2023 VLR-VSR Days held at the HLPF


The second edition of the VLR-VSR Days was successfully held on the 13th, 17th and 18th of  July 2023, in the framework of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF). Co-organized by UCLG, UN-Habitat and UNDESA, the VLR-VSR Days sought to realize the potential of Voluntary Local Review (VLR) and Voluntary Subnational Review (VSR) processes to bolster the localization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The VLR-VSR Days have brought together a committed global community, including representatives of local and regional governments (LRGs) and their associations, national governments, international organizations and other partners. 


As put by Emilia Saiz, UCLG Secretary General, in her opening remarks: SDG localization has gained significant recognition and space in discussions at the HLPF. The reason for this is the tireless efforts undertaken by LRGs and their associations, who have produced over 240 VLRs and 37 VSRs since 2018. Taken together, these VLRs and VSRs have allowed to gather information from more than 170,000 local governments, representing more than 1.4 billion inhabitants. 


The VLR-VSR Days have provided a space to harness this momentum, allowing for organized and connected LRGs and their associations to advocate for transformative actions, prioritize care services, ensure accessibility for all, and safeguard the universal commitment to the 2030 Agenda. Over three days, participants exchanged experiences, challenges and key takeaways related to how to leverage the potential of VLRs and VSRs as political processes. In particular, specific discussions were devoted to how VLRs and VSRs can foster multilevel governance, improve data collection and analysis, and propel stakeholder engagement. 

The different sessions showcased that the global movement of LRGs and their associations that are working on VLRs and VSRs is characterized by two things: diversity and commitment. The sessions counted with the participation of LRGs and associations from all the regions in the world. This included those who have conducted one or more VLRs or VSRs, but also those who want to develop their own processes soon. One of the points that resonated the most across all sessions was the participants’ agreement that VLRs and VSRs are increasingly used as processes that change the way LRGs and their associations engage with national governments and local populations and stakeholders. 



More specifically, the four dedicated sessions allowed for structured discussions around the different innovative dimensions of these bottom-up reporting processes. The first session was devoted to how to leverage the connection between VLRs and VSRs and Voluntary National Reviews. In the second session, the focus was on Voluntary Subnational Reviews as innovative modalities to accelerate LRGs’ involvement in SDG monitoring, reporting and implementation. The third session, devoted to data innovation for reporting and planning, allowed for exchanging context-specific innovative tools for continuous data collection systems and information sharing, which enhance transparency of SDG measurement. Last but not least, during the fourth session, participants exchanged on how VLRs and VSRs can promote new ways of meaningful stakeholder involvement and center social justice and inclusion in local policy-making processes.  

All information about the VLR-VSR Days can be found here, while the sessions can be re-watched here


With 7 years left to achieve the 2030 Agenda, VLRs and VSRs are critical processes to accelerate SDG localization, fostering SDG ownership at the local level and strong partnerships among LRGs across the globe.