Coordinating and building stronger partnerships to localize the Sustainable Development Goals in Costa Rica

Allegra Baiocchi

Resident Coordinator in Costa Rica

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Coordinating and building stronger partnerships to localize the Sustainable Development Goals in Costa Rica

Since her appointment in August 2020, the UN Resident Coordinator in Costa Rica, Allegra Baiocchi, has worked to build stronger collaboration to advance the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across the country.

  • SDG monitoring and integration has been a key priority this year.  Through these efforts, the central and local Government, the National Assembly and the Judiciary have adopted SDG-based planning and reporting. In collaboration with the UN, the Assembly has developed a tool to review new legislation for alignment with the SDGs. The Resident Coordinator’s office has also supported the Judiciary in developing a framework that enables them to monitor and report back on SDG progress on a yearly basis.
  • In addition, the Resident Coordinator has expanded UN partnerships with key stakeholders, including the National Institute of Statistics, to ensure regular data collection and analysis on SDG targets. As a result of this more accessible data, the Resident Coordinator has reached an agreement with the authorities to include SDG targets in their 2023-2026 National Development Plan for the first time. 
  • As well as supporting the Government prepare its Voluntary National Review of progress in the implementation of the SDGs at the 2022 UN High-Level Political Forum, the main global platform which charts progress towards the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Resident Coordinator is leading the UN’s work with municipal authorities to localize the SDGs and ensure that their joint action is targeted and reaches the most vulnerable groups first. As a result, in partnership with the Ministry of Planning and the Municipal Planning Institute, the Resident Coordinator’s office set up a programme for municipalities to receive an SDG-seal if they meet a set of specific criteria. Now in its second year, half of the municipalities of Costa Rica have enrolled in the programme and have integrated SDG targets in local planning and development.

The Resident Coordinator has also focused on strengthening the coherence and alignment of the work of the UN with national priorities through a number of key mechanisms:

  • A structured dialogue between the UN Country Team and Government Ministries, established and co-chaired by the Resident Coordinator with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Planning, to help ensure a ‘one-UN’ approach and regular feedback loop on how the UN is supporting the national development agenda.
  • A monthly donor group chaired by the Resident Coordinator, where the Government and international development actors can present their plans and visions to ensure alignment and cooperation.
  • A Friends of Climate group co-chaired by the Resident Coordinator’s office and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) to coordinate donors’ initiatives with the Government.
  • The Vice President also chairs monthly meetings with the Resident Coordinator to review progress and new opportunities for innovative financing to advance the SDGs, with the support of the UN’s Joint SDG Fund programme on financing for development.

In addition, Ms. Baiocchi has led UN Country Team efforts to tackle the growing issue of hate speech in Costa Rica. Guided by the UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, a National Plan of Action was developed and, two years on, with thanks to support of the in-house Communications Specialist, the Resident Coordinator’s office developed an artificial intelligence social media listening tool to monitor hate speech; created a National Observatory on Hate Speech, in partnership with the University of Costa Rica; established a partnership with Meta to support women targeted by digital violence; and partnered with the legal consortium in the country to produce a handbook on legal recourse for victims of hate speech. The research on hate speech led by the Resident Coordinator’s Office has been nominated as a finalist for the AMEC 2022 Award for Global Effectiveness of Communications, the most prestigious award in the world for applied communication.

  • Costa Rica
  • Latin America and the Caribbean