Six Pilot Countries Publish Voluntary Subnational Reviews with Support from United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)

By publishing data for the subnational and local level Benin, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Kenya, Mozambique and Nepal are now part of a growing number of countries that contribute to the system of Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs).


The High-level Political Forum (HLPF) takes place annually under the patronage of ECOSOC and is dedicated toward evaluating the progress made regarding sustainable development worldwide. To facilitate the 2030 Agenda and SDG review process, the HLPF provides countries with the opportunity to share the results of their VNRs and undergo a global peer-review process. In this context Subnational Reviews (VSRs) and Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs) have emerged as important data providers for VNRs. The next HLPF is scheduled for July 2021. Current VSR and VLR publications paint a promising picture.

VSRs and VLRs offer important regional and context specific data, that can be fed into VNRs and can additionally be used for sharing and comparing experiences and lessons learned in order to better support the acceleration of  SDG implementation. Over the past few years an increasing number of subnational and local governments have started to publish VSRs and VLRs to actively contribute to carving out best practices and policy recommendations in the field of sustainable development. By displaying how the localisation of the 2030 Agenda functions through a bottom-up reporting process and identifying country-specific progress regarding specific SDGs, VNRs represent an important part toward turning the 2030 Agenda into a reality.

In recognition of this crucial data resource, UCLG has been promoting the elaboration of VSRs in six pilot countries (Benin, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Kenya, Mozambique and Nepal). All six reported their progress to the 2020 High Level Political Forum. UCLG has collaborated with the national associations of these countries as well as GIZ in Benin and Mozambique to help develop these VRSs. As a a result their national reporting processes not only focussed on national progress, but included local and regional insights and data as well. Drawing on these assessments, the subnational actors involved in the VSR in Benin were able to formulate recommendations tailored to specific stakeholders located at all levels.

To understand how the dialogue fostered by the VSR process in Nepal led to a formal invitation to join the Municipal Association of Nepal as well as the national SDG Steering Committee of the National Association of Rural Municipalities or how local data collection in Benin was used for the country’s VNR, please click here.