The project aims to advance the inclusive localization of the Sustainable Development Goals in selected African, Asia-Pacific, and the Arab countries in transition by harnessing the potential of Voluntary Local Reviews.
- Strengthen capacities of Local and Regional Governments to develop Voluntary Local Reviews by connecting them to global and regional advocacy, learning and capacity building activities and resources.
- Enhanced multilevel coordination between cities, national governments, regional and international process on SDG implementation.
How will this be achieved? The project outcomes will be achieved by focusing on 4 main components of work: technical cooperation, learning and capacity building, multilevel governance and regional and global advocacy.
Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs) are a process to monitor SDG achievement at the local level and powerful accelerators of the SDG localization process. UN-Habitat supports the development of action oriented VLRs that connect planning, financing, monitoring, and implementation of local implementation of the SDGs.
UN-Habitat’s strategic approach to VLRs connects the development of Voluntary Local Reviews with the Global Urban Monitoring Framework (GUMF) and the SDG Cities process. VLRs hence become the building block of a long-term and transformative SDG localization process.
The project aims to support the pilot cities to develop VLRs by gradually strengthening the capacity for monitoring and reporting including, data collection, disaggregation, and analysis at local and national levels thought the piloting of the UMF. Furthermore, the development of VLRs will be based on a wide and robust participatory process where communities and territorial stakeholders are continuously involved.
Based on the analysis of findings, the VLRs will provide action-oriented recommendations for long-term strategies and planning.
Finally, the technical support to the development of the VLRs endeavors to inform the Voluntary National Reviews of the pilot countries, with the aim of creating coherence and efficiency through effective multilevel governance arrangements.
The project strives to be the launching point for further VLR development in the regions and feed into the wider global SDG Localization movement.
The project entails two regional processes that aim to build capacities of local governments by sharing experiences and lessons learned in the region.
The project will provide support to the development of a Mayors Academy in Africa and the Arab States and strengthening the Asia-Pacific Mayors’ Academy. Similarities in challenges experienced within the regions and experience on overcoming these challenges will enable the sharing of best practices and accelerate the implementation of the SDGs at the local level.
The sharing of this information will be facilitated by the development of an online SDG Localization platform in each region. The platforms will serve to collect and share local level data in line with the UMF and VLR exercises, enhance transparency and generally connect the regional efforts to the global discourse on SDG Localization.
Building on the learning and capacity building offers of the partners of the projects, national and local public officials in the pilot cities of the project will be trained on the concepts and practices of SDG localization and multilevel coordination. The project proposes a mixed approach to learning and capacity building, combining traditional in-person opportunities and self-paced online tools.
Specifically, trainings will be based an updated edition of the SDG Localization Training Module 2 and the online Voluntary Local Review Massive Online Open Course , amongst other learning and capacity building tools. The experience of the pilot cities and countries will then feed into an online VLR Builder Tool to facilitate access to the VLR process to all involved stakeholders, particularly ensuring inclusion of those with less resources and capacities.
The project adopts an overarching multilevel governance approach, aiming to enhance the SDG delivery capacity of both national and local governments. By empowering local and regional governments, national governments will be able to enhance their implementation capacities to transform policies and strategies into action at local level. At the same time, by grounding national development and recovery strategies on communities’ needs and priorities, governments will be able to better address the consequences of the pandemic, to better plan for long-term development and better deploy national resources.
A key component of this process is the connection between the Voluntary National Reviews and Voluntary Local National Reviews. The project aims to strengthening the local governments inputs to the nation SDG reporting and implementing mechanism but also encouraging national governments to be held accountable for creating enabling environments and empowering local governments to accelerate the SDGs.
The partners will facilitate the connection of the project activities with the main UN-led and intergovernmental processes for SDGs with the aim of scaling up the lesson learned and results of the project, while exposing local and national representatives to global debates and processes.
Sessions to present and discuss the VLR and SDG localization process as well as to facilitate exchanges with partners from around the globe will be organized in the context of the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, the UN-Habitat Assembly, and the High-Level Political Forum. In the second part of 2023, the SDG Summit, Urban October, and the Forum of Mayors will be the central events the project will focus on. The cities’ VLR process will be finally link to the World Urban Forum 12, taking place in March 2024 in Egypt
VLR Workshop in Udon Thani City, Thailand
16th- 17th October 2023- The implementing partners and Udon Thani City met and signed a commitment to the project. The workshop saw the participation of over 130 stakeholders who contributed to shaping the VLR process.
Tools & Methodologies Training in Asia Pacific
28 September, 2023- UN-Habitat organized an online workshop to train participants from the Asia-Pacific pilot cities and countries of the project on the data collection process and tools in the development of VLRs.
Project inception meeting in Chandragiri Municipality, Nepal
25 September 2023, Kathmandu- the inception meeting set a base for kickstarting collaboration between UN-Habitat and Chandragiri municipality for SDG localization in Nepal.
The VLR Task Force Meeting in Nakuru
14th September, 2023- The VLR Task Force in Nakuru (the pilot city of the project in Kenya) held an inaugural workshop to orient the members on the VLR process, share preliminary VLR data, and build consensus on the terms of reference for the Task Force.
Tools & Methodologies Workshop in the Arab States
12th September, 2023- UN-Habitat and UNESCWA organized a online workshop to train participants from the Arab States pilot cities and countries of the project on the data collection process and tools in the development of VLRs.
Project Inception Meeting in Lebanon
15th March 2023- This event was a space for local efforts on implementing the SDGs to be shared and the project activities to be kicked off.
Meeting with the local government of Nakuru to introduce the project
28th February 2023- The team met with the local government officials in Nakuru to lay out the project plan and establish the focal points in the local and county government. The meeting discussed the way forward for developing the VLR of Nakuru City.
VLR-VNR Workshop at the ARFSD
27th February, 2023- The workshop took place under the framework of the 9th Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development and focused on strengthening Integration and Reporting on the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.