Thematic Area Details

climate action

 

SDG 13



According to UNDP, climate action entails “stepped-up efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-induced impacts.”

Climate action, represented by SDG 13, poses as the single biggest threat to the economies, livelihoods, and environment of the Asia-Pacific. Climate change has and will continue to have increasingly significant socioeconomic impacts in the region, threatening food security, energy, infrastructure, and health—including from vector borne diseases—among other areas.

As such, climate action MUST be accelerated. In order to accomplish this, the capacity of policymakers to develop coherent policies for accelerated climate action and for aligning climate change policies with the means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs through green growth must be improved. To do this, member States in the Asia-Pacific and other stakeholders also require capacity development to integrate the three dimensions of sustainable development, including gender perspectives, into policies, strategies and frameworks at the national level.

In addition, technical assistance, strengthened regional cooperation and localizing of global development agendas (with a focus on Least Developed Countries [LDCs] and Landlocked Developing Countries [LLDCs]), policy dialogue, peer-learning, stakeholder engagement (including Youth and vulnerable groups), and enhanced access to regularly updated knowledge products and tools are necessary for accelerating climate action.

However, formulating and implementing these action plans will require significant amounts of financial resources. For a separate thematic area on Climate Financing, see here.  

At the regional level, ESCAP is, together with UNFCC, a leading entity in the effort to accelerate climate action. ESCAP hosts the Asia-Pacific Climate Week (APCW), held to voice regional recommendations and support preparations for the Climate Action Summit which aims to raise ambitions and accelerate action to implement the Paris Agreement.  

Background


Climate action is particularly important in the context of the Asia-Pacific. The Asia-Pacific region is at the forefront of the impacts of climate change, yet it is uniquely positioned in global efforts to manage climate change. Higher temperatures, sea level rise, and extreme weather events linked to climate change are having a major impact on the region, harming its economies, natural and physical assets, and compounding developmental challenges, including poverty, food and energy security, and health. Without climate-oriented development, climate change could force more than 100 million people from the region into extreme poverty by 2030, wiping out the gains in poverty reduction achieved over the last decades.

The economic costs associated with disasters across the region are also increasing. Already, damage to property, crops and livestock from disasters increased from US$52 billion annually to over US$523 billion between 1970 and 2015. Globally, over 60 per cent of climate-related disasters occur in East, North-East, and South-East Asia.

At the same time, the region accounts for 53 per cent of global emissions and the high-growth path which many of the region’s economies are on means that this contribution will grow without fundamental policy interventions. Greenhouse gas emissions in the region originate mostly from the combustion of oil, gas, and coal as well as from deforestation, land use change, construction, rapid industrialization, and agriculture.

These trends highlight the urgent need to transition towards low carbon, green growth development to slow climate change down, as well as the need to strengthen resilience to climate change. Key sectors for reducing emissions and for decisive climate action include energy production and use, waste management, low carbon transport, and restoration of natural carbon sinks.

Member States in the Asia-Pacific region can play a key role in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and accelerated implementation of their National Determined Contributions (NDCs) in these key sectors. The NDCs, which describe national pledges/commitments to certain types of actions to reduce emissions and strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate change impacts, are the most important instrument for countries to achieve internationally agreed climate targets under the Paris Agreement.

However, at the aggregate level, the emission reductions the NDCs entail are not enough to keep the world on track to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Even if the NDCs were fully implemented, the world would still be on the path to warming between 3.5 to 4°C. Given the narrow window of opportunity available to prevent runaway climate change, 2019 and 2020 will be critical years in securing enhanced ambition needed to put the world firmly on the track for achieving the 1.5°C objectives the international community has collectively agreed to.

Nevertheless, many countries are willing to undertake reviews of their NDCs and take specific steps to operationalize them by identifying “low hanging fruits” in terms of concrete implementation measures that will transform the commitment to practical action. However, easy access to tools and methodologies and a lack of capacity to analyze sectoral reviews, scenarios and trend analysis for countries to be able to develop practical, integrated, and coherent implementation mechanisms and even more ambitious targets is a challenge. In addition, to support implementation of those targets there is a need to align, renew, and modify national financing frameworks to meet the implementation requirements of their climate targets accordingly. For a separate thematic area on Climate Financing, see here

As the United Nations’ regional hub promoting cooperation among countries to achieve inclusive and sustainable development, ESCAP is a key player for accelerating climate action. ESCAP outlines regional aspirations for tackling climate change through cooperation and policy dialogues in its landmark Regional Roadmap for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific. Furthermore, the ESCAP resolution on climate change response in the Asia-Pacific for the 72nd Commission Session (E/ESCAP/RES/72/8) requests the ESCAP Executive Secretary to encourage and collaborate with relevant United Nations bodies and specialized agencies, regional and subregional organizations, and non-governmental organizations to promote capacity-building of member States.

Culture for Sustainable Development

Culture, defined as “set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of society or a social group, and that it encompasses, in addition to art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs” (2001 UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity), is an enabler and driver for sustainable development. 

Spanning from archaeological sites, historical buildings and ancient monuments to a wealth of festivals, crafts making and indigenous knowledge, from film, music, theater to visual and performing arts, culture contributes to inclusive economic development and poverty reduction. Cultural heritage, cultural and creative industries, sustainable cultural tourism, and cultural infrastructure can serve as strategic tools for revenue generation, particularly in developing countries given their often-rich cultural heritage and substantial labor force. Culture-led development also includes a range of non-monetized benefits, such as greater social inclusiveness and rootedness, resilience, innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship for individuals and communities, and the use of local resources, skills, and knowledge. Respecting and supporting cultural expressions contribute to strengthening the social capital of a community and fosters trust in public institutions. Cultural factors also influence lifestyles, individual behavior, consumption patterns, values related to environmental stewardship, and our interaction with the natural environment. Local and indigenous knowledge systems and environmental management practices provide valuable insight and tools for tackling ecological challenges, preventing biodiversity loss, reducing land degradation, and mitigating the effects of climate change. 

As an enabler for development, culture empowers people with capacities to take ownership of their own development processes. When a people-centered and placed-based approach is integrated into development programs and peacebuilding initiatives, when development interventions in fields ranging from health to education, gender empowerment and youth engagement, take the cultural context into account, including diverse local values, conditions, resources, skills and limitations, transformative and sustainable change can occur.

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Figure 1: Culture as a driver and enabler for sustainable development

The discussion on culture and sustainable development has dated back to the early 70s when the discussion focused on the protection of World Heritage within the scope of the 1972 Convention for the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage and the 1982 World Conference on Cultural Policies – the first conference that officially acknowledged the links between culture and development. A series of events taking place from the end of the 1980s until now further debated and acknowledged the potential role of culture in achieving sustainable development, with milestones including the 1995 World Commission on Cultural Development report “Our Creative Diversity”, 1998 UNESCO Intergovernmental Conference on Cultural Policies for Development, the 2008 Creative Economy Report, followed by its 2010 and 2013 versions, 2013 Hangzhou Declaration “Placing culture at the heart of sustainable development policies” and Rio+20 outcome document “Future We Want”

The role of culture in sustainable development has been specifically addressed by a number of UN General Assembly’s Resolutions, which invite Member States and relevant stakeholders to, among others, “raise public awareness of the importance of cultural diversity for sustainable development…” and “to ensure a more visible and effective integration and mainstreaming of culture into social, environmental and economic development policies and strategies at all levels”. 

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Figure 2: Culture and Sustainable Development Timeline

 

Tools and Methodologies
Culture

culture

Culture for the 2030 Agenda

unesco moving forward

UNESCO moving forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

1

The Power of culture for development

2

Culture and development: a response to the challenges of the future?

3

Funding culture, managing the risk: proceedings of the Symposium held at UNESCO

2

Post-2015 dialogues on culture and development

2

Summary report of the 2013 UIS cultural employment metadata survey

3

Culture in the Sustainable Development Goals: A Guide for Local Action

3

Guide for the analysis of the “culture and development” dimension of cultural policies

1

The 2009 UNESCO Framework for Cultural Statistics

2

Measuring Cultural Participation

UNESCO Culture for Development Indicators

1

The Cultural Diversity Lens: A practical tool to integrate culture in development

World Heritage Sites

1

The Future of the World Heritage Convention for Marine Conservation

2

World Heritage in the High Seas: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

1

Safeguarding Precious Resources for Island Communities

1

Assessing Marine World Heritage from an Ecosystem Perspective

1

Community Development through World Heritage

1

World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate

1

Case Studies on Climate Change and World Heritage

1

World Heritage: Benefits beyond Borders

1

Climate Change Adaptation for Natural World Heritage Sites – A Practical Guide

1

Managing Natural World Heritage

1

Managing Cultural World Heritage

1

Managing Disaster Risks for World Heritage

1

Engaging Local Communities in Stewardship of World Heritage: a methodology based on the COMPACT experience

1

World Heritage Marine Sites – Best Practice Guide

1

Business Planning for World Heritage Site Managers – a Toolkit

Cities

1

Culture: Urban Future; Global Report on Culture for Sustainable Urban Development

1

Managing Historic Cities

1

Culture in City Reconstruction and Recovery: Position Paper

Living Heritage

Threats to intangible cultural heritage

1

Indigenous Peoples and Intangible Cultural Heritage

Ethnical Principles for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage

1

Intangible Cultural heritage and Gender

Intangible Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development

1

Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Sustainable Development Goals in the Pacific

Cultural and Creative Industries

creative

Creative Economy Report 2013

reshaping

Re│shaping Cultural Policies: a Decade Promoting the Diversity of Cultural Expressions for Development

Re│shaping Cultural Policies: Global Report 2018

Challenges and opportunities for decent work in the culture and media sectors

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Measuring the economic contribution of cultural industries: a review and assessment of current methodological approaches

Policy monitoring platform

Arts

same boat

We are all in the same boat! Using arts and creative approaches with young people to tackle HIV-related stigma

Cultural Institutions

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Community-based approach to museum development in Asia and the Pacific for culture and sustainable development

 

Sustainable Transport

overview

Transport is truly the driving force behind a prosperous and inclusive economy. It is an essential part of a well-connected and ever-shrinking world and it serves to power lives and livelihoods. Whether it is a means by which a child goes to school, how workers make their daily commute, or how food, clothing, and other goods reach consumers, transport is at the core of a functioning society.  

The transport sector is influenced by many externalities. Climate change and unsustainable patterns of development, consumption, and human behavior have brought civilisation to the precipice - and certainly, transport demand is only serving to exacerbate these issues. 

Transport contributes roughly one quarter of global energy related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and one sixth of all emissions. It is the fastest growing emissions sector. Moreover, it is estimated that global transport carbon emissions will need to be reduced to 2 to 3 Gt CO2 per year by 2050 to meet the international mitigation target of 1.5 degree Celsius. Certainly, this is an immense challenge as economies grow, countries urbanise, and more and more people and goods require access to jobs, services, education and markets. 

For this reason, more must be done to transform transport, to go beyond business as usual and ensure that sustainability is at the heart of design. There is no doubt that sustainable transport is fundamental to the success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other international policy frameworks. It is a key driver for the realisation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement and it is the very catalyst that will drive our collective success. 

Tools and Methodologies

tools and methodologies

In order to fulfil the transport sector’s key role in the SDGs, the identification of country and region-specific mitigation measures will inform the policies needed for sustainable, low carbon transport. 

Improved coordination between relevant ministries that are involved in decision-making for the transport sector is key. Individual country, city and company mitigation plans show high levels of ambition, however, a lack of clarity on how to incorporate the plans is slowing development. 
Climate action must be implemented into existing or new transport plans in order to successfully meet the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Identifying appropriate country-specific mitigation measures inform the development of integrated and region-specific policy packages in pursuit of climate action. 

2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement implementation can be synergised by:

  • Coordinating activities and targets 
  • Mainstreaming goals into policy planning
  • Optimising financial resources 
  • Building mutually reinforcing monitoring and reporting frameworks
  • Addressing the overall system performance of the transport sector
  • Recognise the co-benefits of climate action in the transport sector
  • Create more effective carbon finance mechanisms and associated procedures to catalyse sustainable transport policies, programs and projects

Eight major policy areas for low carbon transport outline the tools and methodologies to reach the goal of balancing ‘Avoid’, ‘Shift’, and ‘Improve’ measures. ‘Avoid’ measures concern the reduction of travel distance through motorised modes of transport that integrate spatial planning, logistics optimisation and travel demand management. ‘Shift’ measures aim to change necessary travel into more environmentally and socially-sustainable modes. ‘Improve’ measures focus on the efficiency of transport modes, assuring low-carbon fuel and new vehicle technologies are in place. 

1. Sustainable Mobility Planning and Transport Demand Management 

Sustainable mobility planning and transport demand management is an integrated and comprehensive approach to traditional transport planning. Sustainable mobility planning is a coordinated system that focuses on accessibility and quality of life and addresses environmental concerns, among other aspects.[2]

Major initiatives working on sustainable mobility planning and transport demand management:

  • Singapore’s ‘Streets for People’ program
  • China Sustainable Cities Integrated Approach Pilot Project
  • India’s ‘odd-even’ number plate policy 
  • Hong Kong’s ‘Rail + Property’ TOD business model

2. Urban Public Transport 

Urban public transport that targets the pooling of more people than private vehicles in an equivalent unit of space, can reduce congestion, urban space requirements, and pollution. Modes that have grown in the past decades include metro systems, bus priority systems, trams and light rail transit, and cable cars. High-quality transport options lead to a higher scale of the aforementioned benefits.[3]

Major initiatives for urban public transport:

  • Cable car projects in the Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, and elsewhere
  • Malaysia’s 51 km-long new mass rapid transit line 
  • Metro systems in China

3. Passenger and Freight Railways 

Passenger and freight railways enhance intercity and interurban mobility. Demand for long distance journeys is promoting a trend towards HSR networks. Using these networks for freight generates much lower levels of CO2 emissions and energy consumption per tonne-km than road freight.[4]

Major initiatives for passenger and freight railways:

  • Trans-Asian Railway network
  • Electric railway tracks in Japan, the Republic of Korea, and China
  • HSR in China

4. Walking and Cycling 

Walking and cycling initiatives are amongst the most climate-friendly. These are space and cost-efficient modes that require minimal capital investment and infrastructure. Prioritising these initiatives can strengthen social cohesion and improve the overall quality of life in a low-carbon and safe manner.[5]

Major initiatives on walking and cycling:

  • Pedestrian bridges in the Republic of Korea
  • E-bikes in China

5. New Mobility Services 

New mobility services offer shared transport modes on an “as needed” basis. Innovative technology in the form of ridesharing apps or bikesharing schemes, provide efficient use of vehicles and infrastructure through a more productive matching of supply and demand.[6]

Major initiatives on new mobility services:

  • BMW and Daimler expanding their car-sharing programs
  • Indonesia’s GO-JEK
  • Bike and car-sharing services in China 

6. Fuel Economy 

Fuel economy coupled with existing cost-effective technologies such as light-duty vehicle fleets can stabilise CO2 emissions through a 50 per cent improvement of vehicle fuel efficiency worldwide by 2050. This initiative provides technology such as start-stop engines, regenerative braking and hybrid or fully electric drivetrains.[7]

Major initiatives on fuel economy:

  • Fuel economy labelling schemes in Thailand and Vietnam
  • China’s zero-emission vehicle national policy
  • Thailand’s CO2 tax

7. Electric Mobility 

Electric mobility grants an efficient alternative to traditional gasoline or diesel-fueled vehicles. If powered through renewables, this could be a low carbon mobility solution with potential implementation in heavy-duty vehicles, maritime shipping, rail transport and aviation.[8]

Major initiatives on e-mobility:

  • China’s fully electric bus initiative 
  • Singapore’s Vehicular Emissions Scheme
  • Malaysia’s Electric Mobility Blueprint

8. Renewable Energy in Transport 

Renewable energy in transport is key to achieving the Paris Agreement’s objectives. Biofuels, natural gas, biogas and electrification are the entry points for renewable energy in the transport sector. Biofuels have the potential to decarbonise two of the most difficult sub-sectors: aviation and shipping. Sustainable policy strategies are specific and accommodate to industry and user’s needs and preferences.[9]

Major initiatives on renewable energy:

  • China’s  first all-electric cargo ship
  • Pakistan’s natural gas vehicles infrastructure
  • Indonesia’s aviation mandates

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[2] SLoCaT (2018). Transport and Climate Change Global Status Report 2018. Available at: http://slocat.net/tcc-gsr.

[3] ibid.

[4] ibid.

[5] ibid.

[6] ibid.

[7] ibid.

[8] ibid.

[9] ibid.

Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration

migrants from cambodia

Safe, orderly and regular migration can be a key enabler of sustainable development. International migration affects all countries of the Asia-Pacific region. Almost 102 million people from the region lived outside their countries of birth in 2017. Meanwhile, countries in Asia-Pacific hosted over 62 million migrants, representing an increase of more than 20 per cent since 1990 (UNPD, 2017).  Over half of all migrants from the region migrate to developing countries, either within or to neighbouring regions, especially the Middle East. Women migrants make up 51 per cent of the migrant stock, but only 46 per cent of migrants from the region.

Labour migration dominates the migration flows in the region. According to ILO estimates, there were about 33.5 million migrant workers in Asian and Pacific countries in 2017 (ILO, 2018).  Labour migration includes both migration between countries of the Asia-Pacific region and migration to the oil-producing countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Labour migrants sent over $316 billion to Asian and Pacific countries in remittances in 2018, over ten times the amount received as official development assistance in 2017. Migrants also make significant contributions to the sustainable development of developing countries of destination, through their work, consumption and taxes. They also help to build bridges between countries of origin and destination, while migration can also be empowering for migrants, enabling them to learn new skills and broadening their horizons.

These gains are offset however due to the realities faced by many migrants, whose migration experiences are unsafe, irregular and disorderly. Limited legal pathways to migration, high migration costs and a lack of cooperation between countries of origin and destination result in many migrants suffering exploitation and abuse, violating their human and labour rights and creating serious challenges to sustainable development. Women migrants are particularly vulnerable to these forms of abuse

For migration to live up to its potential to benefit all – migrants and non-migrants alike – it is essential that it be safe, orderly and regular.

Tools and Methodologies

a

Towards Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in the Asia-Pacific 

This Report supports the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration by providing an evidence base on migration in the region, including trends, key issues and recommendations, to guide action.

Labour Migration outflow database

The database on annual migrant worker outflows compiles time series data on annual labour outflows from select countries of origin to respective countries of destination. These outflow data are compiled by ESCAP, based on official administrative records from countries of origin, to help understand the scale and direction of labour migration in the region.

population data sheet

2018 ESCAP Population Data Sheet

The Population Data Sheet, published annually by ESCAP, provides an overview of key indicators on population dynamics - including population size and growth rates, fertility rate, life expectancy and age structure, at country, subregional and regional levels. It is a useful tool for reference by researchers, policymakers and other stakeholders active in the field of population and development.

Circular Economy

Developing countries today grapple with the huge challenge of how to address the unsustainable pattern of fast industrial development based on a “pollute first and clean up later” approach? How to break an alarming trajectory of increasing environmental loss of biodiversity and ecosystems supporting human health and livelihoods, mountains of waste and air pollution? 

The Asia-Pacific region, hosting two-thirds of the world’s growing population, is the powerhouse of global economic growth and industrialization.  While creating jobs and bolstering growth, new regional manufacturing hubs using inefficient production processes have placed increased strain on natural resources, ecosystems and communities. The region is also grappling with increasing untreated wastes and pollution, declining ocean health and human induced climate change -- impeding progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The circular economy is gaining importance among the developing countries, and in the Asia-Pacific region, where the emerging Industrialization 4.0 needs to adopt more resource-efficient and non-linear approaches. Circular economy characterizes production and consumption a regenerative cycle that maximizes the utility of materials and waste products. This design considers waste a usable resource, rather than rubbish, and internalizes all production factors.

In order to position mankind to have a prosperous future, consumers, industry, and government alike must undergo a collective change in priority and behaviour. Moving to a circular economy opens opportunities to capture untapped business value, while creating social and environmental benefits also. 

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Background

At present, the mainstream “take, make, dispose” behaviour severely threatens the livelihoods of future generations. We would require the equivalent resources provided by three earths to maintain current lifestyles if the global population reaches projected levels of 9.6 billion people by 2050. Drinking water scarcity is already affecting two thirds of the population, but will affect additional processes such as industry, manufacturing, and sanitation. Plastics revolutionized our material world, but now they are destroying our natural one. Almost 50% of all plastics are intended for single-use and only 9% of all plastic waste has ever been recycled. This plastic material lands in oceans and landfills, poisoning the ecosystems and animal life, and, eventually, humans.

In the Asia-Pacific region there is critical focus on the management of urban waste water because 80-90% of this flow into and pollutes already limited fresh water sources. There is also increasing demand for better urban water management because at least half of the Asia-Pacific population lives in ever-expanding urban areas. Accordingly, solid waste management must also be improved considerably. 

For the Asia-Pacific region, getting a grip on waste management is highlighted because of the immense scale of the issues at hand, but upstream changes must be made in order to enact long-lasting sustainable behaviours. In this regard, circular economy encompasses more than just waste recovery.

In the natural world, there is a constant circular flow of materials and energy. The sun provides all energy for plants that are eaten animals eat, while all living organisms return minerals and nutrients to the earth when they die. No matter goes to waste. The circular economy replicates this with the technical products humans have developed. Reforms to manufacturing processes simplify the composition of finished products, by-products, and waste products such that everything can be repurposed with ease.

Redesigning the world’s production-consumption structure requires decoupling economic activity, with Asia-Pacific taking the lead, from continuous extraction and consumption of finite resources. This can be achieved by following three circular economy principles:

waste

  • designing out waste and pollution;

materials

  • keeping products and material in use; and

recycle

  • regenerating natural systems.

Through these aims the goal is to eliminate waste by minimizing its volume while also repurposing any remnants as inputs for another process. 

What are the benefits of adopting the circular economy?

By embracing a circular economy approach, societies, in turn, achieve greater resource efficiency. It is also a multi-stakeholder model; the circular economy offers holistic opportunity for economic, social, and ecological improvements. This is a win-win approach encouraging sustainable business that creates synergies across industries and actors.

For example, the savings on material costs alone are a great incentive for industry to make the circular transition. The cost of virgin materials has crept up in recent years and is expected to only increase in price and volatility in the future largely due to decreasing supply. By reduced extraction, processing and transport of raw materials business also save cost through savings from avoided energy consumption. By one estimate up to US$ 706 billion in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector could be retained by transitioning to circular supply chains. For the Asia-Pacific region, this shift would prove immensely impactful because 60 percent of the FMCG are manufactured here. In order to recover usable materials from end-of-life products enterprises are incentivized to innovate and new jobs would be created, providing alternative employment to workers who previously harvested raw materials. Favouring recovered materials over raw materials benefits the environment by reducing the demand for natural services. Land and water resources that remain undisturbed have positive spillover effects creating benefit for the local ecosystems and the general wellbeing of the surrounding communities. 

ellen macarthur diagram

What are the barriers to adopting the circular economy?

Changing the status quo is often met with hesitation and scepticism, and some general misconceptions about circular economy must also be overcome. 

Myth 1: Circular economy is just a buzzword for recycling.

REALITY: The circular economy includes much more than just end-of-life processing for products. The entire supply chain is re-evaluated and reformed to minimize the inputs needed during production and the outputs created in the process. In fact, some aspects of the circular economy model are quite mature. In addition to recycling, repair business and leasing practices contribute to the circular economy and are already familiar to consumers.

Myth 2. Extending product lifespan harms business by reducing sales.

REALITY: “Business as usual”, so to say, is not compatible with a long-term outlook for a company or the planet. Given the planet’s resource constraints, businesses are already exposed to increasing risk and overhead costs as material and commodity prices are expected rise while also becoming increasingly volatile. The circular economy does not harm business but rather it changes the incentives which drive business. By accepting the circular economy process, businesses are motivated to change their practices to align with its sustainable principles. 

Myth 3. Sustainable products are not accessible to all consumers.

REALITY: It is true that products advertised are often most costly upfront than their mainstream competitors. However, when full supply chains and product lifestyles are considered, discounts are passed on to consumers through secondary channels. This could include reduced energy consumption and longer product life.  

Beyond the general misconceptions, there are significant institutional barriers that do exist that must be overcome in order to implement the circular economy on a widespread basis. Existing regulation and labour laws may conflict with new circular business activities. Societal and ecological benefits from circular activities are not easily quantifiable or reportable in order to communicate the greater impact. Mainstream markets do not adequately incorporate the price of externalities (both negative and positive) which ultimately sends false signals to economic actors. Moreover, there is still limited consumer demand specifically for circular economy practices.

Governments may provide the large-scale push that guides society and industry to adopt circular economy activities quicker. In the last decade, many national governments have already introduced circular economy policies into their national planning schemes. China, the leading emitter of greenhouse gases, was the first nation to pass a circular economy law, which came into effect in 2009. Now other individual nations, including Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Canada, The Netherlands, Sweden and Finland, and the European Union actively promote circular economy policies. However, at present, the organization Circle Economy estimates that the world is only 9 percent circular, leaving much room for improvement.

Tools and Methodologies

Delivering the circular economy: a toolkit for policymakers

Delivering the circular economy: a toolkit for policymakers

The circular economy offers business leaders and government a clear opportunity for long-term growth that is less dependent on cheap materials and energy, and which can restore and regenerate natural capital. This report provides an actionable toolkit for policymakers who wish to embark on a circular economy transformation. It identifies eight key insights, details policy options, opportunities and barriers, and demonstrates how the tools may be applied in a pilot study of Denmark.

Circular Design Guide

The scale of what we’re designing has shifted from products, to companies, to economic systems. Who we’re designing for has expanded from a solitary user to an intimately connected web of people, spanning the globe. New tools such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and biomimicry mean our design ambitions are limited only by our imagination. Meanwhile, creativity has never been more important. The global economy is stuttering and disruptive technologies challenge established business models.

Institutional Mechanisms for SDG Coordination
sdgs

 

The implementation of the 2030 Agenda requires a solid institutional framework to steer implementation of the 2030 Agenda, leverage interlinkages between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and assure that the 2030 Agenda and National Plans are fully integrated. 

The Agenda recognises the essential role of effective, accountable, transparent, participatory and inclusive institutions in achieving the SDGs (SDG 16.6, SDG 16.7), tasking national Governments with the primary responsibility of shaping institutional arrangements for implementation and review of progress. It will be therefore critical at the national level to understand how to adjust national frameworks to deliver on the SDGs in an integrated and coherent manner, depicting synergies among the goals and minimizing the trade-offs. Institutional arrangements shall consider national circumstances, such as the political environment; existing institutions and their mandates; national policy frameworks for sustainable development; actors and stakeholders; and any other factors that might steer SDG implementation, including budgeting and planning processes. 

The format of the institutional arrangements varies from country to country; however, it can be noted that member States have tackled this task in two main ways: either creating new institutions, or repurposing and assigning new responsibilities to already existing ones, often set up during the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) era, like National Councils for Sustainable Development (NCSD). 

Existing institutional coordination mechanisms can be classified into four groups  depending on which level of governance and under which leadership the coordination responsibility lies: a) inter-ministerial entities: i) under the Head of State or Government leadership; or ii) under the leadership of a specific ministry; b) arrangements refer to a single unit located in the office of: i) the Head of State or Government; ii) of specific ministry. All approaches can be found within the AP reporting countries. 

Creating inter-ministerial structure can favour a whole of Government approach, mobilising different parts of Governments around the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs in a coherent and integrated manner. Many of the countries that have established new mechanisms have opted for this system, as it eases integration. 

Background

cso

The aspirational nature of the 2030 Agenda, along with the broad scope and interlinked nature of the SDGs calls for rethinking governmental strategies and for applying different approaches to governance, based on the principles of accountability, innovation, integration, and collaboration. The multi and cross-sector nature of the SDGs covering multiple policy areas, requires, in fact, strong collaboration among of all parts of government, along with institutions, the business sector and the Civil Society (CSO). Leaving no one behind (LNOB) necessitates a whole of government and a whole of society approach, by which all ministries, public agencies and public at large are involved in the decision-making process, become the norm. Finally, the limited resources available at the national level require a special focus on budgeting and financing to ensure an effective implementation of the SDGs.

While Governments are aware of the interdependency among sustainable development issues and of the benefits of integrated approaches, achieving a high degree of coherence, integration and coordination among the international, national and local levels as well as across institutions and levels of governance remain cumbersome. 

To meet the global goals, institutions shall reflect the nature and the main principles of the SDGs, such as universality: harmonizing domestic and foreign policies; integration: breaking down the siloes of ministerial arrangements; aspiration: welcoming innovation and going beyond business as usual; and leaving no one behind: engaging a broad range of stakeholders, including marginalised groups [1]. 

The 2030 Agenda delineates a holistic perspective for sustainable development. Environmental conservation and protection, economic growth and development and social protection are inter-related and universal challenges that call for integrated and innovative approaches. Solid collaborations, partnerships and coordination across sectors and institutions are therefore needed to ensure that the main pillars of sustainable development and cross-cutting issues like gender, health, and climate change, for instance, are mainstreamed into national development programmes and policies. 

Fostering integration, in fact, assumes strong cooperation among institutions at all levels and engagement of non-state stakeholders in the decision making. Integrated approaches to SDG implementation allow for shying away from trade-offs among SDGs and related targets, promoting a more efficient, coherent and balanced allocation of resources. This can be accomplished only by addressing systemic issues that undermine institutional work. Breaking down silo approaches, enhancing opportunities for institutions and stakeholders to interact and find synergies, managing policy trade-offs and exploring interconnections among SDGs are key to addressing systemic flaws. The transformational nature of the 2030 Agenda urges Governments not to act solo, but rather engage at multiple level of governance and across manifold sectors. 

Policy integration can be defined as the management of cross-cutting issues that goes beyond individual institutional responsibilities and established policy fields [2]. Policy integration ensures that the progress made towards one goal will positively impact the achievement of another one. The 2030 Agenda stresses the importance of strengthening policy coherence to achieve the SDGs (SDG 17.14) and ensuring that no one is left behind. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) defines policy coherence for sustainable development (PCSD) as a policy approach that enhances systemic integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development during all phases of national and international policy making [3]. PCSD aims at strengthening Governments’ capacity to balance economic, social, and environmental aspects in the policy making; discern trade-offs; and harmonize domestic and international policy objectives.

Integrated policy making necessitates establishing vertical and horizontal coordination mechanisms, to ensure effective dialogue and collaboration among national, subnational, and local level, as well as between different actors and stakeholders, including CSO.

____________________

[1] “Sustainable Development Goals Best Practices for Institutional Structures” available online at: https://www.bccic.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/SDG-Best-Practices-for-Institutional-Structures-Policy-Brief-BCCIC.pdf

[2] “Working Together: Integration, institutions and the Sustainable Development Goals” Available online at: http://workspace.unpan.org/sites/Internet/Documents/UNPAN98152.pdf 

[3] “Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development 2018 Towards Sustainable and Resilient Societies. Towards Sustainable and Resilient Societies”. Available online at: https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/docserver/9789264301061-en.pdf?expires=1539679286&id=id&accname=ocid195767&checksum=43A31FF2C5B6F2AD0688B0EB787E316B 

Decent Work

banner

Decent work sums up the aspirations of people in their working lives. It involves opportunities for work that is productive and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for people to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men. 

Productive employment and decent work are key elements to achieving a fair globalization and poverty reduction. The Decent Work Agenda of the International Labour Organization (ILO) looks at job creation, rights at work, social protection and social dialogue, with gender equality as a crosscutting objective.

Tools and Methodologies

International Labour Organization

The only tripartite U.N. agency, since 1919 the ILO brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.

DW4SD Resource Platform

Sustainable development cannot be achieved without decent work, and vice versa. Hence, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Decent Work Agenda (DWA) are intimately related and mutually reinforcing.

The DW4SD Resource Platform offers integrated guidance and working resources on the relationship between Decent Work and Sustainable Development for constituents, ILO staff, UN country team members, development partners and other stakeholders to support national SDG processes. These resources can be accessed in two windows below: through the 2030 Agenda’s SDGs or through the DWA Outcomes.

World Employment and Social Outlook

Explore the ILO's set of estimates on employment around the world. Create charts and download data with the WESO Data Finder.

Skills for Employment Knowledge Sharing Platform

The Global Public-Private Knowledge Sharing Platform on Skills for Employment (Global KSP) aims to help strengthen the links between education and training to productive and decent work by sharing approaches, knowledge and experiences that governments, employers, workers and international organizations have found effective in addressing these issues of common concern across the world. 

SEKSP

Decent Jobs for Youth - Knowledge Platform

The Decent Jobs for Youth knowledge facility is a digital platform of tools, publications, databases, thematic resources and more to support evidence-informed action on youth employment.

It leverages the collective experience of multiple partners to share curated, state of the art knowledge and to facilitate learning opportunities for the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of youth employment policies and programmes

dj4y

Social Protection

overview

Social protection is anchored in the universal right of everyone to social security and to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of themselves and their families. It derives from the principle that no one should live below a certain income level and everyone should have access to basic social services. 

Social protection is a powerful tool for reducing inequalities and building resilience against shocks and crises over the lifecycle. It provides a solid foundation for the realization of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Social protection is therefore explicitly mentioned in four Sustainable Development Goals, related to ending poverty (SDG 1); ensuring health lives (SDG 3): achieving gender equality (SDG 5); and reducing inequalities (SDG 10).

Under SDG Target 1.3 countries have committed to implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable. National social protection floors (ILO Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No. 202)) should comprise at least the following four social security guarantees:

  • access to essential health care, including maternity care;
  • basic income security for children, providing access to nutrition, education, care and any other necessary goods and services;
  • basic income security for persons in active age who are unable to earn sufficient income, in particular in cases of sickness, unemployment, maternity and disability;
  • basic income security for older persons.

Despite remarkable economic and social progress in the Asia-Pacific, critical social protection coverage gaps persist. For instance, 

  • Only 21 of 49 countries offer benefits to children and their families, contributing to high levels of stunting, malnutrition and child mortality;
  • Only 1 out of 5 unemployed work-age adults receive unemployment benefits;
  • Just 3 out of 10 mothers with new-borns receive maternity benefits;
  • Less than 4 out of 10 people in the region have access to health care;
  • Just over half of all older persons receive an old age pension and less than one third of the labour force is actively contributing to a pension scheme;
  • Less than half of all persons with disabilities in the region are covered by a disability benefit or allowance.

Social protection policies need to be grounded in legal frameworks, political commitment and backed by domestic funding. Social protection programmes in the region are often small and fragmented, with limited coordination among actors, which calls for countries to move towards a sector-wide approach combining contributory and non-contributory schemes to holistically provide coverage throughout the life cycle. With 60 per cent of the region’s labour force is in the informal sector, government-financed social protection remains key to ensuring universal social protection coverage. 

To leave no one behind, social protection programmes must be inclusive and provide adequate benefit levels. A universal approach to social protection where benefits are extended to everyone within, for example, an age group, is the best way of reaching those furthest behind. 

With developing countries in Asia and the Pacific only spending about 3.7 per cent of GDP on social protection, compared to the world average of 11.2 per cent, there is also considerable scope to increase investment in social protection to close coverage gaps in the region.

Tools and Methodologies

Social Protection and the SDGs

time for equality

ESCAP has developed various tools on social protection and the SDGs, including a policy guide, a video and an interactive infographic (coming soon). The report Time for Equality highlighted the linkage between social protection and the three dimensions of sustainable development.

The Social Protection Toolbox

SPT

The Social Protection Toolbox is ESCAP’s online platform to support countries in the Asia-Pacific region to build inclusive social protection systems. The Toolbox contains capacity- and knowledge building tools, such as basic e-learning guides, videos, infographics, fact sheets, games, in-depth studies, an interactive tool to identify national coverage gaps, as well as over 100 good practices for inspiration and cross-country learning. 

If you want to receive updates from the Social Protection Toolbox, please contact us on: admin@socialprotection-toolbox.org

Policy guides on inclusive social protection

The ESCAP policy guides on inclusive social protection include:

why we need social protection

Why We Need Social Protection explaining the basic principles of social protection and the role it can play in achieving the sustainable development goals. 

how to design

How to Design Inclusive Social Protection Systems explaining how to design inclusive and robust social protection systems, focusing on tax-financed income security. The guide discusses key policy choices such as universal vs. targeted schemes and how conditions attached to social protection transfers can have negative impacts at the household level.

how to implement inclusive social protection schemes

How to Implement Inclusive Social Protection Systems explaining how to implement inclusive social protection schemes. The guide outlines the administrative processes, organizational policies and systems required to implement tax-financed social protection.

how to finance

How to Finance Inclusive Social Protection Systems examining ways to finance social protection, with a focus on tax-financed social security schemes. The guide outlines options for increasing investment in social protection through general government revenues, and briefly discusses social insurance schemes financed through contributions. 

The policy guides are also available in Russian

A fifth policy guide on social protection for persons with disabilities is coming soon.

Education Transforms Lives

overview

links

Qsdg4uality Education and its targets are key to realizing many other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). When people are able to receive quality education, they are able to break away from the cycle of poverty. Quality education helps to reduce inequalities and to advance gender equality. It also empowers people everywhere to live more healthy and sustainable lives, as well as to fostering tolerance between people and contributes to more peaceful societies.1 The close linkages between Quality Education and other SDGs are described as below:

GOAL 5: Gender Equality

Education expands opportunities for girls and young women and raises their aspirations for work outside the home. (UNDESA, 2015) 

(However) statistical trends that reflect the reality of women in education in Asia-Pacific in the 2018 statistical snapshot shows that we are still far from realizing the SDGs’ promise of “leaving no one behind.”

GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

The impact of education on economic growth and decent work is highly discussed. (UNDESA, 2015) In order to contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a whole, UNESCO’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET) Strategy (2016-2021) aims to support the efforts of Member States to enhance the relevance of their TVET systems and to equip all youth and adults with the skills required for employment, decent work, entrepreneurship and lifelong learning.

GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality

Education is seen as both a factor that conditions inequalities later in life and a powerful instrument for advancing equity (UNDESA, 2015). Here is an example of “learning inequality across different disadvantaged groups in Nepal”.

GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

UNESCO’s efforts to foster innovation and creativity as key drivers for more sustainable and inclusive urban development resulted in a network: 13 Asia-Pacific cities celebrated for innovation, creativity.

GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Education is a central theme in global efforts to promote a paradigm shift in sustainable consumption and production patterns, to change behaviors and lifestyles and achieve low-carbon societies. (UNDESA, 2015).

As the soft launch of UNESCO’s Plastic Initiative to gather ideas for plastic waste management, particularly by engaging youth, and testing projects in the 152 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, the recent events marked a new commitment to a comprehensive, strategic approach to a worldwide problem.

GOAL 13: Climate Action

Education impart not only the scientific knowledge and technical skills but also foster the attitude, behavior and values that are critical in preventing and reducing the impacts of climate change and extreme events. 

GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

Education is widely perceived as a means to develop necessary attitudes and skills for promoting peace, justice and equality that are fundamental to sustainable development. “Unwieldy, challenging to interpret and implement, but essential for peaceful, sustainable development – Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 Target 7 puts people first in the global education agenda.”-- Targeting a better world: APMED2030 puts region on path to achieving SDG 4.7.         

Reference:

How well are the links between education and other sustainable development goals covered in UN flagship reports? A contribution to the study of the science-policy interface on education in the UN system (UNDESA, 2015)

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/2111education%20and%20sdgs.pdf

____________________

[1] https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/ENGLISH_Why_it_Matters_Goal_4_QualityEducation.pdf

Background

background

The Asia-Pacific Regional Education for All Report in 2015 points to new education challenges that countries in Asia and the Pacific are facing, in particular, in expanding participation beyond both ends of basic education, namely early childhood care and education (ECCE) and post- basic education, including higher education, technical and vocational training and continuing education, and in focusing on learning for the individual to acquire the skills and competences needed for life and work. For this reason, the Asia- Pacific Statement on Education Beyond 2015 adopted at the Asia-Pacific Regional Education Conference (Bangkok 2014) identifies “lifelong learning for all” as the first of the regional priority action areas.

illeterate adultsQuality of education, which had until recently been neglected in the international discourse, has finally gained the deserved attention by all Member States with the adoption of the Education 2030 agenda and the recognition of the emergence of a “learning crisis” around the world. Despite significant increase in access to education at all levels, many children were leaving primary school with poor achievement in basic literacy and numeracy skills. A complex policy challenge, this area of work covers a wide range of policy domains, including curriculum, pedagogy, teacher policies and particularly assessment (of both cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes).2

The Education 2030 agenda, which fully embraces Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) and its corresponding targets aims to, “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. Through the Incheon Declaration adopted at the World Education Forum in May 2015, UNESCO, as the United Nations’ specialized agency for education, was entrusted to lead the Education 2030 agenda with its partners. The roadmap to achieve the ten targets of the education goal is the Education 2030 Framework for Action, adopted in November 2015, which provides guidance to governments and partners on how to turn commitments into action.

____________________

[2] https://bangkok.unesco.org/theme/quality-education

Tools and Methodologies

tools-methodologie

Data on SDG4

sdg4

ESCAP Statistical Database

Key Publications (Global):

1

Quick Guide to Education Indicators for SDG 4

SDG4 progress and info & targets and indicators (Knowledge Platform)

UNESCO Institute for Statistics(UIS) for Education 2030-(Data portal)

UIS

Education for Sustainable Development Goals: Learning Objectives

2018

UNESCO Progress on Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship Education: Findings of the 6th Consultation on the implementation of the 1974 Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Co-operation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (2012-2016)

Key Publications (Regional):

paving the road

Paving the Road to Education: A Target-by-target Analysis of SDG 4 for Asia and the Pacific 

integrating

Integrating Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Teacher Education in South-East Asia

network

The Network on Education Quality Monitoring in the Asia-Pacific (NEQMAP)

kathmandu

Kathmandu Statement of Action - Putrajaya+2: Advancing and Monitoring SDG4.2

pursuing quality

Pursuing Quality in Early Learning Vol. 1
Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)
Teacher Competency Framework for Southeast Asia (SEA)

issues

Issues and Trends in Education for Sustainable Development

preparing

Preparing Teachers for Global Citizenship Education: A Template

making

Making the connections: A teachers’ network puts ESD into practice

communities

Communities in Action - Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development

youthxchange

YouthXchange Guidebook on Green Skills and Lifestyles

Infographics (Global):

info1

The Education 2030 commitments

info2

Education at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals

info3

The Global Education timeline

info4

The world is working together for Education 2030

info5

The Education 2030 Steering Committee

info6

Financing Education 2030 key priorities

Infographics (Regional):

inforeg1

Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education: UNESCO Asia-Pacific In Graphic Detail #1

inforeg2

Memory of the World: UNESCO Asia-Pacific In Graphic Detail #2

inforeg3

Safety of Journalists: UNESCO Asia-Pacific In Graphic Detail #3

Fact Sheets
Education Transforms Lives

overview

links

Qsdg4uality Education and its targets are key to realizing many other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). When people are able to receive quality education, they are able to break away from the cycle of poverty. Quality education helps to reduce inequalities and to advance gender equality. It also empowers people everywhere to live more healthy and sustainable lives, as well as to fostering tolerance between people and contributes to more peaceful societies.1 The close linkages between Quality Education and other SDGs are described as below:

GOAL 5: Gender Equality

Education expands opportunities for girls and young women and raises their aspirations for work outside the home. (UNDESA, 2015) 

(However) statistical trends that reflect the reality of women in education in Asia-Pacific in the 2018 statistical snapshot shows that we are still far from realizing the SDGs’ promise of “leaving no one behind.”

GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

The impact of education on economic growth and decent work is highly discussed. (UNDESA, 2015) In order to contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a whole, UNESCO’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET) Strategy (2016-2021) aims to support the efforts of Member States to enhance the relevance of their TVET systems and to equip all youth and adults with the skills required for employment, decent work, entrepreneurship and lifelong learning.

GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality

Education is seen as both a factor that conditions inequalities later in life and a powerful instrument for advancing equity (UNDESA, 2015). Here is an example of “learning inequality across different disadvantaged groups in Nepal”.

GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

UNESCO’s efforts to foster innovation and creativity as key drivers for more sustainable and inclusive urban development resulted in a network: 13 Asia-Pacific cities celebrated for innovation, creativity.

GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Education is a central theme in global efforts to promote a paradigm shift in sustainable consumption and production patterns, to change behaviors and lifestyles and achieve low-carbon societies. (UNDESA, 2015).

As the soft launch of UNESCO’s Plastic Initiative to gather ideas for plastic waste management, particularly by engaging youth, and testing projects in the 152 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, the recent events marked a new commitment to a comprehensive, strategic approach to a worldwide problem.

