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Metatool: Voluntary local reviews

A voluntary local review is a process in which local and regional governments (LRGs) initiate voluntarily an assessment of their progress of implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs, by reporting about specific indicators and measures. The review aims at sharing experiences, challenges, and lessons learnt as well as to open their door for new partnerships, filling the gap of means of implementation for their local vision. It also enables local governments to engage citizens in the review process, strengthening accountability and inclusive governance.


This meta-tool focus strongly on the aspect of implementation and keeping track of progress. It collects a vast amount of information, resources and examples to help you navigate the basic elements, benefits of reporting, different conceptual frameworks and guidelines.


  • You can start with the guiding questions (slide 3 of materials) about data, indicators and processes within your national context
  • Make sure to also use some of the other tools along the category – keep track of progress (, such as data challenges, or localising global indicators
  • Go through the several examples, guidelines, frameworks and literature in detail, and try to transfer the learnings to your own local context
  • Is it realistic to think about establishing an urban information and data platform in your context? Who would be responsible, how can you contribute? (Slide 5)
  • How do the examples of dashboards and open SDG applications (Slide 7 to 19) inspire you?
  • The first step of conducting a VLR requires getting support from local leadership. The conceptual framework developed by UNESCAP (slide 21 – 24) is very comprehensive, and the tools (guidelines, VLR journey, training) very recommendable
  • You can get further inspiration from examples from Germany (Bonn, Mannheim, Kiel, slides 28 – 33) and worldwide; currently, also UN Habitat ( is compiling all existing reviews (slide 34)
  • Moreover, UCLG has developed a great number of materials, including very practice oriented training and learning modules, online and offline (Slide 35 – 39). In you can sign up for free courses in several languages



The topic is constantly gaining momentum and many new reviews and guidelines are being developed. The information collected here has not ambition of completeness.


around 2 hours


Ideas to establish a process of collecting data and reporting about SDGs achievements along the approach of Voluntary Local Reviews. A vast number of materials to be followed-up and analysed in more detail.


Several, listed in the slide-deck.