Dhulikhel Municipality in Nepal and Singra Municipality in Bangladesh, in association with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and Climate Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), have committed to conduct a voluntary local review (VLR) of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). ICLEI South Asia is supporting the municipalities in developing the VLR report under its CDKN-Knowledge Accelerator programme.
The 2030 Agenda encourages member states to conduct VLRs to monitor progress regularly. This has inspired local and regional governments to undertake their own reviews of their progress towards delivering the 2030 Agenda. The VLRs not only help to localise the SDGs, but also demonstrate the cities’ commitments to achieve them. Although VLRs are yet to become an official part of the review architecture of the 2030 Agenda, they hold the potential to complement voluntary national reviews.
The cities of Singra and Dhulikhel will undertake the process of preparing their VLR reports in the next six months and come up with a people-centred, gender-sensitive and sustainable road map for their cities to achieve the SDG targets and contribute to their VLRs. The process will involve developing a long-term vision for the achievement of SDGs in the cities and engaging with local stakeholders to collect data on different ongoing work that may contribute to it. Stakeholder engagements are crucial to build ownership of the VLR process and to obtain a more holistic understanding of the ongoing development process in the city.
A virtual inception meeting was organised in Singra on the 29th of December 2020, to officially launch the project in the city in the presence of local stakeholders. The final report will be based on UNDESA guidelines.