Resources

UN-Habitat, in cooperation with its partners, lead the global research on VLRs. Together with United Cities Local Governments (UCLG), UN-Habitat has created the VLR Series, a global initiative aimed at providing local and national governments worldwide with knowledge on VLRs as well as learning opportunities with peers. As part of the VLRs Series, UN-Habitat and UCLG have developed the Guidelines for VLRs volume one and volume two, while in-depth thematic research is currently undergoing on key dimensions of the VLR process and its impact.

Guidelines for Voluntary Local Reviews Volume 1: A Comparative Analysis of Existing VLRs
UN-Habitat | UCLG
July 2020
The first volume of the Guidelines for VLRs, provides an overview and analysis of all the documents that local governments have issued to review and assess their implementation performance, looking for common traits, comparable variables and the thread binding the VLRs together.
Building Participatory Accountability Systems for City Policies - Handbook
UN-Habitat
June 2021
The handbook offers guidance on how to develop urban projects and interventions through a participatory and consultative approach with city stakeholders, while allowing for flexibility to tailor interventions to the specific needs of individual cities and regions.
Communiqué on Voluntary Local Reviews
UN-Habitat | UCLG
July 2021
Communiqué on Voluntary Local Reviews by the institutions and partners gathered at the Expert Group Meeting Towards a New Generation of VLRs: Connecting VLRs and VNRs held on February 23 and 24 2021.
Guidelines for Voluntary Local Reviews Volume 2: Towards a New Generation of VLRs: Exploring the local-national link
UN-Habitat | UCLG
July 2021
The Volume 2 of the VLR Series, the Guidelines for Voluntary Local Reviews, jointly developed by UN-Habitat and UCLG, provides an overview and analysis of how the linkage between national and local levels is playing out.
VLR-VSR Days Report
UN-Habitat | UCLG
July 2021
UN-Habitat and UCLG joined forces to advance the global debate on the localization of the SDGs through the first ever edition of the VLR-VSR Days, held virtually between July 14 and July 16. This report overviews the sessions and their outcomes.
SDGs Learning Module 3: Reporting to national & local reviews
UN-Habitat | UNDP | UCLG
June 2019
The objective of Module 3 is to enhance the involvement of LRGAs in the preparation of national VNRs and to help them to make their own reports on the involvement of LRGs in the pursuit of localizing of the SDGs and global agendas.
Towards a new generation of Voluntary Local Reviews: Connecting VLRs and VNRs
UN-Habitat | UCLG
October 2021
Final report of the global Expert Group Meeting “Towards a new generation of Voluntary Local Reviews: Connecting VLRs and VNRs” held 23 and 24 February 2021, organized by UN-Habitat, UCLG and the support of Madrid City Council (Spain).
UN-Habitat global support to advance VLRs and SDG Localization
UN-Habitat
November 2021
VLRs are powerful accelerators of the localization of the SDGs. This document illustrates disaggregated data on the publication of VLRs as of November 2021. It also shows the Agency's support to VLRs through different workstreams.
Taylor & Francis Online
Voluntary Local Reviews as Drivers for SDG Localisation and Sustainable Human Development
October 2021
This paper briefly analyses recent experiences of a range of VLRs, by focusing on: data at the local level, participation and inclusion, transparency and accountability, and long-term plans of sustainable development.
Voluntary Local Reviews, VLRs toolbox
UN-Habitat | ICLD | UCLG
March 2022
This toolbox has been created to support local governments that are interested in monitoring and reporting on the implementation of SDGs using VLRs, while contributing to local democracy. The toolbox is based on a detailed analysis of four Swedish municipalities that published their VLRs in 2021.
Reporting on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in Sweden
UN-Habitat | ICLD | UCLG
March 2022
This report studies the process that led to the four Swedish VLRs, emphasising the role that social engagement and local democracy had on the outcome. The Swedish experience is analysed in relation to other cases of VLRs in different countries worldwide.
Africa Voluntary Review Guidelines
UN-Habitat | UNECA | UCLG
2022
The Guidelines serve as a practical tool to support the preparation of VLRs by African local governments.
Directives pour les examens locaux volontaires en Afrique
UN-Habitat | UNECA | UCLG
2022
Directives pour les examens locaux volontaires en Afrique
Local Action for Global Impact – WUF 11
UN-Habitat
2022
"Local Action for Global Impact” at WUF11 consolidates the crucial involvement of Local and Regional Governments and its commitment towards SDG Localization during this milestone event held in Katowice, Poland in June 2022. This document summarizes the key outcomes of the sessions organized and supported by the SDG Localization and Local Governments and the SDG Cities teams.