GOAL 13: Climate Action

Education impart not only the scientific knowledge and technical skills but also foster the attitude, behavior and values that are critical in preventing and reducing the impacts of climate change and extreme events. 

GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

Education is widely perceived as a means to develop necessary attitudes and skills for promoting peace, justice and equality that are fundamental to sustainable development. “Unwieldy, challenging to interpret and implement, but essential for peaceful, sustainable development – Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 Target 7 puts people first in the global education agenda.”-- Targeting a better world: APMED2030 puts region on path to achieving SDG 4.7.         

Reference:

How well are the links between education and other sustainable development goals covered in UN flagship reports? A contribution to the study of the science-policy interface on education in the UN system (UNDESA, 2015)

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/2111education%20and%20sdgs.pdf

____________________

[1] https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/ENGLISH_Why_it_Matters_Goal_4_QualityEducation.pdf

Background

background

The Asia-Pacific Regional Education for All Report in 2015 points to new education challenges that countries in Asia and the Pacific are facing, in particular, in expanding participation beyond both ends of basic education, namely early childhood care and education (ECCE) and post- basic education, including higher education, technical and vocational training and continuing education, and in focusing on learning for the individual to acquire the skills and competences needed for life and work. For this reason, the Asia- Pacific Statement on Education Beyond 2015 adopted at the Asia-Pacific Regional Education Conference (Bangkok 2014) identifies “lifelong learning for all” as the first of the regional priority action areas.

illeterate adultsQuality of education, which had until recently been neglected in the international discourse, has finally gained the deserved attention by all Member States with the adoption of the Education 2030 agenda and the recognition of the emergence of a “learning crisis” around the world. Despite significant increase in access to education at all levels, many children were leaving primary school with poor achievement in basic literacy and numeracy skills. A complex policy challenge, this area of work covers a wide range of policy domains, including curriculum, pedagogy, teacher policies and particularly assessment (of both cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes).2

The Education 2030 agenda, which fully embraces Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) and its corresponding targets aims to, “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. Through the Incheon Declaration adopted at the World Education Forum in May 2015, UNESCO, as the United Nations’ specialized agency for education, was entrusted to lead the Education 2030 agenda with its partners. The roadmap to achieve the ten targets of the education goal is the Education 2030 Framework for Action, adopted in November 2015, which provides guidance to governments and partners on how to turn commitments into action.

____________________

[2] https://bangkok.unesco.org/theme/quality-education

Tools and Methodologies

tools-methodologie

Data on SDG4

sdg4

ESCAP Statistical Database

Key Publications (Global):

1

Quick Guide to Education Indicators for SDG 4

SDG4 progress and info & targets and indicators (Knowledge Platform)

UNESCO Institute for Statistics(UIS) for Education 2030-(Data portal)

UIS

Education for Sustainable Development Goals: Learning Objectives

2018

UNESCO Progress on Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship Education: Findings of the 6th Consultation on the implementation of the 1974 Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Co-operation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (2012-2016)

Key Publications (Regional):

paving the road

Paving the Road to Education: A Target-by-target Analysis of SDG 4 for Asia and the Pacific 

integrating

Integrating Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Teacher Education in South-East Asia

network

The Network on Education Quality Monitoring in the Asia-Pacific (NEQMAP)

kathmandu

Kathmandu Statement of Action - Putrajaya+2: Advancing and Monitoring SDG4.2

pursuing quality

Pursuing Quality in Early Learning Vol. 1
Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)
Teacher Competency Framework for Southeast Asia (SEA)

issues

Issues and Trends in Education for Sustainable Development

preparing

Preparing Teachers for Global Citizenship Education: A Template

making

Making the connections: A teachers’ network puts ESD into practice

communities

Communities in Action - Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development

youthxchange

YouthXchange Guidebook on Green Skills and Lifestyles

Infographics (Global):

info1

The Education 2030 commitments

info2

Education at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals

info3

The Global Education timeline

info4

The world is working together for Education 2030

info5

The Education 2030 Steering Committee

info6

Financing Education 2030 key priorities

Infographics (Regional):

inforeg1

Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education: UNESCO Asia-Pacific In Graphic Detail #1

inforeg2

Memory of the World: UNESCO Asia-Pacific In Graphic Detail #2

inforeg3

Safety of Journalists: UNESCO Asia-Pacific In Graphic Detail #3

Fact Sheets
Education Transforms Lives

overview

links

Qsdg4uality Education and its targets are key to realizing many other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). When people are able to receive quality education, they are able to break away from the cycle of poverty. Quality education helps to reduce inequalities and to advance gender equality. It also empowers people everywhere to live more healthy and sustainable lives, as well as to fostering tolerance between people and contributes to more peaceful societies.1 The close linkages between Quality Education and other SDGs are described as below:

GOAL 5: Gender Equality

Education expands opportunities for girls and young women and raises their aspirations for work outside the home. (UNDESA, 2015) 

(However) statistical trends that reflect the reality of women in education in Asia-Pacific in the 2018 statistical snapshot shows that we are still far from realizing the SDGs’ promise of “leaving no one behind.”

GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

The impact of education on economic growth and decent work is highly discussed. (UNDESA, 2015) In order to contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a whole, UNESCO’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET) Strategy (2016-2021) aims to support the efforts of Member States to enhance the relevance of their TVET systems and to equip all youth and adults with the skills required for employment, decent work, entrepreneurship and lifelong learning.

GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality

Education is seen as both a factor that conditions inequalities later in life and a powerful instrument for advancing equity (UNDESA, 2015). Here is an example of “learning inequality across different disadvantaged groups in Nepal”.

GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

UNESCO’s efforts to foster innovation and creativity as key drivers for more sustainable and inclusive urban development resulted in a network: 13 Asia-Pacific cities celebrated for innovation, creativity.

GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Education is a central theme in global efforts to promote a paradigm shift in sustainable consumption and production patterns, to change behaviors and lifestyles and achieve low-carbon societies. (UNDESA, 2015).

As the soft launch of UNESCO’s Plastic Initiative to gather ideas for plastic waste management, particularly by engaging youth, and testing projects in the 152 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, the recent events marked a new commitment to a comprehensive, strategic approach to a worldwide problem.

GOAL 13: Climate Action

Education impart not only the scientific knowledge and technical skills but also foster the attitude, behavior and values that are critical in preventing and reducing the impacts of climate change and extreme events. 

GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

Education is widely perceived as a means to develop necessary attitudes and skills for promoting peace, justice and equality that are fundamental to sustainable development. “Unwieldy, challenging to interpret and implement, but essential for peaceful, sustainable development – Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 Target 7 puts people first in the global education agenda.”-- Targeting a better world: APMED2030 puts region on path to achieving SDG 4.7.         

Reference:

How well are the links between education and other sustainable development goals covered in UN flagship reports? A contribution to the study of the science-policy interface on education in the UN system (UNDESA, 2015)

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/2111education%20and%20sdgs.pdf

____________________

[1] https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/ENGLISH_Why_it_Matters_Goal_4_QualityEducation.pdf

Background

background

The Asia-Pacific Regional Education for All Report in 2015 points to new education challenges that countries in Asia and the Pacific are facing, in particular, in expanding participation beyond both ends of basic education, namely early childhood care and education (ECCE) and post- basic education, including higher education, technical and vocational training and continuing education, and in focusing on learning for the individual to acquire the skills and competences needed for life and work. For this reason, the Asia- Pacific Statement on Education Beyond 2015 adopted at the Asia-Pacific Regional Education Conference (Bangkok 2014) identifies “lifelong learning for all” as the first of the regional priority action areas.

illeterate adultsQuality of education, which had until recently been neglected in the international discourse, has finally gained the deserved attention by all Member States with the adoption of the Education 2030 agenda and the recognition of the emergence of a “learning crisis” around the world. Despite significant increase in access to education at all levels, many children were leaving primary school with poor achievement in basic literacy and numeracy skills. A complex policy challenge, this area of work covers a wide range of policy domains, including curriculum, pedagogy, teacher policies and particularly assessment (of both cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes).2

The Education 2030 agenda, which fully embraces Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) and its corresponding targets aims to, “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. Through the Incheon Declaration adopted at the World Education Forum in May 2015, UNESCO, as the United Nations’ specialized agency for education, was entrusted to lead the Education 2030 agenda with its partners. The roadmap to achieve the ten targets of the education goal is the Education 2030 Framework for Action, adopted in November 2015, which provides guidance to governments and partners on how to turn commitments into action.

____________________

[2] https://bangkok.unesco.org/theme/quality-education

Tools and Methodologies

tools-methodologie

Data on SDG4

sdg4

ESCAP Statistical Database

Key Publications (Global):

1

Quick Guide to Education Indicators for SDG 4

SDG4 progress and info & targets and indicators (Knowledge Platform)

UNESCO Institute for Statistics(UIS) for Education 2030-(Data portal)

UIS

Education for Sustainable Development Goals: Learning Objectives

2018

UNESCO Progress on Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship Education: Findings of the 6th Consultation on the implementation of the 1974 Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Co-operation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (2012-2016)

Key Publications (Regional):

paving the road

Paving the Road to Education: A Target-by-target Analysis of SDG 4 for Asia and the Pacific 

integrating

Integrating Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Teacher Education in South-East Asia

network

The Network on Education Quality Monitoring in the Asia-Pacific (NEQMAP)

kathmandu

Kathmandu Statement of Action - Putrajaya+2: Advancing and Monitoring SDG4.2

pursuing quality

Pursuing Quality in Early Learning Vol. 1
Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)
Teacher Competency Framework for Southeast Asia (SEA)

issues

Issues and Trends in Education for Sustainable Development

preparing

Preparing Teachers for Global Citizenship Education: A Template

making

Making the connections: A teachers’ network puts ESD into practice

communities

Communities in Action - Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development

youthxchange

YouthXchange Guidebook on Green Skills and Lifestyles

Infographics (Global):

info1

The Education 2030 commitments

info2

Education at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals

info3

The Global Education timeline

info4

The world is working together for Education 2030

info5

The Education 2030 Steering Committee

info6

Financing Education 2030 key priorities

Infographics (Regional):

inforeg1

Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education: UNESCO Asia-Pacific In Graphic Detail #1

inforeg2

Memory of the World: UNESCO Asia-Pacific In Graphic Detail #2

inforeg3

Safety of Journalists: UNESCO Asia-Pacific In Graphic Detail #3

Fact Sheets
Education Transforms Lives

overview

links

Qsdg4uality Education and its targets are key to realizing many other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). When people are able to receive quality education, they are able to break away from the cycle of poverty. Quality education helps to reduce inequalities and to advance gender equality. It also empowers people everywhere to live more healthy and sustainable lives, as well as to fostering tolerance between people and contributes to more peaceful societies.1 The close linkages between Quality Education and other SDGs are described as below:

GOAL 5: Gender Equality

Education expands opportunities for girls and young women and raises their aspirations for work outside the home. (UNDESA, 2015) 

(However) statistical trends that reflect the reality of women in education in Asia-Pacific in the 2018 statistical snapshot shows that we are still far from realizing the SDGs’ promise of “leaving no one behind.”

GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

The impact of education on economic growth and decent work is highly discussed. (UNDESA, 2015) In order to contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a whole, UNESCO’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET) Strategy (2016-2021) aims to support the efforts of Member States to enhance the relevance of their TVET systems and to equip all youth and adults with the skills required for employment, decent work, entrepreneurship and lifelong learning.

GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality

Education is seen as both a factor that conditions inequalities later in life and a powerful instrument for advancing equity (UNDESA, 2015). Here is an example of “learning inequality across different disadvantaged groups in Nepal”.

GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

UNESCO’s efforts to foster innovation and creativity as key drivers for more sustainable and inclusive urban development resulted in a network: 13 Asia-Pacific cities celebrated for innovation, creativity.

GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Education is a central theme in global efforts to promote a paradigm shift in sustainable consumption and production patterns, to change behaviors and lifestyles and achieve low-carbon societies. (UNDESA, 2015).

As the soft launch of UNESCO’s Plastic Initiative to gather ideas for plastic waste management, particularly by engaging youth, and testing projects in the 152 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, the recent events marked a new commitment to a comprehensive, strategic approach to a worldwide problem.

GOAL 13: Climate Action

Education impart not only the scientific knowledge and technical skills but also foster the attitude, behavior and values that are critical in preventing and reducing the impacts of climate change and extreme events. 

GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

Education is widely perceived as a means to develop necessary attitudes and skills for promoting peace, justice and equality that are fundamental to sustainable development. “Unwieldy, challenging to interpret and implement, but essential for peaceful, sustainable development – Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 Target 7 puts people first in the global education agenda.”-- Targeting a better world: APMED2030 puts region on path to achieving SDG 4.7.         

Reference:

How well are the links between education and other sustainable development goals covered in UN flagship reports? A contribution to the study of the science-policy interface on education in the UN system (UNDESA, 2015)

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/2111education%20and%20sdgs.pdf

____________________

[1] https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/ENGLISH_Why_it_Matters_Goal_4_QualityEducation.pdf

Background

background

The Asia-Pacific Regional Education for All Report in 2015 points to new education challenges that countries in Asia and the Pacific are facing, in particular, in expanding participation beyond both ends of basic education, namely early childhood care and education (ECCE) and post- basic education, including higher education, technical and vocational training and continuing education, and in focusing on learning for the individual to acquire the skills and competences needed for life and work. For this reason, the Asia- Pacific Statement on Education Beyond 2015 adopted at the Asia-Pacific Regional Education Conference (Bangkok 2014) identifies “lifelong learning for all” as the first of the regional priority action areas.

illeterate adultsQuality of education, which had until recently been neglected in the international discourse, has finally gained the deserved attention by all Member States with the adoption of the Education 2030 agenda and the recognition of the emergence of a “learning crisis” around the world. Despite significant increase in access to education at all levels, many children were leaving primary school with poor achievement in basic literacy and numeracy skills. A complex policy challenge, this area of work covers a wide range of policy domains, including curriculum, pedagogy, teacher policies and particularly assessment (of both cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes).2

The Education 2030 agenda, which fully embraces Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) and its corresponding targets aims to, “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. Through the Incheon Declaration adopted at the World Education Forum in May 2015, UNESCO, as the United Nations’ specialized agency for education, was entrusted to lead the Education 2030 agenda with its partners. The roadmap to achieve the ten targets of the education goal is the Education 2030 Framework for Action, adopted in November 2015, which provides guidance to governments and partners on how to turn commitments into action.

____________________

[2] https://bangkok.unesco.org/theme/quality-education

Tools and Methodologies

tools-methodologie

Data on SDG4

sdg4

ESCAP Statistical Database

Key Publications (Global):

1

Quick Guide to Education Indicators for SDG 4

SDG4 progress and info & targets and indicators (Knowledge Platform)

UNESCO Institute for Statistics(UIS) for Education 2030-(Data portal)

UIS

Education for Sustainable Development Goals: Learning Objectives

2018

UNESCO Progress on Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship Education: Findings of the 6th Consultation on the implementation of the 1974 Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Co-operation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (2012-2016)

Key Publications (Regional):

paving the road

Paving the Road to Education: A Target-by-target Analysis of SDG 4 for Asia and the Pacific 

integrating

Integrating Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Teacher Education in South-East Asia

network

The Network on Education Quality Monitoring in the Asia-Pacific (NEQMAP)

kathmandu

Kathmandu Statement of Action - Putrajaya+2: Advancing and Monitoring SDG4.2

pursuing quality

Pursuing Quality in Early Learning Vol. 1
Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)
Teacher Competency Framework for Southeast Asia (SEA)

issues

Issues and Trends in Education for Sustainable Development

preparing

Preparing Teachers for Global Citizenship Education: A Template

making

Making the connections: A teachers’ network puts ESD into practice

communities

Communities in Action - Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development

youthxchange

YouthXchange Guidebook on Green Skills and Lifestyles

Infographics (Global):

info1

The Education 2030 commitments

info2

Education at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals

info3

The Global Education timeline

info4

The world is working together for Education 2030

info5

The Education 2030 Steering Committee

info6

Financing Education 2030 key priorities

Infographics (Regional):

inforeg1

Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education: UNESCO Asia-Pacific In Graphic Detail #1

inforeg2

Memory of the World: UNESCO Asia-Pacific In Graphic Detail #2

inforeg3

Safety of Journalists: UNESCO Asia-Pacific In Graphic Detail #3

Fact Sheets
Education Transforms Lives

overview

links

Qsdg4uality Education and its targets are key to realizing many other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). When people are able to receive quality education, they are able to break away from the cycle of poverty. Quality education helps to reduce inequalities and to advance gender equality. It also empowers people everywhere to live more healthy and sustainable lives, as well as to fostering tolerance between people and contributes to more peaceful societies.1 The close linkages between Quality Education and other SDGs are described as below:

GOAL 5: Gender Equality

Education expands opportunities for girls and young women and raises their aspirations for work outside the home. (UNDESA, 2015) 

(However) statistical trends that reflect the reality of women in education in Asia-Pacific in the 2018 statistical snapshot shows that we are still far from realizing the SDGs’ promise of “leaving no one behind.”

GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

The impact of education on economic growth and decent work is highly discussed. (UNDESA, 2015) In order to contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a whole, UNESCO’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET) Strategy (2016-2021) aims to support the efforts of Member States to enhance the relevance of their TVET systems and to equip all youth and adults with the skills required for employment, decent work, entrepreneurship and lifelong learning.

GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality

Education is seen as both a factor that conditions inequalities later in life and a powerful instrument for advancing equity (UNDESA, 2015). Here is an example of “learning inequality across different disadvantaged groups in Nepal”.

GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

UNESCO’s efforts to foster innovation and creativity as key drivers for more sustainable and inclusive urban development resulted in a network: 13 Asia-Pacific cities celebrated for innovation, creativity.

GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Education is a central theme in global efforts to promote a paradigm shift in sustainable consumption and production patterns, to change behaviors and lifestyles and achieve low-carbon societies. (UNDESA, 2015).

As the soft launch of UNESCO’s Plastic Initiative to gather ideas for plastic waste management, particularly by engaging youth, and testing projects in the 152 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, the recent events marked a new commitment to a comprehensive, strategic approach to a worldwide problem.

GOAL 13: Climate Action

Education impart not only the scientific knowledge and technical skills but also foster the attitude, behavior and values that are critical in preventing and reducing the impacts of climate change and extreme events. 

GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

Education is widely perceived as a means to develop necessary attitudes and skills for promoting peace, justice and equality that are fundamental to sustainable development. “Unwieldy, challenging to interpret and implement, but essential for peaceful, sustainable development – Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 Target 7 puts people first in the global education agenda.”-- Targeting a better world: APMED2030 puts region on path to achieving SDG 4.7.         

Reference:

How well are the links between education and other sustainable development goals covered in UN flagship reports? A contribution to the study of the science-policy interface on education in the UN system (UNDESA, 2015)

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/2111education%20and%20sdgs.pdf

____________________

[1] https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/ENGLISH_Why_it_Matters_Goal_4_QualityEducation.pdf

Background

background

The Asia-Pacific Regional Education for All Report in 2015 points to new education challenges that countries in Asia and the Pacific are facing, in particular, in expanding participation beyond both ends of basic education, namely early childhood care and education (ECCE) and post- basic education, including higher education, technical and vocational training and continuing education, and in focusing on learning for the individual to acquire the skills and competences needed for life and work. For this reason, the Asia- Pacific Statement on Education Beyond 2015 adopted at the Asia-Pacific Regional Education Conference (Bangkok 2014) identifies “lifelong learning for all” as the first of the regional priority action areas.

illeterate adultsQuality of education, which had until recently been neglected in the international discourse, has finally gained the deserved attention by all Member States with the adoption of the Education 2030 agenda and the recognition of the emergence of a “learning crisis” around the world. Despite significant increase in access to education at all levels, many children were leaving primary school with poor achievement in basic literacy and numeracy skills. A complex policy challenge, this area of work covers a wide range of policy domains, including curriculum, pedagogy, teacher policies and particularly assessment (of both cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes).2

The Education 2030 agenda, which fully embraces Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) and its corresponding targets aims to, “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. Through the Incheon Declaration adopted at the World Education Forum in May 2015, UNESCO, as the United Nations’ specialized agency for education, was entrusted to lead the Education 2030 agenda with its partners. The roadmap to achieve the ten targets of the education goal is the Education 2030 Framework for Action, adopted in November 2015, which provides guidance to governments and partners on how to turn commitments into action.

____________________

[2] https://bangkok.unesco.org/theme/quality-education

Tools and Methodologies

tools-methodologie

Data on SDG4

sdg4

ESCAP Statistical Database

Key Publications (Global):

1

Quick Guide to Education Indicators for SDG 4

SDG4 progress and info & targets and indicators (Knowledge Platform)

UNESCO Institute for Statistics(UIS) for Education 2030-(Data portal)

UIS

Education for Sustainable Development Goals: Learning Objectives

2018

UNESCO Progress on Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship Education: Findings of the 6th Consultation on the implementation of the 1974 Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Co-operation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (2012-2016)

Key Publications (Regional):

paving the road

Paving the Road to Education: A Target-by-target Analysis of SDG 4 for Asia and the Pacific 

integrating

Integrating Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Teacher Education in South-East Asia

network

The Network on Education Quality Monitoring in the Asia-Pacific (NEQMAP)

kathmandu

Kathmandu Statement of Action - Putrajaya+2: Advancing and Monitoring SDG4.2

pursuing quality

Pursuing Quality in Early Learning Vol. 1
Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)
Teacher Competency Framework for Southeast Asia (SEA)

issues

Issues and Trends in Education for Sustainable Development

preparing

Preparing Teachers for Global Citizenship Education: A Template

making

Making the connections: A teachers’ network puts ESD into practice

communities

Communities in Action - Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development

youthxchange

YouthXchange Guidebook on Green Skills and Lifestyles

Infographics (Global):

info1

The Education 2030 commitments

info2

Education at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals

info3

The Global Education timeline

info4

The world is working together for Education 2030

info5

The Education 2030 Steering Committee

info6

Financing Education 2030 key priorities

Infographics (Regional):

inforeg1

Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education: UNESCO Asia-Pacific In Graphic Detail #1

inforeg2

Memory of the World: UNESCO Asia-Pacific In Graphic Detail #2

inforeg3

Safety of Journalists: UNESCO Asia-Pacific In Graphic Detail #3

Fact Sheets
Education Transforms Lives

overview

links

Qsdg4uality Education and its targets are key to realizing many other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). When people are able to receive quality education, they are able to break away from the cycle of poverty. Quality education helps to reduce inequalities and to advance gender equality. It also empowers people everywhere to live more healthy and sustainable lives, as well as to fostering tolerance between people and contributes to more peaceful societies.1 The close linkages between Quality Education and other SDGs are described as below:

GOAL 5: Gender Equality

Education expands opportunities for girls and young women and raises their aspirations for work outside the home. (UNDESA, 2015) 

(However) statistical trends that reflect the reality of women in education in Asia-Pacific in the 2018 statistical snapshot shows that we are still far from realizing the SDGs’ promise of “leaving no one behind.”

GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

The impact of education on economic growth and decent work is highly discussed. (UNDESA, 2015) In order to contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a whole, UNESCO’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET) Strategy (2016-2021) aims to support the efforts of Member States to enhance the relevance of their TVET systems and to equip all youth and adults with the skills required for employment, decent work, entrepreneurship and lifelong learning.

GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality

Education is seen as both a factor that conditions inequalities later in life and a powerful instrument for advancing equity (UNDESA, 2015). Here is an example of “learning inequality across different disadvantaged groups in Nepal”.

GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

UNESCO’s efforts to foster innovation and creativity as key drivers for more sustainable and inclusive urban development resulted in a network: 13 Asia-Pacific cities celebrated for innovation, creativity.

GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Education is a central theme in global efforts to promote a paradigm shift in sustainable consumption and production patterns, to change behaviors and lifestyles and achieve low-carbon societies. (UNDESA, 2015).

As the soft launch of UNESCO’s Plastic Initiative to gather ideas for plastic waste management, particularly by engaging youth, and testing projects in the 152 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, the recent events marked a new commitment to a comprehensive, strategic approach to a worldwide problem.

GOAL 13: Climate Action

Education impart not only the scientific knowledge and technical skills but also foster the attitude, behavior and values that are critical in preventing and reducing the impacts of climate change and extreme events. 

GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

Education is widely perceived as a means to develop necessary attitudes and skills for promoting peace, justice and equality that are fundamental to sustainable development. “Unwieldy, challenging to interpret and implement, but essential for peaceful, sustainable development – Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 Target 7 puts people first in the global education agenda.”-- Targeting a better world: APMED2030 puts region on path to achieving SDG 4.7.         

Reference:

How well are the links between education and other sustainable development goals covered in UN flagship reports? A contribution to the study of the science-policy interface on education in the UN system (UNDESA, 2015)

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/2111education%20and%20sdgs.pdf

____________________

[1] https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/ENGLISH_Why_it_Matters_Goal_4_QualityEducation.pdf

Background

background

The Asia-Pacific Regional Education for All Report in 2015 points to new education challenges that countries in Asia and the Pacific are facing, in particular, in expanding participation beyond both ends of basic education, namely early childhood care and education (ECCE) and post- basic education, including higher education, technical and vocational training and continuing education, and in focusing on learning for the individual to acquire the skills and competences needed for life and work. For this reason, the Asia- Pacific Statement on Education Beyond 2015 adopted at the Asia-Pacific Regional Education Conference (Bangkok 2014) identifies “lifelong learning for all” as the first of the regional priority action areas.

illeterate adultsQuality of education, which had until recently been neglected in the international discourse, has finally gained the deserved attention by all Member States with the adoption of the Education 2030 agenda and the recognition of the emergence of a “learning crisis” around the world. Despite significant increase in access to education at all levels, many children were leaving primary school with poor achievement in basic literacy and numeracy skills. A complex policy challenge, this area of work covers a wide range of policy domains, including curriculum, pedagogy, teacher policies and particularly assessment (of both cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes).2

The Education 2030 agenda, which fully embraces Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) and its corresponding targets aims to, “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. Through the Incheon Declaration adopted at the World Education Forum in May 2015, UNESCO, as the United Nations’ specialized agency for education, was entrusted to lead the Education 2030 agenda with its partners. The roadmap to achieve the ten targets of the education goal is the Education 2030 Framework for Action, adopted in November 2015, which provides guidance to governments and partners on how to turn commitments into action.

____________________

[2] https://bangkok.unesco.org/theme/quality-education

Tools and Methodologies

tools-methodologie

Data on SDG4

sdg4

ESCAP Statistical Database

Key Publications (Global):

1

Quick Guide to Education Indicators for SDG 4

SDG4 progress and info & targets and indicators (Knowledge Platform)

UNESCO Institute for Statistics(UIS) for Education 2030-(Data portal)

UIS

Education for Sustainable Development Goals: Learning Objectives

2018

UNESCO Progress on Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship Education: Findings of the 6th Consultation on the implementation of the 1974 Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Co-operation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (2012-2016)

Key Publications (Regional):

paving the road

Paving the Road to Education: A Target-by-target Analysis of SDG 4 for Asia and the Pacific 

integrating

Integrating Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Teacher Education in South-East Asia

network

The Network on Education Quality Monitoring in the Asia-Pacific (NEQMAP)

kathmandu

Kathmandu Statement of Action - Putrajaya+2: Advancing and Monitoring SDG4.2

pursuing quality

Pursuing Quality in Early Learning Vol. 1
Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)
Teacher Competency Framework for Southeast Asia (SEA)

issues

Issues and Trends in Education for Sustainable Development

preparing

Preparing Teachers for Global Citizenship Education: A Template

making

Making the connections: A teachers’ network puts ESD into practice

communities

Communities in Action - Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development

youthxchange

YouthXchange Guidebook on Green Skills and Lifestyles

Infographics (Global):

info1

The Education 2030 commitments

info2

Education at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals

info3

The Global Education timeline

info4

The world is working together for Education 2030

info5

The Education 2030 Steering Committee

info6

Financing Education 2030 key priorities

Infographics (Regional):

inforeg1

Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education: UNESCO Asia-Pacific In Graphic Detail #1

inforeg2

Memory of the World: UNESCO Asia-Pacific In Graphic Detail #2

inforeg3

Safety of Journalists: UNESCO Asia-Pacific In Graphic Detail #3

Fact Sheets
Education Transforms Lives

overview

links

Qsdg4uality Education and its targets are key to realizing many other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). When people are able to receive quality education, they are able to break away from the cycle of poverty. Quality education helps to reduce inequalities and to advance gender equality. It also empowers people everywhere to live more healthy and sustainable lives, as well as to fostering tolerance between people and contributes to more peaceful societies.1 The close linkages between Quality Education and other SDGs are described as below:

GOAL 5: Gender Equality

Education expands opportunities for girls and young women and raises their aspirations for work outside the home. (UNDESA, 2015) 

(However) statistical trends that reflect the reality of women in education in Asia-Pacific in the 2018 statistical snapshot shows that we are still far from realizing the SDGs’ promise of “leaving no one behind.”

GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

The impact of education on economic growth and decent work is highly discussed. (UNDESA, 2015) In order to contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a whole, UNESCO’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET) Strategy (2016-2021) aims to support the efforts of Member States to enhance the relevance of their TVET systems and to equip all youth and adults with the skills required for employment, decent work, entrepreneurship and lifelong learning.

GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality

Education is seen as both a factor that conditions inequalities later in life and a powerful instrument for advancing equity (UNDESA, 2015). Here is an example of “learning inequality across different disadvantaged groups in Nepal”.

GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

UNESCO’s efforts to foster innovation and creativity as key drivers for more sustainable and inclusive urban development resulted in a network: 13 Asia-Pacific cities celebrated for innovation, creativity.

GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Education is a central theme in global efforts to promote a paradigm shift in sustainable consumption and production patterns, to change behaviors and lifestyles and achieve low-carbon societies. (UNDESA, 2015).

As the soft launch of UNESCO’s Plastic Initiative to gather ideas for plastic waste management, particularly by engaging youth, and testing projects in the 152 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, the recent events marked a new commitment to a comprehensive, strategic approach to a worldwide problem.

GOAL 13: Climate Action

Education impart not only the scientific knowledge and technical skills but also foster the attitude, behavior and values that are critical in preventing and reducing the impacts of climate change and extreme events. 

GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

Education is widely perceived as a means to develop necessary attitudes and skills for promoting peace, justice and equality that are fundamental to sustainable development. “Unwieldy, challenging to interpret and implement, but essential for peaceful, sustainable development – Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 Target 7 puts people first in the global education agenda.”-- Targeting a better world: APMED2030 puts region on path to achieving SDG 4.7.         

Reference:

How well are the links between education and other sustainable development goals covered in UN flagship reports? A contribution to the study of the science-policy interface on education in the UN system (UNDESA, 2015)

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/2111education%20and%20sdgs.pdf

____________________

[1] https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/ENGLISH_Why_it_Matters_Goal_4_QualityEducation.pdf

Background

background

The Asia-Pacific Regional Education for All Report in 2015 points to new education challenges that countries in Asia and the Pacific are facing, in particular, in expanding participation beyond both ends of basic education, namely early childhood care and education (ECCE) and post- basic education, including higher education, technical and vocational training and continuing education, and in focusing on learning for the individual to acquire the skills and competences needed for life and work. For this reason, the Asia- Pacific Statement on Education Beyond 2015 adopted at the Asia-Pacific Regional Education Conference (Bangkok 2014) identifies “lifelong learning for all” as the first of the regional priority action areas.

illeterate adultsQuality of education, which had until recently been neglected in the international discourse, has finally gained the deserved attention by all Member States with the adoption of the Education 2030 agenda and the recognition of the emergence of a “learning crisis” around the world. Despite significant increase in access to education at all levels, many children were leaving primary school with poor achievement in basic literacy and numeracy skills. A complex policy challenge, this area of work covers a wide range of policy domains, including curriculum, pedagogy, teacher policies and particularly assessment (of both cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes).2

The Education 2030 agenda, which fully embraces Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) and its corresponding targets aims to, “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. Through the Incheon Declaration adopted at the World Education Forum in May 2015, UNESCO, as the United Nations’ specialized agency for education, was entrusted to lead the Education 2030 agenda with its partners. The roadmap to achieve the ten targets of the education goal is the Education 2030 Framework for Action, adopted in November 2015, which provides guidance to governments and partners on how to turn commitments into action.

____________________

[2] https://bangkok.unesco.org/theme/quality-education

Tools and Methodologies

tools-methodologie

Data on SDG4

sdg4

ESCAP Statistical Database

Key Publications (Global):

1

Quick Guide to Education Indicators for SDG 4

SDG4 progress and info & targets and indicators (Knowledge Platform)

UNESCO Institute for Statistics(UIS) for Education 2030-(Data portal)

UIS

Education for Sustainable Development Goals: Learning Objectives

2018

UNESCO Progress on Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship Education: Findings of the 6th Consultation on the implementation of the 1974 Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Co-operation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (2012-2016)

Key Publications (Regional):

paving the road

Paving the Road to Education: A Target-by-target Analysis of SDG 4 for Asia and the Pacific 

integrating

Integrating Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Teacher Education in South-East Asia

network

The Network on Education Quality Monitoring in the Asia-Pacific (NEQMAP)

kathmandu

Kathmandu Statement of Action - Putrajaya+2: Advancing and Monitoring SDG4.2

pursuing quality

Pursuing Quality in Early Learning Vol. 1
Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)
Teacher Competency Framework for Southeast Asia (SEA)

issues

Issues and Trends in Education for Sustainable Development

preparing

Preparing Teachers for Global Citizenship Education: A Template

making

Making the connections: A teachers’ network puts ESD into practice

communities

Communities in Action - Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development

youthxchange

YouthXchange Guidebook on Green Skills and Lifestyles

Infographics (Global):

info1

The Education 2030 commitments

info2

Education at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals

info3

The Global Education timeline

info4

The world is working together for Education 2030

info5

The Education 2030 Steering Committee

info6

Financing Education 2030 key priorities

Infographics (Regional):

inforeg1

Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education: UNESCO Asia-Pacific In Graphic Detail #1

inforeg2

Memory of the World: UNESCO Asia-Pacific In Graphic Detail #2

inforeg3

Safety of Journalists: UNESCO Asia-Pacific In Graphic Detail #3

Fact Sheets
Education Transforms Lives

overview

links

Qsdg4uality Education and its targets are key to realizing many other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). When people are able to receive quality education, they are able to break away from the cycle of poverty. Quality education helps to reduce inequalities and to advance gender equality. It also empowers people everywhere to live more healthy and sustainable lives, as well as to fostering tolerance between people and contributes to more peaceful societies.1 The close linkages between Quality Education and other SDGs are described as below:

GOAL 5: Gender Equality

Education expands opportunities for girls and young women and raises their aspirations for work outside the home. (UNDESA, 2015) 

(However) statistical trends that reflect the reality of women in education in Asia-Pacific in the 2018 statistical snapshot shows that we are still far from realizing the SDGs’ promise of “leaving no one behind.”

GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

The impact of education on economic growth and decent work is highly discussed. (UNDESA, 2015) In order to contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a whole, UNESCO’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET) Strategy (2016-2021) aims to support the efforts of Member States to enhance the relevance of their TVET systems and to equip all youth and adults with the skills required for employment, decent work, entrepreneurship and lifelong learning.

GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality

Education is seen as both a factor that conditions inequalities later in life and a powerful instrument for advancing equity (UNDESA, 2015). Here is an example of “learning inequality across different disadvantaged groups in Nepal”.

GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

UNESCO’s efforts to foster innovation and creativity as key drivers for more sustainable and inclusive urban development resulted in a network: 13 Asia-Pacific cities celebrated for innovation, creativity.

GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Education is a central theme in global efforts to promote a paradigm shift in sustainable consumption and production patterns, to change behaviors and lifestyles and achieve low-carbon societies. (UNDESA, 2015).

As the soft launch of UNESCO’s Plastic Initiative to gather ideas for plastic waste management, particularly by engaging youth, and testing projects in the 152 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, the recent events marked a new commitment to a comprehensive, strategic approach to a worldwide problem.

GOAL 13: Climate Action

Education impart not only the scientific knowledge and technical skills but also foster the attitude, behavior and values that are critical in preventing and reducing the impacts of climate change and extreme events. 

GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

Education is widely perceived as a means to develop necessary attitudes and skills for promoting peace, justice and equality that are fundamental to sustainable development. “Unwieldy, challenging to interpret and implement, but essential for peaceful, sustainable development – Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 Target 7 puts people first in the global education agenda.”-- Targeting a better world: APMED2030 puts region on path to achieving SDG 4.7.         

Reference:

How well are the links between education and other sustainable development goals covered in UN flagship reports? A contribution to the study of the science-policy interface on education in the UN system (UNDESA, 2015)

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/2111education%20and%20sdgs.pdf

____________________

[1] https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/ENGLISH_Why_it_Matters_Goal_4_QualityEducation.pdf

Background

background

The Asia-Pacific Regional Education for All Report in 2015 points to new education challenges that countries in Asia and the Pacific are facing, in particular, in expanding participation beyond both ends of basic education, namely early childhood care and education (ECCE) and post- basic education, including higher education, technical and vocational training and continuing education, and in focusing on learning for the individual to acquire the skills and competences needed for life and work. For this reason, the Asia- Pacific Statement on Education Beyond 2015 adopted at the Asia-Pacific Regional Education Conference (Bangkok 2014) identifies “lifelong learning for all” as the first of the regional priority action areas.

illeterate adultsQuality of education, which had until recently been neglected in the international discourse, has finally gained the deserved attention by all Member States with the adoption of the Education 2030 agenda and the recognition of the emergence of a “learning crisis” around the world. Despite significant increase in access to education at all levels, many children were leaving primary school with poor achievement in basic literacy and numeracy skills. A complex policy challenge, this area of work covers a wide range of policy domains, including curriculum, pedagogy, teacher policies and particularly assessment (of both cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes).2

The Education 2030 agenda, which fully embraces Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) and its corresponding targets aims to, “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. Through the Incheon Declaration adopted at the World Education Forum in May 2015, UNESCO, as the United Nations’ specialized agency for education, was entrusted to lead the Education 2030 agenda with its partners. The roadmap to achieve the ten targets of the education goal is the Education 2030 Framework for Action, adopted in November 2015, which provides guidance to governments and partners on how to turn commitments into action.

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[2] https://bangkok.unesco.org/theme/quality-education

Tools and Methodologies

tools-methodologie

Data on SDG4

sdg4

ESCAP Statistical Database

Key Publications (Global):

1

Quick Guide to Education Indicators for SDG 4

SDG4 progress and info & targets and indicators (Knowledge Platform)

UNESCO Institute for Statistics(UIS) for Education 2030-(Data portal)

UIS

Education for Sustainable Development Goals: Learning Objectives

2018

UNESCO Progress on Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship Education: Findings of the 6th Consultation on the implementation of the 1974 Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Co-operation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (2012-2016)

Key Publications (Regional):

paving the road

Paving the Road to Education: A Target-by-target Analysis of SDG 4 for Asia and the Pacific 

integrating

Integrating Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Teacher Education in South-East Asia

network

The Network on Education Quality Monitoring in the Asia-Pacific (NEQMAP)

kathmandu

Kathmandu Statement of Action - Putrajaya+2: Advancing and Monitoring SDG4.2

pursuing quality

Pursuing Quality in Early Learning Vol. 1
Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)
Teacher Competency Framework for Southeast Asia (SEA)

issues

Issues and Trends in Education for Sustainable Development

preparing

Preparing Teachers for Global Citizenship Education: A Template

making

Making the connections: A teachers’ network puts ESD into practice

communities

Communities in Action - Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development

youthxchange

YouthXchange Guidebook on Green Skills and Lifestyles

Infographics (Global):

info1

The Education 2030 commitments

info2

Education at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals

info3

The Global Education timeline

info4

The world is working together for Education 2030

info5

The Education 2030 Steering Committee

info6

Financing Education 2030 key priorities

Infographics (Regional):

inforeg1

Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education: UNESCO Asia-Pacific In Graphic Detail #1

inforeg2

Memory of the World: UNESCO Asia-Pacific In Graphic Detail #2

inforeg3

Safety of Journalists: UNESCO Asia-Pacific In Graphic Detail #3

Fact Sheets
Sustainable Business

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ushered in a new and bold global development agenda. They provide a framework for economic growth that protects the fundamental pillars of humanity and the planet. They are also a rallying call for all actors in society, not just governments, to take shared responsibility for a better future. 

The private sector can be instrumental in speeding positive social impact and reducing negative impact to the environment and society. 

1Business has the potential to be a catalyst and accelerator of sustainable development around the world and can contribute to the 2030 Agenda. The private sector is increasingly seen as a valuable player, awareness of the SDGs among companies is growing, and governments are looking at ways to track and measure progress on SDGs.

Also, without the support of business and the private sector, there is the potential to fall short of our global commitment to achieve each SDG. It is estimated that trillions are needed to achieve all the SDGs by 2030, which means the Goals cannot be achieved by governments or with public financing alone. According to the World Bank, current development assistance available is close to $135 billion a year (World Bank, 2015). Domestic resource mobilization (DRM) and private financing are needed to fill the gap, and monetary and human resources must be mobilized at scale, which is something businesses are in a better position to do. 

One of the tools available to business is sustainability reporting. This is the practice of public reporting by organizations on their economic, environmental and social impacts. It is a process by which organizations identify their significant impacts and disclose them in accordance with a standardized framework. Reporting enables more informed decisions concerning the relationship of the organization’s activities and its impact on sustainable development.

This practice is already used by companies to improve performance, account for impact, and publicly communicate sustainability data. And the information derived from the reporting can be used to help governments understand how businesses interact with and support the achievement of the SDGs, through data on sustainable development impact. Such information can help governments in strategic decision making, to identify appropriate business models and provide support with policy incentives.

Given the anticipated scale of this contribution, the private sector’s part in carrying out the SDGs should be measured, reported and communicated at national level, and at UN settings during the follow-up and review process between governments.

Background

2Agenda 2030 of the United Nations recognizes that business has a key role to play in addressing the SDGs. As more business leaders recognize their role in creating a peaceful, inclusive and environmentally secure world, many businesses are aligning their strategies with the SDGs. When the SDGs were adopted back in 2015, 71 percent of business leaders surveyed were already planning to engage with the goals, although only 13 percent felt they had the tools with which to do so. Two years later, 75 percent of businesses participating in the UN Global Compact said they were still planning to engage with the SDGs. Additionally, investors are also increasingly interested in directing funds towards businesses that are leading the way on responsible business. These players lack concrete tools to drive action on the SDGs.

3One of the SDG targets (12.6) cites the benefits of sustainability reporting and encourages companies to integrate sustainability information in their reporting cycles. 

Globally accepted sustainability reporting standards create a common language for organizations and stakeholders for communicating and understanding organizations’ impacts. They provide a standardized way to describe key impacts on the economy, environment and society, and increase the quality of information for stakeholders, enabling greater accountability. 

4Many companies already act and report on topics covered by the SDGs, such as climate change, water management and working conditions. They take stock of their current actions and discover additional priorities to contribute to achieving the SDGs. Going beyond regular communication to stakeholders, effective corporate sustainability reporting is key to building trust and aligning investment through transparency and accountability. In addition to informing external stakeholders – including investors – corporate sustainability reporting is a powerful stimulus for internal conversation and decision-making with regard to contributing to the SDGs at all levels within a company. Reporting, however, is neither the start nor the end of a company’s sustainability strategy and implementation – it’s a strategic tool that:

  • engages stakeholders 
  • supports sustainable decision-making processes at all levels within a company 
  • shapes business strategy 
  • guides innovation and drives better performance and value creation 
  • attracts investments

The SDGs are anticipated to generate at least US$12 trillion worth of market opportunities by 2030. By identifying and mitigating risks to people and the environment and by providing new products and services that support sustainable development, businesses can reap benefits for themselves and for the markets they depend upon. 

The SDGs are becoming increasingly important for investors too, as they are an articulation of the world’s most pressing environmental, social and economic issues and, as such, act as a definitive list of the material ESG (environmental, social and governance) perspectives that should be taken into account as part of an investor’s fiduciary duty. There is a strong business case for investing in opportunities aligned with the SDGs, including helping investors secure stable returns, better represent the values of their clients and offer sustainable financial products that differentiate them in the marketplace.

Tools and Methodologies

sdg compass

The SDG Compass platform

The online platform provides a list of business tools to measure their impact on different SDG topics as well as listing the existing business disclosures from the Analysis of Goals and Targets. 

analysis of goals and targets

The Analysis of Goals and Targets

The Analysis provides a list of potential business actions and existing disclosures from established sources that business can use to measure and report on their contribution to the SDGs at the level of the targets. For each SDG target, it indicates:

  • Examples of business actions
  • List of established disclosures business can use to report
  • Points to disclosure gaps

integrating sdgs into corporate reporting

Integrating the SDGs into corporate reporting: A Practical Guide

The Practical Guide outlines a three-step process to embed the SDGs in existing business and reporting processes in alignment with the GRI Standards and recognized principles. 

