Singra Municipality in Bangladesh initiated their first-ever Voluntary Local Review (VLR) in December 2020, to track ongoing development initiatives that are contributing to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals there, and promoting cooperation at the global stage through local efforts. ICLEI South Asia and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) are providing technical support to this initiative.
Singra launched the VLR through a multi-stakeholder workshop, backed by institutional ownership and its mayor’s commitment. The municipality formed a core team in February 2021 to implement the project.
The core team with support from ICLEI South Asia has completed the collection of information on projects linked with SDGs and the prioritisation of the SDG indicators. The selection of the SDG indicators involved multiple consultations with the core team, followed by validation by the municipal mayor. The team is currently analysing the data, and is engaged in developing the VLR report. All activities are expected to be completed by the end of June 2021.
A similar initiative is being conducted in Dhulikhel city in Nepal with support of UNESCAP and ICLEI South Asia. A virtual core team meeting was conducted in Dhulikhel, Nepal to discuss and finalise SDG targets and indicators for VLR reporting, on the 16th of April 2021. Core team member from key departments like water, social development, health and education attended the meeting along with the appointed nodal officer for VLR and ICLEI South Asia team.
During the meeting, core team members discussed the prioritised SDG’s and relevant indicators and under each suitable targets. Keeping in mind the HLPF prioritized SDG’s and Nepal’s VNR reports, SDG1 – No poverty, SDG3 – Good health and well-being, SDG4 -Quality education, SDG6 – Clean water and sanitation were selected.
It was discussed that Dhulikhel’s strategies complementing with context-appropriate indicators will be monitored for the contribution of development projects on the selected SDGs. A work plan for VLR reporting was also finalised. Due to the recent surge in COVID cases in the city, data collection activities and stakeholder consultations are on a halt.