Multilevel Governance for SDG Localization
UN-Habitat
2022
Accelerating progress towards the localization of the SDGs and post-pandemic recovery through enhanced multilevel governance aims at providing local and national governments with cutting-edge knowledge and practical orientation on MLG to implement the SDGs
Action-Oriented Voluntary Local Reviews. A Methodology for the partners of UN-Habitat
UN-Habitat
2024
The Action-Oriented VLR methodology aims to strengthen the anchoring of VLRs within SDG Localization and local decision-making processes as well as to the UN’s overall support at country level. It outlines the process for conducting impactful, Action-Oriented VLRs, sharing valuable lessons learned and available support.
Technical Cooperation

UN-Habitat closely supports local and regional governments worldwide to develop their VLRs. It does so through a fully-fledged and tested methodology based on its longstanding and unique expertise in sustainable urbanization.
To strengthen multi-level governance for SDG implementation, UN-Habitat also directly assists national and local governments to better articulate their efforts to monitor and report on the SDGs, specifically looking at enhancing the link between VLRs and Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs).

Ennour

Ennour

Tunisia
Date of publication: 2024
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brisbane

Brisbane

Australia
Date of publication: 2023
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Agadir

Agadir

Morocco
Date of publication: 2023
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mafra cover image

Mafra

Portugal
Date of publication: 2023
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Bhopal

Bhopal

India
Date of publication: 2023
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madrid

Madrid

Spain
Date of publication: 2023
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mwanza

Mwanza

Tanzania
Date of publication: 2023
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belen

Belen

Belen
Date of publication: 2023
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Atenas

Atenas

Atenas
Date of publication: 2023
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Goicoechea

Goicoechea

Goicoechea
Date of publication: 2023
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escazu

Escazu

Escazu
Date of publication: 2023
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Puriscal

Puriscal

Puriscal
Date of publication: 2023
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Sarchi

Sarchi

Sarchi
Date of publication: 2023
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Cochabamba

Cochabamba

Bolivia
Date of publication: 2022
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El Alto

El Alto

Bolivia
Date of publication: 2022
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La Paz

La Paz

Bolivia
Date of publication: 2022
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Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Bolivia
Date of publication: 2022
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amman

Greater Amman Municipality

Jordan
Date of publication: 2022
Supported by: UN-Habitat, UNESCWA, UCLG MEWA
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Florence

Metropolitan City of Florence

Italy
Date of publication: July 2021
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Niterol

Niterol

Brazil
Date of publication: 2020
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Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Brazil
Date of publication: 2020
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Trujillo

Trujillo

Peru
Date of publication: 2020
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Chimbote

Chimbote

Peru
Date of publication: 2020
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Ongoing technical cooperations: Bishkek, Nis, Tbilisi, Dushanbe, Nakuru, Banjul, Chandragiri, Ennour, Ramallah, Irbid, Surigao, and Udon Thani. 

SDG Localization

UN-Habitat's work on VLRs is to be framed within the Agency's support to the advancement of the localization of the SDGs. 
By adopting a territorial approach looking at sustainable development through multi-level, multi-sector and multi-stakeholder lenses, UN-Habitat has designed a strategy to support the localization of the SDGs connecting all components of the SDG implementation chain – from data to project implementation, to monitoring systems. The strategy has three components: the Global Urban Monitoring Framework; the Voluntary Local Reviews; and the SDG Cities Flagship Programme.

The Global Urban Monitoring Framework. UN-Habitat has been tasked by the UN General Assembly to lead the development of a harmonized set of indicators to track the progress of the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda at the local level. The Global Urban Monitoring Framework (UMF), developed in consultation with a wide range of partners, harmonizes existing indexes while incorporating rural-urban linkages and the principle of leaving no one behind. It is composed of a core set of global indicators and a series of spinoff set to allow for adaptation and in-depth analysis of each local context. The framework is a useful basis for the preparation of Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) and Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs).

Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs). Through the methodology used and the data collected through the UMF, UN-Habitat supports cities in developing VLRs. Beyond their primary monitoring and reporting task, UN-Habitat considers VLRs as powerful accelerators of the SDG localization process, specifically as instruments able to enhance policy coherence, strategic planning and multilevel coordination. Moreover, UN-Habitat provides partners worldwide with cutting-edge knowledge on VLRs as well as opportunities for learning and international engagement.

SDG Cities. The SDG Cities Programme is a flagship initiative that builds on the data, narratives and priorities identified via the UMF and VLRs to improve SDG implementation in cities through evidence-based planning; capacity-building in planning, governance, revenue and service delivery; and securing the financing for local SDG impact initiatives. Through the programme, UN-Habitat aims to positively impact a million lives in about 1,000 cities through a systematic approach that combines evidence-based policymaking, digitized tools, technical backstopping, and matchmaking finances with catalytic, impactful projects that advance the SDGs.