  • Step 1 addresses the process of prioritization of impacts and the identification of those SDGs to act and report on. 
  • Step 2 addresses aspects on how to set business objectives, select disclosures and analyze performance. 
  • Step 3 offers tips and guidance on reporting and improving SDG performance. 
steps

in focus: addressing investors needs in business

In focus: Addressing investors needs in business reporting on the SDGs

This publication aims to provide guidance to business reporting practitioners so they can better align their SDG-related disclosures with investors’ information needs. It includes reporting recommendations intended to stimulate more investment in business solutions to help advance the SDGs. 

key recommendations

Contact

Charlotte Portier
Senior Coordinator of Sustainable Development 
Portier@globalreporting.org

Volunteerism

What is Volunteerism and who is a volunteer? 

Volunteerism is a universal social behavior that builds on people’s desire to engage with change rather than to passively experience development process. 

Volunteerism takes many forms, and the designation and meaning of volunteering varies by context. Some forms of volunteering rooted in religions or customs may have evolved over generations and be considered a core part of local tradition. Motivations may have become intertwined with feelings of duty and solidarity or with a person’s moral code and are often rooted in people’s desire to exercise choice and to act spontaneously. 

According to the UN General Assembly Resolution 2002 (A/RES/56/38) the term volunteering, volunteerism and voluntary activities refer to “a wide range of activities undertaken of free will, for the general public good and where monetary reward is not the principal motivating factor”. 

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development explicitly recognizes volunteer groups as stakeholders to achieve the 17 SDGs. 

This has strongly emerged from an extensive consultation process led by the United Nations, which has involved over eight million people, and was summarized as follows by the UN Secretary-General in his Synthesis Report on the post-2015 Agenda, The Road to Dignity by 2030.

As we seek to build capacities and to help the new agenda to take root, volunteerism can be another powerful and cross-cutting means of implementation. Volunteerism can help to expand and mobilize constituencies, and to engage people in national planning and implementation for the Sustainable Development Goals. And volunteer groups can help to localize the new agenda by providing new spaces of interaction between governments and people for concrete and scalable actions. 

Background

By its very nature, volunteerism is an important vehicle for sustainable development. Volunteerism lets people and communities participate in their own growth. Through volunteering, citizens build their resilience, enhance their knowledge base and gain a sense of responsibility for their own community. Social cohesion and trust is strengthened through individual and collective volunteer action, leading to sustainable outcomes for people, by people. 

Volunteerism strengthens civic engagement, safeguards social inclusion, deepens solidarity and solidifies ownership of development results. Importantly, volunteering has a ripple effect. It inspires others and advances the transformations required for the SDGs to take root in communities. 

Volunteers can provide technical support and enhance capacity in all thematic goal areas. They deliver basic services, help transfer skills and foster exchanges of good practices, and add valuable international and local expertise through domestic, South-South, South-North and North-South exchanges.

Volunteers help leave no one behind by reaching out to people, including those marginalized or difficult to reach, to bring people’s voices and knowledge into collective actions. This is crucial to build ownership and localize the SDGs. Volunteer organizations can serve as brokers of engagement, connecting governmental strategies and initiatives with complementary, yet essential, community voluntary action. 

Many of the SDGs call for long-term attitude and behavior changes- for example, in the way we live together or in the way we consume. Volunteers facilitate changes in mind sets by raising awareness or championing those changes and inspiring others. 

Volunteerism strengthens local ownership, solidarity and inclusive participation, and it allows for swift responses to proximate crises. At the same time, under certain conditions volunteerism can be exclusive, burdensome, short-term and of limited effectiveness. This is potential duality of volunteerism means that governments and development partners have an important role to play in maximizing volunteerism’s positive contributions. Stakeholders must be mindful not to partner with volunteers as a source of cheap labor but rather would be well advised to nurture volunteerism as an attribute of resilient communities. This can be done through developing an ecosystem for resilient volunteering and creating new community partnerships with that work towards local resilience. 

Work of the United Nations Volunteer programme (UNV)

  • UNV contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. UNV work with partners to integrate qualified, highly motivated and well supported UN Volunteers into development programming and promote the value and global recognition of volunteerism. 
  • UNV mobilizes volunteers to enable more people to be directly involved in humanitarian, peacebuilding and post-conflict recovery, as well as sustainable development and poverty eradication work of the UN.
  • UNV advocates for volunteerism and civic engagement in peace and development; and UNV pursues the integration of volunteerism across policy, legislation and programming as well as delivering on internationally agreed development goals.

UNV and UN ESCAP Partnership

The foundation for UNV and UN ESCAP partnership lays in strong commitment to jointly leverage the potential of volunteerism in Asia and the Pacific region during the period of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and support Member States, the United Nations, civil society, and other stakeholders in recognizing and integrating volunteerism.

UNV is closely working with UN ESCAP to further integrate volunteerism into the regional inter-governmental processes and other opportunities of reviewing the progress on SDGs with Member States from Asia and the Pacific region. UNV will be organizing Regional Consultation on Volunteerism in 2019 in connection with the Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development providing an opportunity to discuss evidence and approaches, identify opportunities for addressing knowledge gaps and ensure that national and regional inputs into the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development take account of volunteer contributions to the 2030 Agenda. 

Tools and Methodologies

synthesis

Plan of Action Synthesis Report on Integrating Volunteering into the 2030 Agenda in Asia and the Pacific

Five regional synthesis reports have been produced based on the National Situation Analyses on the scope, scale and contribution of volunteering to the SDGs in Asia Pacific, Africa, Europe, Arab States and Latin America and the Carribean. The findings and recommendations of the reports will be discussed during the regional consultations in the margins of the Annual regional fora on sustainable development. Online dialogues and fora will also provide wider stakeholders to participate and share their views.

state of the world's volunteerism report

The State of the World’s Volunteerism Report (2018)

Every three years UNV produces the State of the World’s Volunteerism Report, a flagship UN publication designed to strengthen understanding on volunteerism and demonstrate its universality, scope and reach in the twenty-first century. 

The 2018 State of the World’s Volunteerism Report “The thread that binds” is a United Nations flagship publication that presents new evidence on the role of volunteerism in strengthening community resilience. It finds that communities value volunteerism because it enables them to create collective strategies for dealing with diverse economic, social and environmental challenges. 

global trends in volunteering

Global Trends in Volunteering Infrastructure

Volunteering plays a key role in addressing major global challenges, such as urbanization, environmental degradation, increased migration, and demographic changes. Yet in a world of competing political priorities, ‘ volunteering infrastructure’ – the support provided to maximize the potential of volunteering - rarely receives the attention it needs. This background paper produced as part of the 2018 State of the World’s Volunteerism Report project looks at global trends in volunteering infrastructure and makes the case for prioritizing a functional, appropriate and inclusive volunteering infrastructure that enables citizens to become agents of change and drivers of their own development.

The main global trends identified are the continued expansion and consolidation of volunteering infrastructure; innovations in technology, modalities and partnerships; and new support for inclusion through volunteering. The key trends are also matched with challenges that show the tensions and contradictions inherent in volunteering infrastructure as affected by the context and the available resources.

the scope and scale of global volunteering

The Scope and Scale of Global Volunteering

As part of the background research of the 2018 State of the World’s Volunteerism Report The thread that binds, the paper, Global Trends in Volunteering Infrastructure, provides an overview of the state of volunteering infrastructure globally. 

Volunteering is difficult to define and measure in a way that is comparable across borders or cultures. When volunteering has been measured, the focus has largely been on organization-based volunteering, rather than volunteering performed spontaneously and directly between people. Many stakeholders fail to recognize the importance of measuring volunteering, especially irregular volunteering, mainly due to the cost and the diffi­culties of getting a representative sample.

This paper, written as background research for the 2018 State of the World’s Volunteerism Report, provides new estimates of the scale and scope of volunteering globally. Analysing this collated data, the paper gives insights into global volunteering patterns and makes recommendations to further enrich and expand the measurement of volunteering.

Lessons Learned about Volunteerism within the Context of Primary Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls 

Evidence and experiences from Partners 4 Prevention (P4P) contributed toward increased understanding and strengthening of volunteerism within the context of primary prevention of violence against women and girls (VAWG) and promoting safe and vibrant relationships, homes, and communities. 

This report reviews and assesses the impact Volunteerism has on personal and community development. Volunteerism and volunteers can make valuable contributions to sustainable VAWG prevention in communities. 

VNR

Reflecting Citizen Contributions through Volunteering in Voluntary National Reviews 2018

The Voluntary National Review (VNR) reports for 2018 demonstrate improved focus on documenting whole-of-society approaches to monitoring and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It confirm that volunteers remain important partners for implementation of the SDGs across diverse contexts.

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme works with UN Member States and other stakeholders to support evidence on whole-of-society approaches in their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). Globally, more than 1 billion active volunteers make economic and social contributions to development processes at scale. Incorporating evidence on volunteering can support national analysis on means of implementation for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), highlight citizen participation and engagement, and demonstrate pathways and processes for leaving no one behind.

Report of the Secretary-General : Plan of action to integrate volunteering into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The report, the first since the adoption of the plan of action and the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, confirms progress towards each objective. It also confirms that people’s ownership of the Goals is increasing, as many Governments value the whole-of-society approach.

In this report, the UN Secretary-General has highlighted several priority actions that will enable stakeholders to maximize the impact of voluntary efforts for peace and development under the 2030 Agenda. A shift from ad hoc and isolated volunteer projects to sustainable investment at scale is needed to widen volunteering opportunities and ensure the inclusion of all types of people. Increased practice - sharing and knowledge development, in particular on informal volunteering and volunteering in fragile and low-income contexts, are required. The report has extensive evidence and examples of how people are and can contribute to the implementation of Agenda 2030.

Case Studies
DRR and Resilience

As the Asia-Pacific region experiences rapid economic growth, disaster risk is outpacing resilience and putting people in this most disaster-prone region at risk of being pushed back into poverty. The countries with the highest exposure to disaster risk often have low capacity to mitigate them. 

Disaster risk reduction is an integral part in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, disaster risk reduction and resilience-building are targets in the following Sustainable Development Goals: Goal 1 (poverty); Goal 2 (hunger); Goal 11 (sustainable cities and communities); and Goal 13 (climate action). In that regard, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in its effort to produce the Asia-Pacific Disaster Report 2017, has reviewed the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Asia-Pacific from the perspective of disaster risk reduction and resilience. A detailed breakdown of targets on disaster risk resilience in the Sustainable Development Goals can be found in the note by the ESCAP secretariat “Disaster risk reduction and resilience in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

Reducing disaster risk and building resilience are interrelated thrusts of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its linkages with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 can help ensure that disaster risk reduction is mainstreamed across all sectors of sustainable development and climate change adaptation. The 2030 Agenda requires a stronger commitment to integrating disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation into development policies to save the gains of development in the Asia-Pacific. This convergence offers unprecedented opportunities towards building resilience in Asia and the Pacific, the world’s most disaster-prone region. Dealing with shared risks and vulnerabilities among countries in the region requires coherent policy actions aligned with the 2030 Agenda and the Sendai Framework as well as strengthened regional cooperation.

overview1

To combat this, experience from the region and around the world has proven that disaster risk reduction and preparedness is far more effective and less costly than only response, relief and recovery efforts. Considering longer-term implications of climate change, many policymakers recognize the need to move away from addressing disaster risks as external factors to development, and instead, integrate disaster risk management into the development process. ESCAP works to help countries build and monitor their resilience – to have the capacity to withstand, adapt to and recover from natural disasters – so that their people can continue to lead the kind of lives they value.

Disaster Risk Reduction and disaster resilience are thematic priorities in the Regional Roadmap. Countries in the region agreed to establish the Asia-Pacific Disaster Resilience Network to strengthen ESCAP’s work on coherence for disaster risk reduction and resilience across the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and ESCAP’s Regional Roadmap on implementation of the SDGs. The Network will integrate ESCAP’s analytical, norm setting and capacity development work as increasingly complex linkages emerge between disasters, climate extremes, poverty and conflicts. It will also facilitate collaboration and partnership among key stakeholders, including the Asia-Pacific Regional Coordination Mechanism and the Thematic Working Group on Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience.

This website provides an overview of ESCAP secretariat’s work in disaster risk reduction and resilience through regional cooperation, information and analysis, and capacity building to support the Regional Roadmap.

Tools and Methodologies

disaster

ESCAP Statistical Database

Browse, tabulate and download data for any of the 350 indicators (disaggregated into 1200 data series) contained in the database. Navigate through the 16 domains (demographic trends, health, education, poverty, gender, energy and natural resources, disasters, environment, GDP, labour, trade, financing, science, technology and innovation, connectivity, governance, and insecurity) and then sub-domains to select the indicator of your choice. 

logo

PLACARD

The PLACARD project has just launched the Connectivity Hub, a new “search and discovery” tool that helps planners, decision-makers, researchers, policymakers, students, and interested citizens to find knowledge and organisations working on climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) issues.

Human rights

humanrights1

The 2030 Agenda is explicitly grounded in human rights, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seek to realise human rights for all. Moreover, the pledge to leave no one behind reflects the fundamental human rights principles of non-discrimination and equality. In fact, analysis has shown that more than 90 % of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets are linked to international human rights and labour standards.

Implementing the SDGs therefore implicitly promotes human rights, and vice versa. They thus constitute two mutually reinforcing narratives, the SDGs being backup up by high-level political commitments, and human rights proving standards that in many cases are legally binding. The SDGs can in some ways be seen as a way of operationalizing human rights commitments.

By seeing the SDGs and human rights not as two separate narratives or two strands of work for governments, but rather as mutually reinforcing frameworks, states can find synergies in combing their efforts to implement the SDGs and human rights. This is true both at intervention level and reporting level. For example, by investing in quality education for all, states are contributing to the realization of the right to education as well as towards e.g. SDG 4 on quality education. Similarly, states and other actors can use the analysis, data and recommendations that are already being produced by institutionalised human rights mechanisms, for their SDG monitoring.

Tools and Methodologies

dihr

Human Rights Guide to the SDGs

The Human Rights Guide to the SDGs allows the user to explore which human rights standards underpin which SDG. It is broken down by SDG indicator and lists all the relevant articles in the relevant human rights instruments.  

UPR-SDG data Explorer

The UPR-SDG Data Explorer is a searchable database that links recommendations from the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It allows users to explore how UPR recommendations for specific countries, regions or groups of rights-holders are linked to the 169 targets contained in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.  

practical guide for national action

SDGs – a practical guide for national action and accountability

This is a practical guide by Amnesty International detailing how stakeholders can get involved in holding states accountable for their SDG commitments, including through a human rights based approach. 

good practices

National human rights institutions as a driving force for sustainable development

 

indicators

Indicators and data for human rights and sustainable development

integrated

Integrated review and reporting on SDGs and Human Right

 

Gender Equality for Sustainable Development

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a visionary covenant for human progress. This aspirational agenda is built around the idea of “leaving no one behind” in the journey towards inclusive and sustainable development. Achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls [SDG 5] are decisive factors in transforming this vision into a reality, particularly in Asia and the Pacific, where gender gaps in economic and political participation persist. 

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) presents an intergovernmental platform wherein governments and other stakeholders in Asia and the Pacific, can capitalise to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda as well as other global commitments on gender equality, such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the outcomes of the Fourth World Conference on Women and the Beijing Platform for Action.

Background

Education (targets 4.3.1, 4.5.1)

Asia and the Pacific has made significant progress in achieving gender parity in primary education enrolment, and is nearing parity at the secondary and tertiary levels.  Eight member States have achieved parity at all three levels.  Apart from South and South-West Asia, women now outnumber men in tertiary institutions, with a regional gender parity index of 1.07.  However, continued challenges including the low quality of education, urban-rural disparities, limited resources, poor infrastructure and sociocultural barriers contribute to girls’ lower attendance and achievement rates. 

educationEnrolment statistics available for educational pathways show that female representation is  markedly low in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  Female participation in STEM fields is often limited to certain disciplines, with their participation falling as the level of education increases.[1] For instance, in Mongolia, 73 per cent of students enrolled in biology were female as opposed to just 23 percent enrolled in engineering.  Key drivers of this trend include persistent gender stereotypes in teaching and learning materials; limited gender-responsive career counselling and mentoring opportunities; fewer female role models; as well as psychosocial influences moulded, in part, by social norms and parental expectations. The lack of women in STEM subjects has a detrimental impact on horizontal and vertical occupational segregation in the labour market. Women researchers, for example, are scarce in South Asia, which, at 17 per cent, has the lowest regional representation. Within STEM occupations, women are often concentrated in specific fields (i.e. life sciences) and at lower ranks with less job stability. 

Sexual and reproductive health [targets 3.7.1, 3.7.2]

In 2015, 86 per cent of married or in-union women had access to modern family planning services in the region, higher than the global average of 82 per cent.[2]  However, this figure masks inter-country disparities with a range from 32 per cent in Azerbaijan to 95 per cent in China. In most of the developing countries, contraceptive prevalence is lower among women who are poorer, rural or less educated in comparison to their richer, urban and more highly educated counterparts. Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Thailand are exceptions, with contraceptive prevalence rates higher among the poorest 20 per cent of the population than they are among the richest 20 per cent.[3] In such countries, measures to expand family planning coverage have led to narrowing the gap between the richest and poorest households in rates of contraceptive prevalence. However, significant challenges remain for the entire region in reaching underserved populations, particularly women in rural and remote areas, and adolescents and youth. Continued challenges remain in reaching under-served populations, particularly women residing in rural and remote areas, as well as adolescents and youth.  The region has also made strides in reducing maternal mortality, with a 54 per cent decrease in the maternal mortality ratio between 2000 and 2015.  However, the number of women dying in childbirth is South and South-West Asia remains unacceptably high, accounting for 22 per cent of global maternal deaths.

sexual and reproductive health

Economic empowerment (targets 5.4.1, 5.5.2, 5.b.1, 8.5.1)

Stemming from structural barriers and historically unequal power relations, women are not able to fully exercise their rights to decent work in the region. Female-to-male labour force participation ratios have declined in Asia and the Pacific, from 0.67 in 1990 to an estimated 0.61 in 2017, with South and South-West Asia registering the lowest level of participation.  Over 78 and 60 per cent of women workers in South and South-West Asia and South-East Asia, are concentrated in vulnerable employment, characterized by low wages, no formal contracts and often hazardous working conditions.[4]  Women are also systematically paid less than men for work of equal value, with the regional gender pay gap estimated to be 20 per cent. [5]

Gender inequalities in access to and control over property, assets, credit and technology continue to be pervasive in the region. Despite a promising 61.3 million women entrepreneurs owning and operating businesses in ASEAN,[6] the proportions of women-owned MSMEs having good access to finance averages only 5 to 6 per cent for micro-enterprises, and 12 to 15 per cent for small firms. [7] Less than 10 per cent of agricultural land holders are women in Bangladesh, Fiji, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Nepal.  Additionally, women perform a significant share of unpaid care and domestic work, adversely affecting their labour force participation and wages. Women in the region devote between 2.4 and 6 hours on average per day for unpaid work, while men spend between 18 minutes and 2.3 hours. [8] Discriminatory legislation remains an obstacle for women, with widows and daughters having no inheritance rights in some countries in the region.  Women are 14 per cent less likely to own a mobile phone than men in low- and middle-income countries across the world, with the gap most pronounced in South Asia where this figure stands at 38 per cent.   In addition, women perform a significant share of unpaid care and domestic work, which exposes them to time poverty and adversely affects their labour force participation and wages. Women in the region devote between 2.4 and 6 hours on average, per day for unpaid work, while men spend between 18 minutes and 2.3 hours. 

ILO labor statistics
Source: ESCAP based on ILO Labour Statistics Database see www.ilo.org/ilostat/faces/ilostat-home/home?_adf.ctrl-state=eafa6zhmt_86&_afrLoop=2147343543978612#!\

 

Women’s participation in decision-making and leadership (targets 5.5.1, 5.5.2)

Women’s political representation in Asia and the Pacific continues to be low compared with other regions of the world.  As of 2018, the proportion of seats held by women in the national parliaments is 19.06% in the Asia-Pacific region, while the global average is 23.8percent.[1] Except in Timor-Leste, Australia, New Zealand, Nepal and the Philippines, the representation of women in parliament in Asian-Pacific countries fell below the internationally agreed upon target of 30 percent, with three countries reporting no women at all in their national parliaments.

women participation
Source: ESCAP based on Inter-Parliamentary Union’s Dataset on Women in National Parliaments; see http://archive.ipu.org/wmn-e/classif.htm 

 

Beyond the political arena, data compiled in 2015 for 20 developing Asian economies showed that while women accounted for 40 per cent of the workforce, only 14.4 per cent of corporate boardroom members and senior managers were women. According to ILO, 33% of the overall management positions were held by women in the ESCAP region in 2017. This is an increase compared to the previous years; however, a growing body of evidence underscores that effectives women’s leadership at all levels of society leadership relies upon more than increasing the numbers of women in leadership, but also requires efforts to enhance the impact and quality of this leadership.

Violence against women and girls (targets 5.2.1, 5.1.1)

violence against womenViolence against women and girls (VAWG) is a severe manifestation of gender inequality and disrupts the health, survival, safety and freedom of women and their families across the region. Reporting on VAWG is limited due to such factors as stigma, shame, restricted access to justice and limited service provision. Available data indicates the proportion of women experiencing physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime varies across the region, with the highest prevalence in Kiribati and Papua New Guinea at 68 per cent.[1] Currently, only 34 countries in the region have dedicated domestic violence legislation, 14 have criminalized marital rape and 17 have national action plans on violence.[2]

 


[1] United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, A Complex Formula: Girls and Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in Asia (Paris, 2015). Available from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002315/231519e.pdf.

[2] ESCAP, ADB and UNDP, Asia-Pacific Sustainable Development Goals Outlook (Bangkok, 2017). Available from www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/232871/asia-pacific-sdgoutlook2017.pdf.

[3] United Nations Population Fund, The State of World Population 2017: Worlds Apart - Reproductive Health and Rights in an Age of Inequality (New York, 2017).

[4] ESCAP calculations based on ILO Trends Unit, Trends Econometric Models, prepared for the Global Employment Trends and related reports, Geneva, November 2015.

[5] Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2016: SDG Baseline Report (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.17.II.F.1).

[6] Fostering Womens Entrepreneurship in ASEAN: Transforming Prospects, Transforming Societies (United Nations publication, Sales no. E.17.II.F.20)

[7] US-ASEAN Business Alliance for Competitive Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, US-ASEAN Business Council, USAID and ASEAN, Beyond AEC 2015: policy recommendations for ASEAN SME competitiveness (n.p., 2014).

[8] United Nations Statistics Division, Allocation of time and time-use data portal. Available from unstats.un.org/unsd/gender/timeuse/index.html (accessed 24 January 2018).

[9] ESCAP calculations based on Inter-Parliamentary Union, Women in national parliaments dataset. Available from http://archive.ipu.org/wmn-e/classif.htm (accessed 10 August 2018)

[10] United Nations Population Fund, Violence against women-regional snapshot (2017) (Bangkok, 2017). Available from http://asiapacific.unfpa.org/en/publications/violence-against-women-regionalsnapshot-2017.

[11] United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women) and others, Mapping of data on violence against women in Asia and the Pacific, prepared for the Asia-Pacific UNiTE Secretariat, Bangkok, January 2018.

Tools and Methodologies

Asia-Pacific Gender Equality Portal

ESCAP has developed an online gender resource facility to support ESCAP member States in implementation of the Asian and Pacific Ministerial Declaration on Advancing Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The online resource facility supports evidence-based policy formulation, governance practices, service delivery and practical initiatives that foster gender equality and women’s empowerment in the Asia-Pacific region.

E-Government for Women’s Empowerment

ESCAP, in partnership with the United Nations Project Office on Governance (UNPOG) of the Division for Public Administration and Development Management, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, is implementing a project on “e-Government for Women’s Empowerment” to enhance knowledge sharing and raise awareness of good practices in this area. By reviewing the three dimensions of the e-Government ecosystem, i.e. online service delivery, citizen update/participation and connectivity, the project has developed a study which examines how the potential of e-Government is being utilised to address the needs of women in their service delivery systems. The findings of this research study will inform the development of an online toolkit for policymakers and stakeholders. 

Gender Data and Data Mapping

gender

ESCAP Statistical Database

The 17 SDGs and 169 targets are monitored and reviewed using a framework of 232 global indicators developed by the Inter-Agency Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs).  Data is key to successfully implement the SDGs and the set of indicators provides the quantitative basis for the review process. The 2017 Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data calls for a “data revolution” whereby the volume, speed and types of data produced are expanded, including through increased support for statistical systems and greater engagement and partnerships between citizens, governments and the private sector. 

SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls consists of 9 targets and 14 indicators. Monitoring progress on gender equality in the SDGs will require access to quality gender data that are collected frequently and on a periodic basis.  But an assessment of gender data availability suggests there is a long way to go before this standard is met. One third of the gender-specific indicators cover ‘emerging statistical areas’ where measurement methodology is not well developed. Furthermore, for nearly half of the gender-specific indicators, the methodology is developed but country-level data are limited. 

The IAEG-SDGs has developed a classification system that groups the SDG indicators based on methodological development and overall data availability into three tiers: 

  • TIER I: Indicator conceptually clear, established methodology and standards available, and data regularly produced by countries.
  • TIER II: Indicator conceptually clear, established methodology and standards available, but data not regularly produced by countries.
  • TIER III: Indicator for which there are no internationally established methodology or standards yet available. 

Data mapping links the indicators to available datasets making the SDG implementation and monitor progress easier.  Apart from direct links it includes the Tier classification and the UN specialized agencies that cover the specific areas as well. The ESCAP Statistical Online Database and Global SDG Indicators Database provide access to data compiled through the UN System for the follow up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Target(s)

Indicator

Data Source

Tier Classification

5.1.1

Whether or not legal frameworks are in place to promote, enforce and monitor equality and non-discrimination on the basis of sex

World Bank, OECD SIGI, UN Women

Tier II

5.2.1

Proportion of ever-partnered women and girls aged 15 years and older subjected to physical, sexual or psychological violence by a current or former intimate partner in the previous 12 months, by form of violence and by age

UN Women, UNICEF, UNSD, WHO, UNFPA

Tier II

5.2.2

Proportion of women and girls aged 15 years and older subjected to sexual violence by persons other than an intimate partner in the previous 12 months, by age and place of occurrence

UNICEF

Tier II

5.3.1

Percentage of women between the ages of 20 and 24 who were married or in a union before the age of 15 and before age 18

UNICEF - MICS

Tier II

5.3.2

Proportion of girls and women aged 15-49 who have undergone female genital mutilation/cutting, by age

UNICEF

Tier II

5.4.1

Proportion of time spent on unpaid domestic and care work, by sex, age and location

UN Women, UNSD

Tier II

5.5.1(a)

Proportion of seats held by women in (a) national parliaments and (b) local governments

IPU, UN Women with the support of UN Regional Commissions

Tier I(a) / Tier II(b)

5.5.2

Proportion of women in managerial positions

ILO, IPU, UN Women, UNODC

Tier I

5.6.1

Proportion of women aged 15–49 years who make their own informed decisions regarding sexual relations, contraceptive use and reproductive health care

UNFPA

Tier II

5.6.2

Number of countries with laws and regulations that guarantee full and equal access to women and men aged 15 years and older to sexual and reproductive health care, information and education

UN Women

Tier III

5.a.1

Proportion of total agricultural population with ownership or secure rights over agricultural land, by sex; and (b) share of women among owners or rights-bearers of agricultural land, by type of tenure

FAO Gender and Land Rights Database

Tier II

5.a.2

Proportion of countries where the legal framework (including customary law) guarantees women’s equal rights to land ownership and/or control

FAO Gender and Land Rights Database

Tier II

5.b.1

Proportion of individuals who own a mobile phone, by sex

ITU

Tier I

5.c.1

Proportion of countries with systems to track and make public allocations for gender equality and women’s empowerment

UN Women, OECD, UNDP

Tier II

Overall, 54 out of the 232 indicators are gender-specific, meaning they are targeted at women and girls, explicitly call for disaggregation by sex or refer to gender equality as the underlying objective. Only one quarter of the gender specific indicators can be found in SDG 5.

Unless gender is mainstreamed into national statistical strategies and prioritized in regular data collection processes, gender data scarcity and gaps will remain. This means that the provision of greater political, technical and financial support to producers of official statistics must be at the heart of the data revolution.

Gender-Specific Indicators across the 17 sustainable development goals

gender-responsive budgeting3
Source: UN Women: Turning Promises into Action: Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 2018
Youth Empowerment

Just over 700 million young people aged 15 to 24 live in Asia and the Pacific, comprising 60 per cent of the world’s youth. Between 2003 and 2015, secondary education gross enrolment rates increased from 59 to 80 per cent, while gross enrollments in tertiary education rose from 70 million to 125 million. Despite these gains, significant numbers of youth in the region face obstacles in their access to sustainable livelihoods because of employment, education and health-care challenges. This is especially the case in the countries which perform pic1weaker in terms of human development. For instance, countries of low HDI have an aggregate rate of youth not in employment, education or training (NEET) of 26.9 per cent; for countries of high HDI the rate is 5.7 per cent.

Investing in young people makes economic sense. If Governments across the region devise responsive national youth policies and commit themselves to investing more in youth, they create opportunities for youth to more actively contribute to the development process. Young people bring fresh ideas and energy, becoming and assisting future generations of leaders who can better deliver on making development more sustainable and inclusive. A recent report by ESCAP: Realizing Youth Inclusion for a More Sustainable Asia-Pacific, discusses the need to harness the potential of youth in the Asia-Pacific region, as without harnessing their potential, the road to inclusive and sustainable development will be severely compromised.

pic2An opportunity also lies in enhancing inter-generational collaboration. By generating decent jobs for youth in the formal sector, young people can contribute to the well-being of ageing populations. Furthermore, formal sector jobs, preferably green jobs, generate tax revenues and set the foundation of sustainable tax-benefit systems. Such jobs hold the key for promoting universal social protection through a life cycle approach, in which contributions are made and benefits accrued from early years onwards.

Our work

  • ESCAP acts as the regional focal point for the World Programme of Action for Youth, a blueprint for national action and international collaboration to foster conditions and mechanisms to promote improved well-being and livelihoods among young people. In the context of the 2030 Agenda, ESCAP promotes the role of youth in actively contributing to the development process and making it both more inclusive and sustainable.

  • ESCAP works to enhance knowledge, capacity and regional cooperation to improve the situation young people face, through assisting Governments to develop comprehensive national youth policies and engaging young people in their programmes.

  • ESCAP is an active member of the Asia-Pacific Interagency Network on Youth (APINY), which is part of the UN Asia-Pacific RCM Thematic Working Group on Sustainable Societies. APINY works to enhance the impact of the United Nations youth development work in Asia and the Pacific, especially in the context of achieving the SDGs. The SDGs on which youth empowerment particularly focuses on include SDG 4 and 8.

sdg4SDG 4 aims to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’. There are 10 targets including the assurance that, by 2030, all girls and boys will complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education; ensuring that by 2030 there will be equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university; and that by 2030, all youth, and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy.

sdg8SDG 8 promotes sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. To achieve this goal, indicators are examined such as the proportion of youth (aged 15-24 years) not in education, employment or training (NEET) and the total government spending in social protection and employment programmes as a proportion of the national budgets and GDP. Some targets specifically influencing/affecting youth policy include the following: Target 8.5, Target 8.6, Target 8.7 and Target 8.B.

Tools and Methodologies

Research is undertaken by ESCAP on the situation of youth in the region, focusing on identifying trends and good practices on youth participation in development and decision-making to support Governments in promoting evidenced-based policies and programmes. Our key tool in this research is the Youth Policy Toolbox.

YPTYouth Policy Toolbox: Over 2014-2017, ESCAP led the implementation of an interregional project to strengthen the capacity of Governments in Asia and the Pacific, Africa and Western Asia to respond to the needs of youth in formulating inclusive and sustainable development policies. The project developed the Youth Policy Toolbox, an ongoing resource which acts as a repository of knowledge, experiences, and good practices, and includes training modules, opinion polls, and message postings.

The Youth Policy Toolbox will be further developed as part of an interregional project on thpic6e nexus between the demographic dividend, gender equality and the SDGs in Africa, and Asia and the Pacific. The project, to be implemented over the period 2018-2021, aims to strengthen the capacity of member States and regional economic communities to mainstream gender into national policies and programmes, promote youth development and enhance national evidence-based policies aimed at reducing inequalities and achieving sustainable development. The Toolbox contains a Good Practice page where both young people and policymakers can find in-depth reports on national programmes throughout Asia and the Pacific which focus on engaging youth and improving youth empowerment. The Toolbox also provides policy analysis, resources, an e-learning platform, recent events and primary youth data.

The Youth Policy Toolbox is available via this link: http://yptoolbox.unescapsdd.org/

ysh

The SDSN Youth Solutions Hub connects young SDG innovators with experts from industry, businesses and academia. The goal is to equip innovators with the right tools and skill-set, enhancing their capacity and enabling them to scale their sustainability solutions.

The SDSN Youth Solutions Hub is available via this link: https://www.youthsolutionshub.org/

Publications

publication1

Although many resources can be found on our Youth Policy Toolbox a notable publication is Sustainable Social Development in Asia and the Pacific published in 2017.

publication2

Another notable publication, by ESCAP and several other United Nations entities is Switched On: Youth at the Heart of Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

DW4SD

Online resource platform on Decent Work for Sustainable Development

1

UN and SDGs: A Handbook for Youth

"UN and SDGs: A Handbook for Youth" is an outcome of ESCAP East and North-East Asia’s internship program that brings young people closer to the work of the United Nations, as well as to the achievement of the ambitious set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Youth Empowerment

Just over 700 million young people aged 15 to 24 live in Asia and the Pacific, comprising 60 per cent of the world’s youth. Between 2003 and 2015, secondary education gross enrolment rates increased from 59 to 80 per cent, while gross enrollments in tertiary education rose from 70 million to 125 million. Despite these gains, significant numbers of youth in the region face obstacles in their access to sustainable livelihoods because of employment, education and health-care challenges. This is especially the case in the countries which perform pic1weaker in terms of human development. For instance, countries of low HDI have an aggregate rate of youth not in employment, education or training (NEET) of 26.9 per cent; for countries of high HDI the rate is 5.7 per cent.

Investing in young people makes economic sense. If Governments across the region devise responsive national youth policies and commit themselves to investing more in youth, they create opportunities for youth to more actively contribute to the development process. Young people bring fresh ideas and energy, becoming and assisting future generations of leaders who can better deliver on making development more sustainable and inclusive. A recent report by ESCAP: Realizing Youth Inclusion for a More Sustainable Asia-Pacific, discusses the need to harness the potential of youth in the Asia-Pacific region, as without harnessing their potential, the road to inclusive and sustainable development will be severely compromised.

pic2An opportunity also lies in enhancing inter-generational collaboration. By generating decent jobs for youth in the formal sector, young people can contribute to the well-being of ageing populations. Furthermore, formal sector jobs, preferably green jobs, generate tax revenues and set the foundation of sustainable tax-benefit systems. Such jobs hold the key for promoting universal social protection through a life cycle approach, in which contributions are made and benefits accrued from early years onwards.

Our work

  • ESCAP acts as the regional focal point for the World Programme of Action for Youth, a blueprint for national action and international collaboration to foster conditions and mechanisms to promote improved well-being and livelihoods among young people. In the context of the 2030 Agenda, ESCAP promotes the role of youth in actively contributing to the development process and making it both more inclusive and sustainable.

  • ESCAP works to enhance knowledge, capacity and regional cooperation to improve the situation young people face, through assisting Governments to develop comprehensive national youth policies and engaging young people in their programmes.

  • ESCAP is an active member of the Asia-Pacific Interagency Network on Youth (APINY), which is part of the UN Asia-Pacific RCM Thematic Working Group on Sustainable Societies. APINY works to enhance the impact of the United Nations youth development work in Asia and the Pacific, especially in the context of achieving the SDGs. The SDGs on which youth empowerment particularly focuses on include SDG 4 and 8.

sdg4SDG 4 aims to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’. There are 10 targets including the assurance that, by 2030, all girls and boys will complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education; ensuring that by 2030 there will be equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university; and that by 2030, all youth, and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy.

sdg8SDG 8 promotes sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. To achieve this goal, indicators are examined such as the proportion of youth (aged 15-24 years) not in education, employment or training (NEET) and the total government spending in social protection and employment programmes as a proportion of the national budgets and GDP. Some targets specifically influencing/affecting youth policy include the following: Target 8.5, Target 8.6, Target 8.7 and Target 8.B.

Tools and Methodologies

Research is undertaken by ESCAP on the situation of youth in the region, focusing on identifying trends and good practices on youth participation in development and decision-making to support Governments in promoting evidenced-based policies and programmes. Our key tool in this research is the Youth Policy Toolbox.

YPTYouth Policy Toolbox: Over 2014-2017, ESCAP led the implementation of an interregional project to strengthen the capacity of Governments in Asia and the Pacific, Africa and Western Asia to respond to the needs of youth in formulating inclusive and sustainable development policies. The project developed the Youth Policy Toolbox, an ongoing resource which acts as a repository of knowledge, experiences, and good practices, and includes training modules, opinion polls, and message postings.

The Youth Policy Toolbox will be further developed as part of an interregional project on thpic6e nexus between the demographic dividend, gender equality and the SDGs in Africa, and Asia and the Pacific. The project, to be implemented over the period 2018-2021, aims to strengthen the capacity of member States and regional economic communities to mainstream gender into national policies and programmes, promote youth development and enhance national evidence-based policies aimed at reducing inequalities and achieving sustainable development. The Toolbox contains a Good Practice page where both young people and policymakers can find in-depth reports on national programmes throughout Asia and the Pacific which focus on engaging youth and improving youth empowerment. The Toolbox also provides policy analysis, resources, an e-learning platform, recent events and primary youth data.

The Youth Policy Toolbox is available via this link: http://yptoolbox.unescapsdd.org/

ysh

The SDSN Youth Solutions Hub connects young SDG innovators with experts from industry, businesses and academia. The goal is to equip innovators with the right tools and skill-set, enhancing their capacity and enabling them to scale their sustainability solutions.

The SDSN Youth Solutions Hub is available via this link: https://www.youthsolutionshub.org/

Publications

publication1

Although many resources can be found on our Youth Policy Toolbox a notable publication is Sustainable Social Development in Asia and the Pacific published in 2017.

publication2

Another notable publication, by ESCAP and several other United Nations entities is Switched On: Youth at the Heart of Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

DW4SD

Online resource platform on Decent Work for Sustainable Development

1

UN and SDGs: A Handbook for Youth

"UN and SDGs: A Handbook for Youth" is an outcome of ESCAP East and North-East Asia’s internship program that brings young people closer to the work of the United Nations, as well as to the achievement of the ambitious set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Water for Sustainable Development

water

Progress on water-related challenges as framed in the Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) on Clean Water and Sanitation will be an integral part of delivering on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development in the Asia Pacific and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Water is indeed inseparably linked to various sectors of human society, serving as a common basis that runs through almost all sustainable development goals. To cite only a few examples, Clean Water and Sanitation is a basic requirement for human health and access to water a requirement for poverty alleviation. Water is also a vital input to agricultural production, a major source of livelihood in the region and to energy production, as water is used for hydropower plants and as cooling agent in powerplants.

Asia and the Pacific faces serious water-related challenges:

  • It is rapidly urbanizing region, yet many cities face vulnerabilities due to outdated water supply systems and inadequate infrastructure;
  • Access to improved sanitation is highly unequal between urban and rural areas – a gap that was approximately 30% in 2015;
  • Supply in fresh and clean water is affected by inadequate waste water management, with 80-90 % of urban waste water being discharged in fresh water reservoirs; 

To address these challenges, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) provides support to its member States in the context of the recently developed regional road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. ESCAP is promoting integrated water management and water efficiency approaches and provides support on leveraging impactful investments and financing for water-based economies. ESCAP also supports monitoring of SDG 6 in Asia and the Pacific as well as integrated approaches for SDG planning, with a recently developed methodological tool focusing on SDG 6 integration with other SDGs.

In addition, ESCAP regionally supports UN-Water, which coordinates the efforts of UN entities and international organizations working on water and sanitation issues globally, and is in particular committed to make the International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development, 2018-2028” a success in Asia and the Pacific.
 

Background
background

 

In order to support follow-up and review of the SDGs, ESCAP produces reports and hosts the Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD). As an annual inclusive and intergovernmental forum, the APFSD supports the Asia-Pacific region in preparations for the worldwide High-level Political Forum (HLPF) by enhancing capacity, capturing and sharing regional perspectives and supporting the review of progress toward implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Every year, these forums focus on a different set of SDGs under a given theme. In 2018, the theme is “Transformations towards sustainable and resilient societies” and focuses on SDG 6-, SDG 7- Affordable and Clean Energy, SDG 11- Sustainable Cities and Communities; SDG 12- Responsible Consumption and Production, SDG 15- Life on Land, and SDG 17- Partnership for the Goals.  A goal profiles have been developed for SDG 6 in partnership with UNESCO, ILO, and UN Environment, providing a status of the regional implementation of SDG 6 and associated challenges, promising innovations and best practices as well as priority for action to make further progress on SDG 6 in Asia and the Pacific.

In addition, ESCAP supports the promotion of global UN-Water knowledge products for SDG 6 reporting and providing policy relevant messages aiming at accelerating the implementation of SDG6.

Tools and Methodologies

Given the interconnected nature of water and all aspects of life, decision-makers and policy developers will need to approach issues with water and sustainable development with innovative and holistic strategies. To stimulate innovation under the umbrella of water for sustainable development, ESCAP members have compiled a list of relevant knowledge publications, event opportunities, and courses in the section below. Such topics as the water-energy-food nexus, waste-water management and effective strategies to tackle water and sanitation in Asia-Pacific can be explored and utilized to enhance strategies to meet the SDGs, particularly SDG 6.

un-water

UN-Water SDG 6 Data Portal

wwdr2019

 

irm 

Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: The Urban Nexus

 

water energy food
 

Water-Energy-Food Nexus in the Asia-Pacific Region

 

nexus assessment

Nexus Assessment

ITCILO

Integrated Monitoring of Water and Sanitation Related SDG 6 Targets - GEMI Webinars
 

Water: Addressing the Global Crisis
 

E-Learning Course, Water: Addressing the Global Crisis
 

escap

Financing Implementation of the Water-Related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

escap

Eco-Efficient Infrastructure Development: Towards a Green and Resilient Urban Future

Healthy Ocean

background

Asia-Pacific is home to the most biologically diverse and productive marine ecosystems on Earth. From fisheries to marine-based tourism, our ocean is a vital source of livelihood, employment, nutrition and economic growth and is essential in balancing our climate. Marine and coastal ecosystems are the first line of defense from saltwater inundation and storms. Yet, rampant marine pollution, ocean acidification and warming, destructive fishing practices, unstainable trade and transport, and inadequate coastal and marine governance threaten the health of our ocean and its capacity to nurture sustainable development. Countries in Asia-Pacific are both major sources of ocean degradation and highly vulnerable to its impacts.

Background

overview

At the global level, Sustainable Development Goal 14 – Life below water – offers a framework on how countries can conserve and sustainably use the ocean, seas and marine resources for development. The United Nations Ocean Conference recently committed to halting and reversing the decline in the health and productivity of the ocean and its ecosystems and to protect and restore its resilience and ecological integrity. It also recognized that the well-being of present and future generations is inextricably linked to the health and productivity of the oceans; and stressed the importance of enhancing understanding of the health and role of the oceans, including through assessments on the state of the ocean, based on science and on traditional knowledge systems.

At the regional level, Resolution 72/9 called for greater cooperation, collaboration and coordination between sub-regions and regional organizations and requested ESCAP to undertake an assessment of capacity development needs of the countries in the region for implementing SDG 14. Responding to this request, ESCAP undertook this task to gain a better understanding of the capacity development needs in relation to SDG 14 in Asia and the Pacific and to help inform ESCAP’s work in this area. The results show that the region needs strengthening of technical capacity, coordination, governance, data and statistics, awareness, stakeholder engagement and partnerships.

Resolution 73/5 encourages member States to continue to enhance their capacity to sustainably manage oceans and requests ESCAP to support current and new regional partnerships for enhancing data and statistical capacities for SDG 14 in the region. ESCAP is already working towards strengthening statistical capacity to harmonize data, and piloting initiatives to collect evidence for action toward a healthy ocean.

