(foto credits: MIRRI)
The UN 2030 Agenda is addressed in the context of individual countries by various strategic documents. In the case of Slovakia, it is the document Vision and Strategy for the Development of Slovakia until 2030. Its creation was preceded by a several-month participatory process in 2018. It resulted in identification of six national priorities for sustainable development. Due to the turbulent events of the past years and numerous changes in many sectors, there is a need to reassess and update the current national priorities. The year 2050 has been set as the next milestone. This is the moment when Participation Factory enters the process.
Are the current six national priorities for the sustainable development of Slovakia still relevant even by 2050? What needs to be modified, supplemented, or completely rewritten? Finding the answers to these questions was the main content of the participatory process, the implementation of which was entrusted to Participation Factory. The participatory meetings were aimed for stakeholders with expertise and specialization from various fields. With their help, Slovakia’s biggest present-day problems were identified and comments were made about the national priorities of sustainable development.
Participants, representing a wide range of sectors, raised their greatest concerns and offered suggestions for improving and supplementing the current wording of national priorities, thereby making a significant contribution to ensuring the effective management of sustainable development at the national level. Specifically for the topic of the SDGs and the 2050 Agenda, the time allocation for organizing the meetings proved to be adequate, albeit minimal. A process of this nature would surely deserve much more time and resources to generate a wider and at the same time more intensive discussion. Ideally, professional, special interest, specific targeted demographic, or otherwise relevant groups that currently have little or no experience with similar processes would also be included in the discussion.
The participatory process pointed out the complexity of the issue of updating the national priorities of sustainable development and emphasized the importance of participatory policy-making that builds on a plurality of opinions. The demand for strengthening cooperation and participation of experts and the general public in planning processes was omnipresent across all meetings. At the same time, during the meeting with the participants, it became clear that the addressed stakeholders themselves want to cooperate on the creation of plans and strategies in the long term and that they see the importance of participatory projects.
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