In addition to the three components above, UN-Habitat hosts the secretariat and co-chairs the Local 2030 Coalition, the UN-wide initiative on localizing the SDGs. Local2030 Coalition is a platform for the convergence of networks of local and regional governments and their associations, national governments, businesses, community-based organizations and other local actors, and the United Nations system. It seeks to foster collaboration, incubate innovation, share solutions, and implement strategies that advance the SDGs, leveraging on rapid urbanization processes happening around the globe to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs.

Partners

UN-Habitat works closely with many international partners to enhance the coherence and impact of the international support to VLRs. Specifically, UN-Habitat works with United Cities Local Governments (UCLG), the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the UN Regional Economic Commissions such as UNECA, UNESCAP, UNECE and UNESCWA. Moreover, UN-Habitat coordinates support and provides expertise to the UN Country Teams in their effort to facilitate the development of VLRs and the connection with the Voluntary National Review (VNR) process.

Events

UN-Habitat organizes international events and conferences on the topic of VLRs and SDG localization, with the aim of facilitating exchanges of ideas and practices and creating new partnerships. Also, UN-Habitat works closely with its partners to raise the voice of local governments and stakeholders within international and UN-led fora.

VLR-VSR Days

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Location: Online (global outreach)
Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs) and Voluntary Subnational Reviews (VSRs) are a powerful tool to advance the localization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UN-Habitat and UCLG have been working together to support VLRs and VSRs. The two institutions have joined forces to provide local governments and stakeholders with cutting-edge knowledge and exchange opportunities on VLRs. Building on this alliance, the VLR-VSR Days will provide a space for exchange, mutual learning and common reflection for all governments and stakeholders engaged in advancing the localization, monitoring and reporting of the SDGs.

World Urban Forum

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Location: Katowice, Poland
The World Urban Forum (WUF) was established in 2001 by the United Nations to examine rapid urbanisation and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies. Representatives of national, regional and local governments, academics, business people, community leaders, urban planners will be among the thousands of people are expected to attend WUF11 which is co-organized by Poland’s Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy and the Municipal Office of Katowice.
Other events:

 

ECOSOC Partnership Forum Side Event

Enabling multi-stakeholder partnerships for sustainable development at the local level

Date: February 2nd, 2022 (14:00 – 14:50 CET / 8:00 – 8:50 EST)

Location: Online (global outreach) ​​

UN-Habitat, UNDP and the Local2030 Coalition are organizing an online side-event in the framework of the 2022 ECOSOC Partnership Forum. The session will explore different settings of multi-stakeholder partnerships led by both organizations that seek to advance the achievement of sustainable development at the local level and in line with the SDGs. This event aims to inspire and foster the debate on the benefits of engaging various stakeholders and their contribution to the delivery of the SDGs at the local level while revamping the social contract and reducing inequalities.

Visit 2022 ECOSOC Partnership Forum website here: https://sdgs.un.org/events/ecosoc-partnership-forum-2022

Watch event.

 

2nd Regional Partners Forum

Date: October 28-29 2021

Location: Online (global outreach)

Description: ​​The 1st Regional Partners Forum had convened in 2017 to set out priority pathways for the implementation of the NUA, one year after Quito. ESCAP and UN-Habitat, in collaboration with the Penang Platform for Sustainable Urbanization, are now convening the 2nd Regional Partners Forum, as a regional contribution to the review of the progress made in Asia and the Pacific towards localizing the SDGs and achieving the NUA.

 

SDG Cities Global Conference

Date: October 29-31 2021

Location: Online (global outreach)

Description: The Conference, jointly hosted by UN-Habitat and the Municipality of Shanghai, together with the Global Sustainability Index Foundation, is one of a global series of events that make up Urban October 2021. It reflects on the progress in monitoring cities and reporting SDG progress through Voluntary Local Reviews (VLR) and introduces the Global Urban Monitoring Framework as an approach to harmonise urban data analytics. 

Watch again the session on "Voluntary Local Reviews and their role in accelerating SDG implementation locally"

Watch event.

 

Launch of the Second Volume of the UN-Habitat-UCLG Guidelines for VLRs and the VLR Communiqué

July 14: 10:00am-12:00pm EDT | 16:00pm-18:00pm CEST | 17:00pm-19:00pm EAT

This session will launch the second volume of the UN-Habitat-UCLG guidelines for VLRs entitled Towards a new Generation of VLRs: Exploring the Local-National Link and the VLR Communiqué. The main findings and recommendations of the guidelines will be presented along with interventions from the key local and central governments that have inspired the research.