The ESCAP Regional Road Map for Implementing the 2030 Agenda in Asia and the Pacific also encourages countries to cooperate in areas of sustainable development related to the management of natural resources including oceans and seas with a view to conserving the environment and enhancing the welfare of the community. Moreover, ESCAP submitted a voluntary commitment at the Ocean Conference for the establishment of an Ocean Accounts partnership for Asia-Pacific.

Tools and Methodologies

tools and methodologies

accelerating sdg14

Accelerating implementation of SDG 14

Inadequate marine governance is threatening ocean and coastal ecosystems in our region. Countries with the greatest need have little capacity to apply existing knowledge on the ocean in their policy decisions. ESCAP is developing a methodology (existing now as two knowledge products) to help prioritize needs, identify entry points to achieve SDG 14, and support follow-up and review processes.

Download flyer

SDG 14 In Asia and the Pacific: An Accelerator Approach for Implementation 
SDG 14 Accelerator: A Methodological Guide 

ocean cities

Ocean Cities

Unplanned urbanization in island States threatens resilience, increases vulnerability and further degrades coastal and marine ecosystems. ESCAP is working with Pacific island States to design an ocean focused climate responsive policy guide for urban development. This approach bridges the gap between the built and natural environment to protect ocean-based livelihoods in island systems.

Download flyer

321313123

Ocean Cities: Regional Policy Guide

3213124

Ocean Cities: Snapshot for Policy-makers

Ocean Cities of the Pacific Islands Policy Brief #1 the Ocean and the City

Ocean Cities of the Pacific Islands Policy Brief #2 the Ocean and the City

Ocean Cities of the Pacific Islands Policy Brief #3 the Ocean and the City

closing the loop

Closing the loop on plastic waste

Over half of global land-based plastic waste leakage into the ocean originates in just five Asian countries. Yet, the contribution of informal waste management to reducing pollution, remains largely overlooked. ESCAP is gathering evidence in pilot cities in Asia to identify opportunities to return plastic resources into the production cycle by linking informal and formal waste processes.

Download flyer

32132

Closing the Loop: Regional Policy Guide

32131312

Closing the Loop: Sai Mai District, Bangkok Case Study

Sai Mai: Pilot City Infographic

pune

Closing the Loop: Pune, India Case Study

Pune: Pilot City Infographic

Tools

5D

5D World Map System - Keio University

5DWMS provides a multi-dimensional global knowledge platform to collect and analyze ‘real time’ data on SDGs-related phenomena. The system integrates the analytical visualization of sensing data into a knowledge sharing with multimedia (images, videos, etc.), which helps community-based data sharing, awareness building and evidence-based decision making.

Sustainable Energy

overview

Energy is the cornerstone of sustainable development. The question of how to address increasing energy demand, the prevalent energy poverty, and transition to sustainable energy development in an environmental friendly, socially sound, and economically feasible approach presents a challenge for countries in Asia and the Pacific.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development offers a global blueprint for development that is guided by social, economic and environmental considerations. With a dedicated goal on energy Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7), it provides a framework to guide energy sector development.

ESCAP is committed to achieving the regional vision of a sustainable energy future, guided by the SDGs. Within this scope, the ESCAP’s objective is to enhance energy security and energy connectivity, as mean to support access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all in Asia and Pacific.

ESCAP promotes and develops a number of programmes aimed at advancing energy access, renewable energy, and energy efficiency. Furthermore, ESCAP fosters the transition to a sustainable energy system through regional cooperation and supports member States in identifying energy challenges and generating sound policy response measures by providing a platform for dialogue and knowledge exchange. The provided Report of ESCAP on Regional Cooperation for Sustainable Energy 2017  analyses a number of considerable challenges in the Asia-Pacific region and its efforts to accelerate the energy transition to achieve SDG 7.

ESCAP’s overarching 2014-2018 energy development agenda was also established with the guidance and backing of its member States, based on the outcomes of the ministerial level Asian and Pacific Energy Forum (APEF), convened by ESCAP in 2013. A review on the agenda implementation was developed and launched in the Second Asian Pacific Energy Forum in April 2018.

SDG 7

sdg7

Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) aims to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all,” and has targets to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix, and double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency, all by 2030.

The goal of energy access is wide-ranging, covering not only electrical services but also thermal energy needs for cooking and heating.

 

sdg7 targets

The A Global Tracking Framework 2017: Regional Assessment Report provided an evidence-based look at progress in three critical areas of sustainable energy at the regional and country levels, providing an overview of long-term trends since 1990, and focuses on progress achieved in the most recent period, 2012–2014. The key drivers behind progress are also reviewed and major challenges in achieving energy access, efficiency, and renewable energy objectives are identified.

Energy Transition

energy transitionTackling the multiple energy-related challenges necessitates a transition in the way energy is generated, transmitted and consumed. Major components of this transition are enhanced energy efficiency, increased renewable energy in the energy mix, improved energy access and better

connectivity across the region. While the energy sector in many countries is slowly being transformed, the pace of the change needs to be accelerated.

Energy transition is not only essential in order to reach the targets of SDG 7, but indeed, many of the other SDGs can benefit from the spillover effects of affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. Moreover, fulfilling the commitments made in the Paris Agreement requires a rapid energy transition in the Asia-Pacific region. Energy transition has the potential to contribute to energy security; it can reduce energy poverty, leading to a wide range of social benefits and it can drastically reduce environmental and health hazards.

Image credits: Shutterstock

Tools and Methodologies

Asia-Pacific Energy Portal

APEPThe Asia Pacific Energy Portal forms the core of the ESCAP's energy information and knowledge sharing initiatives and provides member States with a strong informational foundation that supports evidence-based policy-making. The Portal was also launched in order to facilitate the implementation of the outcomes of Asian Pacific Energy Forum. 

It is providing data visualizations for an extensive set of energy statistics, full-text policies, and interactive infrastructure maps. The Portal offers a collection of more than 200 datasets from global institutions including UN Data, the International Energy Agency, the World Bank, UNComtrade, IRENA, and Bloomberg. More than 3,000 policy documents have been collected from hundreds of official websites. More than 6,000 power plants have been mapped.

Energy Statistical Overview of Energy

energy

ESCAP Statistical Database

Statistical Perspectives 2018: Sustainable Energy in Asia and the Pacific is a statistical overview of progress on energy in the Asia-Pacific region created especially for the Second Asian and Pacific Energy Forum, and as a follow-up document to the Initial “Statistical Perspectives: Focus Areas for Realizing Enhanced Energy Security”, which was produced in preparation of the First Asian and Pacific Energy Forum held in 2013. Through the use of various charts and maps, readers can engage with key energy statistics such as: Energy Supply and Use, Energy Access, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Energy and Environment, Energy and Economics, Energy Trade and Investments.

Resource Efficiency

overview pic

Did you know, that the Asia Pacific region

  • Needs double the quantity of material resources as input to produce each dollar of GDP, compared with the rest of the world
  • Accounts for more than 50% of all resources consumed globally
  • However, produces only about 32% of world economic output comes from the Asia-Pacific region

Resource Efficiency can help improve this situation -  But, you might ask: What is Resource Efficiency?

  • Resource Efficiency is a very important, but relatively underutilized, concept that is essential for sustainable development
  • Resource Efficiency is about creating higher well-being and producing more goods and services, while using fewer resources and limiting harmful emissions and wastage

overview pic2

Therefore, Resource Efficiency is one of THE key approaches for improving the sustainable management of natural resources and for achieving future sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region!

On the tab menu, you can find useful country factsheets and case studies with examples of Resource Efficiency applications for different countries.

You are only one click away from regional challenges, policies, and initiatives, and finding opportunities for improvement, so why wait? Start now!

Background
background
Source adapted from: UNEP (2015), Resource use in the Asia-Pacific - A booklet of infrographics, United Nations Environment Programme, Bangkok.

 

  • Resource Efficiency is a key approach for enabling sustainable development in Asia-Pacific and for promoting the sustainable management of natural resources
  • Creating higher economic and social well-being, producing more goods and services, with fewer inputs and emissions is the way forwards for the Asia-Pacific region
  • However, to achieve this, we need drastic changes!

HOW can we do this?

The shift towards Resource Efficiency can be achieved in different ways. There are four main types of resources: land, material (biomass, fossil fuels, metal ores and non-metallic minerals), water, and energy. Each resource has strong linkages with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), so increasing efficiency in each of these key areas greatly helps their achievement.


Improvements in resource efficiency in economics seem to be associated with[1]:

  • Progress in human development (measured by HDI)
  • Reduction in unemployment levels
  • Improved access to water, sanitation and energy

We must improve efficiency across all resources holistically to accomplish the goals in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


There are already multiple global initiatives that are trying to help promote Resource Efficiency in the Asia-Pacific:

  • Many Green Growth concept initiatives are already in place across the Asia-Pacific region, facilitating the development towards more Resource Efficient and sustainable societies (See resources to read more).
  • The 10-Year Framework of Programmes (10YFP), a global framework of action to advance international cooperation and sustainability, sees managing Resource Efficiency as one of their most crucial policies.
  • The largest programme on Sustainable Consumption and Production in Asia, SWITCH Asia, strives to fortify national and regional policy approaches aimed at Resource Efficiency.
  • The 7th Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development brought focus on the theme of Resource Efficiency and member states resolved to take concrete measures to advance it together throughout the region. 
  • We need macro level and sectoral policies to promote resource efficiency (The case studies and references provide details on some important policy approaches).

However, despite regional efforts, the Asia-Pacific region has seen ever increasing resource use since 1990.

  • Domestic Material Consumption per capita has risen by 270 percent in low-and middle-income economies, as opposed to only 10 percent in the high-income ones on average.
  • Material Footprint per capita has similarly risen by almost 280 percent and 29 percent for low-middle and high-income countries, respectively.
  • However, economic output did not match with this increased usage of resources and production has expanded in more resource inefficient economies of the region
  • Since 2000, the region has witnessed declining trends in resource efficiency (in terms of material resources)

The urgency for creating more resource efficient societies has increased with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Countries must together make a radical change in the management of their most valuable resources and their production and consumption processes. We must transform our economies to become more innovative, inclusive, and environmentally-sustainable.


[1] Read for more details http://www.unescap.org/publications/analysing-resource-efficiency-transitions-asia-and-pacific

Tools and Methodologies
tools and methodologies pic
Source adapted from: UNESCAP (2012), Low Carbon Green Growth Road Map for Asia and the Pacific, UNESCAP, Bangkok

 

Integrating Resource Efficiency into national and regional planning will require strong promotion of the concept as a key enabler for sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region. Increasing awareness of resource efficient strategies and how to facilitate their implementation is a primary goal of this platform. It will help government officials and other stakeholders to better understand the urgency for Resource Efficiency developments in accomplishing the targets from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and partner organizations have developed various valuable resources to assist policy makers in achieving the above goals. On top of this, there are many other useful online sources through which policy makers can expand their knowledge on the topic. Below is a menu of relevant published methodologies, online platforms, and informative publications. Apart from the material accessible from the E-Learning course, these resources will serve as a means of further investigating key topics related to Resource Efficiency. These references will complement the knowledge from the course and serve as a basis for policy makers to better understand its context and necessity for future sustainable development.

ESCAP Resource Simulation

UNESCAP Resource Efficiency Simulation Tool (REST)

Resource Efficiency Course

UNESCAP / IRP Resource Efficiency E-learning Course 

resourceefficiency

ESCAP Statistical Database

RW

Resource Watch
analysing resource efficiency

Analysing Resource Efficiency Transitions in Asia-Pacific

green growth

Green Growth, Resources and Resilience: Environmental Sustainability in Asia and the Pacific

resource use in asia-pacific

Resource use in the Asia-Pacific infographics

shifting from quantity to quality

Shifting from quantity to quality: Growth with equality, efficiency, sustainability and dynamism

green growth indicators

Green Growth Indicators: a practical approach for Asia and the Pacific

low carbon green growth

Low Carbon Green Growth Roadmap e-learning course

CLOSING THE LOOP: Unlocking the informal economy in an inclusive circular economy approach

Closing the loop: Unlocking the informal economy in an inclusive circular economy approach

Additional Resources:

Sustainable Urbanization

overview

Cities serve as drivers of economic progress and innovation as well as centers of culture, research, knowledge and development. The way in which Asian and the Pacific cities urbanize and develop will have great impacts across all three pillars of sustainable development and therefore the future sustainability of the planet. Current patterns of rapid, sprawling and unplanned urbanization are fundamentally unsustainable.  From management of resource consumption to meeting housing and infrastructure needs to enhancing resilience to shocks and slow-onset changes, cities in the region face significant challenges.  However, if integrated and well-planned, urbanization offers significant opportunities to drive transformational change that will lead cities towards greater sustainability. 

Recent global development agendas have recognized the importance of urban areas and cities in sustainable development. Many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development have an urban dimension requiring local action, and SDG 11 specifically calls to “make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. The Paris Agreement encourages cities to scale up efforts and support actions to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change effects. In the same way, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, recognizes the role of local governments in risk reduction and tackling disasters in urban areas. Finally, the New Urban Agenda (NUA) serves as a guideline for urban planning and encourages cities to become engines of social prosperity while protecting the environment.

Background

background

In 2016, more than half the global urban population lived in Asia and the Pacific[1]. Urbanization in Asia and the Pacific is advancing at an unprecedented scale, pace and complexity. Over the last 30 years, the region’s cities grew by around one billion people and projections show that one billion more will be added by 2040[2].  Much of this will be due to natural population growth in cities and reclassification rather than rural to urban migration. While Asia is home to 19 of the world’s 31 “mega cities” (i.e. cities with more than 10 million inhabitants) and mega-urban regions of tens of millions of people, the majority of the region’s urbanites lives in medium and small cities. 40 per cent of the urban population live in settlements below 300,000 inhabitants. Moreover, the fastest urbanization today is experienced by less urbanized, developing countries such as Lao PDR or Nepal. Dramatic changes are experienced in such places that are least equipped to deal with them.

Cities in Asia and the Pacific generate an estimated 80 percent of the region’s economic output[3]. Having contributed to lifting millions of people out of poverty in the region, cities have become substantial assets of national economies. One of the mega urban trends for the next decades is the dramatic rise of the middle class which is estimated to reach 3.2 billion people by 2030 - representing 80 percent of the world’s total[4]. However, basic needs, such as infrastructure and services, housing, and security, remain unmet for hundreds of millions of urban dwellers subjected to multidimensional poverty. 440 million people in Asia and the Pacific or 26.9 per cent live in slums and informal settlements – with absolute numbers still on the rise. An urbanizing region also goes hand-in-hand with changes in social structure – from more personal freedom and opportunity in education and professional life to changing family structures and population aging – all impacting cities’ physical form and creating demands for new social services. However, much more needs to be done to make cities more inclusive and accessible for different social groups such as women and girls or persons with disabilities. This includes improving safety and availability of public transport or street lighting.

Changes in production and consumption patterns, waste and pollution have a significant impact on natural resources and ecosystems, as well as human wellbeing. Under a business as usual scenario, many of the region’s cities faces a future of water scarcity, while use of resources has not only been unsustainable but has actually substantially increased with trends pointing in the wrong direction. The amount of solid waste generated in cities is estimated to more than double between now and 2025 to 2.65 million tons per day. Air pollution, meanwhile, continues to rise at an alarming rate, especially in the region’s low-income cities where concentrations of ambient particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) are well above World Health Organization (WHO) recommended standards[5].

The Asia Pacific region is also vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. Disaster related damage and losses are high, especially for coastal cities in Asia and the Pacific. Among the 10 cities that are projected to have the highest average annual loss from floods by 2050, six are located in the region[6]. Further concerted action is required to make cities more resilient. Integrated responses and concrete and coordinated national and municipal policies need to be implemented at a local level in order to build a resource-efficient and resilient future in which good practices can be replicated and multiplied.

The different economic, social and environmental transformations in the region’s cities reflect their complexity and dynamism. Urbanization challenges can only be addressed through coherent policies, strategies and innovative frameworks, which address the financing and capacity gaps of local and central governments. Cities are made of infrastructure and socioeconomic networks in which different stakeholders, including national and local government, businesses and civil society interact at a formal and informal level. In order to face the complex challenges of rapidly growing urban areas, effective multilevel and collaborative governance systems must be further developed.


[1] https://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/publications/files/wup2014-highlights.pdf

[2] http://www.unescap.org/sites/default/files/The%20State%20of%20Asian%20and%20Pacific%20Cities%202015.pdf P. 11

[3] https://asiafoundation.org/2015/02/11/trends-that-will-shape-asias-economic-future-part-2/

[4] ESCAP 73rd Commission Session, Commission Paper

[5] World Health Organization (2016), WHO Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database, available from http://www.who.int/phe/health_topics/outdoorair/databases/cities/en/

[6] S. Hallegatte et. al (2013). Future flood losses in major coastal cities. Nature Climate Change (Vol 3): 802-806, available from https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate1979

Tools and Methodologies
  • Ocean Cities: Regional Policy Guide

The Ocean Cities concept is an integrated policy approach for ocean-focused and climate-responsive urban development strategies, with a focus on urban areas in Pacific island developing States. Ocean Cities are where urban landscapes and seascapes meet, where built and natural environments near coastlines interface and where human behaviour and urban development have profound impacts on both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Ocean Cities are at the forefront of the climate change consequences, the urbanization challenges and other development pressures. Within the context of ongoing urbanization processes in Pacific island developing States, the guide recognizes the important links between the impacts of urban growth and development, climate change impacts, ocean health and coastal systems, and the effect these factors have on the development and resilience of Ocean Cities.

11

 

  • Ocean Cities: Snapshot for Policy-makers

This Snapshot provides an Executive Summary of the Ocean Cities concept, the context, challenges and opportunities of Ocean Cities, and outlines several policy recommendations for the implementation of solutions for simultaneously achieving urban climate resilience, improved sustainability of ocean resources and better integration of landscape and seascape planning. Interested parties are encouraged to refer to the Regional Policy Guide document (also available on the Urban Development Resources webpage) for additional in-depth content.

ocean cities policy snapshot

 

  • State of Asia Pacific Cities Report

The State of Asian and Pacific Cities Report (SoAPCR) is a recurring publication of ESCAP, UN-Habitat and other partners that comprehensively captures the region’s rapid urban transformation. The 2015 SoAPCR highlighted the growing gaps between current urbanization patterns and what is needed to shift to a more inclusive and sustainable urban future, in which the region’s cities are unquestionably tied to national, regional and global development prospects. The next report, The Future of Asian and Pacific Cities, planned for 2019 intends to focus more strongly on the region’s urbanizations trends.

state of asian pacific cities report

 

  • Asia Pacific Urban Forum

Every four to five years, ESCAP also convenes the multi-stakeholder Asia Pacific Urban Forums, often in conjunction with other major events, such as the regional preparatory meeting for Habitat III in 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The objective is for multiple stakeholders to exchange views on persistent and emerging issues, generate new ideas, provide guidance to ongoing processes and initiatives, and to coordinate development responses.

APUF

 

  • Urban SDG Knowledge Platform

ESCAP, together with CityNet and the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has initiated the “Urban SDG Knowledge Platform” with the aim to facilitate knowledge sharing and cooperation to support urban practitioners in localising the SDGs and implementing the NUA. Central to the Platform is a repository of city-level good practices, policies and initiatives. It also aims to provide think pieces and update on news and events.

urban sdg knowledge platform

Sustainable Urbanization

overview

Cities serve as drivers of economic progress and innovation as well as centers of culture, research, knowledge and development. The way in which Asian and the Pacific cities urbanize and develop will have great impacts across all three pillars of sustainable development and therefore the future sustainability of the planet. Current patterns of rapid, sprawling and unplanned urbanization are fundamentally unsustainable.  From management of resource consumption to meeting housing and infrastructure needs to enhancing resilience to shocks and slow-onset changes, cities in the region face significant challenges.  However, if integrated and well-planned, urbanization offers significant opportunities to drive transformational change that will lead cities towards greater sustainability. 

Recent global development agendas have recognized the importance of urban areas and cities in sustainable development. Many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development have an urban dimension requiring local action, and SDG 11 specifically calls to “make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. The Paris Agreement encourages cities to scale up efforts and support actions to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change effects. In the same way, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, recognizes the role of local governments in risk reduction and tackling disasters in urban areas. Finally, the New Urban Agenda (NUA) serves as a guideline for urban planning and encourages cities to become engines of social prosperity while protecting the environment.

Background

background

In 2016, more than half the global urban population lived in Asia and the Pacific[1]. Urbanization in Asia and the Pacific is advancing at an unprecedented scale, pace and complexity. Over the last 30 years, the region’s cities grew by around one billion people and projections show that one billion more will be added by 2040[2].  Much of this will be due to natural population growth in cities and reclassification rather than rural to urban migration. While Asia is home to 19 of the world’s 31 “mega cities” (i.e. cities with more than 10 million inhabitants) and mega-urban regions of tens of millions of people, the majority of the region’s urbanites lives in medium and small cities. 40 per cent of the urban population live in settlements below 300,000 inhabitants. Moreover, the fastest urbanization today is experienced by less urbanized, developing countries such as Lao PDR or Nepal. Dramatic changes are experienced in such places that are least equipped to deal with them.

Cities in Asia and the Pacific generate an estimated 80 percent of the region’s economic output[3]. Having contributed to lifting millions of people out of poverty in the region, cities have become substantial assets of national economies. One of the mega urban trends for the next decades is the dramatic rise of the middle class which is estimated to reach 3.2 billion people by 2030 - representing 80 percent of the world’s total[4]. However, basic needs, such as infrastructure and services, housing, and security, remain unmet for hundreds of millions of urban dwellers subjected to multidimensional poverty. 440 million people in Asia and the Pacific or 26.9 per cent live in slums and informal settlements – with absolute numbers still on the rise. An urbanizing region also goes hand-in-hand with changes in social structure – from more personal freedom and opportunity in education and professional life to changing family structures and population aging – all impacting cities’ physical form and creating demands for new social services. However, much more needs to be done to make cities more inclusive and accessible for different social groups such as women and girls or persons with disabilities. This includes improving safety and availability of public transport or street lighting.

Changes in production and consumption patterns, waste and pollution have a significant impact on natural resources and ecosystems, as well as human wellbeing. Under a business as usual scenario, many of the region’s cities faces a future of water scarcity, while use of resources has not only been unsustainable but has actually substantially increased with trends pointing in the wrong direction. The amount of solid waste generated in cities is estimated to more than double between now and 2025 to 2.65 million tons per day. Air pollution, meanwhile, continues to rise at an alarming rate, especially in the region’s low-income cities where concentrations of ambient particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) are well above World Health Organization (WHO) recommended standards[5].

The Asia Pacific region is also vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. Disaster related damage and losses are high, especially for coastal cities in Asia and the Pacific. Among the 10 cities that are projected to have the highest average annual loss from floods by 2050, six are located in the region[6]. Further concerted action is required to make cities more resilient. Integrated responses and concrete and coordinated national and municipal policies need to be implemented at a local level in order to build a resource-efficient and resilient future in which good practices can be replicated and multiplied.

The different economic, social and environmental transformations in the region’s cities reflect their complexity and dynamism. Urbanization challenges can only be addressed through coherent policies, strategies and innovative frameworks, which address the financing and capacity gaps of local and central governments. Cities are made of infrastructure and socioeconomic networks in which different stakeholders, including national and local government, businesses and civil society interact at a formal and informal level. In order to face the complex challenges of rapidly growing urban areas, effective multilevel and collaborative governance systems must be further developed.


[1] https://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/publications/files/wup2014-highlights.pdf

[2] http://www.unescap.org/sites/default/files/The%20State%20of%20Asian%20and%20Pacific%20Cities%202015.pdf P. 11

[3] https://asiafoundation.org/2015/02/11/trends-that-will-shape-asias-economic-future-part-2/

[4] ESCAP 73rd Commission Session, Commission Paper

[5] World Health Organization (2016), WHO Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database, available from http://www.who.int/phe/health_topics/outdoorair/databases/cities/en/

[6] S. Hallegatte et. al (2013). Future flood losses in major coastal cities. Nature Climate Change (Vol 3): 802-806, available from https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate1979

Tools and Methodologies
  • Ocean Cities: Regional Policy Guide

The Ocean Cities concept is an integrated policy approach for ocean-focused and climate-responsive urban development strategies, with a focus on urban areas in Pacific island developing States. Ocean Cities are where urban landscapes and seascapes meet, where built and natural environments near coastlines interface and where human behaviour and urban development have profound impacts on both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Ocean Cities are at the forefront of the climate change consequences, the urbanization challenges and other development pressures. Within the context of ongoing urbanization processes in Pacific island developing States, the guide recognizes the important links between the impacts of urban growth and development, climate change impacts, ocean health and coastal systems, and the effect these factors have on the development and resilience of Ocean Cities.

11

 

  • Ocean Cities: Snapshot for Policy-makers

This Snapshot provides an Executive Summary of the Ocean Cities concept, the context, challenges and opportunities of Ocean Cities, and outlines several policy recommendations for the implementation of solutions for simultaneously achieving urban climate resilience, improved sustainability of ocean resources and better integration of landscape and seascape planning. Interested parties are encouraged to refer to the Regional Policy Guide document (also available on the Urban Development Resources webpage) for additional in-depth content.

ocean cities policy snapshot

 

  • State of Asia Pacific Cities Report

The State of Asian and Pacific Cities Report (SoAPCR) is a recurring publication of ESCAP, UN-Habitat and other partners that comprehensively captures the region’s rapid urban transformation. The 2015 SoAPCR highlighted the growing gaps between current urbanization patterns and what is needed to shift to a more inclusive and sustainable urban future, in which the region’s cities are unquestionably tied to national, regional and global development prospects. The next report, The Future of Asian and Pacific Cities, planned for 2019 intends to focus more strongly on the region’s urbanizations trends.

state of asian pacific cities report

 

  • Asia Pacific Urban Forum

Every four to five years, ESCAP also convenes the multi-stakeholder Asia Pacific Urban Forums, often in conjunction with other major events, such as the regional preparatory meeting for Habitat III in 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The objective is for multiple stakeholders to exchange views on persistent and emerging issues, generate new ideas, provide guidance to ongoing processes and initiatives, and to coordinate development responses.

APUF

 

  • Urban SDG Knowledge Platform

ESCAP, together with CityNet and the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has initiated the “Urban SDG Knowledge Platform” with the aim to facilitate knowledge sharing and cooperation to support urban practitioners in localising the SDGs and implementing the NUA. Central to the Platform is a repository of city-level good practices, policies and initiatives. It also aims to provide think pieces and update on news and events.

urban sdg knowledge platform

Sustainable Urbanization

overview

Cities serve as drivers of economic progress and innovation as well as centers of culture, research, knowledge and development. The way in which Asian and the Pacific cities urbanize and develop will have great impacts across all three pillars of sustainable development and therefore the future sustainability of the planet. Current patterns of rapid, sprawling and unplanned urbanization are fundamentally unsustainable.  From management of resource consumption to meeting housing and infrastructure needs to enhancing resilience to shocks and slow-onset changes, cities in the region face significant challenges.  However, if integrated and well-planned, urbanization offers significant opportunities to drive transformational change that will lead cities towards greater sustainability. 

Recent global development agendas have recognized the importance of urban areas and cities in sustainable development. Many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development have an urban dimension requiring local action, and SDG 11 specifically calls to “make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. The Paris Agreement encourages cities to scale up efforts and support actions to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change effects. In the same way, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, recognizes the role of local governments in risk reduction and tackling disasters in urban areas. Finally, the New Urban Agenda (NUA) serves as a guideline for urban planning and encourages cities to become engines of social prosperity while protecting the environment.

Background

background

In 2016, more than half the global urban population lived in Asia and the Pacific[1]. Urbanization in Asia and the Pacific is advancing at an unprecedented scale, pace and complexity. Over the last 30 years, the region’s cities grew by around one billion people and projections show that one billion more will be added by 2040[2].  Much of this will be due to natural population growth in cities and reclassification rather than rural to urban migration. While Asia is home to 19 of the world’s 31 “mega cities” (i.e. cities with more than 10 million inhabitants) and mega-urban regions of tens of millions of people, the majority of the region’s urbanites lives in medium and small cities. 40 per cent of the urban population live in settlements below 300,000 inhabitants. Moreover, the fastest urbanization today is experienced by less urbanized, developing countries such as Lao PDR or Nepal. Dramatic changes are experienced in such places that are least equipped to deal with them.

Cities in Asia and the Pacific generate an estimated 80 percent of the region’s economic output[3]. Having contributed to lifting millions of people out of poverty in the region, cities have become substantial assets of national economies. One of the mega urban trends for the next decades is the dramatic rise of the middle class which is estimated to reach 3.2 billion people by 2030 - representing 80 percent of the world’s total[4]. However, basic needs, such as infrastructure and services, housing, and security, remain unmet for hundreds of millions of urban dwellers subjected to multidimensional poverty. 440 million people in Asia and the Pacific or 26.9 per cent live in slums and informal settlements – with absolute numbers still on the rise. An urbanizing region also goes hand-in-hand with changes in social structure – from more personal freedom and opportunity in education and professional life to changing family structures and population aging – all impacting cities’ physical form and creating demands for new social services. However, much more needs to be done to make cities more inclusive and accessible for different social groups such as women and girls or persons with disabilities. This includes improving safety and availability of public transport or street lighting.

Changes in production and consumption patterns, waste and pollution have a significant impact on natural resources and ecosystems, as well as human wellbeing. Under a business as usual scenario, many of the region’s cities faces a future of water scarcity, while use of resources has not only been unsustainable but has actually substantially increased with trends pointing in the wrong direction. The amount of solid waste generated in cities is estimated to more than double between now and 2025 to 2.65 million tons per day. Air pollution, meanwhile, continues to rise at an alarming rate, especially in the region’s low-income cities where concentrations of ambient particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) are well above World Health Organization (WHO) recommended standards[5].

The Asia Pacific region is also vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. Disaster related damage and losses are high, especially for coastal cities in Asia and the Pacific. Among the 10 cities that are projected to have the highest average annual loss from floods by 2050, six are located in the region[6]. Further concerted action is required to make cities more resilient. Integrated responses and concrete and coordinated national and municipal policies need to be implemented at a local level in order to build a resource-efficient and resilient future in which good practices can be replicated and multiplied.

The different economic, social and environmental transformations in the region’s cities reflect their complexity and dynamism. Urbanization challenges can only be addressed through coherent policies, strategies and innovative frameworks, which address the financing and capacity gaps of local and central governments. Cities are made of infrastructure and socioeconomic networks in which different stakeholders, including national and local government, businesses and civil society interact at a formal and informal level. In order to face the complex challenges of rapidly growing urban areas, effective multilevel and collaborative governance systems must be further developed.


[1] https://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/publications/files/wup2014-highlights.pdf

[2] http://www.unescap.org/sites/default/files/The%20State%20of%20Asian%20and%20Pacific%20Cities%202015.pdf P. 11

[3] https://asiafoundation.org/2015/02/11/trends-that-will-shape-asias-economic-future-part-2/

[4] ESCAP 73rd Commission Session, Commission Paper

[5] World Health Organization (2016), WHO Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database, available from http://www.who.int/phe/health_topics/outdoorair/databases/cities/en/

[6] S. Hallegatte et. al (2013). Future flood losses in major coastal cities. Nature Climate Change (Vol 3): 802-806, available from https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate1979

Tools and Methodologies
  • Ocean Cities: Regional Policy Guide

The Ocean Cities concept is an integrated policy approach for ocean-focused and climate-responsive urban development strategies, with a focus on urban areas in Pacific island developing States. Ocean Cities are where urban landscapes and seascapes meet, where built and natural environments near coastlines interface and where human behaviour and urban development have profound impacts on both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Ocean Cities are at the forefront of the climate change consequences, the urbanization challenges and other development pressures. Within the context of ongoing urbanization processes in Pacific island developing States, the guide recognizes the important links between the impacts of urban growth and development, climate change impacts, ocean health and coastal systems, and the effect these factors have on the development and resilience of Ocean Cities.

11

 

  • Ocean Cities: Snapshot for Policy-makers

This Snapshot provides an Executive Summary of the Ocean Cities concept, the context, challenges and opportunities of Ocean Cities, and outlines several policy recommendations for the implementation of solutions for simultaneously achieving urban climate resilience, improved sustainability of ocean resources and better integration of landscape and seascape planning. Interested parties are encouraged to refer to the Regional Policy Guide document (also available on the Urban Development Resources webpage) for additional in-depth content.

ocean cities policy snapshot

 

  • State of Asia Pacific Cities Report

The State of Asian and Pacific Cities Report (SoAPCR) is a recurring publication of ESCAP, UN-Habitat and other partners that comprehensively captures the region’s rapid urban transformation. The 2015 SoAPCR highlighted the growing gaps between current urbanization patterns and what is needed to shift to a more inclusive and sustainable urban future, in which the region’s cities are unquestionably tied to national, regional and global development prospects. The next report, The Future of Asian and Pacific Cities, planned for 2019 intends to focus more strongly on the region’s urbanizations trends.

state of asian pacific cities report

 

  • Asia Pacific Urban Forum

Every four to five years, ESCAP also convenes the multi-stakeholder Asia Pacific Urban Forums, often in conjunction with other major events, such as the regional preparatory meeting for Habitat III in 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The objective is for multiple stakeholders to exchange views on persistent and emerging issues, generate new ideas, provide guidance to ongoing processes and initiatives, and to coordinate development responses.

APUF

 

  • Urban SDG Knowledge Platform

ESCAP, together with CityNet and the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has initiated the “Urban SDG Knowledge Platform” with the aim to facilitate knowledge sharing and cooperation to support urban practitioners in localising the SDGs and implementing the NUA. Central to the Platform is a repository of city-level good practices, policies and initiatives. It also aims to provide think pieces and update on news and events.

urban sdg knowledge platform

Sustainable Urbanization

overview

Cities serve as drivers of economic progress and innovation as well as centers of culture, research, knowledge and development. The way in which Asian and the Pacific cities urbanize and develop will have great impacts across all three pillars of sustainable development and therefore the future sustainability of the planet. Current patterns of rapid, sprawling and unplanned urbanization are fundamentally unsustainable.  From management of resource consumption to meeting housing and infrastructure needs to enhancing resilience to shocks and slow-onset changes, cities in the region face significant challenges.  However, if integrated and well-planned, urbanization offers significant opportunities to drive transformational change that will lead cities towards greater sustainability. 

Recent global development agendas have recognized the importance of urban areas and cities in sustainable development. Many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development have an urban dimension requiring local action, and SDG 11 specifically calls to “make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. The Paris Agreement encourages cities to scale up efforts and support actions to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change effects. In the same way, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, recognizes the role of local governments in risk reduction and tackling disasters in urban areas. Finally, the New Urban Agenda (NUA) serves as a guideline for urban planning and encourages cities to become engines of social prosperity while protecting the environment.

Background

background

In 2016, more than half the global urban population lived in Asia and the Pacific[1]. Urbanization in Asia and the Pacific is advancing at an unprecedented scale, pace and complexity. Over the last 30 years, the region’s cities grew by around one billion people and projections show that one billion more will be added by 2040[2].  Much of this will be due to natural population growth in cities and reclassification rather than rural to urban migration. While Asia is home to 19 of the world’s 31 “mega cities” (i.e. cities with more than 10 million inhabitants) and mega-urban regions of tens of millions of people, the majority of the region’s urbanites lives in medium and small cities. 40 per cent of the urban population live in settlements below 300,000 inhabitants. Moreover, the fastest urbanization today is experienced by less urbanized, developing countries such as Lao PDR or Nepal. Dramatic changes are experienced in such places that are least equipped to deal with them.

Cities in Asia and the Pacific generate an estimated 80 percent of the region’s economic output[3]. Having contributed to lifting millions of people out of poverty in the region, cities have become substantial assets of national economies. One of the mega urban trends for the next decades is the dramatic rise of the middle class which is estimated to reach 3.2 billion people by 2030 - representing 80 percent of the world’s total[4]. However, basic needs, such as infrastructure and services, housing, and security, remain unmet for hundreds of millions of urban dwellers subjected to multidimensional poverty. 440 million people in Asia and the Pacific or 26.9 per cent live in slums and informal settlements – with absolute numbers still on the rise. An urbanizing region also goes hand-in-hand with changes in social structure – from more personal freedom and opportunity in education and professional life to changing family structures and population aging – all impacting cities’ physical form and creating demands for new social services. However, much more needs to be done to make cities more inclusive and accessible for different social groups such as women and girls or persons with disabilities. This includes improving safety and availability of public transport or street lighting.

Changes in production and consumption patterns, waste and pollution have a significant impact on natural resources and ecosystems, as well as human wellbeing. Under a business as usual scenario, many of the region’s cities faces a future of water scarcity, while use of resources has not only been unsustainable but has actually substantially increased with trends pointing in the wrong direction. The amount of solid waste generated in cities is estimated to more than double between now and 2025 to 2.65 million tons per day. Air pollution, meanwhile, continues to rise at an alarming rate, especially in the region’s low-income cities where concentrations of ambient particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) are well above World Health Organization (WHO) recommended standards[5].

The Asia Pacific region is also vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. Disaster related damage and losses are high, especially for coastal cities in Asia and the Pacific. Among the 10 cities that are projected to have the highest average annual loss from floods by 2050, six are located in the region[6]. Further concerted action is required to make cities more resilient. Integrated responses and concrete and coordinated national and municipal policies need to be implemented at a local level in order to build a resource-efficient and resilient future in which good practices can be replicated and multiplied.

The different economic, social and environmental transformations in the region’s cities reflect their complexity and dynamism. Urbanization challenges can only be addressed through coherent policies, strategies and innovative frameworks, which address the financing and capacity gaps of local and central governments. Cities are made of infrastructure and socioeconomic networks in which different stakeholders, including national and local government, businesses and civil society interact at a formal and informal level. In order to face the complex challenges of rapidly growing urban areas, effective multilevel and collaborative governance systems must be further developed.


[1] https://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/publications/files/wup2014-highlights.pdf

[2] http://www.unescap.org/sites/default/files/The%20State%20of%20Asian%20and%20Pacific%20Cities%202015.pdf P. 11

[3] https://asiafoundation.org/2015/02/11/trends-that-will-shape-asias-economic-future-part-2/

[4] ESCAP 73rd Commission Session, Commission Paper

[5] World Health Organization (2016), WHO Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database, available from http://www.who.int/phe/health_topics/outdoorair/databases/cities/en/

[6] S. Hallegatte et. al (2013). Future flood losses in major coastal cities. Nature Climate Change (Vol 3): 802-806, available from https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate1979

Tools and Methodologies
  • Ocean Cities: Regional Policy Guide

The Ocean Cities concept is an integrated policy approach for ocean-focused and climate-responsive urban development strategies, with a focus on urban areas in Pacific island developing States. Ocean Cities are where urban landscapes and seascapes meet, where built and natural environments near coastlines interface and where human behaviour and urban development have profound impacts on both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Ocean Cities are at the forefront of the climate change consequences, the urbanization challenges and other development pressures. Within the context of ongoing urbanization processes in Pacific island developing States, the guide recognizes the important links between the impacts of urban growth and development, climate change impacts, ocean health and coastal systems, and the effect these factors have on the development and resilience of Ocean Cities.

11

 

  • Ocean Cities: Snapshot for Policy-makers

This Snapshot provides an Executive Summary of the Ocean Cities concept, the context, challenges and opportunities of Ocean Cities, and outlines several policy recommendations for the implementation of solutions for simultaneously achieving urban climate resilience, improved sustainability of ocean resources and better integration of landscape and seascape planning. Interested parties are encouraged to refer to the Regional Policy Guide document (also available on the Urban Development Resources webpage) for additional in-depth content.

ocean cities policy snapshot

 

  • State of Asia Pacific Cities Report

The State of Asian and Pacific Cities Report (SoAPCR) is a recurring publication of ESCAP, UN-Habitat and other partners that comprehensively captures the region’s rapid urban transformation. The 2015 SoAPCR highlighted the growing gaps between current urbanization patterns and what is needed to shift to a more inclusive and sustainable urban future, in which the region’s cities are unquestionably tied to national, regional and global development prospects. The next report, The Future of Asian and Pacific Cities, planned for 2019 intends to focus more strongly on the region’s urbanizations trends.

state of asian pacific cities report

 

  • Asia Pacific Urban Forum

Every four to five years, ESCAP also convenes the multi-stakeholder Asia Pacific Urban Forums, often in conjunction with other major events, such as the regional preparatory meeting for Habitat III in 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The objective is for multiple stakeholders to exchange views on persistent and emerging issues, generate new ideas, provide guidance to ongoing processes and initiatives, and to coordinate development responses.

APUF

 

  • Urban SDG Knowledge Platform

ESCAP, together with CityNet and the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has initiated the “Urban SDG Knowledge Platform” with the aim to facilitate knowledge sharing and cooperation to support urban practitioners in localising the SDGs and implementing the NUA. Central to the Platform is a repository of city-level good practices, policies and initiatives. It also aims to provide think pieces and update on news and events.

urban sdg knowledge platform

Sustainable Urbanization

overview

Cities serve as drivers of economic progress and innovation as well as centers of culture, research, knowledge and development. The way in which Asian and the Pacific cities urbanize and develop will have great impacts across all three pillars of sustainable development and therefore the future sustainability of the planet. Current patterns of rapid, sprawling and unplanned urbanization are fundamentally unsustainable.  From management of resource consumption to meeting housing and infrastructure needs to enhancing resilience to shocks and slow-onset changes, cities in the region face significant challenges.  However, if integrated and well-planned, urbanization offers significant opportunities to drive transformational change that will lead cities towards greater sustainability. 

Recent global development agendas have recognized the importance of urban areas and cities in sustainable development. Many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development have an urban dimension requiring local action, and SDG 11 specifically calls to “make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. The Paris Agreement encourages cities to scale up efforts and support actions to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change effects. In the same way, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, recognizes the role of local governments in risk reduction and tackling disasters in urban areas. Finally, the New Urban Agenda (NUA) serves as a guideline for urban planning and encourages cities to become engines of social prosperity while protecting the environment.

Background

background

In 2016, more than half the global urban population lived in Asia and the Pacific[1]. Urbanization in Asia and the Pacific is advancing at an unprecedented scale, pace and complexity. Over the last 30 years, the region’s cities grew by around one billion people and projections show that one billion more will be added by 2040[2].  Much of this will be due to natural population growth in cities and reclassification rather than rural to urban migration. While Asia is home to 19 of the world’s 31 “mega cities” (i.e. cities with more than 10 million inhabitants) and mega-urban regions of tens of millions of people, the majority of the region’s urbanites lives in medium and small cities. 40 per cent of the urban population live in settlements below 300,000 inhabitants. Moreover, the fastest urbanization today is experienced by less urbanized, developing countries such as Lao PDR or Nepal. Dramatic changes are experienced in such places that are least equipped to deal with them.

Cities in Asia and the Pacific generate an estimated 80 percent of the region’s economic output[3]. Having contributed to lifting millions of people out of poverty in the region, cities have become substantial assets of national economies. One of the mega urban trends for the next decades is the dramatic rise of the middle class which is estimated to reach 3.2 billion people by 2030 - representing 80 percent of the world’s total[4]. However, basic needs, such as infrastructure and services, housing, and security, remain unmet for hundreds of millions of urban dwellers subjected to multidimensional poverty. 440 million people in Asia and the Pacific or 26.9 per cent live in slums and informal settlements – with absolute numbers still on the rise. An urbanizing region also goes hand-in-hand with changes in social structure – from more personal freedom and opportunity in education and professional life to changing family structures and population aging – all impacting cities’ physical form and creating demands for new social services. However, much more needs to be done to make cities more inclusive and accessible for different social groups such as women and girls or persons with disabilities. This includes improving safety and availability of public transport or street lighting.

Changes in production and consumption patterns, waste and pollution have a significant impact on natural resources and ecosystems, as well as human wellbeing. Under a business as usual scenario, many of the region’s cities faces a future of water scarcity, while use of resources has not only been unsustainable but has actually substantially increased with trends pointing in the wrong direction. The amount of solid waste generated in cities is estimated to more than double between now and 2025 to 2.65 million tons per day. Air pollution, meanwhile, continues to rise at an alarming rate, especially in the region’s low-income cities where concentrations of ambient particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) are well above World Health Organization (WHO) recommended standards[5].

The Asia Pacific region is also vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. Disaster related damage and losses are high, especially for coastal cities in Asia and the Pacific. Among the 10 cities that are projected to have the highest average annual loss from floods by 2050, six are located in the region[6]. Further concerted action is required to make cities more resilient. Integrated responses and concrete and coordinated national and municipal policies need to be implemented at a local level in order to build a resource-efficient and resilient future in which good practices can be replicated and multiplied.

