In preparation for the zero draft outcome, the UN General Assembly held informal hearings on May 26 & 27 for various stakeholders, including civil society representatives from the Global South, Member States and various UN Agencies, to make proposals and provide input in preparation for the UN Summit to Adopt the Post 2015 Development Agenda. Out of over 250 nominations, The Hunger Project’s Country Director for Uganda, Daisy Owomugasho, PhD., was chosen as one of 14 civil society respondents by a UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service Steering Committee.
For advocacy and interface in role as Policy Analyst, Mary Kate Costello – based at The Hunger Project’s DC Office – spearheads The Hunger Project’s engagement with the UN and other multi-laterals. After serving on a Steering Committee to assist with the selection process for speakers for a High Level Political Event hosted by the UN Secretary General, Mary Kate felt that Daisy would be an ideal Global South candidate for speaker consideration for other UN discussions. She contacted Daisy to apply to speak at the UN General Assembly Hearings on May 26 and 27th, 2015, specifically focusing on her leadership of community-led, women-centric and integrated development through the Epicenter Strategy.
Daisy gathered with co-speakers in morning meetings to discuss thematic focus and hearing logistics, engaging with peers in development from HelpAge International, Global Partnerships Forum and Save the Children International to name a few. In the afternoon session titled Goals, Targets and Indicators, Daisy was selected during the open floor Q&A to make specific indicator proposals for the SDGs. She highlighted nutrition as a “critical cross-sectoral issue,” noting that “poor nutrition accounts for maternal morbidity and nearly half of all child deaths, especially children under the age of five; it also stresses health systems and drags on economic progress, as it reduces gross domestic product anywhere from 3 to 16% depending on the country.” Daisy keenly included that without access to basic and safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), nutrition goals will not be met. For this she proposed the inclusion of indicators devised by WHO and UNICEF’s Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation:
- Percentage of persons practicing open defecation
- Percentage of students enrolled in school with basic hand washing and sanitation facilities
- Percentage of persons with access to basic and well-manage sanitation facilities
In the morning session of the 27th titled Means of Implementation and Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, Daisy made proposals for the Post 2015 Development Agenda as an official respondent. She acknowledged the successes to date of the MDGs, but noted several challenges in achieving the SDGs, particularly population growth, gender inequality and youth advancement. Daisy endorsed the “call for a bold and transformative agenda” in creating the SDGs, but firmly defended that it will require a bottom-up process that empowers citizens to be the “authors of their own development.”
In discussing the implementation of the Post 2015 Development Agenda, Daisy noted The Hunger Project’s three pillars: empower women, mobilize everyone, and partner with local government. To ensure sustainable implementation Daisy stated that individuals – especially the most marginalized, such as women and youth – should bear leadership roles, and establish self-reliance and effective partnerships with local government. She urged that civil society’s role toward this will be to strengthen good governance and local democracy, the “bedrock” of accountability, and catalyze social accountability mechanisms to hold local governments to account.
Daisy’s time at UNHQ was additionally complemented by other meetings and a visit to The Hunger Project’s Global Office. She met with H.E. Richard Nduhura, Permanent Representative of the Mission of Uganda to the UN, to discuss Uganda’s priority of nutrition and food security.
The Hunger Project thanks the UN for hosting Daisy and encourages all to watch the video of her respondent remarks here: http://www.unmultimedia.org/avlibrary/asset/1371/1371085/