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Metropolises and Voluntary Local Reviews: Launch of the VLR of the Metropolitan City of Florence

July 15: 05:00am-06:00am EDT | 11:00am-12:00pm CEST | 12:00pm-13:00pm EAT

This session will discuss the Metropolitan City of Florence’s first VLR, the role of metropolises in achieving the SDGs, and the reporting and monitoring processes of the VLR tool.

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Voluntary Subnational Reviews Session

July 15: 09:00am-11:00am EDT | 15:00pm-17:00pm CEST | 16:00pm-18:00pm EAT

Eight countries prepared Voluntary Subnational Reviews (VSRs) or Local Governments Voluntary Reviews in 2021: Cape Verde, Germany, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Sweden, Tunisia and Zimbabwe. This session will present the main findings of the VSRs developed in 2021 and facilitate discussion of the reports.  

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Data and Indicators in VLR and VSR processes

July 16: 05:00am-06:30am EDT | 11:00am-12:30pm CEST | 12:00pm-13:30pm EAT

UN-Habitat has led the development of a set of indicators to track the progress of the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda at the local level - the Global Urban Monitoring Framework (UMF). This session will discuss how these indicators allow deeper thematic analysis and create an understanding of differences experienced at district and sub-district levels of cities.

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Social Inclusion and Participatory Processes in VLRs and VSRs

July 16: 10:00am-11:30am EDT | 16:00pm-17:30pm CEST | 17:00pm-18:30pm EAT

The session will allow stakeholders that working on VLRs and VSRs to share best practices in community engagement and social inclusion throughout the different stages of the process.

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Voluntary Local Reviews

Title Location Country Year Of Publication Sort ascending UN-Language Governance
Rapport Local Volontaire de la commune Ennour, Tunisie 2024 Ennour Tunisia 2024 ES

Local

Bhopal Voluntary Local Review 2023 - An Agenda for Action: Sustainable Urban Transformation in Bhopal Bhopal India 2023 EN

Local

Tokyo Sustainability Action 2023 Tokyo Japan 2023 EN

Local

Montevideo Sustainable Development Goals - Third Voluntary Review 2023 Montevideo Uruguay 2023 ES

Local

Voluntary Local Review – City of Bijeljina Bijeljina Bosnia and Herzegovina 2023 EN

Local

Localization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Buenos Aires Buenos Aires Argentina 2023 EN

Local

Mafra Sustainable Voluntary Local Review Mafra Portugal 2023 EN

Local

Voluntary Local Review Municipality of Agadir, Morocco Municipality of Agadir Morocco 2023 EN

Local

Voluntary Local Review (VLR) of Emboreet village, Manyara, Tanzania Manyara Tanzania 2023 EN

Local

MADRID VOLUNTARY LOCAL REVIEW 2023 Madrid Spain 2023 EN

Local

Localización de la Agenda 2030 en la Ciudad de Buenos Aires Buenos Aires Argentina 2023 ES

Local

6th Monitoring report 2030 Agenda Basque country 2022 Basque Country Spain 2023 EN

Local

Examen Local Volontaire Commune d’Agadir, Maroc Commune d’Agadir Morocco 2023 FR

Local

Voluntary Local Review (VLR) of Kibaha Town Council Kibaha Tanzania 2023 EN

Local

Brisbane City Council Voluntary Local Review 2023 Brisbane Australia 2023 EN

Local

彰化縣政府自願檢視報告 Changhua County Taiwan 2023 CH

Local

Status For Bergen Kommunes Arbeid Med Fns Bærekraftsmål Bergen Norway 2023 NO

Local

From Agenda to Action: Implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Helsinki 2023 Helsinki Finland 2023 EN

Local

Sustainable Development Goals, Lienchiang County Voluntary Local Review Lienchiang County China 2023 zh-Hant

Local

"SUSTAINABLE VANTAA BELONGS TO EVERYONE Vantaa’s Sustainability Reporting 2023" Vantaa Finland 2023 EN

Local

Reach out to UN-Habitat and join the VLR Global Movement!

We can help you develop your review, access knowledge and innovation and connect your experience with international events and partners.

Reach out to us for more information:

Shipra Narang Suri
Chief of Urban Practices Branch
Global Solutions Division
Martino Miraglia
Human Settlements Officer, SDG Localization and Local Governments

Urban Practices Branch
Global Solutions Division

Our Experts

Fernando Da Cruz
Deputy Country Representative
Urban Practices Branch, Global Solutions Division