The different economic, social and environmental transformations in the region’s cities reflect their complexity and dynamism. Urbanization challenges can only be addressed through coherent policies, strategies and innovative frameworks, which address the financing and capacity gaps of local and central governments. Cities are made of infrastructure and socioeconomic networks in which different stakeholders, including national and local government, businesses and civil society interact at a formal and informal level. In order to face the complex challenges of rapidly growing urban areas, effective multilevel and collaborative governance systems must be further developed.


[1] https://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/publications/files/wup2014-highlights.pdf

[2] http://www.unescap.org/sites/default/files/The%20State%20of%20Asian%20and%20Pacific%20Cities%202015.pdf P. 11

[3] https://asiafoundation.org/2015/02/11/trends-that-will-shape-asias-economic-future-part-2/

[4] ESCAP 73rd Commission Session, Commission Paper

[5] World Health Organization (2016), WHO Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database, available from http://www.who.int/phe/health_topics/outdoorair/databases/cities/en/

[6] S. Hallegatte et. al (2013). Future flood losses in major coastal cities. Nature Climate Change (Vol 3): 802-806, available from https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate1979

Tools and Methodologies
  • Ocean Cities: Regional Policy Guide

The Ocean Cities concept is an integrated policy approach for ocean-focused and climate-responsive urban development strategies, with a focus on urban areas in Pacific island developing States. Ocean Cities are where urban landscapes and seascapes meet, where built and natural environments near coastlines interface and where human behaviour and urban development have profound impacts on both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Ocean Cities are at the forefront of the climate change consequences, the urbanization challenges and other development pressures. Within the context of ongoing urbanization processes in Pacific island developing States, the guide recognizes the important links between the impacts of urban growth and development, climate change impacts, ocean health and coastal systems, and the effect these factors have on the development and resilience of Ocean Cities.

11

 

  • Ocean Cities: Snapshot for Policy-makers

This Snapshot provides an Executive Summary of the Ocean Cities concept, the context, challenges and opportunities of Ocean Cities, and outlines several policy recommendations for the implementation of solutions for simultaneously achieving urban climate resilience, improved sustainability of ocean resources and better integration of landscape and seascape planning. Interested parties are encouraged to refer to the Regional Policy Guide document (also available on the Urban Development Resources webpage) for additional in-depth content.

ocean cities policy snapshot

 

  • State of Asia Pacific Cities Report

The State of Asian and Pacific Cities Report (SoAPCR) is a recurring publication of ESCAP, UN-Habitat and other partners that comprehensively captures the region’s rapid urban transformation. The 2015 SoAPCR highlighted the growing gaps between current urbanization patterns and what is needed to shift to a more inclusive and sustainable urban future, in which the region’s cities are unquestionably tied to national, regional and global development prospects. The next report, The Future of Asian and Pacific Cities, planned for 2019 intends to focus more strongly on the region’s urbanizations trends.

state of asian pacific cities report

 

  • Asia Pacific Urban Forum

Every four to five years, ESCAP also convenes the multi-stakeholder Asia Pacific Urban Forums, often in conjunction with other major events, such as the regional preparatory meeting for Habitat III in 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The objective is for multiple stakeholders to exchange views on persistent and emerging issues, generate new ideas, provide guidance to ongoing processes and initiatives, and to coordinate development responses.

APUF

 

  • Urban SDG Knowledge Platform

ESCAP, together with CityNet and the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has initiated the “Urban SDG Knowledge Platform” with the aim to facilitate knowledge sharing and cooperation to support urban practitioners in localising the SDGs and implementing the NUA. Central to the Platform is a repository of city-level good practices, policies and initiatives. It also aims to provide think pieces and update on news and events.

urban sdg knowledge platform

Sustainable Urbanization

overview

Cities serve as drivers of economic progress and innovation as well as centers of culture, research, knowledge and development. The way in which Asian and the Pacific cities urbanize and develop will have great impacts across all three pillars of sustainable development and therefore the future sustainability of the planet. Current patterns of rapid, sprawling and unplanned urbanization are fundamentally unsustainable.  From management of resource consumption to meeting housing and infrastructure needs to enhancing resilience to shocks and slow-onset changes, cities in the region face significant challenges.  However, if integrated and well-planned, urbanization offers significant opportunities to drive transformational change that will lead cities towards greater sustainability. 

Recent global development agendas have recognized the importance of urban areas and cities in sustainable development. Many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development have an urban dimension requiring local action, and SDG 11 specifically calls to “make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. The Paris Agreement encourages cities to scale up efforts and support actions to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change effects. In the same way, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, recognizes the role of local governments in risk reduction and tackling disasters in urban areas. Finally, the New Urban Agenda (NUA) serves as a guideline for urban planning and encourages cities to become engines of social prosperity while protecting the environment.

Background

background

In 2016, more than half the global urban population lived in Asia and the Pacific[1]. Urbanization in Asia and the Pacific is advancing at an unprecedented scale, pace and complexity. Over the last 30 years, the region’s cities grew by around one billion people and projections show that one billion more will be added by 2040[2].  Much of this will be due to natural population growth in cities and reclassification rather than rural to urban migration. While Asia is home to 19 of the world’s 31 “mega cities” (i.e. cities with more than 10 million inhabitants) and mega-urban regions of tens of millions of people, the majority of the region’s urbanites lives in medium and small cities. 40 per cent of the urban population live in settlements below 300,000 inhabitants. Moreover, the fastest urbanization today is experienced by less urbanized, developing countries such as Lao PDR or Nepal. Dramatic changes are experienced in such places that are least equipped to deal with them.

Cities in Asia and the Pacific generate an estimated 80 percent of the region’s economic output[3]. Having contributed to lifting millions of people out of poverty in the region, cities have become substantial assets of national economies. One of the mega urban trends for the next decades is the dramatic rise of the middle class which is estimated to reach 3.2 billion people by 2030 - representing 80 percent of the world’s total[4]. However, basic needs, such as infrastructure and services, housing, and security, remain unmet for hundreds of millions of urban dwellers subjected to multidimensional poverty. 440 million people in Asia and the Pacific or 26.9 per cent live in slums and informal settlements – with absolute numbers still on the rise. An urbanizing region also goes hand-in-hand with changes in social structure – from more personal freedom and opportunity in education and professional life to changing family structures and population aging – all impacting cities’ physical form and creating demands for new social services. However, much more needs to be done to make cities more inclusive and accessible for different social groups such as women and girls or persons with disabilities. This includes improving safety and availability of public transport or street lighting.

Changes in production and consumption patterns, waste and pollution have a significant impact on natural resources and ecosystems, as well as human wellbeing. Under a business as usual scenario, many of the region’s cities faces a future of water scarcity, while use of resources has not only been unsustainable but has actually substantially increased with trends pointing in the wrong direction. The amount of solid waste generated in cities is estimated to more than double between now and 2025 to 2.65 million tons per day. Air pollution, meanwhile, continues to rise at an alarming rate, especially in the region’s low-income cities where concentrations of ambient particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) are well above World Health Organization (WHO) recommended standards[5].

The Asia Pacific region is also vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. Disaster related damage and losses are high, especially for coastal cities in Asia and the Pacific. Among the 10 cities that are projected to have the highest average annual loss from floods by 2050, six are located in the region[6]. Further concerted action is required to make cities more resilient. Integrated responses and concrete and coordinated national and municipal policies need to be implemented at a local level in order to build a resource-efficient and resilient future in which good practices can be replicated and multiplied.

The different economic, social and environmental transformations in the region’s cities reflect their complexity and dynamism. Urbanization challenges can only be addressed through coherent policies, strategies and innovative frameworks, which address the financing and capacity gaps of local and central governments. Cities are made of infrastructure and socioeconomic networks in which different stakeholders, including national and local government, businesses and civil society interact at a formal and informal level. In order to face the complex challenges of rapidly growing urban areas, effective multilevel and collaborative governance systems must be further developed.


[1] https://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/publications/files/wup2014-highlights.pdf

[2] http://www.unescap.org/sites/default/files/The%20State%20of%20Asian%20and%20Pacific%20Cities%202015.pdf P. 11

[3] https://asiafoundation.org/2015/02/11/trends-that-will-shape-asias-economic-future-part-2/

[4] ESCAP 73rd Commission Session, Commission Paper

[5] World Health Organization (2016), WHO Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database, available from http://www.who.int/phe/health_topics/outdoorair/databases/cities/en/

[6] S. Hallegatte et. al (2013). Future flood losses in major coastal cities. Nature Climate Change (Vol 3): 802-806, available from https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate1979

Tools and Methodologies
  • Ocean Cities: Regional Policy Guide

The Ocean Cities concept is an integrated policy approach for ocean-focused and climate-responsive urban development strategies, with a focus on urban areas in Pacific island developing States. Ocean Cities are where urban landscapes and seascapes meet, where built and natural environments near coastlines interface and where human behaviour and urban development have profound impacts on both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Ocean Cities are at the forefront of the climate change consequences, the urbanization challenges and other development pressures. Within the context of ongoing urbanization processes in Pacific island developing States, the guide recognizes the important links between the impacts of urban growth and development, climate change impacts, ocean health and coastal systems, and the effect these factors have on the development and resilience of Ocean Cities.

11

 

  • Ocean Cities: Snapshot for Policy-makers

This Snapshot provides an Executive Summary of the Ocean Cities concept, the context, challenges and opportunities of Ocean Cities, and outlines several policy recommendations for the implementation of solutions for simultaneously achieving urban climate resilience, improved sustainability of ocean resources and better integration of landscape and seascape planning. Interested parties are encouraged to refer to the Regional Policy Guide document (also available on the Urban Development Resources webpage) for additional in-depth content.

ocean cities policy snapshot

 

  • State of Asia Pacific Cities Report

The State of Asian and Pacific Cities Report (SoAPCR) is a recurring publication of ESCAP, UN-Habitat and other partners that comprehensively captures the region’s rapid urban transformation. The 2015 SoAPCR highlighted the growing gaps between current urbanization patterns and what is needed to shift to a more inclusive and sustainable urban future, in which the region’s cities are unquestionably tied to national, regional and global development prospects. The next report, The Future of Asian and Pacific Cities, planned for 2019 intends to focus more strongly on the region’s urbanizations trends.

state of asian pacific cities report

 

  • Asia Pacific Urban Forum

Every four to five years, ESCAP also convenes the multi-stakeholder Asia Pacific Urban Forums, often in conjunction with other major events, such as the regional preparatory meeting for Habitat III in 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The objective is for multiple stakeholders to exchange views on persistent and emerging issues, generate new ideas, provide guidance to ongoing processes and initiatives, and to coordinate development responses.

APUF

 

  • Urban SDG Knowledge Platform

ESCAP, together with CityNet and the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has initiated the “Urban SDG Knowledge Platform” with the aim to facilitate knowledge sharing and cooperation to support urban practitioners in localising the SDGs and implementing the NUA. Central to the Platform is a repository of city-level good practices, policies and initiatives. It also aims to provide think pieces and update on news and events.

urban sdg knowledge platform

Sustainable Urbanization

overview

Cities serve as drivers of economic progress and innovation as well as centers of culture, research, knowledge and development. The way in which Asian and the Pacific cities urbanize and develop will have great impacts across all three pillars of sustainable development and therefore the future sustainability of the planet. Current patterns of rapid, sprawling and unplanned urbanization are fundamentally unsustainable.  From management of resource consumption to meeting housing and infrastructure needs to enhancing resilience to shocks and slow-onset changes, cities in the region face significant challenges.  However, if integrated and well-planned, urbanization offers significant opportunities to drive transformational change that will lead cities towards greater sustainability. 

Recent global development agendas have recognized the importance of urban areas and cities in sustainable development. Many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development have an urban dimension requiring local action, and SDG 11 specifically calls to “make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. The Paris Agreement encourages cities to scale up efforts and support actions to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change effects. In the same way, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, recognizes the role of local governments in risk reduction and tackling disasters in urban areas. Finally, the New Urban Agenda (NUA) serves as a guideline for urban planning and encourages cities to become engines of social prosperity while protecting the environment.

Background

background

In 2016, more than half the global urban population lived in Asia and the Pacific[1]. Urbanization in Asia and the Pacific is advancing at an unprecedented scale, pace and complexity. Over the last 30 years, the region’s cities grew by around one billion people and projections show that one billion more will be added by 2040[2].  Much of this will be due to natural population growth in cities and reclassification rather than rural to urban migration. While Asia is home to 19 of the world’s 31 “mega cities” (i.e. cities with more than 10 million inhabitants) and mega-urban regions of tens of millions of people, the majority of the region’s urbanites lives in medium and small cities. 40 per cent of the urban population live in settlements below 300,000 inhabitants. Moreover, the fastest urbanization today is experienced by less urbanized, developing countries such as Lao PDR or Nepal. Dramatic changes are experienced in such places that are least equipped to deal with them.

Cities in Asia and the Pacific generate an estimated 80 percent of the region’s economic output[3]. Having contributed to lifting millions of people out of poverty in the region, cities have become substantial assets of national economies. One of the mega urban trends for the next decades is the dramatic rise of the middle class which is estimated to reach 3.2 billion people by 2030 - representing 80 percent of the world’s total[4]. However, basic needs, such as infrastructure and services, housing, and security, remain unmet for hundreds of millions of urban dwellers subjected to multidimensional poverty. 440 million people in Asia and the Pacific or 26.9 per cent live in slums and informal settlements – with absolute numbers still on the rise. An urbanizing region also goes hand-in-hand with changes in social structure – from more personal freedom and opportunity in education and professional life to changing family structures and population aging – all impacting cities’ physical form and creating demands for new social services. However, much more needs to be done to make cities more inclusive and accessible for different social groups such as women and girls or persons with disabilities. This includes improving safety and availability of public transport or street lighting.

Changes in production and consumption patterns, waste and pollution have a significant impact on natural resources and ecosystems, as well as human wellbeing. Under a business as usual scenario, many of the region’s cities faces a future of water scarcity, while use of resources has not only been unsustainable but has actually substantially increased with trends pointing in the wrong direction. The amount of solid waste generated in cities is estimated to more than double between now and 2025 to 2.65 million tons per day. Air pollution, meanwhile, continues to rise at an alarming rate, especially in the region’s low-income cities where concentrations of ambient particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) are well above World Health Organization (WHO) recommended standards[5].

The Asia Pacific region is also vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. Disaster related damage and losses are high, especially for coastal cities in Asia and the Pacific. Among the 10 cities that are projected to have the highest average annual loss from floods by 2050, six are located in the region[6]. Further concerted action is required to make cities more resilient. Integrated responses and concrete and coordinated national and municipal policies need to be implemented at a local level in order to build a resource-efficient and resilient future in which good practices can be replicated and multiplied.

The different economic, social and environmental transformations in the region’s cities reflect their complexity and dynamism. Urbanization challenges can only be addressed through coherent policies, strategies and innovative frameworks, which address the financing and capacity gaps of local and central governments. Cities are made of infrastructure and socioeconomic networks in which different stakeholders, including national and local government, businesses and civil society interact at a formal and informal level. In order to face the complex challenges of rapidly growing urban areas, effective multilevel and collaborative governance systems must be further developed.


[1] https://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/publications/files/wup2014-highlights.pdf

[2] http://www.unescap.org/sites/default/files/The%20State%20of%20Asian%20and%20Pacific%20Cities%202015.pdf P. 11

[3] https://asiafoundation.org/2015/02/11/trends-that-will-shape-asias-economic-future-part-2/

[4] ESCAP 73rd Commission Session, Commission Paper

[5] World Health Organization (2016), WHO Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database, available from http://www.who.int/phe/health_topics/outdoorair/databases/cities/en/

[6] S. Hallegatte et. al (2013). Future flood losses in major coastal cities. Nature Climate Change (Vol 3): 802-806, available from https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate1979

Tools and Methodologies
  • Ocean Cities: Regional Policy Guide

The Ocean Cities concept is an integrated policy approach for ocean-focused and climate-responsive urban development strategies, with a focus on urban areas in Pacific island developing States. Ocean Cities are where urban landscapes and seascapes meet, where built and natural environments near coastlines interface and where human behaviour and urban development have profound impacts on both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Ocean Cities are at the forefront of the climate change consequences, the urbanization challenges and other development pressures. Within the context of ongoing urbanization processes in Pacific island developing States, the guide recognizes the important links between the impacts of urban growth and development, climate change impacts, ocean health and coastal systems, and the effect these factors have on the development and resilience of Ocean Cities.

11

 

  • Ocean Cities: Snapshot for Policy-makers

This Snapshot provides an Executive Summary of the Ocean Cities concept, the context, challenges and opportunities of Ocean Cities, and outlines several policy recommendations for the implementation of solutions for simultaneously achieving urban climate resilience, improved sustainability of ocean resources and better integration of landscape and seascape planning. Interested parties are encouraged to refer to the Regional Policy Guide document (also available on the Urban Development Resources webpage) for additional in-depth content.

ocean cities policy snapshot

 

  • State of Asia Pacific Cities Report

The State of Asian and Pacific Cities Report (SoAPCR) is a recurring publication of ESCAP, UN-Habitat and other partners that comprehensively captures the region’s rapid urban transformation. The 2015 SoAPCR highlighted the growing gaps between current urbanization patterns and what is needed to shift to a more inclusive and sustainable urban future, in which the region’s cities are unquestionably tied to national, regional and global development prospects. The next report, The Future of Asian and Pacific Cities, planned for 2019 intends to focus more strongly on the region’s urbanizations trends.

state of asian pacific cities report

 

  • Asia Pacific Urban Forum

Every four to five years, ESCAP also convenes the multi-stakeholder Asia Pacific Urban Forums, often in conjunction with other major events, such as the regional preparatory meeting for Habitat III in 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The objective is for multiple stakeholders to exchange views on persistent and emerging issues, generate new ideas, provide guidance to ongoing processes and initiatives, and to coordinate development responses.

APUF

 

  • Urban SDG Knowledge Platform

ESCAP, together with CityNet and the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has initiated the “Urban SDG Knowledge Platform” with the aim to facilitate knowledge sharing and cooperation to support urban practitioners in localising the SDGs and implementing the NUA. Central to the Platform is a repository of city-level good practices, policies and initiatives. It also aims to provide think pieces and update on news and events.

urban sdg knowledge platform

Sustainable Urbanization

overview

Cities serve as drivers of economic progress and innovation as well as centers of culture, research, knowledge and development. The way in which Asian and the Pacific cities urbanize and develop will have great impacts across all three pillars of sustainable development and therefore the future sustainability of the planet. Current patterns of rapid, sprawling and unplanned urbanization are fundamentally unsustainable.  From management of resource consumption to meeting housing and infrastructure needs to enhancing resilience to shocks and slow-onset changes, cities in the region face significant challenges.  However, if integrated and well-planned, urbanization offers significant opportunities to drive transformational change that will lead cities towards greater sustainability. 

Recent global development agendas have recognized the importance of urban areas and cities in sustainable development. Many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development have an urban dimension requiring local action, and SDG 11 specifically calls to “make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. The Paris Agreement encourages cities to scale up efforts and support actions to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change effects. In the same way, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, recognizes the role of local governments in risk reduction and tackling disasters in urban areas. Finally, the New Urban Agenda (NUA) serves as a guideline for urban planning and encourages cities to become engines of social prosperity while protecting the environment.

Background

background

In 2016, more than half the global urban population lived in Asia and the Pacific[1]. Urbanization in Asia and the Pacific is advancing at an unprecedented scale, pace and complexity. Over the last 30 years, the region’s cities grew by around one billion people and projections show that one billion more will be added by 2040[2].  Much of this will be due to natural population growth in cities and reclassification rather than rural to urban migration. While Asia is home to 19 of the world’s 31 “mega cities” (i.e. cities with more than 10 million inhabitants) and mega-urban regions of tens of millions of people, the majority of the region’s urbanites lives in medium and small cities. 40 per cent of the urban population live in settlements below 300,000 inhabitants. Moreover, the fastest urbanization today is experienced by less urbanized, developing countries such as Lao PDR or Nepal. Dramatic changes are experienced in such places that are least equipped to deal with them.

Cities in Asia and the Pacific generate an estimated 80 percent of the region’s economic output[3]. Having contributed to lifting millions of people out of poverty in the region, cities have become substantial assets of national economies. One of the mega urban trends for the next decades is the dramatic rise of the middle class which is estimated to reach 3.2 billion people by 2030 - representing 80 percent of the world’s total[4]. However, basic needs, such as infrastructure and services, housing, and security, remain unmet for hundreds of millions of urban dwellers subjected to multidimensional poverty. 440 million people in Asia and the Pacific or 26.9 per cent live in slums and informal settlements – with absolute numbers still on the rise. An urbanizing region also goes hand-in-hand with changes in social structure – from more personal freedom and opportunity in education and professional life to changing family structures and population aging – all impacting cities’ physical form and creating demands for new social services. However, much more needs to be done to make cities more inclusive and accessible for different social groups such as women and girls or persons with disabilities. This includes improving safety and availability of public transport or street lighting.

Changes in production and consumption patterns, waste and pollution have a significant impact on natural resources and ecosystems, as well as human wellbeing. Under a business as usual scenario, many of the region’s cities faces a future of water scarcity, while use of resources has not only been unsustainable but has actually substantially increased with trends pointing in the wrong direction. The amount of solid waste generated in cities is estimated to more than double between now and 2025 to 2.65 million tons per day. Air pollution, meanwhile, continues to rise at an alarming rate, especially in the region’s low-income cities where concentrations of ambient particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) are well above World Health Organization (WHO) recommended standards[5].

The Asia Pacific region is also vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. Disaster related damage and losses are high, especially for coastal cities in Asia and the Pacific. Among the 10 cities that are projected to have the highest average annual loss from floods by 2050, six are located in the region[6]. Further concerted action is required to make cities more resilient. Integrated responses and concrete and coordinated national and municipal policies need to be implemented at a local level in order to build a resource-efficient and resilient future in which good practices can be replicated and multiplied.

The different economic, social and environmental transformations in the region’s cities reflect their complexity and dynamism. Urbanization challenges can only be addressed through coherent policies, strategies and innovative frameworks, which address the financing and capacity gaps of local and central governments. Cities are made of infrastructure and socioeconomic networks in which different stakeholders, including national and local government, businesses and civil society interact at a formal and informal level. In order to face the complex challenges of rapidly growing urban areas, effective multilevel and collaborative governance systems must be further developed.


[1] https://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/publications/files/wup2014-highlights.pdf

[2] http://www.unescap.org/sites/default/files/The%20State%20of%20Asian%20and%20Pacific%20Cities%202015.pdf P. 11

[3] https://asiafoundation.org/2015/02/11/trends-that-will-shape-asias-economic-future-part-2/

[4] ESCAP 73rd Commission Session, Commission Paper

[5] World Health Organization (2016), WHO Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database, available from http://www.who.int/phe/health_topics/outdoorair/databases/cities/en/

[6] S. Hallegatte et. al (2013). Future flood losses in major coastal cities. Nature Climate Change (Vol 3): 802-806, available from https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate1979

Tools and Methodologies
  • Ocean Cities: Regional Policy Guide

The Ocean Cities concept is an integrated policy approach for ocean-focused and climate-responsive urban development strategies, with a focus on urban areas in Pacific island developing States. Ocean Cities are where urban landscapes and seascapes meet, where built and natural environments near coastlines interface and where human behaviour and urban development have profound impacts on both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Ocean Cities are at the forefront of the climate change consequences, the urbanization challenges and other development pressures. Within the context of ongoing urbanization processes in Pacific island developing States, the guide recognizes the important links between the impacts of urban growth and development, climate change impacts, ocean health and coastal systems, and the effect these factors have on the development and resilience of Ocean Cities.

11

 

  • Ocean Cities: Snapshot for Policy-makers

This Snapshot provides an Executive Summary of the Ocean Cities concept, the context, challenges and opportunities of Ocean Cities, and outlines several policy recommendations for the implementation of solutions for simultaneously achieving urban climate resilience, improved sustainability of ocean resources and better integration of landscape and seascape planning. Interested parties are encouraged to refer to the Regional Policy Guide document (also available on the Urban Development Resources webpage) for additional in-depth content.

ocean cities policy snapshot

 

  • State of Asia Pacific Cities Report

The State of Asian and Pacific Cities Report (SoAPCR) is a recurring publication of ESCAP, UN-Habitat and other partners that comprehensively captures the region’s rapid urban transformation. The 2015 SoAPCR highlighted the growing gaps between current urbanization patterns and what is needed to shift to a more inclusive and sustainable urban future, in which the region’s cities are unquestionably tied to national, regional and global development prospects. The next report, The Future of Asian and Pacific Cities, planned for 2019 intends to focus more strongly on the region’s urbanizations trends.

state of asian pacific cities report

 

  • Asia Pacific Urban Forum

Every four to five years, ESCAP also convenes the multi-stakeholder Asia Pacific Urban Forums, often in conjunction with other major events, such as the regional preparatory meeting for Habitat III in 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The objective is for multiple stakeholders to exchange views on persistent and emerging issues, generate new ideas, provide guidance to ongoing processes and initiatives, and to coordinate development responses.

APUF

 

  • Urban SDG Knowledge Platform

ESCAP, together with CityNet and the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has initiated the “Urban SDG Knowledge Platform” with the aim to facilitate knowledge sharing and cooperation to support urban practitioners in localising the SDGs and implementing the NUA. Central to the Platform is a repository of city-level good practices, policies and initiatives. It also aims to provide think pieces and update on news and events.

urban sdg knowledge platform

Sustainable Urbanization

overview

Cities serve as drivers of economic progress and innovation as well as centers of culture, research, knowledge and development. The way in which Asian and the Pacific cities urbanize and develop will have great impacts across all three pillars of sustainable development and therefore the future sustainability of the planet. Current patterns of rapid, sprawling and unplanned urbanization are fundamentally unsustainable.  From management of resource consumption to meeting housing and infrastructure needs to enhancing resilience to shocks and slow-onset changes, cities in the region face significant challenges.  However, if integrated and well-planned, urbanization offers significant opportunities to drive transformational change that will lead cities towards greater sustainability. 

Recent global development agendas have recognized the importance of urban areas and cities in sustainable development. Many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development have an urban dimension requiring local action, and SDG 11 specifically calls to “make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. The Paris Agreement encourages cities to scale up efforts and support actions to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change effects. In the same way, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, recognizes the role of local governments in risk reduction and tackling disasters in urban areas. Finally, the New Urban Agenda (NUA) serves as a guideline for urban planning and encourages cities to become engines of social prosperity while protecting the environment.

Background

background

In 2016, more than half the global urban population lived in Asia and the Pacific[1]. Urbanization in Asia and the Pacific is advancing at an unprecedented scale, pace and complexity. Over the last 30 years, the region’s cities grew by around one billion people and projections show that one billion more will be added by 2040[2].  Much of this will be due to natural population growth in cities and reclassification rather than rural to urban migration. While Asia is home to 19 of the world’s 31 “mega cities” (i.e. cities with more than 10 million inhabitants) and mega-urban regions of tens of millions of people, the majority of the region’s urbanites lives in medium and small cities. 40 per cent of the urban population live in settlements below 300,000 inhabitants. Moreover, the fastest urbanization today is experienced by less urbanized, developing countries such as Lao PDR or Nepal. Dramatic changes are experienced in such places that are least equipped to deal with them.

Cities in Asia and the Pacific generate an estimated 80 percent of the region’s economic output[3]. Having contributed to lifting millions of people out of poverty in the region, cities have become substantial assets of national economies. One of the mega urban trends for the next decades is the dramatic rise of the middle class which is estimated to reach 3.2 billion people by 2030 - representing 80 percent of the world’s total[4]. However, basic needs, such as infrastructure and services, housing, and security, remain unmet for hundreds of millions of urban dwellers subjected to multidimensional poverty. 440 million people in Asia and the Pacific or 26.9 per cent live in slums and informal settlements – with absolute numbers still on the rise. An urbanizing region also goes hand-in-hand with changes in social structure – from more personal freedom and opportunity in education and professional life to changing family structures and population aging – all impacting cities’ physical form and creating demands for new social services. However, much more needs to be done to make cities more inclusive and accessible for different social groups such as women and girls or persons with disabilities. This includes improving safety and availability of public transport or street lighting.

Changes in production and consumption patterns, waste and pollution have a significant impact on natural resources and ecosystems, as well as human wellbeing. Under a business as usual scenario, many of the region’s cities faces a future of water scarcity, while use of resources has not only been unsustainable but has actually substantially increased with trends pointing in the wrong direction. The amount of solid waste generated in cities is estimated to more than double between now and 2025 to 2.65 million tons per day. Air pollution, meanwhile, continues to rise at an alarming rate, especially in the region’s low-income cities where concentrations of ambient particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) are well above World Health Organization (WHO) recommended standards[5].

The Asia Pacific region is also vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. Disaster related damage and losses are high, especially for coastal cities in Asia and the Pacific. Among the 10 cities that are projected to have the highest average annual loss from floods by 2050, six are located in the region[6]. Further concerted action is required to make cities more resilient. Integrated responses and concrete and coordinated national and municipal policies need to be implemented at a local level in order to build a resource-efficient and resilient future in which good practices can be replicated and multiplied.

The different economic, social and environmental transformations in the region’s cities reflect their complexity and dynamism. Urbanization challenges can only be addressed through coherent policies, strategies and innovative frameworks, which address the financing and capacity gaps of local and central governments. Cities are made of infrastructure and socioeconomic networks in which different stakeholders, including national and local government, businesses and civil society interact at a formal and informal level. In order to face the complex challenges of rapidly growing urban areas, effective multilevel and collaborative governance systems must be further developed.


[1] https://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/publications/files/wup2014-highlights.pdf

[2] http://www.unescap.org/sites/default/files/The%20State%20of%20Asian%20and%20Pacific%20Cities%202015.pdf P. 11

[3] https://asiafoundation.org/2015/02/11/trends-that-will-shape-asias-economic-future-part-2/

[4] ESCAP 73rd Commission Session, Commission Paper

[5] World Health Organization (2016), WHO Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database, available from http://www.who.int/phe/health_topics/outdoorair/databases/cities/en/

[6] S. Hallegatte et. al (2013). Future flood losses in major coastal cities. Nature Climate Change (Vol 3): 802-806, available from https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate1979

Tools and Methodologies
  • Ocean Cities: Regional Policy Guide

The Ocean Cities concept is an integrated policy approach for ocean-focused and climate-responsive urban development strategies, with a focus on urban areas in Pacific island developing States. Ocean Cities are where urban landscapes and seascapes meet, where built and natural environments near coastlines interface and where human behaviour and urban development have profound impacts on both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Ocean Cities are at the forefront of the climate change consequences, the urbanization challenges and other development pressures. Within the context of ongoing urbanization processes in Pacific island developing States, the guide recognizes the important links between the impacts of urban growth and development, climate change impacts, ocean health and coastal systems, and the effect these factors have on the development and resilience of Ocean Cities.

11

 

  • Ocean Cities: Snapshot for Policy-makers

This Snapshot provides an Executive Summary of the Ocean Cities concept, the context, challenges and opportunities of Ocean Cities, and outlines several policy recommendations for the implementation of solutions for simultaneously achieving urban climate resilience, improved sustainability of ocean resources and better integration of landscape and seascape planning. Interested parties are encouraged to refer to the Regional Policy Guide document (also available on the Urban Development Resources webpage) for additional in-depth content.

ocean cities policy snapshot

 

  • State of Asia Pacific Cities Report

The State of Asian and Pacific Cities Report (SoAPCR) is a recurring publication of ESCAP, UN-Habitat and other partners that comprehensively captures the region’s rapid urban transformation. The 2015 SoAPCR highlighted the growing gaps between current urbanization patterns and what is needed to shift to a more inclusive and sustainable urban future, in which the region’s cities are unquestionably tied to national, regional and global development prospects. The next report, The Future of Asian and Pacific Cities, planned for 2019 intends to focus more strongly on the region’s urbanizations trends.

state of asian pacific cities report

 

  • Asia Pacific Urban Forum

Every four to five years, ESCAP also convenes the multi-stakeholder Asia Pacific Urban Forums, often in conjunction with other major events, such as the regional preparatory meeting for Habitat III in 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The objective is for multiple stakeholders to exchange views on persistent and emerging issues, generate new ideas, provide guidance to ongoing processes and initiatives, and to coordinate development responses.

APUF

 

  • Urban SDG Knowledge Platform

ESCAP, together with CityNet and the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has initiated the “Urban SDG Knowledge Platform” with the aim to facilitate knowledge sharing and cooperation to support urban practitioners in localising the SDGs and implementing the NUA. Central to the Platform is a repository of city-level good practices, policies and initiatives. It also aims to provide think pieces and update on news and events.

urban sdg knowledge platform

Sustainable Urbanization

overview

Cities serve as drivers of economic progress and innovation as well as centers of culture, research, knowledge and development. The way in which Asian and the Pacific cities urbanize and develop will have great impacts across all three pillars of sustainable development and therefore the future sustainability of the planet. Current patterns of rapid, sprawling and unplanned urbanization are fundamentally unsustainable.  From management of resource consumption to meeting housing and infrastructure needs to enhancing resilience to shocks and slow-onset changes, cities in the region face significant challenges.  However, if integrated and well-planned, urbanization offers significant opportunities to drive transformational change that will lead cities towards greater sustainability. 

Recent global development agendas have recognized the importance of urban areas and cities in sustainable development. Many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development have an urban dimension requiring local action, and SDG 11 specifically calls to “make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. The Paris Agreement encourages cities to scale up efforts and support actions to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change effects. In the same way, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, recognizes the role of local governments in risk reduction and tackling disasters in urban areas. Finally, the New Urban Agenda (NUA) serves as a guideline for urban planning and encourages cities to become engines of social prosperity while protecting the environment.

Background

background

In 2016, more than half the global urban population lived in Asia and the Pacific[1]. Urbanization in Asia and the Pacific is advancing at an unprecedented scale, pace and complexity. Over the last 30 years, the region’s cities grew by around one billion people and projections show that one billion more will be added by 2040[2].  Much of this will be due to natural population growth in cities and reclassification rather than rural to urban migration. While Asia is home to 19 of the world’s 31 “mega cities” (i.e. cities with more than 10 million inhabitants) and mega-urban regions of tens of millions of people, the majority of the region’s urbanites lives in medium and small cities. 40 per cent of the urban population live in settlements below 300,000 inhabitants. Moreover, the fastest urbanization today is experienced by less urbanized, developing countries such as Lao PDR or Nepal. Dramatic changes are experienced in such places that are least equipped to deal with them.

Cities in Asia and the Pacific generate an estimated 80 percent of the region’s economic output[3]. Having contributed to lifting millions of people out of poverty in the region, cities have become substantial assets of national economies. One of the mega urban trends for the next decades is the dramatic rise of the middle class which is estimated to reach 3.2 billion people by 2030 - representing 80 percent of the world’s total[4]. However, basic needs, such as infrastructure and services, housing, and security, remain unmet for hundreds of millions of urban dwellers subjected to multidimensional poverty. 440 million people in Asia and the Pacific or 26.9 per cent live in slums and informal settlements – with absolute numbers still on the rise. An urbanizing region also goes hand-in-hand with changes in social structure – from more personal freedom and opportunity in education and professional life to changing family structures and population aging – all impacting cities’ physical form and creating demands for new social services. However, much more needs to be done to make cities more inclusive and accessible for different social groups such as women and girls or persons with disabilities. This includes improving safety and availability of public transport or street lighting.

Changes in production and consumption patterns, waste and pollution have a significant impact on natural resources and ecosystems, as well as human wellbeing. Under a business as usual scenario, many of the region’s cities faces a future of water scarcity, while use of resources has not only been unsustainable but has actually substantially increased with trends pointing in the wrong direction. The amount of solid waste generated in cities is estimated to more than double between now and 2025 to 2.65 million tons per day. Air pollution, meanwhile, continues to rise at an alarming rate, especially in the region’s low-income cities where concentrations of ambient particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) are well above World Health Organization (WHO) recommended standards[5].

The Asia Pacific region is also vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. Disaster related damage and losses are high, especially for coastal cities in Asia and the Pacific. Among the 10 cities that are projected to have the highest average annual loss from floods by 2050, six are located in the region[6]. Further concerted action is required to make cities more resilient. Integrated responses and concrete and coordinated national and municipal policies need to be implemented at a local level in order to build a resource-efficient and resilient future in which good practices can be replicated and multiplied.

The different economic, social and environmental transformations in the region’s cities reflect their complexity and dynamism. Urbanization challenges can only be addressed through coherent policies, strategies and innovative frameworks, which address the financing and capacity gaps of local and central governments. Cities are made of infrastructure and socioeconomic networks in which different stakeholders, including national and local government, businesses and civil society interact at a formal and informal level. In order to face the complex challenges of rapidly growing urban areas, effective multilevel and collaborative governance systems must be further developed.


[1] https://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/publications/files/wup2014-highlights.pdf

[2] http://www.unescap.org/sites/default/files/The%20State%20of%20Asian%20and%20Pacific%20Cities%202015.pdf P. 11

[3] https://asiafoundation.org/2015/02/11/trends-that-will-shape-asias-economic-future-part-2/

[4] ESCAP 73rd Commission Session, Commission Paper

[5] World Health Organization (2016), WHO Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database, available from http://www.who.int/phe/health_topics/outdoorair/databases/cities/en/

[6] S. Hallegatte et. al (2013). Future flood losses in major coastal cities. Nature Climate Change (Vol 3): 802-806, available from https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate1979

Tools and Methodologies
  • Ocean Cities: Regional Policy Guide

The Ocean Cities concept is an integrated policy approach for ocean-focused and climate-responsive urban development strategies, with a focus on urban areas in Pacific island developing States. Ocean Cities are where urban landscapes and seascapes meet, where built and natural environments near coastlines interface and where human behaviour and urban development have profound impacts on both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Ocean Cities are at the forefront of the climate change consequences, the urbanization challenges and other development pressures. Within the context of ongoing urbanization processes in Pacific island developing States, the guide recognizes the important links between the impacts of urban growth and development, climate change impacts, ocean health and coastal systems, and the effect these factors have on the development and resilience of Ocean Cities.

11

 

  • Ocean Cities: Snapshot for Policy-makers

This Snapshot provides an Executive Summary of the Ocean Cities concept, the context, challenges and opportunities of Ocean Cities, and outlines several policy recommendations for the implementation of solutions for simultaneously achieving urban climate resilience, improved sustainability of ocean resources and better integration of landscape and seascape planning. Interested parties are encouraged to refer to the Regional Policy Guide document (also available on the Urban Development Resources webpage) for additional in-depth content.

ocean cities policy snapshot

 

  • State of Asia Pacific Cities Report

The State of Asian and Pacific Cities Report (SoAPCR) is a recurring publication of ESCAP, UN-Habitat and other partners that comprehensively captures the region’s rapid urban transformation. The 2015 SoAPCR highlighted the growing gaps between current urbanization patterns and what is needed to shift to a more inclusive and sustainable urban future, in which the region’s cities are unquestionably tied to national, regional and global development prospects. The next report, The Future of Asian and Pacific Cities, planned for 2019 intends to focus more strongly on the region’s urbanizations trends.

state of asian pacific cities report

 

  • Asia Pacific Urban Forum

Every four to five years, ESCAP also convenes the multi-stakeholder Asia Pacific Urban Forums, often in conjunction with other major events, such as the regional preparatory meeting for Habitat III in 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The objective is for multiple stakeholders to exchange views on persistent and emerging issues, generate new ideas, provide guidance to ongoing processes and initiatives, and to coordinate development responses.

APUF

 

  • Urban SDG Knowledge Platform

ESCAP, together with CityNet and the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has initiated the “Urban SDG Knowledge Platform” with the aim to facilitate knowledge sharing and cooperation to support urban practitioners in localising the SDGs and implementing the NUA. Central to the Platform is a repository of city-level good practices, policies and initiatives. It also aims to provide think pieces and update on news and events.

urban sdg knowledge platform

Sustainable Urbanization

overview

Cities serve as drivers of economic progress and innovation as well as centers of culture, research, knowledge and development. The way in which Asian and the Pacific cities urbanize and develop will have great impacts across all three pillars of sustainable development and therefore the future sustainability of the planet. Current patterns of rapid, sprawling and unplanned urbanization are fundamentally unsustainable.  From management of resource consumption to meeting housing and infrastructure needs to enhancing resilience to shocks and slow-onset changes, cities in the region face significant challenges.  However, if integrated and well-planned, urbanization offers significant opportunities to drive transformational change that will lead cities towards greater sustainability. 

Recent global development agendas have recognized the importance of urban areas and cities in sustainable development. Many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development have an urban dimension requiring local action, and SDG 11 specifically calls to “make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. The Paris Agreement encourages cities to scale up efforts and support actions to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change effects. In the same way, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, recognizes the role of local governments in risk reduction and tackling disasters in urban areas. Finally, the New Urban Agenda (NUA) serves as a guideline for urban planning and encourages cities to become engines of social prosperity while protecting the environment.

Background

background

In 2016, more than half the global urban population lived in Asia and the Pacific[1]. Urbanization in Asia and the Pacific is advancing at an unprecedented scale, pace and complexity. Over the last 30 years, the region’s cities grew by around one billion people and projections show that one billion more will be added by 2040[2].  Much of this will be due to natural population growth in cities and reclassification rather than rural to urban migration. While Asia is home to 19 of the world’s 31 “mega cities” (i.e. cities with more than 10 million inhabitants) and mega-urban regions of tens of millions of people, the majority of the region’s urbanites lives in medium and small cities. 40 per cent of the urban population live in settlements below 300,000 inhabitants. Moreover, the fastest urbanization today is experienced by less urbanized, developing countries such as Lao PDR or Nepal. Dramatic changes are experienced in such places that are least equipped to deal with them.

Cities in Asia and the Pacific generate an estimated 80 percent of the region’s economic output[3]. Having contributed to lifting millions of people out of poverty in the region, cities have become substantial assets of national economies. One of the mega urban trends for the next decades is the dramatic rise of the middle class which is estimated to reach 3.2 billion people by 2030 - representing 80 percent of the world’s total[4]. However, basic needs, such as infrastructure and services, housing, and security, remain unmet for hundreds of millions of urban dwellers subjected to multidimensional poverty. 440 million people in Asia and the Pacific or 26.9 per cent live in slums and informal settlements – with absolute numbers still on the rise. An urbanizing region also goes hand-in-hand with changes in social structure – from more personal freedom and opportunity in education and professional life to changing family structures and population aging – all impacting cities’ physical form and creating demands for new social services. However, much more needs to be done to make cities more inclusive and accessible for different social groups such as women and girls or persons with disabilities. This includes improving safety and availability of public transport or street lighting.

Changes in production and consumption patterns, waste and pollution have a significant impact on natural resources and ecosystems, as well as human wellbeing. Under a business as usual scenario, many of the region’s cities faces a future of water scarcity, while use of resources has not only been unsustainable but has actually substantially increased with trends pointing in the wrong direction. The amount of solid waste generated in cities is estimated to more than double between now and 2025 to 2.65 million tons per day. Air pollution, meanwhile, continues to rise at an alarming rate, especially in the region’s low-income cities where concentrations of ambient particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) are well above World Health Organization (WHO) recommended standards[5].

The Asia Pacific region is also vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. Disaster related damage and losses are high, especially for coastal cities in Asia and the Pacific. Among the 10 cities that are projected to have the highest average annual loss from floods by 2050, six are located in the region[6]. Further concerted action is required to make cities more resilient. Integrated responses and concrete and coordinated national and municipal policies need to be implemented at a local level in order to build a resource-efficient and resilient future in which good practices can be replicated and multiplied.

The different economic, social and environmental transformations in the region’s cities reflect their complexity and dynamism. Urbanization challenges can only be addressed through coherent policies, strategies and innovative frameworks, which address the financing and capacity gaps of local and central governments. Cities are made of infrastructure and socioeconomic networks in which different stakeholders, including national and local government, businesses and civil society interact at a formal and informal level. In order to face the complex challenges of rapidly growing urban areas, effective multilevel and collaborative governance systems must be further developed.


[1] https://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/publications/files/wup2014-highlights.pdf

[2] http://www.unescap.org/sites/default/files/The%20State%20of%20Asian%20and%20Pacific%20Cities%202015.pdf P. 11

[3] https://asiafoundation.org/2015/02/11/trends-that-will-shape-asias-economic-future-part-2/

[4] ESCAP 73rd Commission Session, Commission Paper

[5] World Health Organization (2016), WHO Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database, available from http://www.who.int/phe/health_topics/outdoorair/databases/cities/en/

[6] S. Hallegatte et. al (2013). Future flood losses in major coastal cities. Nature Climate Change (Vol 3): 802-806, available from https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate1979

Tools and Methodologies
  • Ocean Cities: Regional Policy Guide

The Ocean Cities concept is an integrated policy approach for ocean-focused and climate-responsive urban development strategies, with a focus on urban areas in Pacific island developing States. Ocean Cities are where urban landscapes and seascapes meet, where built and natural environments near coastlines interface and where human behaviour and urban development have profound impacts on both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Ocean Cities are at the forefront of the climate change consequences, the urbanization challenges and other development pressures. Within the context of ongoing urbanization processes in Pacific island developing States, the guide recognizes the important links between the impacts of urban growth and development, climate change impacts, ocean health and coastal systems, and the effect these factors have on the development and resilience of Ocean Cities.

