the sustainability of such development. Unfortunately, the country’s current government is trying to push through the second approach.