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
- disaster risk reduction and resilience
- management of natural resources
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.
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.
E-learning course: Follow-up and review (FUR) and the Voluntary National Review (VNR)
The E-Learning Tutorial on Follow-up and Review (FUR) and the Voluntary National Review (VNR), by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, is designed to support Member States and policy makers in developing strategies and plans to conduct effective and systematic review of the progress made towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Focal attention is set on the national level and the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs), which are at the cornerstone of the Follow-up and Review mechanism.
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 Voluntary National Reviews 2020
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
VNR Synthesis Report 2019
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
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:
- (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.
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 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.
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
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 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.
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: 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.
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.
National SDG Review: data challenges and opportunities
The Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21) promotes the better use and production of statistics throughout the developing world. Since its establishment in 1999, PARIS21 has successfully developed a worldwide network of statisticians, policy makers, analysts, and development practitioners committed to evidence-based decision making. With the main objective to achieve national and international development goals and reduce poverty in low and middle income countries, PARIS21 facilitates statistical capacity development, advocates for the integration of reliable data in decision making, and co-ordinates donor support to statistics.
Voluntary National Reviews submitted to the 2019 High-level Political Forum for Sustainable Development: A Comparative Analysis
The comparative analysis of Voluntary National Re- views (VNRs) identifies similarities and differences in the reviews the UN Member States submitted to the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in July 2019. The analysis shows that the countries expressed a strong commitment to implement the 2030 Agenda. However, steps taken to achieve sustainable development vary significantly in approach and degree. Most VNR reports include a review of progress made on all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and are rich in content, providing details on efforts made and approaches used in the VNR process and their SDG implementation. The range of reporting structures and approaches demonstrates that countries have taken ownership of their VNR processes.
Integrating Human Rights in the Voluntary National Review
Human rights data, analysis and recommendations can strengthen the Voluntary National Review (VNR) by addressing issues such as inequality, discrimination, accountability, rule of law, participation, and inclusion, and can support reporting on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that have corresponding human rights (e.g. water, health, housing), help in identifying groups at risk of being left behind and ways of effectively addressing their situation.