October 16, 2020     cib    

On the 14th of October the ‘UCLG/CIB Open Conversation towards the UN’s High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2021’ took place. Since 2017, UCLG and the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments have been developing an annual report towards the localization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This brainstorm was aimed at receiving inputs and reflections from a group of UCLG members on the SDG reporting process of previous years, before UCLG launches the preparations for next year. Participants from FCM, VVSG, FEMP, KS, Deutscher Städtetag, UCLG ASPAC, CEMR and PLATFORMA, as well as from the the UCLG GOLD team and the CIB secretariat engaged in a fruitful exchange that will be followed up on and incorporated towards the HLFP 2021 report.

In-depth discussion on strategies for monitoring and reporting on the SDGs
The event provided the opportunity for an in-depth discussion on the different strategies for monitoring and reporting on the localisation of SDGs, with the aim of further involving local and regional governments in the process. The first part of the meeting was aimed at stocktaking and discussing the lessons learned, i.e. what have we learned from four years of reporting on SDG implementation from the local level? Participants discussed the structure of the reports and the means of information gathering for each part of the report. Until now, UCLG uses the following resources to get data on progress on the SDGs at local level: Annual Surveys, Voluntary Subnational Reports, Voluntary Local reports, local case studies, GOLD Reports and indicators. The surveys have turned out to be very useful for UCLG, though it remains hard to reach individual local governments through this channel.

Ideas for the next report to the HLPF
The second part of the event was aimed at how we can move towards the next report – how can we move forward with the sub-national reporting process? Participants emphasised the need to do more impact analysis, in this phase of implementation of the SDG agenda. UCLG plans to continue with the recently introduced voluntary subnational reviews, which are set-up and coordinated by Local Government Associations.  The associations from Germany, Norway, Guatemala and Pakistan are considering to work on such a review in the run-up to the HLPF 2021.

Next steps
The UCLG GOLD team and CIB will soon explore how to best assist UCLG members in the reporting process in the next months. CIB will definitely be providing feedback to the revised survey and might also roll-out some capacity building activities with regard to the subnational reporting.