During the years of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Pakistan kept those efforts separate from their development work. The MDGs were viewed as a UN-driven program that would only be complied with via quadrennial progress reports. Those reports were prepared without a mechanism in place to deliver on the MDGs, and it took six years just to get localization efforts initiated after the MDGs were officially recognized in 2004, so progress was limited. In preparing for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the country’s leaders decided to integrate the new goals into their national plans. Doing so would keep the SDGs in focus, centering opportunities and challenges for decision makers.
In the wake of the MDGs, the Pakistani government held discussions with a broad group of stakeholders with the goal of improving coordination and strengthening efforts at the national and local levels in seeking to achieve the country’s SDG targets. The process they undertook considered improving the country’s data collection capabilities, as well as developing appropriate monitoring mechanisms.