11

 

  • Ocean Cities: Snapshot for Policy-makers

This Snapshot provides an Executive Summary of the Ocean Cities concept, the context, challenges and opportunities of Ocean Cities, and outlines several policy recommendations for the implementation of solutions for simultaneously achieving urban climate resilience, improved sustainability of ocean resources and better integration of landscape and seascape planning. Interested parties are encouraged to refer to the Regional Policy Guide document (also available on the Urban Development Resources webpage) for additional in-depth content.

ocean cities policy snapshot

 

  • State of Asia Pacific Cities Report

The State of Asian and Pacific Cities Report (SoAPCR) is a recurring publication of ESCAP, UN-Habitat and other partners that comprehensively captures the region’s rapid urban transformation. The 2015 SoAPCR highlighted the growing gaps between current urbanization patterns and what is needed to shift to a more inclusive and sustainable urban future, in which the region’s cities are unquestionably tied to national, regional and global development prospects. The next report, The Future of Asian and Pacific Cities, planned for 2019 intends to focus more strongly on the region’s urbanizations trends.

state of asian pacific cities report

 

  • Asia Pacific Urban Forum

Every four to five years, ESCAP also convenes the multi-stakeholder Asia Pacific Urban Forums, often in conjunction with other major events, such as the regional preparatory meeting for Habitat III in 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The objective is for multiple stakeholders to exchange views on persistent and emerging issues, generate new ideas, provide guidance to ongoing processes and initiatives, and to coordinate development responses.

APUF

 

  • Urban SDG Knowledge Platform

ESCAP, together with CityNet and the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has initiated the “Urban SDG Knowledge Platform” with the aim to facilitate knowledge sharing and cooperation to support urban practitioners in localising the SDGs and implementing the NUA. Central to the Platform is a repository of city-level good practices, policies and initiatives. It also aims to provide think pieces and update on news and events.

urban sdg knowledge platform

Sustainable Urbanization

overview

Cities serve as drivers of economic progress and innovation as well as centers of culture, research, knowledge and development. The way in which Asian and the Pacific cities urbanize and develop will have great impacts across all three pillars of sustainable development and therefore the future sustainability of the planet. Current patterns of rapid, sprawling and unplanned urbanization are fundamentally unsustainable.  From management of resource consumption to meeting housing and infrastructure needs to enhancing resilience to shocks and slow-onset changes, cities in the region face significant challenges.  However, if integrated and well-planned, urbanization offers significant opportunities to drive transformational change that will lead cities towards greater sustainability. 

Recent global development agendas have recognized the importance of urban areas and cities in sustainable development. Many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development have an urban dimension requiring local action, and SDG 11 specifically calls to “make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. The Paris Agreement encourages cities to scale up efforts and support actions to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change effects. In the same way, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, recognizes the role of local governments in risk reduction and tackling disasters in urban areas. Finally, the New Urban Agenda (NUA) serves as a guideline for urban planning and encourages cities to become engines of social prosperity while protecting the environment.

Background

background

In 2016, more than half the global urban population lived in Asia and the Pacific[1]. Urbanization in Asia and the Pacific is advancing at an unprecedented scale, pace and complexity. Over the last 30 years, the region’s cities grew by around one billion people and projections show that one billion more will be added by 2040[2].  Much of this will be due to natural population growth in cities and reclassification rather than rural to urban migration. While Asia is home to 19 of the world’s 31 “mega cities” (i.e. cities with more than 10 million inhabitants) and mega-urban regions of tens of millions of people, the majority of the region’s urbanites lives in medium and small cities. 40 per cent of the urban population live in settlements below 300,000 inhabitants. Moreover, the fastest urbanization today is experienced by less urbanized, developing countries such as Lao PDR or Nepal. Dramatic changes are experienced in such places that are least equipped to deal with them.

Cities in Asia and the Pacific generate an estimated 80 percent of the region’s economic output[3]. Having contributed to lifting millions of people out of poverty in the region, cities have become substantial assets of national economies. One of the mega urban trends for the next decades is the dramatic rise of the middle class which is estimated to reach 3.2 billion people by 2030 - representing 80 percent of the world’s total[4]. However, basic needs, such as infrastructure and services, housing, and security, remain unmet for hundreds of millions of urban dwellers subjected to multidimensional poverty. 440 million people in Asia and the Pacific or 26.9 per cent live in slums and informal settlements – with absolute numbers still on the rise. An urbanizing region also goes hand-in-hand with changes in social structure – from more personal freedom and opportunity in education and professional life to changing family structures and population aging – all impacting cities’ physical form and creating demands for new social services. However, much more needs to be done to make cities more inclusive and accessible for different social groups such as women and girls or persons with disabilities. This includes improving safety and availability of public transport or street lighting.

Changes in production and consumption patterns, waste and pollution have a significant impact on natural resources and ecosystems, as well as human wellbeing. Under a business as usual scenario, many of the region’s cities faces a future of water scarcity, while use of resources has not only been unsustainable but has actually substantially increased with trends pointing in the wrong direction. The amount of solid waste generated in cities is estimated to more than double between now and 2025 to 2.65 million tons per day. Air pollution, meanwhile, continues to rise at an alarming rate, especially in the region’s low-income cities where concentrations of ambient particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) are well above World Health Organization (WHO) recommended standards[5].

The Asia Pacific region is also vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. Disaster related damage and losses are high, especially for coastal cities in Asia and the Pacific. Among the 10 cities that are projected to have the highest average annual loss from floods by 2050, six are located in the region[6]. Further concerted action is required to make cities more resilient. Integrated responses and concrete and coordinated national and municipal policies need to be implemented at a local level in order to build a resource-efficient and resilient future in which good practices can be replicated and multiplied.

The different economic, social and environmental transformations in the region’s cities reflect their complexity and dynamism. Urbanization challenges can only be addressed through coherent policies, strategies and innovative frameworks, which address the financing and capacity gaps of local and central governments. Cities are made of infrastructure and socioeconomic networks in which different stakeholders, including national and local government, businesses and civil society interact at a formal and informal level. In order to face the complex challenges of rapidly growing urban areas, effective multilevel and collaborative governance systems must be further developed.


[1] https://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/publications/files/wup2014-highlights.pdf

[2] http://www.unescap.org/sites/default/files/The%20State%20of%20Asian%20and%20Pacific%20Cities%202015.pdf P. 11

[3] https://asiafoundation.org/2015/02/11/trends-that-will-shape-asias-economic-future-part-2/

[4] ESCAP 73rd Commission Session, Commission Paper

[5] World Health Organization (2016), WHO Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database, available from http://www.who.int/phe/health_topics/outdoorair/databases/cities/en/

[6] S. Hallegatte et. al (2013). Future flood losses in major coastal cities. Nature Climate Change (Vol 3): 802-806, available from https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate1979

Tools and Methodologies
  • Ocean Cities: Regional Policy Guide

The Ocean Cities concept is an integrated policy approach for ocean-focused and climate-responsive urban development strategies, with a focus on urban areas in Pacific island developing States. Ocean Cities are where urban landscapes and seascapes meet, where built and natural environments near coastlines interface and where human behaviour and urban development have profound impacts on both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Ocean Cities are at the forefront of the climate change consequences, the urbanization challenges and other development pressures. Within the context of ongoing urbanization processes in Pacific island developing States, the guide recognizes the important links between the impacts of urban growth and development, climate change impacts, ocean health and coastal systems, and the effect these factors have on the development and resilience of Ocean Cities.

11

 

  • Ocean Cities: Snapshot for Policy-makers

This Snapshot provides an Executive Summary of the Ocean Cities concept, the context, challenges and opportunities of Ocean Cities, and outlines several policy recommendations for the implementation of solutions for simultaneously achieving urban climate resilience, improved sustainability of ocean resources and better integration of landscape and seascape planning. Interested parties are encouraged to refer to the Regional Policy Guide document (also available on the Urban Development Resources webpage) for additional in-depth content.

ocean cities policy snapshot

 

  • State of Asia Pacific Cities Report

The State of Asian and Pacific Cities Report (SoAPCR) is a recurring publication of ESCAP, UN-Habitat and other partners that comprehensively captures the region’s rapid urban transformation. The 2015 SoAPCR highlighted the growing gaps between current urbanization patterns and what is needed to shift to a more inclusive and sustainable urban future, in which the region’s cities are unquestionably tied to national, regional and global development prospects. The next report, The Future of Asian and Pacific Cities, planned for 2019 intends to focus more strongly on the region’s urbanizations trends.

state of asian pacific cities report

 

  • Asia Pacific Urban Forum

Every four to five years, ESCAP also convenes the multi-stakeholder Asia Pacific Urban Forums, often in conjunction with other major events, such as the regional preparatory meeting for Habitat III in 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The objective is for multiple stakeholders to exchange views on persistent and emerging issues, generate new ideas, provide guidance to ongoing processes and initiatives, and to coordinate development responses.

APUF

 

  • Urban SDG Knowledge Platform

ESCAP, together with CityNet and the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has initiated the “Urban SDG Knowledge Platform” with the aim to facilitate knowledge sharing and cooperation to support urban practitioners in localising the SDGs and implementing the NUA. Central to the Platform is a repository of city-level good practices, policies and initiatives. It also aims to provide think pieces and update on news and events.

urban sdg knowledge platform

Stakeholder Engagement and Partnerships

Overview

 

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes the need for inclusive participation and effective stakeholder engagement for the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Founded on a spirit of global solidarity, the Agenda is a call to action for all stakeholders in all countries to implement, in collaboration, the Sustainable Development Goals. It pledges to place people at center of dialogue and development action, particularly those often left behind, and seeks to do so in ways that are inclusive, collaborative and transformative. 

Effective stakeholder engagement and partnerships are a means to that end. This thematic area points to resources on stakeholder engagement for the 2030 Agenda and partnership development.

Background

background

 

Effective stakeholder engagement allows people to be involved in the decisions that affect them and has positive outcomes for governance, transparency and accountability. Where stakeholders are engaged in decision-making, decisions are more likely to be sustainable from economic social and environmental perspectives. 

Multi-stakeholder partnerships are a manifestation of high levels of engagement and catalyze the sharing and mobilization of knowledge, expertise, resources and technology to support the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda. Multi-stakeholder partnerships involve more than just collaborating and conducting ad hoc projects. They move beyond responsibility for independent result to a relationship that involves co-creation, shared risks and responsibilities, interdependency and the potential to create the transformations needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Stakeholder engagement and partnerships are being viewed with renewed interest since the inception of the global goals, but countries in Asia and the Pacific, as in other regions, often lack enabling frameworks for public participation, guidelines for effective partnerships and technical capacity.

To fill this gap, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) are facilitating integrated planning and capacity building at the national and regional levels to enhance stakeholder engagement in the context of the 2030 Agenda. By building on tested methodologies, their efforts seek to improve participation in and ownership of planning, implementation and follow-up and review processes of the SDGs. 

Together with the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), ESCAP has also prepared guidelines on multi-stakeholder partnerships to support member states in the region to develop, strengthen and leverage partnerships for the achievement of the SDGs.

Tools and Methodologies

tools and methodologie

Stakeholder Engagement – planning design and assessment

stakeholder engagement for the 2030 agenda

  • A preliminary framework for planning and assessment of quality engagement: Benefitting from work done at a multi-stakeholder workshop in August 2017, the framework captures four key dimensions of engagement and presents a preliminary set of indicators for the planning and assessment of engagement processes for the 2030 Agenda.

PPS

Partnerships – guidebooks, manuals and tool books

partnering for SD

Stakeholder engagement training manual

methods matrix

GPSA Knowledge Platform

The Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA) aims to provide strategic and sustained support to civil society organizations’ (CSOs) social accountability initiatives to ultimately improve governance and service delivery. This Knowledge Platform, complemented with offline activities, has been envisioned as the main tool for supporting the learning, networking and knowledge exchange of the GPSA’s grantees and of other CSOs working on social accountability in the global south.

Training/Workshops/Seminars

Stakeholder Engagement Design and Planning  

ESCAP-IAP2

IAP2

Stakeholder engagement for conflict resolution for the 2030 Agenda

  • United Nations Staff College 

Research and Case Studies

Follow-up and Review

Effective follow-up and review (FUR) is instrumental to guiding and strengthening effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. By evaluating progress towards implementation, it endeavours to improve accountability, enhance peer learning through exchange of good practices, and mobilize support.

Member States have the primary responsibility for follow-up and review, at the national, regional and global levels, in relation to the progress made in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and related targets. A systematic follow-up and review framework will be robust, voluntary, effective, highly participatory, transparent, integrated and will consider national priorities and capacities.

The 2030 Agenda outlines a set of guiding principles, which include:

  1. Voluntary & country led reporting to track progress on implementing the SDGs coupled with rigorous, robust, data driven, evidence based evaluations;
  2. Long-term orientation, and identification of challenges, gaps and critical success and failure factors;
  3. Ensuring an open, inclusive, participatory, and transparent process; and
  4. Building on existing platforms and processes that respond to national circumstance, capacities, needs and priorities.

To reinforce national accountability and ownership, the outcomes of the FUR processes held at national level lay the foundations for the FUR at regional and global levels. The latter processes, in fact, rely primarily on national data sources.

The proposed follow-up and review architecture emphasizes a multi-layered structure with the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the global level, supported by peer review mechanisms at the regional and subregional level, such as the annual Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), and strong national level accountability processes. Given the highly inclusive and transparent process through which the SDGs are being defined, the global architecture must also ensure space exists for meaningful inclusion of non-state actors.

Foundations for the architecture of follow-up and review:

Architecture of follow-up and review

At the national level:

FUR processes centre on accountability. National policies are evaluated to measure progress. Engaging with a broad range of stakeholders, including representatives of civil society (CSO), indigenous people, and the private sector, is encouraged to ensure transparency.

At the regional level:

Drawing on national reviews, FUR processes emphasize peer learning and the exchange of good practices, providing an opportunity to discuss challenges and opportunities in the regional context. Outcomes contribute to shape FUR process at the global level.

Regional support to follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda is one of the agreed functions of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), an inter-governmental mechanism convened by ESCAP on an annual basis. In fact, APFSD is now a fully recognised part of the SDG follow-up and review process and institutionalised as part of the ESCAP commission structure. The APFSD supports the region in preparation for the global level HLPF by enhancing capacity, capturing and sharing regional perspectives and supporting the review of progress toward implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The APFSD Forum supports the FUR process at the regional level through:

  • assessing progress and providing opportunities for peer learning related to the theme and goals that will be reviewed at the High-level Political Forum;
  • supporting the presentation of Voluntary National Reviews; and
  • undertaking periodic review of progress of the road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

At the global level:

FUR at global level takes place at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which meets every year to reviews progress towards the 2030 Agenda through the lens of a specific theme, including an in-depth review of a subset of goals. The means of implementation and global partnerships are under review each year. The HLPF also includes voluntary national reviews (VNRs) that give individual countries the opportunity to present their progress towards the 2030 Agenda and constitute the main instruments for national reporting at the HLPF.

Follow-up and Review cycle.

Background

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development devotes 18 paragraphs on the importance of a systematic follow-up and review of the implementation of the Agenda, its roles, objectives, and guiding principles. It should be noted that such a framework was not present in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), making the process of establishing an institutional mechanism for follow-up and review for the SDGs an unprecedented task for national governments. 

Follow-up and review is both a management process as well as an accountability exercise. It ensures that implementation efforts are effective, that they are well founded, that strategies are appropriate and tackle the right issues, that the right institutions and stakeholders are involved and act, and that appropriate resources are provided for this effort. Review and follow-up are strictly interconnected and shall be regarded as a continuum: the one provides the diagnostics on the progress, and the other accounts for responses, ensuring that action is taken in return.

Review is a process in which the stakeholders are engaged to consider the findings of the monitoring effort and to discuss questions such as (A) does the picture of progress presented represent reality? (B)  what are the underlying reasons for the picture of progress presented; (C) what are some of the most urgent needs and opportunities for boosting progress or taking remedial action? (D) what are the emerging issues?

Follow-up ensures that there is a response to the recommendations of the monitoring and review processes, and is at the heart of effective follow-up and review. It provides for action to accelerate progress. This component includes formulation of response to the findings of the monitoring and review process, including allocation of resources and identification of investment needs, adjustments in implementation plans, or change during implementation. Follow-up may involve defining new indicators that should be tracked through monitoring efforts.

Tools and Methodologies

road map

Regional Road Map

Recognizing the opportunities of regional cooperation to accelerate sustainable development, the countries of Asia and the Pacific agreed on a regional road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the 4th Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development in 2017. The road map identifies priority areas of regional cooperation for the means of implementation and partnerships, as well as six thematic areas that correspond to major challenges still faced in our region:

  • leaving no one behind
  • climate change
  • connectivity
  • disaster risk reduction and resilience
  • management of natural resources
  • energy

To accelerate progress towards achieving SDGs, the road map calls for strengthened regional cooperation on these priority issues, continued and coordinated support provided by the secretariat and other UN institutions and (sub)regional organizations, as well as more effective knowledge sharing across borders.

road map progress

Regional Road Map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific: Progress Report 2019

The road map calls for reviews of its progress to take place annually at the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development. The present report uses a progress assessment methodology developed by ESCAP to assess the eleven priority areas of regional cooperation with reference to the sixty-two global means of implementation SDG targets in the global SDG indicator framework.

VNR Database

Voluntary National Reviews Database

The voluntary national reviews (VNRs) aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with the aim of accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNRs also seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

This online review platform is dedicated to compiling information from countries participating in the voluntary national reviews of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

Handbook for the Preparation of VNRs

Handbook for the Preparation of Voluntary National Reviews 2019

This is a handbook for country preparation and presentation of voluntary national reviews (VNRs). It should be read in conjunction with the updated Secretary-General’s proposal for voluntary common reporting guidelines for voluntary national reviews at the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF). The updated Secretary-General’s voluntary common guidelines are attached in the handbook as annex 2.

Other important resources are the synthesis reports of the 2016 and 2017 reviews. The reports provide a snapshot of general characteristics of the VNRs for that year and contain additional examples of good practices and lessons learned for countries conducting VNRs.

VNR Synthesis Report 2016

VNR Synthesis Report 2017

VNR Synthesis Report, Asia-Pacific Countries, 2017

VNR Synthesis Report 2018

Voluntary Common Reporting Guidelines

VNR Guidelines

The main guidance for the VNRs are the updated UN Secretary-General’s voluntary common reporting guidelines. The guidelines provide a framework for certain common elements within reviews, while allowing for flexibility so countries can adapt to their own circumstances. The guidelines serve to promote consistency between reviews and comparability over time. However, in line with the voluntary nature of the VNRs, it is up to countries to decide how to carry out their reviews, in accordance with their national contexts and circumstances.

Q&A for VNRs 2019

6th APFSD

Sixth Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development: Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies

Regional support to follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda is one of the agreed functions of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), an inter-governmental mechanism convened by ESCAP on an annual basis. In fact, APFSD is now a fully recognised part of the SDG follow-up and review process and institutionalised as part of the ESCAP commission structure. The APFSD supports the region in preparation for the global level HLPF by enhancing capacity, capturing and sharing regional perspectives and supporting the review of progress toward implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The Forum supports the FUR process at the regional level through:

  1. (assessing progress and providing opportunities for peer learning related to the theme and goals that will be reviewed at the High-level Political Forum;
  2. supporting the presentation of Voluntary National Reviews; and
  3. undertaking periodic review of progress of the road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

HLPF 2019

High-Level Political Forum 2019

The Forum meets annually under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council for eight days, including a three-day ministerial segment and every four years at the level of Heads of State and Government under the auspices of the General Assembly for two days. The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development and it has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development the SDGs at the global level. The Forum adopts intergovernmentally negotiated political declarations.

guidelines to support countries reporting on SDGs

Guidelines to Support Country Reporting on the SDGs

The guidelines are divided into four chapters.

Chapter 1: focus on the follow-up and review processes at! global, regional and country levels. It details how the different processes intersect and the type of support the UN system can provide.

Chapter 2:  describes the 2030 Agenda principles and how they are relevant to the follow-up and review process at the country level. It also provides the critical elements for preparing a national SDG review and the structure of a national SDG report. 
Chapter 3:  is about indicators and data; defining national SDG indicators, setting baselines for monitoring and evaluation, and practical criteria for progress assessment including developing a SDG scorecard. 

Chapter 4: focuses on how to identify stakeholders for engagement, and encouraging inclusive approaches to national SDG review. The annexes provide examples of available methodologies that can be used to make the national SDGs report more analytical; step by step guide for developing a communications and dissemination plan; a checklist for managing the production of an SDG Report; and sample of sources, guidance notes and tools available of relevance to SDG reporting.

RIA

Rapid Integrated Assessment Tool

The Rapid Integrated Assessment (RIA) Tool aims to support countries in mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into national and subnational planning, by helping assess their readiness for SDG implementation. The tool suggests clear steps and templates for policy makers to conduct a rapid integrated assessment (RIA) of the SDGs to determine their relevance to the country context, both at the national and subnational level, and interlinkages across targets. The assessment is a first step in defining a roadmap for a country to implement the SDGs.

Engagement of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPO) in the VNR Process

Engagement of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPO) in the VNR Process

This toolkit has been developed as an exploratory and interactive tool for organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) on the monitoring mechanisms of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) implementation, called Voluntary National Reviews. The toolkit aims to provide step-by-step guidance, ideas, suggestions and templates for building successful advocacy campaigns and strategies to participate in the monitoring mechanisms of the Sustainable Development Goals.

vlr

VLR Lab

VLR Lab enhances local governments’ ability to disseminate information and findings globally, and to do so more smoothly. It does so by serving as an online centralized information hub for VLRs by sub-national and local governments, as they provide details such as location, size and important goals, in addition to actual cases from the model local governments. In this way, local governments can use VLR Lab as an open space for peer-learning. 

ebook

E-Handbook on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators

This handbook is targeted towards national statisticians to enable them to monitor progress made in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals based on data produced by national statistical systems.

It addresses the growing need for information targeted towards national statisticians to collect, calculate, and monitor the SDGs using data produced by the national statistical systems. We hope this will be a comprehensive yet straightforward reference that focuses on key aspects–such as concepts, definition, sources, calculations–that are essential to measuring indicators. It also provide additional links and references to more detailed information, so that national statisticians are able to delve into detailed references when needed.

VNRs

VNRs: Human Rights Mechanisms, Approaches and Tools

OHCHR has developed useful tools and approaches that can support States in reporting on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) and at the same time may help States reduce their reporting burden.

UNV

Reflecting Citizen Contributions through Volunteering in VNRs 2019

United Nations Volunteers (UNV) works with UN Member States and other stakeholders to support evidence on whole-of-society approaches in their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). Globally, more than one billion active volunteers make economic and social contributions to development processes at scale.

Fact Sheets
Follow-up and Review

Effective follow-up and review (FUR) is instrumental to guiding and strengthening effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. By evaluating progress towards implementation, it endeavours to improve accountability, enhance peer learning through exchange of good practices, and mobilize support.

Member States have the primary responsibility for follow-up and review, at the national, regional and global levels, in relation to the progress made in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and related targets. A systematic follow-up and review framework will be robust, voluntary, effective, highly participatory, transparent, integrated and will consider national priorities and capacities.

The 2030 Agenda outlines a set of guiding principles, which include:

  1. Voluntary & country led reporting to track progress on implementing the SDGs coupled with rigorous, robust, data driven, evidence based evaluations;
  2. Long-term orientation, and identification of challenges, gaps and critical success and failure factors;
  3. Ensuring an open, inclusive, participatory, and transparent process; and
  4. Building on existing platforms and processes that respond to national circumstance, capacities, needs and priorities.

To reinforce national accountability and ownership, the outcomes of the FUR processes held at national level lay the foundations for the FUR at regional and global levels. The latter processes, in fact, rely primarily on national data sources.

The proposed follow-up and review architecture emphasizes a multi-layered structure with the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the global level, supported by peer review mechanisms at the regional and subregional level, such as the annual Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), and strong national level accountability processes. Given the highly inclusive and transparent process through which the SDGs are being defined, the global architecture must also ensure space exists for meaningful inclusion of non-state actors.

Foundations for the architecture of follow-up and review:

Architecture of follow-up and review

At the national level:

FUR processes centre on accountability. National policies are evaluated to measure progress. Engaging with a broad range of stakeholders, including representatives of civil society (CSO), indigenous people, and the private sector, is encouraged to ensure transparency.

At the regional level:

Drawing on national reviews, FUR processes emphasize peer learning and the exchange of good practices, providing an opportunity to discuss challenges and opportunities in the regional context. Outcomes contribute to shape FUR process at the global level.

Regional support to follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda is one of the agreed functions of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), an inter-governmental mechanism convened by ESCAP on an annual basis. In fact, APFSD is now a fully recognised part of the SDG follow-up and review process and institutionalised as part of the ESCAP commission structure. The APFSD supports the region in preparation for the global level HLPF by enhancing capacity, capturing and sharing regional perspectives and supporting the review of progress toward implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The APFSD Forum supports the FUR process at the regional level through:

  • assessing progress and providing opportunities for peer learning related to the theme and goals that will be reviewed at the High-level Political Forum;
  • supporting the presentation of Voluntary National Reviews; and
  • undertaking periodic review of progress of the road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

At the global level:

FUR at global level takes place at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which meets every year to reviews progress towards the 2030 Agenda through the lens of a specific theme, including an in-depth review of a subset of goals. The means of implementation and global partnerships are under review each year. The HLPF also includes voluntary national reviews (VNRs) that give individual countries the opportunity to present their progress towards the 2030 Agenda and constitute the main instruments for national reporting at the HLPF.

Follow-up and Review cycle.

Background

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development devotes 18 paragraphs on the importance of a systematic follow-up and review of the implementation of the Agenda, its roles, objectives, and guiding principles. It should be noted that such a framework was not present in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), making the process of establishing an institutional mechanism for follow-up and review for the SDGs an unprecedented task for national governments. 

Follow-up and review is both a management process as well as an accountability exercise. It ensures that implementation efforts are effective, that they are well founded, that strategies are appropriate and tackle the right issues, that the right institutions and stakeholders are involved and act, and that appropriate resources are provided for this effort. Review and follow-up are strictly interconnected and shall be regarded as a continuum: the one provides the diagnostics on the progress, and the other accounts for responses, ensuring that action is taken in return.

Review is a process in which the stakeholders are engaged to consider the findings of the monitoring effort and to discuss questions such as (A) does the picture of progress presented represent reality? (B)  what are the underlying reasons for the picture of progress presented; (C) what are some of the most urgent needs and opportunities for boosting progress or taking remedial action? (D) what are the emerging issues?

Follow-up ensures that there is a response to the recommendations of the monitoring and review processes, and is at the heart of effective follow-up and review. It provides for action to accelerate progress. This component includes formulation of response to the findings of the monitoring and review process, including allocation of resources and identification of investment needs, adjustments in implementation plans, or change during implementation. Follow-up may involve defining new indicators that should be tracked through monitoring efforts.

Tools and Methodologies

road map

Regional Road Map

Recognizing the opportunities of regional cooperation to accelerate sustainable development, the countries of Asia and the Pacific agreed on a regional road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the 4th Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development in 2017. The road map identifies priority areas of regional cooperation for the means of implementation and partnerships, as well as six thematic areas that correspond to major challenges still faced in our region:

  • leaving no one behind
  • climate change
  • connectivity
  • disaster risk reduction and resilience
  • management of natural resources
  • energy

To accelerate progress towards achieving SDGs, the road map calls for strengthened regional cooperation on these priority issues, continued and coordinated support provided by the secretariat and other UN institutions and (sub)regional organizations, as well as more effective knowledge sharing across borders.

road map progress

Regional Road Map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific: Progress Report 2019

The road map calls for reviews of its progress to take place annually at the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development. The present report uses a progress assessment methodology developed by ESCAP to assess the eleven priority areas of regional cooperation with reference to the sixty-two global means of implementation SDG targets in the global SDG indicator framework.

VNR Database

Voluntary National Reviews Database

The voluntary national reviews (VNRs) aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with the aim of accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNRs also seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

This online review platform is dedicated to compiling information from countries participating in the voluntary national reviews of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

Handbook for the Preparation of VNRs

Handbook for the Preparation of Voluntary National Reviews 2019

This is a handbook for country preparation and presentation of voluntary national reviews (VNRs). It should be read in conjunction with the updated Secretary-General’s proposal for voluntary common reporting guidelines for voluntary national reviews at the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF). The updated Secretary-General’s voluntary common guidelines are attached in the handbook as annex 2.

Other important resources are the synthesis reports of the 2016 and 2017 reviews. The reports provide a snapshot of general characteristics of the VNRs for that year and contain additional examples of good practices and lessons learned for countries conducting VNRs.

VNR Synthesis Report 2016

VNR Synthesis Report 2017

VNR Synthesis Report, Asia-Pacific Countries, 2017

VNR Synthesis Report 2018

Voluntary Common Reporting Guidelines

VNR Guidelines

The main guidance for the VNRs are the updated UN Secretary-General’s voluntary common reporting guidelines. The guidelines provide a framework for certain common elements within reviews, while allowing for flexibility so countries can adapt to their own circumstances. The guidelines serve to promote consistency between reviews and comparability over time. However, in line with the voluntary nature of the VNRs, it is up to countries to decide how to carry out their reviews, in accordance with their national contexts and circumstances.

Q&A for VNRs 2019

6th APFSD

Sixth Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development: Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies

Regional support to follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda is one of the agreed functions of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), an inter-governmental mechanism convened by ESCAP on an annual basis. In fact, APFSD is now a fully recognised part of the SDG follow-up and review process and institutionalised as part of the ESCAP commission structure. The APFSD supports the region in preparation for the global level HLPF by enhancing capacity, capturing and sharing regional perspectives and supporting the review of progress toward implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The Forum supports the FUR process at the regional level through:

  1. (assessing progress and providing opportunities for peer learning related to the theme and goals that will be reviewed at the High-level Political Forum;
  2. supporting the presentation of Voluntary National Reviews; and
  3. undertaking periodic review of progress of the road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

HLPF 2019

High-Level Political Forum 2019

The Forum meets annually under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council for eight days, including a three-day ministerial segment and every four years at the level of Heads of State and Government under the auspices of the General Assembly for two days. The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development and it has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development the SDGs at the global level. The Forum adopts intergovernmentally negotiated political declarations.

guidelines to support countries reporting on SDGs

Guidelines to Support Country Reporting on the SDGs

The guidelines are divided into four chapters.

Chapter 1: focus on the follow-up and review processes at! global, regional and country levels. It details how the different processes intersect and the type of support the UN system can provide.

Chapter 2:  describes the 2030 Agenda principles and how they are relevant to the follow-up and review process at the country level. It also provides the critical elements for preparing a national SDG review and the structure of a national SDG report. 
Chapter 3:  is about indicators and data; defining national SDG indicators, setting baselines for monitoring and evaluation, and practical criteria for progress assessment including developing a SDG scorecard. 

Chapter 4: focuses on how to identify stakeholders for engagement, and encouraging inclusive approaches to national SDG review. The annexes provide examples of available methodologies that can be used to make the national SDGs report more analytical; step by step guide for developing a communications and dissemination plan; a checklist for managing the production of an SDG Report; and sample of sources, guidance notes and tools available of relevance to SDG reporting.

RIA

Rapid Integrated Assessment Tool

The Rapid Integrated Assessment (RIA) Tool aims to support countries in mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into national and subnational planning, by helping assess their readiness for SDG implementation. The tool suggests clear steps and templates for policy makers to conduct a rapid integrated assessment (RIA) of the SDGs to determine their relevance to the country context, both at the national and subnational level, and interlinkages across targets. The assessment is a first step in defining a roadmap for a country to implement the SDGs.

Engagement of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPO) in the VNR Process

Engagement of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPO) in the VNR Process

This toolkit has been developed as an exploratory and interactive tool for organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) on the monitoring mechanisms of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) implementation, called Voluntary National Reviews. The toolkit aims to provide step-by-step guidance, ideas, suggestions and templates for building successful advocacy campaigns and strategies to participate in the monitoring mechanisms of the Sustainable Development Goals.

vlr

VLR Lab

VLR Lab enhances local governments’ ability to disseminate information and findings globally, and to do so more smoothly. It does so by serving as an online centralized information hub for VLRs by sub-national and local governments, as they provide details such as location, size and important goals, in addition to actual cases from the model local governments. In this way, local governments can use VLR Lab as an open space for peer-learning. 

ebook

E-Handbook on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators

This handbook is targeted towards national statisticians to enable them to monitor progress made in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals based on data produced by national statistical systems.

It addresses the growing need for information targeted towards national statisticians to collect, calculate, and monitor the SDGs using data produced by the national statistical systems. We hope this will be a comprehensive yet straightforward reference that focuses on key aspects–such as concepts, definition, sources, calculations–that are essential to measuring indicators. It also provide additional links and references to more detailed information, so that national statisticians are able to delve into detailed references when needed.

VNRs

VNRs: Human Rights Mechanisms, Approaches and Tools

OHCHR has developed useful tools and approaches that can support States in reporting on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) and at the same time may help States reduce their reporting burden.

UNV

Reflecting Citizen Contributions through Volunteering in VNRs 2019

United Nations Volunteers (UNV) works with UN Member States and other stakeholders to support evidence on whole-of-society approaches in their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). Globally, more than one billion active volunteers make economic and social contributions to development processes at scale.

Fact Sheets
Follow-up and Review

Effective follow-up and review (FUR) is instrumental to guiding and strengthening effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. By evaluating progress towards implementation, it endeavours to improve accountability, enhance peer learning through exchange of good practices, and mobilize support.

Member States have the primary responsibility for follow-up and review, at the national, regional and global levels, in relation to the progress made in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and related targets. A systematic follow-up and review framework will be robust, voluntary, effective, highly participatory, transparent, integrated and will consider national priorities and capacities.

The 2030 Agenda outlines a set of guiding principles, which include:

  1. Voluntary & country led reporting to track progress on implementing the SDGs coupled with rigorous, robust, data driven, evidence based evaluations;
  2. Long-term orientation, and identification of challenges, gaps and critical success and failure factors;
  3. Ensuring an open, inclusive, participatory, and transparent process; and
  4. Building on existing platforms and processes that respond to national circumstance, capacities, needs and priorities.

To reinforce national accountability and ownership, the outcomes of the FUR processes held at national level lay the foundations for the FUR at regional and global levels. The latter processes, in fact, rely primarily on national data sources.

The proposed follow-up and review architecture emphasizes a multi-layered structure with the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the global level, supported by peer review mechanisms at the regional and subregional level, such as the annual Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), and strong national level accountability processes. Given the highly inclusive and transparent process through which the SDGs are being defined, the global architecture must also ensure space exists for meaningful inclusion of non-state actors.

Foundations for the architecture of follow-up and review:

Architecture of follow-up and review

At the national level:

FUR processes centre on accountability. National policies are evaluated to measure progress. Engaging with a broad range of stakeholders, including representatives of civil society (CSO), indigenous people, and the private sector, is encouraged to ensure transparency.

At the regional level:

Drawing on national reviews, FUR processes emphasize peer learning and the exchange of good practices, providing an opportunity to discuss challenges and opportunities in the regional context. Outcomes contribute to shape FUR process at the global level.

Regional support to follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda is one of the agreed functions of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), an inter-governmental mechanism convened by ESCAP on an annual basis. In fact, APFSD is now a fully recognised part of the SDG follow-up and review process and institutionalised as part of the ESCAP commission structure. The APFSD supports the region in preparation for the global level HLPF by enhancing capacity, capturing and sharing regional perspectives and supporting the review of progress toward implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The APFSD Forum supports the FUR process at the regional level through:

  • assessing progress and providing opportunities for peer learning related to the theme and goals that will be reviewed at the High-level Political Forum;
  • supporting the presentation of Voluntary National Reviews; and
  • undertaking periodic review of progress of the road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

At the global level:

FUR at global level takes place at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which meets every year to reviews progress towards the 2030 Agenda through the lens of a specific theme, including an in-depth review of a subset of goals. The means of implementation and global partnerships are under review each year. The HLPF also includes voluntary national reviews (VNRs) that give individual countries the opportunity to present their progress towards the 2030 Agenda and constitute the main instruments for national reporting at the HLPF.

Follow-up and Review cycle.

Background

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development devotes 18 paragraphs on the importance of a systematic follow-up and review of the implementation of the Agenda, its roles, objectives, and guiding principles. It should be noted that such a framework was not present in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), making the process of establishing an institutional mechanism for follow-up and review for the SDGs an unprecedented task for national governments. 

Follow-up and review is both a management process as well as an accountability exercise. It ensures that implementation efforts are effective, that they are well founded, that strategies are appropriate and tackle the right issues, that the right institutions and stakeholders are involved and act, and that appropriate resources are provided for this effort. Review and follow-up are strictly interconnected and shall be regarded as a continuum: the one provides the diagnostics on the progress, and the other accounts for responses, ensuring that action is taken in return.

Review is a process in which the stakeholders are engaged to consider the findings of the monitoring effort and to discuss questions such as (A) does the picture of progress presented represent reality? (B)  what are the underlying reasons for the picture of progress presented; (C) what are some of the most urgent needs and opportunities for boosting progress or taking remedial action? (D) what are the emerging issues?

Follow-up ensures that there is a response to the recommendations of the monitoring and review processes, and is at the heart of effective follow-up and review. It provides for action to accelerate progress. This component includes formulation of response to the findings of the monitoring and review process, including allocation of resources and identification of investment needs, adjustments in implementation plans, or change during implementation. Follow-up may involve defining new indicators that should be tracked through monitoring efforts.

Tools and Methodologies

road map

Regional Road Map

Recognizing the opportunities of regional cooperation to accelerate sustainable development, the countries of Asia and the Pacific agreed on a regional road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the 4th Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development in 2017. The road map identifies priority areas of regional cooperation for the means of implementation and partnerships, as well as six thematic areas that correspond to major challenges still faced in our region:

  • leaving no one behind
  • climate change
  • connectivity
  • disaster risk reduction and resilience
  • management of natural resources
  • energy

To accelerate progress towards achieving SDGs, the road map calls for strengthened regional cooperation on these priority issues, continued and coordinated support provided by the secretariat and other UN institutions and (sub)regional organizations, as well as more effective knowledge sharing across borders.

road map progress

Regional Road Map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific: Progress Report 2019

The road map calls for reviews of its progress to take place annually at the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development. The present report uses a progress assessment methodology developed by ESCAP to assess the eleven priority areas of regional cooperation with reference to the sixty-two global means of implementation SDG targets in the global SDG indicator framework.

VNR Database

Voluntary National Reviews Database

The voluntary national reviews (VNRs) aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with the aim of accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNRs also seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

This online review platform is dedicated to compiling information from countries participating in the voluntary national reviews of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

Handbook for the Preparation of VNRs

Handbook for the Preparation of Voluntary National Reviews 2019

This is a handbook for country preparation and presentation of voluntary national reviews (VNRs). It should be read in conjunction with the updated Secretary-General’s proposal for voluntary common reporting guidelines for voluntary national reviews at the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF). The updated Secretary-General’s voluntary common guidelines are attached in the handbook as annex 2.

Other important resources are the synthesis reports of the 2016 and 2017 reviews. The reports provide a snapshot of general characteristics of the VNRs for that year and contain additional examples of good practices and lessons learned for countries conducting VNRs.

VNR Synthesis Report 2016

VNR Synthesis Report 2017

VNR Synthesis Report, Asia-Pacific Countries, 2017

VNR Synthesis Report 2018

Voluntary Common Reporting Guidelines

VNR Guidelines

The main guidance for the VNRs are the updated UN Secretary-General’s voluntary common reporting guidelines. The guidelines provide a framework for certain common elements within reviews, while allowing for flexibility so countries can adapt to their own circumstances. The guidelines serve to promote consistency between reviews and comparability over time. However, in line with the voluntary nature of the VNRs, it is up to countries to decide how to carry out their reviews, in accordance with their national contexts and circumstances.

Q&A for VNRs 2019

6th APFSD

Sixth Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development: Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies

Regional support to follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda is one of the agreed functions of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), an inter-governmental mechanism convened by ESCAP on an annual basis. In fact, APFSD is now a fully recognised part of the SDG follow-up and review process and institutionalised as part of the ESCAP commission structure. The APFSD supports the region in preparation for the global level HLPF by enhancing capacity, capturing and sharing regional perspectives and supporting the review of progress toward implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The Forum supports the FUR process at the regional level through:

  1. (assessing progress and providing opportunities for peer learning related to the theme and goals that will be reviewed at the High-level Political Forum;
  2. supporting the presentation of Voluntary National Reviews; and
  3. undertaking periodic review of progress of the road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

HLPF 2019

High-Level Political Forum 2019

The Forum meets annually under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council for eight days, including a three-day ministerial segment and every four years at the level of Heads of State and Government under the auspices of the General Assembly for two days. The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development and it has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development the SDGs at the global level. The Forum adopts intergovernmentally negotiated political declarations.

guidelines to support countries reporting on SDGs

Guidelines to Support Country Reporting on the SDGs

The guidelines are divided into four chapters.

Chapter 1: focus on the follow-up and review processes at! global, regional and country levels. It details how the different processes intersect and the type of support the UN system can provide.

Chapter 2:  describes the 2030 Agenda principles and how they are relevant to the follow-up and review process at the country level. It also provides the critical elements for preparing a national SDG review and the structure of a national SDG report. 
Chapter 3:  is about indicators and data; defining national SDG indicators, setting baselines for monitoring and evaluation, and practical criteria for progress assessment including developing a SDG scorecard. 

Chapter 4: focuses on how to identify stakeholders for engagement, and encouraging inclusive approaches to national SDG review. The annexes provide examples of available methodologies that can be used to make the national SDGs report more analytical; step by step guide for developing a communications and dissemination plan; a checklist for managing the production of an SDG Report; and sample of sources, guidance notes and tools available of relevance to SDG reporting.

RIA

Rapid Integrated Assessment Tool

The Rapid Integrated Assessment (RIA) Tool aims to support countries in mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into national and subnational planning, by helping assess their readiness for SDG implementation. The tool suggests clear steps and templates for policy makers to conduct a rapid integrated assessment (RIA) of the SDGs to determine their relevance to the country context, both at the national and subnational level, and interlinkages across targets. The assessment is a first step in defining a roadmap for a country to implement the SDGs.

Engagement of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPO) in the VNR Process

Engagement of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPO) in the VNR Process

This toolkit has been developed as an exploratory and interactive tool for organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) on the monitoring mechanisms of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) implementation, called Voluntary National Reviews. The toolkit aims to provide step-by-step guidance, ideas, suggestions and templates for building successful advocacy campaigns and strategies to participate in the monitoring mechanisms of the Sustainable Development Goals.

vlr

VLR Lab

VLR Lab enhances local governments’ ability to disseminate information and findings globally, and to do so more smoothly. It does so by serving as an online centralized information hub for VLRs by sub-national and local governments, as they provide details such as location, size and important goals, in addition to actual cases from the model local governments. In this way, local governments can use VLR Lab as an open space for peer-learning. 

ebook

E-Handbook on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators

This handbook is targeted towards national statisticians to enable them to monitor progress made in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals based on data produced by national statistical systems.

It addresses the growing need for information targeted towards national statisticians to collect, calculate, and monitor the SDGs using data produced by the national statistical systems. We hope this will be a comprehensive yet straightforward reference that focuses on key aspects–such as concepts, definition, sources, calculations–that are essential to measuring indicators. It also provide additional links and references to more detailed information, so that national statisticians are able to delve into detailed references when needed.

VNRs

VNRs: Human Rights Mechanisms, Approaches and Tools

OHCHR has developed useful tools and approaches that can support States in reporting on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) and at the same time may help States reduce their reporting burden.

UNV

Reflecting Citizen Contributions through Volunteering in VNRs 2019

United Nations Volunteers (UNV) works with UN Member States and other stakeholders to support evidence on whole-of-society approaches in their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). Globally, more than one billion active volunteers make economic and social contributions to development processes at scale.

Fact Sheets
Follow-up and Review

Effective follow-up and review (FUR) is instrumental to guiding and strengthening effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. By evaluating progress towards implementation, it endeavours to improve accountability, enhance peer learning through exchange of good practices, and mobilize support.

