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Enabling Voluntary Local Reviews in Cities: A View from Practitioners and Researchers

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National Voluntary Reviews are the monitoring mechanism to evaluate the status and help adapt strategies towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. In the process of localizing the SDGs, pioneer cities have conducted their own Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs), based on local data and localized indicators.

Back-to-back with launching the first VLR for Bonn, the City of Bonn is hosting a session bringing together practitioners and researchers. Bonn (Germany), Kitakyushu (Japan), La Paz (Bolivia) and others share their experiences developing their VLRs – where they started, which entry points they used, how they designed structures and set the main focus of the report – as well as their insights and lessons learnt, the challenges and benefits.

With a background from developing guidelines for the preparations of VLRs in different continents, research institutions add their practical recommendations. The session looks into how these local reviews can be integrated into national reviewing processes.

Viewers will benefit from rich information and practical experience conducting a VLR in a manageable way, with the added benefit of providing a good foundation for an intensified dialogue on the SDGs with different stakeholders at different levels. The session aims at strengthening the network of cities engaging in VLR reporting in order to further advocate and promote the essential role of cities in the implementation and therefore also the national reporting on the Agenda 2030.


  • Cathy Oke, Enterprise Senior Fellow in Informed Cities, University of Melbourne and First Vice President of ICLEI, Australia


  • Verena Schwarte, Coordinator, Department of International Affairs and Global Sustainability, City of Bonn, Germany
  • Junko Ota, Policy Researcher, Kitakyushu Urban Center, Institute for Global Environmental Studies (IGES), Japan
  • Dirk Temmerman, Head of Office International Relations and Networks, City of Ghent, Belgium
  • Park Sa-Seung, Director of Policy Planning Division, Suwon City Government (Korea)
  • Edgar Pacheco, Director of Research and Municipal Information, Autonomous Municipal Government of La Paz, Bolivia
  • Park Sa-Seung, Director of Policy Planning Division, Suwon City Government (Korea)
  • Anna Calvete Moreno, Research Officer, Global Observatory on Local Democracy and Decentralisation, United Cities and Local Governments, Spain
  • Alice Siragusa, Team Leader, Joint Research Centre, Territorial Development Unit, European Commission, Belgium
  • Samiuddin Ahmed, Regional Sustainable Development Consultant, Environment and Development Division, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Thailand