Subnational governments are at the forefront of the design and implementation of policies related to the SDGs and have elaborated different types of documents reporting their own progress on the 2030 Agenda since 2015.
Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs) and Voluntary Subnational Reviews (VSRs) are a new modality of reporting that aim to report and monitor progress at the local and territorial level, following the example of the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). Reporting progress helps to understand if we are on the track to achieving the SDGs, and monitoring progress can improve policy efficiency, inclusiveness, and decision making in the territories.
The VSRs are an opportunity to use the SDGs as a common framework to discuss shared challenges and solutions from a subnational perspective.
According to a survey conducted by Regions4 in 2020-2021, monitoring progress, guiding policy strategies and decision-making, and promoting accountability and transparent governance are the top three most reported benefits by Regions4 members.
1. Monitor progress on the 2030 Agenda.
2. Ownership and awareness raising of the SDG process.
3. Raise the level of ambition towards the SDGs.
4. Ensure a data-driven and evidence-based process.
5. Promote participation, transparency and accountability.
6. Promote horizontal and vertical policy coherence.
7. Foster cooperation and peer-learning.
8. Create new partnerships.
9. Promote self-reflection.
10. Value the process as much as the product.
Regions4, as the global voice of subnational governments in sustainable development has presented the brief report Regions Voice in UN reporting: An overview of Voluntary Subnational Reviews and other contribution to the 2030 Agenda on the occasion of the 2021 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) to discuss relevant subnational contributions to the 2030 Agenda.
The brief report introduces the opportunities and benefits offered by the Voluntary Subnational Reviews and showcases succesful examples of regions reporting progress on the 2030 Agenda. In addition, the document highlights the inspiring experiences of Wales, Sao Paulo and Catalonia that were shared at the Community of Practice Regions4SDGs.