Member States have the primary responsibility for follow-up and review, at the national, regional and global levels, in relation to the progress made in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and related targets. A systematic follow-up and review framework will be robust, voluntary, effective, highly participatory, transparent, integrated and will consider national priorities and capacities.

The 2030 Agenda outlines a set of guiding principles, which include:

  1. Voluntary & country led reporting to track progress on implementing the SDGs coupled with rigorous, robust, data driven, evidence based evaluations;
  2. Long-term orientation, and identification of challenges, gaps and critical success and failure factors;
  3. Ensuring an open, inclusive, participatory, and transparent process; and
  4. Building on existing platforms and processes that respond to national circumstance, capacities, needs and priorities.

To reinforce national accountability and ownership, the outcomes of the FUR processes held at national level lay the foundations for the FUR at regional and global levels. The latter processes, in fact, rely primarily on national data sources.

The proposed follow-up and review architecture emphasizes a multi-layered structure with the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the global level, supported by peer review mechanisms at the regional and subregional level, such as the annual Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), and strong national level accountability processes. Given the highly inclusive and transparent process through which the SDGs are being defined, the global architecture must also ensure space exists for meaningful inclusion of non-state actors.

Foundations for the architecture of follow-up and review:

Architecture of follow-up and review

At the national level:

FUR processes centre on accountability. National policies are evaluated to measure progress. Engaging with a broad range of stakeholders, including representatives of civil society (CSO), indigenous people, and the private sector, is encouraged to ensure transparency.

At the regional level:

Drawing on national reviews, FUR processes emphasize peer learning and the exchange of good practices, providing an opportunity to discuss challenges and opportunities in the regional context. Outcomes contribute to shape FUR process at the global level.

Regional support to follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda is one of the agreed functions of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), an inter-governmental mechanism convened by ESCAP on an annual basis. In fact, APFSD is now a fully recognised part of the SDG follow-up and review process and institutionalised as part of the ESCAP commission structure. The APFSD supports the region in preparation for the global level HLPF by enhancing capacity, capturing and sharing regional perspectives and supporting the review of progress toward implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The APFSD Forum supports the FUR process at the regional level through:

  • assessing progress and providing opportunities for peer learning related to the theme and goals that will be reviewed at the High-level Political Forum;
  • supporting the presentation of Voluntary National Reviews; and
  • undertaking periodic review of progress of the road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

At the global level:

FUR at global level takes place at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which meets every year to reviews progress towards the 2030 Agenda through the lens of a specific theme, including an in-depth review of a subset of goals. The means of implementation and global partnerships are under review each year. The HLPF also includes voluntary national reviews (VNRs) that give individual countries the opportunity to present their progress towards the 2030 Agenda and constitute the main instruments for national reporting at the HLPF.

Follow-up and Review cycle.

Background

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development devotes 18 paragraphs on the importance of a systematic follow-up and review of the implementation of the Agenda, its roles, objectives, and guiding principles. It should be noted that such a framework was not present in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), making the process of establishing an institutional mechanism for follow-up and review for the SDGs an unprecedented task for national governments. 

Follow-up and review is both a management process as well as an accountability exercise. It ensures that implementation efforts are effective, that they are well founded, that strategies are appropriate and tackle the right issues, that the right institutions and stakeholders are involved and act, and that appropriate resources are provided for this effort. Review and follow-up are strictly interconnected and shall be regarded as a continuum: the one provides the diagnostics on the progress, and the other accounts for responses, ensuring that action is taken in return.

Review is a process in which the stakeholders are engaged to consider the findings of the monitoring effort and to discuss questions such as (A) does the picture of progress presented represent reality? (B)  what are the underlying reasons for the picture of progress presented; (C) what are some of the most urgent needs and opportunities for boosting progress or taking remedial action? (D) what are the emerging issues?

Follow-up ensures that there is a response to the recommendations of the monitoring and review processes, and is at the heart of effective follow-up and review. It provides for action to accelerate progress. This component includes formulation of response to the findings of the monitoring and review process, including allocation of resources and identification of investment needs, adjustments in implementation plans, or change during implementation. Follow-up may involve defining new indicators that should be tracked through monitoring efforts.

Tools and Methodologies

road map

Regional Road Map

Recognizing the opportunities of regional cooperation to accelerate sustainable development, the countries of Asia and the Pacific agreed on a regional road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the 4th Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development in 2017. The road map identifies priority areas of regional cooperation for the means of implementation and partnerships, as well as six thematic areas that correspond to major challenges still faced in our region:

  • leaving no one behind
  • climate change
  • connectivity
  • disaster risk reduction and resilience
  • management of natural resources
  • energy

To accelerate progress towards achieving SDGs, the road map calls for strengthened regional cooperation on these priority issues, continued and coordinated support provided by the secretariat and other UN institutions and (sub)regional organizations, as well as more effective knowledge sharing across borders.

road map progress

Regional Road Map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific: Progress Report 2019

The road map calls for reviews of its progress to take place annually at the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development. The present report uses a progress assessment methodology developed by ESCAP to assess the eleven priority areas of regional cooperation with reference to the sixty-two global means of implementation SDG targets in the global SDG indicator framework.

VNR Database

Voluntary National Reviews Database

The voluntary national reviews (VNRs) aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with the aim of accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNRs also seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

This online review platform is dedicated to compiling information from countries participating in the voluntary national reviews of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

Handbook for the Preparation of VNRs

Handbook for the Preparation of Voluntary National Reviews 2019

This is a handbook for country preparation and presentation of voluntary national reviews (VNRs). It should be read in conjunction with the updated Secretary-General’s proposal for voluntary common reporting guidelines for voluntary national reviews at the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF). The updated Secretary-General’s voluntary common guidelines are attached in the handbook as annex 2.

Other important resources are the synthesis reports of the 2016 and 2017 reviews. The reports provide a snapshot of general characteristics of the VNRs for that year and contain additional examples of good practices and lessons learned for countries conducting VNRs.

VNR Synthesis Report 2016

VNR Synthesis Report 2017

VNR Synthesis Report, Asia-Pacific Countries, 2017

VNR Synthesis Report 2018

Voluntary Common Reporting Guidelines

VNR Guidelines

The main guidance for the VNRs are the updated UN Secretary-General’s voluntary common reporting guidelines. The guidelines provide a framework for certain common elements within reviews, while allowing for flexibility so countries can adapt to their own circumstances. The guidelines serve to promote consistency between reviews and comparability over time. However, in line with the voluntary nature of the VNRs, it is up to countries to decide how to carry out their reviews, in accordance with their national contexts and circumstances.

Q&A for VNRs 2019

6th APFSD

Sixth Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development: Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies

Regional support to follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda is one of the agreed functions of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), an inter-governmental mechanism convened by ESCAP on an annual basis. In fact, APFSD is now a fully recognised part of the SDG follow-up and review process and institutionalised as part of the ESCAP commission structure. The APFSD supports the region in preparation for the global level HLPF by enhancing capacity, capturing and sharing regional perspectives and supporting the review of progress toward implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The Forum supports the FUR process at the regional level through:

  1. (assessing progress and providing opportunities for peer learning related to the theme and goals that will be reviewed at the High-level Political Forum;
  2. supporting the presentation of Voluntary National Reviews; and
  3. undertaking periodic review of progress of the road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

HLPF 2019

High-Level Political Forum 2019

The Forum meets annually under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council for eight days, including a three-day ministerial segment and every four years at the level of Heads of State and Government under the auspices of the General Assembly for two days. The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development and it has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development the SDGs at the global level. The Forum adopts intergovernmentally negotiated political declarations.

guidelines to support countries reporting on SDGs

Guidelines to Support Country Reporting on the SDGs

The guidelines are divided into four chapters.

Chapter 1: focus on the follow-up and review processes at! global, regional and country levels. It details how the different processes intersect and the type of support the UN system can provide.

Chapter 2:  describes the 2030 Agenda principles and how they are relevant to the follow-up and review process at the country level. It also provides the critical elements for preparing a national SDG review and the structure of a national SDG report. 
Chapter 3:  is about indicators and data; defining national SDG indicators, setting baselines for monitoring and evaluation, and practical criteria for progress assessment including developing a SDG scorecard. 

Chapter 4: focuses on how to identify stakeholders for engagement, and encouraging inclusive approaches to national SDG review. The annexes provide examples of available methodologies that can be used to make the national SDGs report more analytical; step by step guide for developing a communications and dissemination plan; a checklist for managing the production of an SDG Report; and sample of sources, guidance notes and tools available of relevance to SDG reporting.

RIA

Rapid Integrated Assessment Tool

The Rapid Integrated Assessment (RIA) Tool aims to support countries in mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into national and subnational planning, by helping assess their readiness for SDG implementation. The tool suggests clear steps and templates for policy makers to conduct a rapid integrated assessment (RIA) of the SDGs to determine their relevance to the country context, both at the national and subnational level, and interlinkages across targets. The assessment is a first step in defining a roadmap for a country to implement the SDGs.

Engagement of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPO) in the VNR Process

Engagement of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPO) in the VNR Process

This toolkit has been developed as an exploratory and interactive tool for organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) on the monitoring mechanisms of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) implementation, called Voluntary National Reviews. The toolkit aims to provide step-by-step guidance, ideas, suggestions and templates for building successful advocacy campaigns and strategies to participate in the monitoring mechanisms of the Sustainable Development Goals.

vlr

VLR Lab

VLR Lab enhances local governments’ ability to disseminate information and findings globally, and to do so more smoothly. It does so by serving as an online centralized information hub for VLRs by sub-national and local governments, as they provide details such as location, size and important goals, in addition to actual cases from the model local governments. In this way, local governments can use VLR Lab as an open space for peer-learning. 

ebook

E-Handbook on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators

This handbook is targeted towards national statisticians to enable them to monitor progress made in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals based on data produced by national statistical systems.

It addresses the growing need for information targeted towards national statisticians to collect, calculate, and monitor the SDGs using data produced by the national statistical systems. We hope this will be a comprehensive yet straightforward reference that focuses on key aspects–such as concepts, definition, sources, calculations–that are essential to measuring indicators. It also provide additional links and references to more detailed information, so that national statisticians are able to delve into detailed references when needed.

VNRs

VNRs: Human Rights Mechanisms, Approaches and Tools

OHCHR has developed useful tools and approaches that can support States in reporting on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) and at the same time may help States reduce their reporting burden.

UNV

Reflecting Citizen Contributions through Volunteering in VNRs 2019

United Nations Volunteers (UNV) works with UN Member States and other stakeholders to support evidence on whole-of-society approaches in their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). Globally, more than one billion active volunteers make economic and social contributions to development processes at scale.

Fact Sheets
Follow-up and Review

Effective follow-up and review (FUR) is instrumental to guiding and strengthening effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. By evaluating progress towards implementation, it endeavours to improve accountability, enhance peer learning through exchange of good practices, and mobilize support.

Member States have the primary responsibility for follow-up and review, at the national, regional and global levels, in relation to the progress made in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and related targets. A systematic follow-up and review framework will be robust, voluntary, effective, highly participatory, transparent, integrated and will consider national priorities and capacities.

The 2030 Agenda outlines a set of guiding principles, which include:

  1. Voluntary & country led reporting to track progress on implementing the SDGs coupled with rigorous, robust, data driven, evidence based evaluations;
  2. Long-term orientation, and identification of challenges, gaps and critical success and failure factors;
  3. Ensuring an open, inclusive, participatory, and transparent process; and
  4. Building on existing platforms and processes that respond to national circumstance, capacities, needs and priorities.

To reinforce national accountability and ownership, the outcomes of the FUR processes held at national level lay the foundations for the FUR at regional and global levels. The latter processes, in fact, rely primarily on national data sources.

The proposed follow-up and review architecture emphasizes a multi-layered structure with the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the global level, supported by peer review mechanisms at the regional and subregional level, such as the annual Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), and strong national level accountability processes. Given the highly inclusive and transparent process through which the SDGs are being defined, the global architecture must also ensure space exists for meaningful inclusion of non-state actors.

Foundations for the architecture of follow-up and review:

Architecture of follow-up and review

At the national level:

FUR processes centre on accountability. National policies are evaluated to measure progress. Engaging with a broad range of stakeholders, including representatives of civil society (CSO), indigenous people, and the private sector, is encouraged to ensure transparency.

At the regional level:

Drawing on national reviews, FUR processes emphasize peer learning and the exchange of good practices, providing an opportunity to discuss challenges and opportunities in the regional context. Outcomes contribute to shape FUR process at the global level.

Regional support to follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda is one of the agreed functions of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), an inter-governmental mechanism convened by ESCAP on an annual basis. In fact, APFSD is now a fully recognised part of the SDG follow-up and review process and institutionalised as part of the ESCAP commission structure. The APFSD supports the region in preparation for the global level HLPF by enhancing capacity, capturing and sharing regional perspectives and supporting the review of progress toward implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The APFSD Forum supports the FUR process at the regional level through:

  • assessing progress and providing opportunities for peer learning related to the theme and goals that will be reviewed at the High-level Political Forum;
  • supporting the presentation of Voluntary National Reviews; and
  • undertaking periodic review of progress of the road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

At the global level:

FUR at global level takes place at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which meets every year to reviews progress towards the 2030 Agenda through the lens of a specific theme, including an in-depth review of a subset of goals. The means of implementation and global partnerships are under review each year. The HLPF also includes voluntary national reviews (VNRs) that give individual countries the opportunity to present their progress towards the 2030 Agenda and constitute the main instruments for national reporting at the HLPF.

Follow-up and Review cycle.

Background

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development devotes 18 paragraphs on the importance of a systematic follow-up and review of the implementation of the Agenda, its roles, objectives, and guiding principles. It should be noted that such a framework was not present in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), making the process of establishing an institutional mechanism for follow-up and review for the SDGs an unprecedented task for national governments. 

Follow-up and review is both a management process as well as an accountability exercise. It ensures that implementation efforts are effective, that they are well founded, that strategies are appropriate and tackle the right issues, that the right institutions and stakeholders are involved and act, and that appropriate resources are provided for this effort. Review and follow-up are strictly interconnected and shall be regarded as a continuum: the one provides the diagnostics on the progress, and the other accounts for responses, ensuring that action is taken in return.

Review is a process in which the stakeholders are engaged to consider the findings of the monitoring effort and to discuss questions such as (A) does the picture of progress presented represent reality? (B)  what are the underlying reasons for the picture of progress presented; (C) what are some of the most urgent needs and opportunities for boosting progress or taking remedial action? (D) what are the emerging issues?

Follow-up ensures that there is a response to the recommendations of the monitoring and review processes, and is at the heart of effective follow-up and review. It provides for action to accelerate progress. This component includes formulation of response to the findings of the monitoring and review process, including allocation of resources and identification of investment needs, adjustments in implementation plans, or change during implementation. Follow-up may involve defining new indicators that should be tracked through monitoring efforts.

Tools and Methodologies

road map

Regional Road Map

Recognizing the opportunities of regional cooperation to accelerate sustainable development, the countries of Asia and the Pacific agreed on a regional road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the 4th Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development in 2017. The road map identifies priority areas of regional cooperation for the means of implementation and partnerships, as well as six thematic areas that correspond to major challenges still faced in our region:

  • leaving no one behind
  • climate change
  • connectivity
  • disaster risk reduction and resilience
  • management of natural resources
  • energy

To accelerate progress towards achieving SDGs, the road map calls for strengthened regional cooperation on these priority issues, continued and coordinated support provided by the secretariat and other UN institutions and (sub)regional organizations, as well as more effective knowledge sharing across borders.

road map progress

Regional Road Map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific: Progress Report 2019

The road map calls for reviews of its progress to take place annually at the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development. The present report uses a progress assessment methodology developed by ESCAP to assess the eleven priority areas of regional cooperation with reference to the sixty-two global means of implementation SDG targets in the global SDG indicator framework.

VNR Database

Voluntary National Reviews Database

The voluntary national reviews (VNRs) aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with the aim of accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNRs also seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

This online review platform is dedicated to compiling information from countries participating in the voluntary national reviews of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

Handbook for the Preparation of VNRs

Handbook for the Preparation of Voluntary National Reviews 2019

This is a handbook for country preparation and presentation of voluntary national reviews (VNRs). It should be read in conjunction with the updated Secretary-General’s proposal for voluntary common reporting guidelines for voluntary national reviews at the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF). The updated Secretary-General’s voluntary common guidelines are attached in the handbook as annex 2.

Other important resources are the synthesis reports of the 2016 and 2017 reviews. The reports provide a snapshot of general characteristics of the VNRs for that year and contain additional examples of good practices and lessons learned for countries conducting VNRs.

VNR Synthesis Report 2016

VNR Synthesis Report 2017

VNR Synthesis Report, Asia-Pacific Countries, 2017

VNR Synthesis Report 2018

Voluntary Common Reporting Guidelines

VNR Guidelines

The main guidance for the VNRs are the updated UN Secretary-General’s voluntary common reporting guidelines. The guidelines provide a framework for certain common elements within reviews, while allowing for flexibility so countries can adapt to their own circumstances. The guidelines serve to promote consistency between reviews and comparability over time. However, in line with the voluntary nature of the VNRs, it is up to countries to decide how to carry out their reviews, in accordance with their national contexts and circumstances.

Q&A for VNRs 2019

6th APFSD

Sixth Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development: Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies

Regional support to follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda is one of the agreed functions of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), an inter-governmental mechanism convened by ESCAP on an annual basis. In fact, APFSD is now a fully recognised part of the SDG follow-up and review process and institutionalised as part of the ESCAP commission structure. The APFSD supports the region in preparation for the global level HLPF by enhancing capacity, capturing and sharing regional perspectives and supporting the review of progress toward implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The Forum supports the FUR process at the regional level through:

  1. (assessing progress and providing opportunities for peer learning related to the theme and goals that will be reviewed at the High-level Political Forum;
  2. supporting the presentation of Voluntary National Reviews; and
  3. undertaking periodic review of progress of the road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

HLPF 2019

High-Level Political Forum 2019

The Forum meets annually under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council for eight days, including a three-day ministerial segment and every four years at the level of Heads of State and Government under the auspices of the General Assembly for two days. The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development and it has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development the SDGs at the global level. The Forum adopts intergovernmentally negotiated political declarations.

guidelines to support countries reporting on SDGs

Guidelines to Support Country Reporting on the SDGs

The guidelines are divided into four chapters.

Chapter 1: focus on the follow-up and review processes at! global, regional and country levels. It details how the different processes intersect and the type of support the UN system can provide.

Chapter 2:  describes the 2030 Agenda principles and how they are relevant to the follow-up and review process at the country level. It also provides the critical elements for preparing a national SDG review and the structure of a national SDG report. 
Chapter 3:  is about indicators and data; defining national SDG indicators, setting baselines for monitoring and evaluation, and practical criteria for progress assessment including developing a SDG scorecard. 

Chapter 4: focuses on how to identify stakeholders for engagement, and encouraging inclusive approaches to national SDG review. The annexes provide examples of available methodologies that can be used to make the national SDGs report more analytical; step by step guide for developing a communications and dissemination plan; a checklist for managing the production of an SDG Report; and sample of sources, guidance notes and tools available of relevance to SDG reporting.

RIA

Rapid Integrated Assessment Tool

The Rapid Integrated Assessment (RIA) Tool aims to support countries in mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into national and subnational planning, by helping assess their readiness for SDG implementation. The tool suggests clear steps and templates for policy makers to conduct a rapid integrated assessment (RIA) of the SDGs to determine their relevance to the country context, both at the national and subnational level, and interlinkages across targets. The assessment is a first step in defining a roadmap for a country to implement the SDGs.

Engagement of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPO) in the VNR Process

Engagement of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPO) in the VNR Process

This toolkit has been developed as an exploratory and interactive tool for organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) on the monitoring mechanisms of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) implementation, called Voluntary National Reviews. The toolkit aims to provide step-by-step guidance, ideas, suggestions and templates for building successful advocacy campaigns and strategies to participate in the monitoring mechanisms of the Sustainable Development Goals.

vlr

VLR Lab

VLR Lab enhances local governments’ ability to disseminate information and findings globally, and to do so more smoothly. It does so by serving as an online centralized information hub for VLRs by sub-national and local governments, as they provide details such as location, size and important goals, in addition to actual cases from the model local governments. In this way, local governments can use VLR Lab as an open space for peer-learning. 

ebook

E-Handbook on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators

This handbook is targeted towards national statisticians to enable them to monitor progress made in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals based on data produced by national statistical systems.

It addresses the growing need for information targeted towards national statisticians to collect, calculate, and monitor the SDGs using data produced by the national statistical systems. We hope this will be a comprehensive yet straightforward reference that focuses on key aspects–such as concepts, definition, sources, calculations–that are essential to measuring indicators. It also provide additional links and references to more detailed information, so that national statisticians are able to delve into detailed references when needed.

VNRs

VNRs: Human Rights Mechanisms, Approaches and Tools

OHCHR has developed useful tools and approaches that can support States in reporting on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) and at the same time may help States reduce their reporting burden.

UNV

Reflecting Citizen Contributions through Volunteering in VNRs 2019

United Nations Volunteers (UNV) works with UN Member States and other stakeholders to support evidence on whole-of-society approaches in their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). Globally, more than one billion active volunteers make economic and social contributions to development processes at scale.

Fact Sheets
Follow-up and Review

Effective follow-up and review (FUR) is instrumental to guiding and strengthening effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. By evaluating progress towards implementation, it endeavours to improve accountability, enhance peer learning through exchange of good practices, and mobilize support.

Member States have the primary responsibility for follow-up and review, at the national, regional and global levels, in relation to the progress made in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and related targets. A systematic follow-up and review framework will be robust, voluntary, effective, highly participatory, transparent, integrated and will consider national priorities and capacities.

The 2030 Agenda outlines a set of guiding principles, which include:

  1. Voluntary & country led reporting to track progress on implementing the SDGs coupled with rigorous, robust, data driven, evidence based evaluations;
  2. Long-term orientation, and identification of challenges, gaps and critical success and failure factors;
  3. Ensuring an open, inclusive, participatory, and transparent process; and
  4. Building on existing platforms and processes that respond to national circumstance, capacities, needs and priorities.

To reinforce national accountability and ownership, the outcomes of the FUR processes held at national level lay the foundations for the FUR at regional and global levels. The latter processes, in fact, rely primarily on national data sources.

The proposed follow-up and review architecture emphasizes a multi-layered structure with the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the global level, supported by peer review mechanisms at the regional and subregional level, such as the annual Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), and strong national level accountability processes. Given the highly inclusive and transparent process through which the SDGs are being defined, the global architecture must also ensure space exists for meaningful inclusion of non-state actors.

Foundations for the architecture of follow-up and review:

Architecture of follow-up and review

At the national level:

FUR processes centre on accountability. National policies are evaluated to measure progress. Engaging with a broad range of stakeholders, including representatives of civil society (CSO), indigenous people, and the private sector, is encouraged to ensure transparency.

At the regional level:

Drawing on national reviews, FUR processes emphasize peer learning and the exchange of good practices, providing an opportunity to discuss challenges and opportunities in the regional context. Outcomes contribute to shape FUR process at the global level.

Regional support to follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda is one of the agreed functions of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), an inter-governmental mechanism convened by ESCAP on an annual basis. In fact, APFSD is now a fully recognised part of the SDG follow-up and review process and institutionalised as part of the ESCAP commission structure. The APFSD supports the region in preparation for the global level HLPF by enhancing capacity, capturing and sharing regional perspectives and supporting the review of progress toward implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The APFSD Forum supports the FUR process at the regional level through:

  • assessing progress and providing opportunities for peer learning related to the theme and goals that will be reviewed at the High-level Political Forum;
  • supporting the presentation of Voluntary National Reviews; and
  • undertaking periodic review of progress of the road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

At the global level:

FUR at global level takes place at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which meets every year to reviews progress towards the 2030 Agenda through the lens of a specific theme, including an in-depth review of a subset of goals. The means of implementation and global partnerships are under review each year. The HLPF also includes voluntary national reviews (VNRs) that give individual countries the opportunity to present their progress towards the 2030 Agenda and constitute the main instruments for national reporting at the HLPF.

Follow-up and Review cycle.

Background

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development devotes 18 paragraphs on the importance of a systematic follow-up and review of the implementation of the Agenda, its roles, objectives, and guiding principles. It should be noted that such a framework was not present in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), making the process of establishing an institutional mechanism for follow-up and review for the SDGs an unprecedented task for national governments. 

Follow-up and review is both a management process as well as an accountability exercise. It ensures that implementation efforts are effective, that they are well founded, that strategies are appropriate and tackle the right issues, that the right institutions and stakeholders are involved and act, and that appropriate resources are provided for this effort. Review and follow-up are strictly interconnected and shall be regarded as a continuum: the one provides the diagnostics on the progress, and the other accounts for responses, ensuring that action is taken in return.

Review is a process in which the stakeholders are engaged to consider the findings of the monitoring effort and to discuss questions such as (A) does the picture of progress presented represent reality? (B)  what are the underlying reasons for the picture of progress presented; (C) what are some of the most urgent needs and opportunities for boosting progress or taking remedial action? (D) what are the emerging issues?

Follow-up ensures that there is a response to the recommendations of the monitoring and review processes, and is at the heart of effective follow-up and review. It provides for action to accelerate progress. This component includes formulation of response to the findings of the monitoring and review process, including allocation of resources and identification of investment needs, adjustments in implementation plans, or change during implementation. Follow-up may involve defining new indicators that should be tracked through monitoring efforts.

Tools and Methodologies

road map

Regional Road Map

Recognizing the opportunities of regional cooperation to accelerate sustainable development, the countries of Asia and the Pacific agreed on a regional road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the 4th Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development in 2017. The road map identifies priority areas of regional cooperation for the means of implementation and partnerships, as well as six thematic areas that correspond to major challenges still faced in our region:

  • leaving no one behind
  • climate change
  • connectivity
  • disaster risk reduction and resilience
  • management of natural resources
  • energy

To accelerate progress towards achieving SDGs, the road map calls for strengthened regional cooperation on these priority issues, continued and coordinated support provided by the secretariat and other UN institutions and (sub)regional organizations, as well as more effective knowledge sharing across borders.

road map progress

Regional Road Map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific: Progress Report 2019

The road map calls for reviews of its progress to take place annually at the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development. The present report uses a progress assessment methodology developed by ESCAP to assess the eleven priority areas of regional cooperation with reference to the sixty-two global means of implementation SDG targets in the global SDG indicator framework.

VNR Database

Voluntary National Reviews Database

The voluntary national reviews (VNRs) aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with the aim of accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNRs also seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

This online review platform is dedicated to compiling information from countries participating in the voluntary national reviews of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

Handbook for the Preparation of VNRs

Handbook for the Preparation of Voluntary National Reviews 2019

This is a handbook for country preparation and presentation of voluntary national reviews (VNRs). It should be read in conjunction with the updated Secretary-General’s proposal for voluntary common reporting guidelines for voluntary national reviews at the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF). The updated Secretary-General’s voluntary common guidelines are attached in the handbook as annex 2.

Other important resources are the synthesis reports of the 2016 and 2017 reviews. The reports provide a snapshot of general characteristics of the VNRs for that year and contain additional examples of good practices and lessons learned for countries conducting VNRs.

VNR Synthesis Report 2016

VNR Synthesis Report 2017

VNR Synthesis Report, Asia-Pacific Countries, 2017

VNR Synthesis Report 2018

Voluntary Common Reporting Guidelines

VNR Guidelines

The main guidance for the VNRs are the updated UN Secretary-General’s voluntary common reporting guidelines. The guidelines provide a framework for certain common elements within reviews, while allowing for flexibility so countries can adapt to their own circumstances. The guidelines serve to promote consistency between reviews and comparability over time. However, in line with the voluntary nature of the VNRs, it is up to countries to decide how to carry out their reviews, in accordance with their national contexts and circumstances.

Q&A for VNRs 2019

6th APFSD

Sixth Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development: Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies

Regional support to follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda is one of the agreed functions of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), an inter-governmental mechanism convened by ESCAP on an annual basis. In fact, APFSD is now a fully recognised part of the SDG follow-up and review process and institutionalised as part of the ESCAP commission structure. The APFSD supports the region in preparation for the global level HLPF by enhancing capacity, capturing and sharing regional perspectives and supporting the review of progress toward implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The Forum supports the FUR process at the regional level through:

  1. (assessing progress and providing opportunities for peer learning related to the theme and goals that will be reviewed at the High-level Political Forum;
  2. supporting the presentation of Voluntary National Reviews; and
  3. undertaking periodic review of progress of the road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

HLPF 2019

High-Level Political Forum 2019

The Forum meets annually under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council for eight days, including a three-day ministerial segment and every four years at the level of Heads of State and Government under the auspices of the General Assembly for two days. The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development and it has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development the SDGs at the global level. The Forum adopts intergovernmentally negotiated political declarations.

guidelines to support countries reporting on SDGs

Guidelines to Support Country Reporting on the SDGs

The guidelines are divided into four chapters.

Chapter 1: focus on the follow-up and review processes at! global, regional and country levels. It details how the different processes intersect and the type of support the UN system can provide.

Chapter 2:  describes the 2030 Agenda principles and how they are relevant to the follow-up and review process at the country level. It also provides the critical elements for preparing a national SDG review and the structure of a national SDG report. 
Chapter 3:  is about indicators and data; defining national SDG indicators, setting baselines for monitoring and evaluation, and practical criteria for progress assessment including developing a SDG scorecard. 

Chapter 4: focuses on how to identify stakeholders for engagement, and encouraging inclusive approaches to national SDG review. The annexes provide examples of available methodologies that can be used to make the national SDGs report more analytical; step by step guide for developing a communications and dissemination plan; a checklist for managing the production of an SDG Report; and sample of sources, guidance notes and tools available of relevance to SDG reporting.

RIA

Rapid Integrated Assessment Tool

The Rapid Integrated Assessment (RIA) Tool aims to support countries in mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into national and subnational planning, by helping assess their readiness for SDG implementation. The tool suggests clear steps and templates for policy makers to conduct a rapid integrated assessment (RIA) of the SDGs to determine their relevance to the country context, both at the national and subnational level, and interlinkages across targets. The assessment is a first step in defining a roadmap for a country to implement the SDGs.

Engagement of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPO) in the VNR Process

Engagement of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPO) in the VNR Process

This toolkit has been developed as an exploratory and interactive tool for organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) on the monitoring mechanisms of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) implementation, called Voluntary National Reviews. The toolkit aims to provide step-by-step guidance, ideas, suggestions and templates for building successful advocacy campaigns and strategies to participate in the monitoring mechanisms of the Sustainable Development Goals.

vlr

VLR Lab

VLR Lab enhances local governments’ ability to disseminate information and findings globally, and to do so more smoothly. It does so by serving as an online centralized information hub for VLRs by sub-national and local governments, as they provide details such as location, size and important goals, in addition to actual cases from the model local governments. In this way, local governments can use VLR Lab as an open space for peer-learning. 

ebook

E-Handbook on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators

This handbook is targeted towards national statisticians to enable them to monitor progress made in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals based on data produced by national statistical systems.

It addresses the growing need for information targeted towards national statisticians to collect, calculate, and monitor the SDGs using data produced by the national statistical systems. We hope this will be a comprehensive yet straightforward reference that focuses on key aspects–such as concepts, definition, sources, calculations–that are essential to measuring indicators. It also provide additional links and references to more detailed information, so that national statisticians are able to delve into detailed references when needed.

VNRs

VNRs: Human Rights Mechanisms, Approaches and Tools

OHCHR has developed useful tools and approaches that can support States in reporting on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) and at the same time may help States reduce their reporting burden.

UNV

Reflecting Citizen Contributions through Volunteering in VNRs 2019

United Nations Volunteers (UNV) works with UN Member States and other stakeholders to support evidence on whole-of-society approaches in their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). Globally, more than one billion active volunteers make economic and social contributions to development processes at scale.

Fact Sheets
Follow-up and Review

Effective follow-up and review (FUR) is instrumental to guiding and strengthening effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. By evaluating progress towards implementation, it endeavours to improve accountability, enhance peer learning through exchange of good practices, and mobilize support.

Member States have the primary responsibility for follow-up and review, at the national, regional and global levels, in relation to the progress made in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and related targets. A systematic follow-up and review framework will be robust, voluntary, effective, highly participatory, transparent, integrated and will consider national priorities and capacities.

The 2030 Agenda outlines a set of guiding principles, which include:

  1. Voluntary & country led reporting to track progress on implementing the SDGs coupled with rigorous, robust, data driven, evidence based evaluations;
  2. Long-term orientation, and identification of challenges, gaps and critical success and failure factors;
  3. Ensuring an open, inclusive, participatory, and transparent process; and
  4. Building on existing platforms and processes that respond to national circumstance, capacities, needs and priorities.

To reinforce national accountability and ownership, the outcomes of the FUR processes held at national level lay the foundations for the FUR at regional and global levels. The latter processes, in fact, rely primarily on national data sources.

The proposed follow-up and review architecture emphasizes a multi-layered structure with the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the global level, supported by peer review mechanisms at the regional and subregional level, such as the annual Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), and strong national level accountability processes. Given the highly inclusive and transparent process through which the SDGs are being defined, the global architecture must also ensure space exists for meaningful inclusion of non-state actors.

Foundations for the architecture of follow-up and review:

Architecture of follow-up and review

At the national level:

FUR processes centre on accountability. National policies are evaluated to measure progress. Engaging with a broad range of stakeholders, including representatives of civil society (CSO), indigenous people, and the private sector, is encouraged to ensure transparency.

At the regional level:

Drawing on national reviews, FUR processes emphasize peer learning and the exchange of good practices, providing an opportunity to discuss challenges and opportunities in the regional context. Outcomes contribute to shape FUR process at the global level.

Regional support to follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda is one of the agreed functions of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), an inter-governmental mechanism convened by ESCAP on an annual basis. In fact, APFSD is now a fully recognised part of the SDG follow-up and review process and institutionalised as part of the ESCAP commission structure. The APFSD supports the region in preparation for the global level HLPF by enhancing capacity, capturing and sharing regional perspectives and supporting the review of progress toward implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The APFSD Forum supports the FUR process at the regional level through:

  • assessing progress and providing opportunities for peer learning related to the theme and goals that will be reviewed at the High-level Political Forum;
  • supporting the presentation of Voluntary National Reviews; and
  • undertaking periodic review of progress of the road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

At the global level:

FUR at global level takes place at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which meets every year to reviews progress towards the 2030 Agenda through the lens of a specific theme, including an in-depth review of a subset of goals. The means of implementation and global partnerships are under review each year. The HLPF also includes voluntary national reviews (VNRs) that give individual countries the opportunity to present their progress towards the 2030 Agenda and constitute the main instruments for national reporting at the HLPF.

Follow-up and Review cycle.

Background

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development devotes 18 paragraphs on the importance of a systematic follow-up and review of the implementation of the Agenda, its roles, objectives, and guiding principles. It should be noted that such a framework was not present in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), making the process of establishing an institutional mechanism for follow-up and review for the SDGs an unprecedented task for national governments. 

Follow-up and review is both a management process as well as an accountability exercise. It ensures that implementation efforts are effective, that they are well founded, that strategies are appropriate and tackle the right issues, that the right institutions and stakeholders are involved and act, and that appropriate resources are provided for this effort. Review and follow-up are strictly interconnected and shall be regarded as a continuum: the one provides the diagnostics on the progress, and the other accounts for responses, ensuring that action is taken in return.

Review is a process in which the stakeholders are engaged to consider the findings of the monitoring effort and to discuss questions such as (A) does the picture of progress presented represent reality? (B)  what are the underlying reasons for the picture of progress presented; (C) what are some of the most urgent needs and opportunities for boosting progress or taking remedial action? (D) what are the emerging issues?

Follow-up ensures that there is a response to the recommendations of the monitoring and review processes, and is at the heart of effective follow-up and review. It provides for action to accelerate progress. This component includes formulation of response to the findings of the monitoring and review process, including allocation of resources and identification of investment needs, adjustments in implementation plans, or change during implementation. Follow-up may involve defining new indicators that should be tracked through monitoring efforts.

Tools and Methodologies

road map

Regional Road Map

Recognizing the opportunities of regional cooperation to accelerate sustainable development, the countries of Asia and the Pacific agreed on a regional road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the 4th Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development in 2017. The road map identifies priority areas of regional cooperation for the means of implementation and partnerships, as well as six thematic areas that correspond to major challenges still faced in our region:

  • leaving no one behind
  • climate change
  • connectivity
  • disaster risk reduction and resilience
  • management of natural resources
  • energy

To accelerate progress towards achieving SDGs, the road map calls for strengthened regional cooperation on these priority issues, continued and coordinated support provided by the secretariat and other UN institutions and (sub)regional organizations, as well as more effective knowledge sharing across borders.

road map progress

Regional Road Map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific: Progress Report 2019

The road map calls for reviews of its progress to take place annually at the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development. The present report uses a progress assessment methodology developed by ESCAP to assess the eleven priority areas of regional cooperation with reference to the sixty-two global means of implementation SDG targets in the global SDG indicator framework.

VNR Database

Voluntary National Reviews Database

The voluntary national reviews (VNRs) aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with the aim of accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNRs also seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

This online review platform is dedicated to compiling information from countries participating in the voluntary national reviews of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

Handbook for the Preparation of VNRs

Handbook for the Preparation of Voluntary National Reviews 2019

This is a handbook for country preparation and presentation of voluntary national reviews (VNRs). It should be read in conjunction with the updated Secretary-General’s proposal for voluntary common reporting guidelines for voluntary national reviews at the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF). The updated Secretary-General’s voluntary common guidelines are attached in the handbook as annex 2.

Other important resources are the synthesis reports of the 2016 and 2017 reviews. The reports provide a snapshot of general characteristics of the VNRs for that year and contain additional examples of good practices and lessons learned for countries conducting VNRs.

VNR Synthesis Report 2016

VNR Synthesis Report 2017

VNR Synthesis Report, Asia-Pacific Countries, 2017

VNR Synthesis Report 2018

Voluntary Common Reporting Guidelines

VNR Guidelines

The main guidance for the VNRs are the updated UN Secretary-General’s voluntary common reporting guidelines. The guidelines provide a framework for certain common elements within reviews, while allowing for flexibility so countries can adapt to their own circumstances. The guidelines serve to promote consistency between reviews and comparability over time. However, in line with the voluntary nature of the VNRs, it is up to countries to decide how to carry out their reviews, in accordance with their national contexts and circumstances.

Q&A for VNRs 2019

6th APFSD

Sixth Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development: Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies

Regional support to follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda is one of the agreed functions of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), an inter-governmental mechanism convened by ESCAP on an annual basis. In fact, APFSD is now a fully recognised part of the SDG follow-up and review process and institutionalised as part of the ESCAP commission structure. The APFSD supports the region in preparation for the global level HLPF by enhancing capacity, capturing and sharing regional perspectives and supporting the review of progress toward implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The Forum supports the FUR process at the regional level through:

  1. (assessing progress and providing opportunities for peer learning related to the theme and goals that will be reviewed at the High-level Political Forum;
  2. supporting the presentation of Voluntary National Reviews; and
  3. undertaking periodic review of progress of the road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

HLPF 2019

High-Level Political Forum 2019

The Forum meets annually under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council for eight days, including a three-day ministerial segment and every four years at the level of Heads of State and Government under the auspices of the General Assembly for two days. The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development and it has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development the SDGs at the global level. The Forum adopts intergovernmentally negotiated political declarations.

guidelines to support countries reporting on SDGs

Guidelines to Support Country Reporting on the SDGs

The guidelines are divided into four chapters.

Chapter 1: focus on the follow-up and review processes at! global, regional and country levels. It details how the different processes intersect and the type of support the UN system can provide.

Chapter 2:  describes the 2030 Agenda principles and how they are relevant to the follow-up and review process at the country level. It also provides the critical elements for preparing a national SDG review and the structure of a national SDG report. 
Chapter 3:  is about indicators and data; defining national SDG indicators, setting baselines for monitoring and evaluation, and practical criteria for progress assessment including developing a SDG scorecard. 

Chapter 4: focuses on how to identify stakeholders for engagement, and encouraging inclusive approaches to national SDG review. The annexes provide examples of available methodologies that can be used to make the national SDGs report more analytical; step by step guide for developing a communications and dissemination plan; a checklist for managing the production of an SDG Report; and sample of sources, guidance notes and tools available of relevance to SDG reporting.

RIA

Rapid Integrated Assessment Tool

The Rapid Integrated Assessment (RIA) Tool aims to support countries in mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into national and subnational planning, by helping assess their readiness for SDG implementation. The tool suggests clear steps and templates for policy makers to conduct a rapid integrated assessment (RIA) of the SDGs to determine their relevance to the country context, both at the national and subnational level, and interlinkages across targets. The assessment is a first step in defining a roadmap for a country to implement the SDGs.

Engagement of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPO) in the VNR Process

Engagement of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPO) in the VNR Process

This toolkit has been developed as an exploratory and interactive tool for organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) on the monitoring mechanisms of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) implementation, called Voluntary National Reviews. The toolkit aims to provide step-by-step guidance, ideas, suggestions and templates for building successful advocacy campaigns and strategies to participate in the monitoring mechanisms of the Sustainable Development Goals.

vlr

VLR Lab

VLR Lab enhances local governments’ ability to disseminate information and findings globally, and to do so more smoothly. It does so by serving as an online centralized information hub for VLRs by sub-national and local governments, as they provide details such as location, size and important goals, in addition to actual cases from the model local governments. In this way, local governments can use VLR Lab as an open space for peer-learning. 

ebook

E-Handbook on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators

This handbook is targeted towards national statisticians to enable them to monitor progress made in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals based on data produced by national statistical systems.

It addresses the growing need for information targeted towards national statisticians to collect, calculate, and monitor the SDGs using data produced by the national statistical systems. We hope this will be a comprehensive yet straightforward reference that focuses on key aspects–such as concepts, definition, sources, calculations–that are essential to measuring indicators. It also provide additional links and references to more detailed information, so that national statisticians are able to delve into detailed references when needed.

VNRs

VNRs: Human Rights Mechanisms, Approaches and Tools

OHCHR has developed useful tools and approaches that can support States in reporting on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) and at the same time may help States reduce their reporting burden.

UNV

Reflecting Citizen Contributions through Volunteering in VNRs 2019

United Nations Volunteers (UNV) works with UN Member States and other stakeholders to support evidence on whole-of-society approaches in their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). Globally, more than one billion active volunteers make economic and social contributions to development processes at scale.

Fact Sheets
Follow-up and Review

Effective follow-up and review (FUR) is instrumental to guiding and strengthening effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. By evaluating progress towards implementation, it endeavours to improve accountability, enhance peer learning through exchange of good practices, and mobilize support.

Member States have the primary responsibility for follow-up and review, at the national, regional and global levels, in relation to the progress made in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and related targets. A systematic follow-up and review framework will be robust, voluntary, effective, highly participatory, transparent, integrated and will consider national priorities and capacities.

The 2030 Agenda outlines a set of guiding principles, which include:

  1. Voluntary & country led reporting to track progress on implementing the SDGs coupled with rigorous, robust, data driven, evidence based evaluations;
  2. Long-term orientation, and identification of challenges, gaps and critical success and failure factors;
  3. Ensuring an open, inclusive, participatory, and transparent process; and
  4. Building on existing platforms and processes that respond to national circumstance, capacities, needs and priorities.

To reinforce national accountability and ownership, the outcomes of the FUR processes held at national level lay the foundations for the FUR at regional and global levels. The latter processes, in fact, rely primarily on national data sources.

The proposed follow-up and review architecture emphasizes a multi-layered structure with the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the global level, supported by peer review mechanisms at the regional and subregional level, such as the annual Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), and strong national level accountability processes. Given the highly inclusive and transparent process through which the SDGs are being defined, the global architecture must also ensure space exists for meaningful inclusion of non-state actors.

Foundations for the architecture of follow-up and review:

Architecture of follow-up and review

At the national level:

FUR processes centre on accountability. National policies are evaluated to measure progress. Engaging with a broad range of stakeholders, including representatives of civil society (CSO), indigenous people, and the private sector, is encouraged to ensure transparency.

At the regional level:

Drawing on national reviews, FUR processes emphasize peer learning and the exchange of good practices, providing an opportunity to discuss challenges and opportunities in the regional context. Outcomes contribute to shape FUR process at the global level.

