Guidelines for Voluntary Subnational Reviews: SDG Reporting by Local and Regional Government Associations

Expertise Level
Resource Type
Guidance and Frameworks
Developer or Source
United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)

This publication provides guidelines for those local and regional government associations (LRGAs) that are willing to embark on the project of developing their own Voluntary Subnational Review (VSRs) in a way that serves as input for their national Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs), with the aim of helping to strengthen the localization of the SDGs. It provides the tools necessary to further enhance the potential of VSRs as instruments with which to increase LRG ownership of the 2030 Agenda and other global commitments and to strengthen multi-level and multi-stakeholder dialogue. The Guidelines are meant to be flexible so that each LRGA can adapt them to its own needs, objectives, resources and capabilities.

These are not the first guidelines for SDG reporting, but rather build on a growing toolbox for SDG reporting. Although originally written to support national governments in drafting their VNRs, the UN Secretary General’s office’s Guidelines for VNRs are the main point of reference. This linkage allows LRGAs to speak in the same language as the other stakeholders working on the SDG agenda. Indeed, and as mentioned above, in 2020 and in 2021, UCLG and UN-Habitat developed two sets of Guidelines for Voluntary Local Reviews. Volume 1 presented a comparative analysis of existing VLRs presented prior to June 2020 (around 40), while Volume 2 explored the linkage between national and local levels in SDG reporting, analysing 80 VLRs. Also UCLG’s Training Module 3 on monitoring and reporting on SDG progress builds on the UN Secretary General’s office’s tool.