Regional support to follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda is one of the agreed functions of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), an inter-governmental mechanism convened by ESCAP on an annual basis. In fact, APFSD is now a fully recognised part of the SDG follow-up and review process and institutionalised as part of the ESCAP commission structure. The APFSD supports the region in preparation for the global level HLPF by enhancing capacity, capturing and sharing regional perspectives and supporting the review of progress toward implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The APFSD Forum supports the FUR process at the regional level through:

  • assessing progress and providing opportunities for peer learning related to the theme and goals that will be reviewed at the High-level Political Forum;
  • supporting the presentation of Voluntary National Reviews; and
  • undertaking periodic review of progress of the road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

At the global level:

FUR at global level takes place at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which meets every year to reviews progress towards the 2030 Agenda through the lens of a specific theme, including an in-depth review of a subset of goals. The means of implementation and global partnerships are under review each year. The HLPF also includes voluntary national reviews (VNRs) that give individual countries the opportunity to present their progress towards the 2030 Agenda and constitute the main instruments for national reporting at the HLPF.

Follow-up and Review cycle.

Background

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development devotes 18 paragraphs on the importance of a systematic follow-up and review of the implementation of the Agenda, its roles, objectives, and guiding principles. It should be noted that such a framework was not present in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), making the process of establishing an institutional mechanism for follow-up and review for the SDGs an unprecedented task for national governments. 

Follow-up and review is both a management process as well as an accountability exercise. It ensures that implementation efforts are effective, that they are well founded, that strategies are appropriate and tackle the right issues, that the right institutions and stakeholders are involved and act, and that appropriate resources are provided for this effort. Review and follow-up are strictly interconnected and shall be regarded as a continuum: the one provides the diagnostics on the progress, and the other accounts for responses, ensuring that action is taken in return.

Review is a process in which the stakeholders are engaged to consider the findings of the monitoring effort and to discuss questions such as (A) does the picture of progress presented represent reality? (B)  what are the underlying reasons for the picture of progress presented; (C) what are some of the most urgent needs and opportunities for boosting progress or taking remedial action? (D) what are the emerging issues?

Follow-up ensures that there is a response to the recommendations of the monitoring and review processes, and is at the heart of effective follow-up and review. It provides for action to accelerate progress. This component includes formulation of response to the findings of the monitoring and review process, including allocation of resources and identification of investment needs, adjustments in implementation plans, or change during implementation. Follow-up may involve defining new indicators that should be tracked through monitoring efforts.

Tools and Methodologies

road map

Regional Road Map

Recognizing the opportunities of regional cooperation to accelerate sustainable development, the countries of Asia and the Pacific agreed on a regional road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the 4th Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development in 2017. The road map identifies priority areas of regional cooperation for the means of implementation and partnerships, as well as six thematic areas that correspond to major challenges still faced in our region:

  • leaving no one behind
  • climate change
  • connectivity
  • disaster risk reduction and resilience
  • management of natural resources
  • energy

To accelerate progress towards achieving SDGs, the road map calls for strengthened regional cooperation on these priority issues, continued and coordinated support provided by the secretariat and other UN institutions and (sub)regional organizations, as well as more effective knowledge sharing across borders.

road map progress

Regional Road Map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific: Progress Report 2019

The road map calls for reviews of its progress to take place annually at the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development. The present report uses a progress assessment methodology developed by ESCAP to assess the eleven priority areas of regional cooperation with reference to the sixty-two global means of implementation SDG targets in the global SDG indicator framework.

VNR Database

Voluntary National Reviews Database

The voluntary national reviews (VNRs) aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with the aim of accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNRs also seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

This online review platform is dedicated to compiling information from countries participating in the voluntary national reviews of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

Handbook for the Preparation of VNRs

Handbook for the Preparation of Voluntary National Reviews 2019

This is a handbook for country preparation and presentation of voluntary national reviews (VNRs). It should be read in conjunction with the updated Secretary-General’s proposal for voluntary common reporting guidelines for voluntary national reviews at the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF). The updated Secretary-General’s voluntary common guidelines are attached in the handbook as annex 2.

Other important resources are the synthesis reports of the 2016 and 2017 reviews. The reports provide a snapshot of general characteristics of the VNRs for that year and contain additional examples of good practices and lessons learned for countries conducting VNRs.

VNR Synthesis Report 2016

VNR Synthesis Report 2017

VNR Synthesis Report, Asia-Pacific Countries, 2017

VNR Synthesis Report 2018

Voluntary Common Reporting Guidelines

VNR Guidelines

The main guidance for the VNRs are the updated UN Secretary-General’s voluntary common reporting guidelines. The guidelines provide a framework for certain common elements within reviews, while allowing for flexibility so countries can adapt to their own circumstances. The guidelines serve to promote consistency between reviews and comparability over time. However, in line with the voluntary nature of the VNRs, it is up to countries to decide how to carry out their reviews, in accordance with their national contexts and circumstances.

Q&A for VNRs 2019

6th APFSD

Sixth Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development: Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies

Regional support to follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda is one of the agreed functions of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), an inter-governmental mechanism convened by ESCAP on an annual basis. In fact, APFSD is now a fully recognised part of the SDG follow-up and review process and institutionalised as part of the ESCAP commission structure. The APFSD supports the region in preparation for the global level HLPF by enhancing capacity, capturing and sharing regional perspectives and supporting the review of progress toward implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The Forum supports the FUR process at the regional level through:

  1. (assessing progress and providing opportunities for peer learning related to the theme and goals that will be reviewed at the High-level Political Forum;
  2. supporting the presentation of Voluntary National Reviews; and
  3. undertaking periodic review of progress of the road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

HLPF 2019

High-Level Political Forum 2019

The Forum meets annually under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council for eight days, including a three-day ministerial segment and every four years at the level of Heads of State and Government under the auspices of the General Assembly for two days. The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development and it has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development the SDGs at the global level. The Forum adopts intergovernmentally negotiated political declarations.

guidelines to support countries reporting on SDGs

Guidelines to Support Country Reporting on the SDGs

The guidelines are divided into four chapters.

Chapter 1: focus on the follow-up and review processes at! global, regional and country levels. It details how the different processes intersect and the type of support the UN system can provide.

Chapter 2:  describes the 2030 Agenda principles and how they are relevant to the follow-up and review process at the country level. It also provides the critical elements for preparing a national SDG review and the structure of a national SDG report. 
Chapter 3:  is about indicators and data; defining national SDG indicators, setting baselines for monitoring and evaluation, and practical criteria for progress assessment including developing a SDG scorecard. 

Chapter 4: focuses on how to identify stakeholders for engagement, and encouraging inclusive approaches to national SDG review. The annexes provide examples of available methodologies that can be used to make the national SDGs report more analytical; step by step guide for developing a communications and dissemination plan; a checklist for managing the production of an SDG Report; and sample of sources, guidance notes and tools available of relevance to SDG reporting.

RIA

Rapid Integrated Assessment Tool

The Rapid Integrated Assessment (RIA) Tool aims to support countries in mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into national and subnational planning, by helping assess their readiness for SDG implementation. The tool suggests clear steps and templates for policy makers to conduct a rapid integrated assessment (RIA) of the SDGs to determine their relevance to the country context, both at the national and subnational level, and interlinkages across targets. The assessment is a first step in defining a roadmap for a country to implement the SDGs.

Engagement of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPO) in the VNR Process

Engagement of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPO) in the VNR Process

This toolkit has been developed as an exploratory and interactive tool for organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) on the monitoring mechanisms of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) implementation, called Voluntary National Reviews. The toolkit aims to provide step-by-step guidance, ideas, suggestions and templates for building successful advocacy campaigns and strategies to participate in the monitoring mechanisms of the Sustainable Development Goals.

vlr

VLR Lab

VLR Lab enhances local governments’ ability to disseminate information and findings globally, and to do so more smoothly. It does so by serving as an online centralized information hub for VLRs by sub-national and local governments, as they provide details such as location, size and important goals, in addition to actual cases from the model local governments. In this way, local governments can use VLR Lab as an open space for peer-learning. 

ebook

E-Handbook on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators

This handbook is targeted towards national statisticians to enable them to monitor progress made in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals based on data produced by national statistical systems.

It addresses the growing need for information targeted towards national statisticians to collect, calculate, and monitor the SDGs using data produced by the national statistical systems. We hope this will be a comprehensive yet straightforward reference that focuses on key aspects–such as concepts, definition, sources, calculations–that are essential to measuring indicators. It also provide additional links and references to more detailed information, so that national statisticians are able to delve into detailed references when needed.

VNRs

VNRs: Human Rights Mechanisms, Approaches and Tools

OHCHR has developed useful tools and approaches that can support States in reporting on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) and at the same time may help States reduce their reporting burden.

UNV

Reflecting Citizen Contributions through Volunteering in VNRs 2019

United Nations Volunteers (UNV) works with UN Member States and other stakeholders to support evidence on whole-of-society approaches in their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). Globally, more than one billion active volunteers make economic and social contributions to development processes at scale.

Fact Sheets
Follow-up and Review

Effective follow-up and review (FUR) is instrumental to guiding and strengthening effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. By evaluating progress towards implementation, it endeavours to improve accountability, enhance peer learning through exchange of good practices, and mobilize support.

Member States have the primary responsibility for follow-up and review, at the national, regional and global levels, in relation to the progress made in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and related targets. A systematic follow-up and review framework will be robust, voluntary, effective, highly participatory, transparent, integrated and will consider national priorities and capacities.

The 2030 Agenda outlines a set of guiding principles, which include:

  1. Voluntary & country led reporting to track progress on implementing the SDGs coupled with rigorous, robust, data driven, evidence based evaluations;
  2. Long-term orientation, and identification of challenges, gaps and critical success and failure factors;
  3. Ensuring an open, inclusive, participatory, and transparent process; and
  4. Building on existing platforms and processes that respond to national circumstance, capacities, needs and priorities.

To reinforce national accountability and ownership, the outcomes of the FUR processes held at national level lay the foundations for the FUR at regional and global levels. The latter processes, in fact, rely primarily on national data sources.

The proposed follow-up and review architecture emphasizes a multi-layered structure with the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the global level, supported by peer review mechanisms at the regional and subregional level, such as the annual Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), and strong national level accountability processes. Given the highly inclusive and transparent process through which the SDGs are being defined, the global architecture must also ensure space exists for meaningful inclusion of non-state actors.

Foundations for the architecture of follow-up and review:

Architecture of follow-up and review

At the national level:

FUR processes centre on accountability. National policies are evaluated to measure progress. Engaging with a broad range of stakeholders, including representatives of civil society (CSO), indigenous people, and the private sector, is encouraged to ensure transparency.

At the regional level:

Drawing on national reviews, FUR processes emphasize peer learning and the exchange of good practices, providing an opportunity to discuss challenges and opportunities in the regional context. Outcomes contribute to shape FUR process at the global level.

Regional support to follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda is one of the agreed functions of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), an inter-governmental mechanism convened by ESCAP on an annual basis. In fact, APFSD is now a fully recognised part of the SDG follow-up and review process and institutionalised as part of the ESCAP commission structure. The APFSD supports the region in preparation for the global level HLPF by enhancing capacity, capturing and sharing regional perspectives and supporting the review of progress toward implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The APFSD Forum supports the FUR process at the regional level through:

  • assessing progress and providing opportunities for peer learning related to the theme and goals that will be reviewed at the High-level Political Forum;
  • supporting the presentation of Voluntary National Reviews; and
  • undertaking periodic review of progress of the road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

At the global level:

FUR at global level takes place at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which meets every year to reviews progress towards the 2030 Agenda through the lens of a specific theme, including an in-depth review of a subset of goals. The means of implementation and global partnerships are under review each year. The HLPF also includes voluntary national reviews (VNRs) that give individual countries the opportunity to present their progress towards the 2030 Agenda and constitute the main instruments for national reporting at the HLPF.

Follow-up and Review cycle.

Background

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development devotes 18 paragraphs on the importance of a systematic follow-up and review of the implementation of the Agenda, its roles, objectives, and guiding principles. It should be noted that such a framework was not present in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), making the process of establishing an institutional mechanism for follow-up and review for the SDGs an unprecedented task for national governments. 

Follow-up and review is both a management process as well as an accountability exercise. It ensures that implementation efforts are effective, that they are well founded, that strategies are appropriate and tackle the right issues, that the right institutions and stakeholders are involved and act, and that appropriate resources are provided for this effort. Review and follow-up are strictly interconnected and shall be regarded as a continuum: the one provides the diagnostics on the progress, and the other accounts for responses, ensuring that action is taken in return.

Review is a process in which the stakeholders are engaged to consider the findings of the monitoring effort and to discuss questions such as (A) does the picture of progress presented represent reality? (B)  what are the underlying reasons for the picture of progress presented; (C) what are some of the most urgent needs and opportunities for boosting progress or taking remedial action? (D) what are the emerging issues?

Follow-up ensures that there is a response to the recommendations of the monitoring and review processes, and is at the heart of effective follow-up and review. It provides for action to accelerate progress. This component includes formulation of response to the findings of the monitoring and review process, including allocation of resources and identification of investment needs, adjustments in implementation plans, or change during implementation. Follow-up may involve defining new indicators that should be tracked through monitoring efforts.

Tools and Methodologies

road map

Regional Road Map

Recognizing the opportunities of regional cooperation to accelerate sustainable development, the countries of Asia and the Pacific agreed on a regional road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the 4th Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development in 2017. The road map identifies priority areas of regional cooperation for the means of implementation and partnerships, as well as six thematic areas that correspond to major challenges still faced in our region:

  • leaving no one behind
  • climate change
  • connectivity
  • disaster risk reduction and resilience
  • management of natural resources
  • energy

To accelerate progress towards achieving SDGs, the road map calls for strengthened regional cooperation on these priority issues, continued and coordinated support provided by the secretariat and other UN institutions and (sub)regional organizations, as well as more effective knowledge sharing across borders.

road map progress

Regional Road Map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific: Progress Report 2019

The road map calls for reviews of its progress to take place annually at the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development. The present report uses a progress assessment methodology developed by ESCAP to assess the eleven priority areas of regional cooperation with reference to the sixty-two global means of implementation SDG targets in the global SDG indicator framework.

VNR Database

Voluntary National Reviews Database

The voluntary national reviews (VNRs) aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with the aim of accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNRs also seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

This online review platform is dedicated to compiling information from countries participating in the voluntary national reviews of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

Handbook for the Preparation of VNRs

Handbook for the Preparation of Voluntary National Reviews 2019

This is a handbook for country preparation and presentation of voluntary national reviews (VNRs). It should be read in conjunction with the updated Secretary-General’s proposal for voluntary common reporting guidelines for voluntary national reviews at the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF). The updated Secretary-General’s voluntary common guidelines are attached in the handbook as annex 2.

Other important resources are the synthesis reports of the 2016 and 2017 reviews. The reports provide a snapshot of general characteristics of the VNRs for that year and contain additional examples of good practices and lessons learned for countries conducting VNRs.

VNR Synthesis Report 2016

VNR Synthesis Report 2017

VNR Synthesis Report, Asia-Pacific Countries, 2017

VNR Synthesis Report 2018

Voluntary Common Reporting Guidelines

VNR Guidelines

The main guidance for the VNRs are the updated UN Secretary-General’s voluntary common reporting guidelines. The guidelines provide a framework for certain common elements within reviews, while allowing for flexibility so countries can adapt to their own circumstances. The guidelines serve to promote consistency between reviews and comparability over time. However, in line with the voluntary nature of the VNRs, it is up to countries to decide how to carry out their reviews, in accordance with their national contexts and circumstances.

Q&A for VNRs 2019

6th APFSD

Sixth Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development: Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies

Regional support to follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda is one of the agreed functions of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), an inter-governmental mechanism convened by ESCAP on an annual basis. In fact, APFSD is now a fully recognised part of the SDG follow-up and review process and institutionalised as part of the ESCAP commission structure. The APFSD supports the region in preparation for the global level HLPF by enhancing capacity, capturing and sharing regional perspectives and supporting the review of progress toward implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The Forum supports the FUR process at the regional level through:

  1. (assessing progress and providing opportunities for peer learning related to the theme and goals that will be reviewed at the High-level Political Forum;
  2. supporting the presentation of Voluntary National Reviews; and
  3. undertaking periodic review of progress of the road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

HLPF 2019

High-Level Political Forum 2019

The Forum meets annually under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council for eight days, including a three-day ministerial segment and every four years at the level of Heads of State and Government under the auspices of the General Assembly for two days. The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development and it has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development the SDGs at the global level. The Forum adopts intergovernmentally negotiated political declarations.

guidelines to support countries reporting on SDGs

Guidelines to Support Country Reporting on the SDGs

The guidelines are divided into four chapters.

Chapter 1: focus on the follow-up and review processes at! global, regional and country levels. It details how the different processes intersect and the type of support the UN system can provide.

Chapter 2:  describes the 2030 Agenda principles and how they are relevant to the follow-up and review process at the country level. It also provides the critical elements for preparing a national SDG review and the structure of a national SDG report. 
Chapter 3:  is about indicators and data; defining national SDG indicators, setting baselines for monitoring and evaluation, and practical criteria for progress assessment including developing a SDG scorecard. 

Chapter 4: focuses on how to identify stakeholders for engagement, and encouraging inclusive approaches to national SDG review. The annexes provide examples of available methodologies that can be used to make the national SDGs report more analytical; step by step guide for developing a communications and dissemination plan; a checklist for managing the production of an SDG Report; and sample of sources, guidance notes and tools available of relevance to SDG reporting.

RIA

Rapid Integrated Assessment Tool

The Rapid Integrated Assessment (RIA) Tool aims to support countries in mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into national and subnational planning, by helping assess their readiness for SDG implementation. The tool suggests clear steps and templates for policy makers to conduct a rapid integrated assessment (RIA) of the SDGs to determine their relevance to the country context, both at the national and subnational level, and interlinkages across targets. The assessment is a first step in defining a roadmap for a country to implement the SDGs.

Engagement of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPO) in the VNR Process

Engagement of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPO) in the VNR Process

This toolkit has been developed as an exploratory and interactive tool for organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) on the monitoring mechanisms of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) implementation, called Voluntary National Reviews. The toolkit aims to provide step-by-step guidance, ideas, suggestions and templates for building successful advocacy campaigns and strategies to participate in the monitoring mechanisms of the Sustainable Development Goals.

vlr

VLR Lab

VLR Lab enhances local governments’ ability to disseminate information and findings globally, and to do so more smoothly. It does so by serving as an online centralized information hub for VLRs by sub-national and local governments, as they provide details such as location, size and important goals, in addition to actual cases from the model local governments. In this way, local governments can use VLR Lab as an open space for peer-learning. 

ebook

E-Handbook on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators

This handbook is targeted towards national statisticians to enable them to monitor progress made in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals based on data produced by national statistical systems.

It addresses the growing need for information targeted towards national statisticians to collect, calculate, and monitor the SDGs using data produced by the national statistical systems. We hope this will be a comprehensive yet straightforward reference that focuses on key aspects–such as concepts, definition, sources, calculations–that are essential to measuring indicators. It also provide additional links and references to more detailed information, so that national statisticians are able to delve into detailed references when needed.

VNRs

VNRs: Human Rights Mechanisms, Approaches and Tools

OHCHR has developed useful tools and approaches that can support States in reporting on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) and at the same time may help States reduce their reporting burden.

UNV

Reflecting Citizen Contributions through Volunteering in VNRs 2019

United Nations Volunteers (UNV) works with UN Member States and other stakeholders to support evidence on whole-of-society approaches in their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). Globally, more than one billion active volunteers make economic and social contributions to development processes at scale.

Fact Sheets
Follow-up and Review

Effective follow-up and review (FUR) is instrumental to guiding and strengthening effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. By evaluating progress towards implementation, it endeavours to improve accountability, enhance peer learning through exchange of good practices, and mobilize support.

Member States have the primary responsibility for follow-up and review, at the national, regional and global levels, in relation to the progress made in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and related targets. A systematic follow-up and review framework will be robust, voluntary, effective, highly participatory, transparent, integrated and will consider national priorities and capacities.

The 2030 Agenda outlines a set of guiding principles, which include:

  1. Voluntary & country led reporting to track progress on implementing the SDGs coupled with rigorous, robust, data driven, evidence based evaluations;
  2. Long-term orientation, and identification of challenges, gaps and critical success and failure factors;
  3. Ensuring an open, inclusive, participatory, and transparent process; and
  4. Building on existing platforms and processes that respond to national circumstance, capacities, needs and priorities.

To reinforce national accountability and ownership, the outcomes of the FUR processes held at national level lay the foundations for the FUR at regional and global levels. The latter processes, in fact, rely primarily on national data sources.

The proposed follow-up and review architecture emphasizes a multi-layered structure with the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the global level, supported by peer review mechanisms at the regional and subregional level, such as the annual Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), and strong national level accountability processes. Given the highly inclusive and transparent process through which the SDGs are being defined, the global architecture must also ensure space exists for meaningful inclusion of non-state actors.

Foundations for the architecture of follow-up and review:

Architecture of follow-up and review

At the national level:

FUR processes centre on accountability. National policies are evaluated to measure progress. Engaging with a broad range of stakeholders, including representatives of civil society (CSO), indigenous people, and the private sector, is encouraged to ensure transparency.

At the regional level:

Drawing on national reviews, FUR processes emphasize peer learning and the exchange of good practices, providing an opportunity to discuss challenges and opportunities in the regional context. Outcomes contribute to shape FUR process at the global level.

Regional support to follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda is one of the agreed functions of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), an inter-governmental mechanism convened by ESCAP on an annual basis. In fact, APFSD is now a fully recognised part of the SDG follow-up and review process and institutionalised as part of the ESCAP commission structure. The APFSD supports the region in preparation for the global level HLPF by enhancing capacity, capturing and sharing regional perspectives and supporting the review of progress toward implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The APFSD Forum supports the FUR process at the regional level through:

  • assessing progress and providing opportunities for peer learning related to the theme and goals that will be reviewed at the High-level Political Forum;
  • supporting the presentation of Voluntary National Reviews; and
  • undertaking periodic review of progress of the road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

At the global level:

FUR at global level takes place at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which meets every year to reviews progress towards the 2030 Agenda through the lens of a specific theme, including an in-depth review of a subset of goals. The means of implementation and global partnerships are under review each year. The HLPF also includes voluntary national reviews (VNRs) that give individual countries the opportunity to present their progress towards the 2030 Agenda and constitute the main instruments for national reporting at the HLPF.

Follow-up and Review cycle.

Background

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development devotes 18 paragraphs on the importance of a systematic follow-up and review of the implementation of the Agenda, its roles, objectives, and guiding principles. It should be noted that such a framework was not present in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), making the process of establishing an institutional mechanism for follow-up and review for the SDGs an unprecedented task for national governments. 

Follow-up and review is both a management process as well as an accountability exercise. It ensures that implementation efforts are effective, that they are well founded, that strategies are appropriate and tackle the right issues, that the right institutions and stakeholders are involved and act, and that appropriate resources are provided for this effort. Review and follow-up are strictly interconnected and shall be regarded as a continuum: the one provides the diagnostics on the progress, and the other accounts for responses, ensuring that action is taken in return.

Review is a process in which the stakeholders are engaged to consider the findings of the monitoring effort and to discuss questions such as (A) does the picture of progress presented represent reality? (B)  what are the underlying reasons for the picture of progress presented; (C) what are some of the most urgent needs and opportunities for boosting progress or taking remedial action? (D) what are the emerging issues?

Follow-up ensures that there is a response to the recommendations of the monitoring and review processes, and is at the heart of effective follow-up and review. It provides for action to accelerate progress. This component includes formulation of response to the findings of the monitoring and review process, including allocation of resources and identification of investment needs, adjustments in implementation plans, or change during implementation. Follow-up may involve defining new indicators that should be tracked through monitoring efforts.

Tools and Methodologies

road map

Regional Road Map

Recognizing the opportunities of regional cooperation to accelerate sustainable development, the countries of Asia and the Pacific agreed on a regional road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the 4th Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development in 2017. The road map identifies priority areas of regional cooperation for the means of implementation and partnerships, as well as six thematic areas that correspond to major challenges still faced in our region:

  • leaving no one behind
  • climate change
  • connectivity
  • disaster risk reduction and resilience
  • management of natural resources
  • energy

To accelerate progress towards achieving SDGs, the road map calls for strengthened regional cooperation on these priority issues, continued and coordinated support provided by the secretariat and other UN institutions and (sub)regional organizations, as well as more effective knowledge sharing across borders.

road map progress

Regional Road Map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific: Progress Report 2019

The road map calls for reviews of its progress to take place annually at the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development. The present report uses a progress assessment methodology developed by ESCAP to assess the eleven priority areas of regional cooperation with reference to the sixty-two global means of implementation SDG targets in the global SDG indicator framework.

VNR Database

Voluntary National Reviews Database

The voluntary national reviews (VNRs) aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with the aim of accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNRs also seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

This online review platform is dedicated to compiling information from countries participating in the voluntary national reviews of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

Handbook for the Preparation of VNRs

Handbook for the Preparation of Voluntary National Reviews 2019

This is a handbook for country preparation and presentation of voluntary national reviews (VNRs). It should be read in conjunction with the updated Secretary-General’s proposal for voluntary common reporting guidelines for voluntary national reviews at the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF). The updated Secretary-General’s voluntary common guidelines are attached in the handbook as annex 2.

Other important resources are the synthesis reports of the 2016 and 2017 reviews. The reports provide a snapshot of general characteristics of the VNRs for that year and contain additional examples of good practices and lessons learned for countries conducting VNRs.

VNR Synthesis Report 2016

VNR Synthesis Report 2017

VNR Synthesis Report, Asia-Pacific Countries, 2017

VNR Synthesis Report 2018

Voluntary Common Reporting Guidelines

VNR Guidelines

The main guidance for the VNRs are the updated UN Secretary-General’s voluntary common reporting guidelines. The guidelines provide a framework for certain common elements within reviews, while allowing for flexibility so countries can adapt to their own circumstances. The guidelines serve to promote consistency between reviews and comparability over time. However, in line with the voluntary nature of the VNRs, it is up to countries to decide how to carry out their reviews, in accordance with their national contexts and circumstances.

Q&A for VNRs 2019

6th APFSD

Sixth Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development: Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies

Regional support to follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda is one of the agreed functions of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), an inter-governmental mechanism convened by ESCAP on an annual basis. In fact, APFSD is now a fully recognised part of the SDG follow-up and review process and institutionalised as part of the ESCAP commission structure. The APFSD supports the region in preparation for the global level HLPF by enhancing capacity, capturing and sharing regional perspectives and supporting the review of progress toward implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The Forum supports the FUR process at the regional level through:

  1. (assessing progress and providing opportunities for peer learning related to the theme and goals that will be reviewed at the High-level Political Forum;
  2. supporting the presentation of Voluntary National Reviews; and
  3. undertaking periodic review of progress of the road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

HLPF 2019

High-Level Political Forum 2019

The Forum meets annually under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council for eight days, including a three-day ministerial segment and every four years at the level of Heads of State and Government under the auspices of the General Assembly for two days. The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development and it has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development the SDGs at the global level. The Forum adopts intergovernmentally negotiated political declarations.

guidelines to support countries reporting on SDGs

Guidelines to Support Country Reporting on the SDGs

The guidelines are divided into four chapters.

Chapter 1: focus on the follow-up and review processes at! global, regional and country levels. It details how the different processes intersect and the type of support the UN system can provide.

Chapter 2:  describes the 2030 Agenda principles and how they are relevant to the follow-up and review process at the country level. It also provides the critical elements for preparing a national SDG review and the structure of a national SDG report. 
Chapter 3:  is about indicators and data; defining national SDG indicators, setting baselines for monitoring and evaluation, and practical criteria for progress assessment including developing a SDG scorecard. 

Chapter 4: focuses on how to identify stakeholders for engagement, and encouraging inclusive approaches to national SDG review. The annexes provide examples of available methodologies that can be used to make the national SDGs report more analytical; step by step guide for developing a communications and dissemination plan; a checklist for managing the production of an SDG Report; and sample of sources, guidance notes and tools available of relevance to SDG reporting.

RIA

Rapid Integrated Assessment Tool

The Rapid Integrated Assessment (RIA) Tool aims to support countries in mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into national and subnational planning, by helping assess their readiness for SDG implementation. The tool suggests clear steps and templates for policy makers to conduct a rapid integrated assessment (RIA) of the SDGs to determine their relevance to the country context, both at the national and subnational level, and interlinkages across targets. The assessment is a first step in defining a roadmap for a country to implement the SDGs.

Engagement of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPO) in the VNR Process

Engagement of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPO) in the VNR Process

This toolkit has been developed as an exploratory and interactive tool for organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) on the monitoring mechanisms of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) implementation, called Voluntary National Reviews. The toolkit aims to provide step-by-step guidance, ideas, suggestions and templates for building successful advocacy campaigns and strategies to participate in the monitoring mechanisms of the Sustainable Development Goals.

vlr

VLR Lab

VLR Lab enhances local governments’ ability to disseminate information and findings globally, and to do so more smoothly. It does so by serving as an online centralized information hub for VLRs by sub-national and local governments, as they provide details such as location, size and important goals, in addition to actual cases from the model local governments. In this way, local governments can use VLR Lab as an open space for peer-learning. 

ebook

E-Handbook on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators

This handbook is targeted towards national statisticians to enable them to monitor progress made in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals based on data produced by national statistical systems.

It addresses the growing need for information targeted towards national statisticians to collect, calculate, and monitor the SDGs using data produced by the national statistical systems. We hope this will be a comprehensive yet straightforward reference that focuses on key aspects–such as concepts, definition, sources, calculations–that are essential to measuring indicators. It also provide additional links and references to more detailed information, so that national statisticians are able to delve into detailed references when needed.

VNRs

VNRs: Human Rights Mechanisms, Approaches and Tools

OHCHR has developed useful tools and approaches that can support States in reporting on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) and at the same time may help States reduce their reporting burden.

UNV

Reflecting Citizen Contributions through Volunteering in VNRs 2019

United Nations Volunteers (UNV) works with UN Member States and other stakeholders to support evidence on whole-of-society approaches in their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). Globally, more than one billion active volunteers make economic and social contributions to development processes at scale.

Fact Sheets
Follow-up and Review

Effective follow-up and review (FUR) is instrumental to guiding and strengthening effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. By evaluating progress towards implementation, it endeavours to improve accountability, enhance peer learning through exchange of good practices, and mobilize support.

Member States have the primary responsibility for follow-up and review, at the national, regional and global levels, in relation to the progress made in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and related targets. A systematic follow-up and review framework will be robust, voluntary, effective, highly participatory, transparent, integrated and will consider national priorities and capacities.

The 2030 Agenda outlines a set of guiding principles, which include:

  1. Voluntary & country led reporting to track progress on implementing the SDGs coupled with rigorous, robust, data driven, evidence based evaluations;
  2. Long-term orientation, and identification of challenges, gaps and critical success and failure factors;
  3. Ensuring an open, inclusive, participatory, and transparent process; and
  4. Building on existing platforms and processes that respond to national circumstance, capacities, needs and priorities.

To reinforce national accountability and ownership, the outcomes of the FUR processes held at national level lay the foundations for the FUR at regional and global levels. The latter processes, in fact, rely primarily on national data sources.

The proposed follow-up and review architecture emphasizes a multi-layered structure with the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the global level, supported by peer review mechanisms at the regional and subregional level, such as the annual Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), and strong national level accountability processes. Given the highly inclusive and transparent process through which the SDGs are being defined, the global architecture must also ensure space exists for meaningful inclusion of non-state actors.

Foundations for the architecture of follow-up and review:

Architecture of follow-up and review

At the national level:

FUR processes centre on accountability. National policies are evaluated to measure progress. Engaging with a broad range of stakeholders, including representatives of civil society (CSO), indigenous people, and the private sector, is encouraged to ensure transparency.

At the regional level:

Drawing on national reviews, FUR processes emphasize peer learning and the exchange of good practices, providing an opportunity to discuss challenges and opportunities in the regional context. Outcomes contribute to shape FUR process at the global level.

Regional support to follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda is one of the agreed functions of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), an inter-governmental mechanism convened by ESCAP on an annual basis. In fact, APFSD is now a fully recognised part of the SDG follow-up and review process and institutionalised as part of the ESCAP commission structure. The APFSD supports the region in preparation for the global level HLPF by enhancing capacity, capturing and sharing regional perspectives and supporting the review of progress toward implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The APFSD Forum supports the FUR process at the regional level through:

  • assessing progress and providing opportunities for peer learning related to the theme and goals that will be reviewed at the High-level Political Forum;
  • supporting the presentation of Voluntary National Reviews; and
  • undertaking periodic review of progress of the road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

At the global level:

FUR at global level takes place at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which meets every year to reviews progress towards the 2030 Agenda through the lens of a specific theme, including an in-depth review of a subset of goals. The means of implementation and global partnerships are under review each year. The HLPF also includes voluntary national reviews (VNRs) that give individual countries the opportunity to present their progress towards the 2030 Agenda and constitute the main instruments for national reporting at the HLPF.

Follow-up and Review cycle.

Background

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development devotes 18 paragraphs on the importance of a systematic follow-up and review of the implementation of the Agenda, its roles, objectives, and guiding principles. It should be noted that such a framework was not present in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), making the process of establishing an institutional mechanism for follow-up and review for the SDGs an unprecedented task for national governments. 

Follow-up and review is both a management process as well as an accountability exercise. It ensures that implementation efforts are effective, that they are well founded, that strategies are appropriate and tackle the right issues, that the right institutions and stakeholders are involved and act, and that appropriate resources are provided for this effort. Review and follow-up are strictly interconnected and shall be regarded as a continuum: the one provides the diagnostics on the progress, and the other accounts for responses, ensuring that action is taken in return.

Review is a process in which the stakeholders are engaged to consider the findings of the monitoring effort and to discuss questions such as (A) does the picture of progress presented represent reality? (B)  what are the underlying reasons for the picture of progress presented; (C) what are some of the most urgent needs and opportunities for boosting progress or taking remedial action? (D) what are the emerging issues?

Follow-up ensures that there is a response to the recommendations of the monitoring and review processes, and is at the heart of effective follow-up and review. It provides for action to accelerate progress. This component includes formulation of response to the findings of the monitoring and review process, including allocation of resources and identification of investment needs, adjustments in implementation plans, or change during implementation. Follow-up may involve defining new indicators that should be tracked through monitoring efforts.

Tools and Methodologies

road map

Regional Road Map

Recognizing the opportunities of regional cooperation to accelerate sustainable development, the countries of Asia and the Pacific agreed on a regional road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the 4th Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development in 2017. The road map identifies priority areas of regional cooperation for the means of implementation and partnerships, as well as six thematic areas that correspond to major challenges still faced in our region:

  • leaving no one behind
  • climate change
  • connectivity
  • disaster risk reduction and resilience
  • management of natural resources
  • energy

To accelerate progress towards achieving SDGs, the road map calls for strengthened regional cooperation on these priority issues, continued and coordinated support provided by the secretariat and other UN institutions and (sub)regional organizations, as well as more effective knowledge sharing across borders.

road map progress

Regional Road Map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific: Progress Report 2019

The road map calls for reviews of its progress to take place annually at the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development. The present report uses a progress assessment methodology developed by ESCAP to assess the eleven priority areas of regional cooperation with reference to the sixty-two global means of implementation SDG targets in the global SDG indicator framework.

VNR Database

Voluntary National Reviews Database

The voluntary national reviews (VNRs) aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with the aim of accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNRs also seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

This online review platform is dedicated to compiling information from countries participating in the voluntary national reviews of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

Handbook for the Preparation of VNRs

Handbook for the Preparation of Voluntary National Reviews 2019

This is a handbook for country preparation and presentation of voluntary national reviews (VNRs). It should be read in conjunction with the updated Secretary-General’s proposal for voluntary common reporting guidelines for voluntary national reviews at the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF). The updated Secretary-General’s voluntary common guidelines are attached in the handbook as annex 2.

Other important resources are the synthesis reports of the 2016 and 2017 reviews. The reports provide a snapshot of general characteristics of the VNRs for that year and contain additional examples of good practices and lessons learned for countries conducting VNRs.

VNR Synthesis Report 2016

VNR Synthesis Report 2017

VNR Synthesis Report, Asia-Pacific Countries, 2017

VNR Synthesis Report 2018

Voluntary Common Reporting Guidelines

VNR Guidelines

The main guidance for the VNRs are the updated UN Secretary-General’s voluntary common reporting guidelines. The guidelines provide a framework for certain common elements within reviews, while allowing for flexibility so countries can adapt to their own circumstances. The guidelines serve to promote consistency between reviews and comparability over time. However, in line with the voluntary nature of the VNRs, it is up to countries to decide how to carry out their reviews, in accordance with their national contexts and circumstances.

Q&A for VNRs 2019

6th APFSD

Sixth Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development: Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies

Regional support to follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda is one of the agreed functions of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), an inter-governmental mechanism convened by ESCAP on an annual basis. In fact, APFSD is now a fully recognised part of the SDG follow-up and review process and institutionalised as part of the ESCAP commission structure. The APFSD supports the region in preparation for the global level HLPF by enhancing capacity, capturing and sharing regional perspectives and supporting the review of progress toward implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The Forum supports the FUR process at the regional level through:

  1. (assessing progress and providing opportunities for peer learning related to the theme and goals that will be reviewed at the High-level Political Forum;
  2. supporting the presentation of Voluntary National Reviews; and
  3. undertaking periodic review of progress of the road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

HLPF 2019

High-Level Political Forum 2019

The Forum meets annually under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council for eight days, including a three-day ministerial segment and every four years at the level of Heads of State and Government under the auspices of the General Assembly for two days. The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development and it has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development the SDGs at the global level. The Forum adopts intergovernmentally negotiated political declarations.

guidelines to support countries reporting on SDGs

Guidelines to Support Country Reporting on the SDGs

The guidelines are divided into four chapters.

Chapter 1: focus on the follow-up and review processes at! global, regional and country levels. It details how the different processes intersect and the type of support the UN system can provide.

Chapter 2:  describes the 2030 Agenda principles and how they are relevant to the follow-up and review process at the country level. It also provides the critical elements for preparing a national SDG review and the structure of a national SDG report. 
Chapter 3:  is about indicators and data; defining national SDG indicators, setting baselines for monitoring and evaluation, and practical criteria for progress assessment including developing a SDG scorecard. 

Chapter 4: focuses on how to identify stakeholders for engagement, and encouraging inclusive approaches to national SDG review. The annexes provide examples of available methodologies that can be used to make the national SDGs report more analytical; step by step guide for developing a communications and dissemination plan; a checklist for managing the production of an SDG Report; and sample of sources, guidance notes and tools available of relevance to SDG reporting.

RIA

Rapid Integrated Assessment Tool

The Rapid Integrated Assessment (RIA) Tool aims to support countries in mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into national and subnational planning, by helping assess their readiness for SDG implementation. The tool suggests clear steps and templates for policy makers to conduct a rapid integrated assessment (RIA) of the SDGs to determine their relevance to the country context, both at the national and subnational level, and interlinkages across targets. The assessment is a first step in defining a roadmap for a country to implement the SDGs.

Engagement of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPO) in the VNR Process

Engagement of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPO) in the VNR Process

This toolkit has been developed as an exploratory and interactive tool for organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) on the monitoring mechanisms of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) implementation, called Voluntary National Reviews. The toolkit aims to provide step-by-step guidance, ideas, suggestions and templates for building successful advocacy campaigns and strategies to participate in the monitoring mechanisms of the Sustainable Development Goals.

vlr

VLR Lab

VLR Lab enhances local governments’ ability to disseminate information and findings globally, and to do so more smoothly. It does so by serving as an online centralized information hub for VLRs by sub-national and local governments, as they provide details such as location, size and important goals, in addition to actual cases from the model local governments. In this way, local governments can use VLR Lab as an open space for peer-learning. 

ebook

E-Handbook on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators

This handbook is targeted towards national statisticians to enable them to monitor progress made in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals based on data produced by national statistical systems.

It addresses the growing need for information targeted towards national statisticians to collect, calculate, and monitor the SDGs using data produced by the national statistical systems. We hope this will be a comprehensive yet straightforward reference that focuses on key aspects–such as concepts, definition, sources, calculations–that are essential to measuring indicators. It also provide additional links and references to more detailed information, so that national statisticians are able to delve into detailed references when needed.

VNRs

VNRs: Human Rights Mechanisms, Approaches and Tools

OHCHR has developed useful tools and approaches that can support States in reporting on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) and at the same time may help States reduce their reporting burden.

UNV

Reflecting Citizen Contributions through Volunteering in VNRs 2019

United Nations Volunteers (UNV) works with UN Member States and other stakeholders to support evidence on whole-of-society approaches in their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). Globally, more than one billion active volunteers make economic and social contributions to development processes at scale.

Follow-up and Review

Effective follow-up and review (FUR) is instrumental to guiding and strengthening effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. By evaluating progress towards implementation, it endeavours to improve accountability, enhance peer learning through exchange of good practices, and mobilize support.

Member States have the primary responsibility for follow-up and review, at the national, regional and global levels, in relation to the progress made in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and related targets. A systematic follow-up and review framework will be robust, voluntary, effective, highly participatory, transparent, integrated and will consider national priorities and capacities.

The 2030 Agenda outlines a set of guiding principles, which include:

  1. Voluntary & country led reporting to track progress on implementing the SDGs coupled with rigorous, robust, data driven, evidence based evaluations;
  2. Long-term orientation, and identification of challenges, gaps and critical success and failure factors;
  3. Ensuring an open, inclusive, participatory, and transparent process; and
  4. Building on existing platforms and processes that respond to national circumstance, capacities, needs and priorities.

To reinforce national accountability and ownership, the outcomes of the FUR processes held at national level lay the foundations for the FUR at regional and global levels. The latter processes, in fact, rely primarily on national data sources.

The proposed follow-up and review architecture emphasizes a multi-layered structure with the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the global level, supported by peer review mechanisms at the regional and subregional level, such as the annual Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), and strong national level accountability processes. Given the highly inclusive and transparent process through which the SDGs are being defined, the global architecture must also ensure space exists for meaningful inclusion of non-state actors.

Foundations for the architecture of follow-up and review:

Architecture of follow-up and review

At the national level:

FUR processes centre on accountability. National policies are evaluated to measure progress. Engaging with a broad range of stakeholders, including representatives of civil society (CSO), indigenous people, and the private sector, is encouraged to ensure transparency.

At the regional level:

Drawing on national reviews, FUR processes emphasize peer learning and the exchange of good practices, providing an opportunity to discuss challenges and opportunities in the regional context. Outcomes contribute to shape FUR process at the global level.

Regional support to follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda is one of the agreed functions of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), an inter-governmental mechanism convened by ESCAP on an annual basis. In fact, APFSD is now a fully recognised part of the SDG follow-up and review process and institutionalised as part of the ESCAP commission structure. The APFSD supports the region in preparation for the global level HLPF by enhancing capacity, capturing and sharing regional perspectives and supporting the review of progress toward implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The APFSD Forum supports the FUR process at the regional level through:

  • assessing progress and providing opportunities for peer learning related to the theme and goals that will be reviewed at the High-level Political Forum;
  • supporting the presentation of Voluntary National Reviews; and
  • undertaking periodic review of progress of the road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

At the global level:

FUR at global level takes place at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which meets every year to reviews progress towards the 2030 Agenda through the lens of a specific theme, including an in-depth review of a subset of goals. The means of implementation and global partnerships are under review each year. The HLPF also includes voluntary national reviews (VNRs) that give individual countries the opportunity to present their progress towards the 2030 Agenda and constitute the main instruments for national reporting at the HLPF.

Follow-up and Review cycle.

Background

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development devotes 18 paragraphs on the importance of a systematic follow-up and review of the implementation of the Agenda, its roles, objectives, and guiding principles. It should be noted that such a framework was not present in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), making the process of establishing an institutional mechanism for follow-up and review for the SDGs an unprecedented task for national governments. 

Follow-up and review is both a management process as well as an accountability exercise. It ensures that implementation efforts are effective, that they are well founded, that strategies are appropriate and tackle the right issues, that the right institutions and stakeholders are involved and act, and that appropriate resources are provided for this effort. Review and follow-up are strictly interconnected and shall be regarded as a continuum: the one provides the diagnostics on the progress, and the other accounts for responses, ensuring that action is taken in return.

Review is a process in which the stakeholders are engaged to consider the findings of the monitoring effort and to discuss questions such as (A) does the picture of progress presented represent reality? (B)  what are the underlying reasons for the picture of progress presented; (C) what are some of the most urgent needs and opportunities for boosting progress or taking remedial action? (D) what are the emerging issues?

Follow-up ensures that there is a response to the recommendations of the monitoring and review processes, and is at the heart of effective follow-up and review. It provides for action to accelerate progress. This component includes formulation of response to the findings of the monitoring and review process, including allocation of resources and identification of investment needs, adjustments in implementation plans, or change during implementation. Follow-up may involve defining new indicators that should be tracked through monitoring efforts.